UK Genealogy Archives logo
DISCLOSURE: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we may receive a commission.

Melbury Sampford, Dorset

Historical Description

Melbury Sampford, a parish in Dorsetshire, 1½ miles NW of Evershot station on the G.W.R., and 7¼ miles SW of Sherborne. Post town, Dorchester; money order and telegraph office, Evershot. Acreage, 1041; population, 108. The property belongs to the Earl of Ilchester. Melbury House is the Earl's seat, stands on high ground commanding a fine prospect to the Mendip and the Quantock Hills, is an ancient edifice mainly rebuilt about the beginning of the 18th century, and has an E front of weather-beaten stone, ornamented with Corinthian pillars. It has been greatly enlarged, and a new wing with lofty tower added. The living is a rectory, annexed to the rectory of Melbury Osmond, in the diocese of Salisbury. The church is ancient, has a pinnacled tower, and contains monuments of the Brownings and the Strangeways; it was restored in 1878.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyDorsetshire 
DioceseBristol1542 - 1836
DioceseSalisbury1836 -
Poor Law unionBeaminster1836 -
Registration districtBeaminster 
Registration sub-districtEvershot 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The register dates from the year 1550. The original register books are now deposited with the Dorset Archives Service, but have been digitised by and made available on their site (subscription required).


Church of England

St. Mary (parish church)

The parish church of St. Mary's is an ancient cruciform edifice of stone, in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, nave, south porch, transepts and an embattled western tower: the windows contain ancient stained glass, and there are many tombs of the Fox-Strangeways family: the church was restored in 1878, and affords 51 sittings.

Civil Registration

Melbury Sampford was in Beaminster Registration District from 1837 to 1937 and Bridport Registration District from 1937 to 1974

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Melbury Sampford from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Dorset is available to browse.


Online maps of Melbury Sampford are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the Dorset County Chronicle and the Sherborne Mercury online.

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Dorset, 1623 is available on the Heraldry page.

DistrictWest Dorset
RegionSouth West
Postal districtDT2
Post TownDorchester