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Motcombe, Dorset

Historical Description

Motcombe, a village and a parish in Dorsetshire. The village stands 1 mile S by E of Semley station on the L. & S.W.R., 1¼ W of the boundary with Wilts, and 1¾ NNW of Shaftesbury, and is large and straggling. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office. Acreage of parish, 5063; population, 1309. For parish council purposes Motcombe and Enmore Green has a parish council of eleven members. The manor, with Motcombe House, belongs to Lord Stalbridge. A new mansion in the Early Tudor style was erected in 1894-95 to take the place of Motcombe House. The parish includes Enmore Green. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Salisbury; value, £290 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Salisbury. The church was rebuilt in 1846, and has a tower. There are Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels, and a Primitive Methodist chapel at Enmore Green. There is a large butter and dairy produce factory in the parish. Water was led into the whole of Motcombe proper by the late Marchioness of Westminster.

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 -
HundredSixpenny Handley 
Poor Law unionShaftesbury1836 -
Registration districtShaftesbury1837 - 1937
Registration districtSturminster1937 - 1974
Registration sub-districtShaftesbury 

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

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1676. 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, rebuilt in 1846, is an edifice of sandstone in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch, and an embattled western tower containing 5 bells, hung in 1887 at a cost of about £300, two being presented by Lady Theodora Guest, and the remaining four by the parisioners: in 1907 a new organ, a pulpit of Caen stone, and new oak choir stalls were provided at a cost of £250: the church affords 316 sittings.

St. Mary, Motcombe St. Mary, Motcombe

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Motcombe was in Shaftesbury Registration District from 1837 to 1937 and Sturminster Registration District from 1937 to 1974

For births, marriages, and deaths in Motcombe from 1837 to 1937 you should search for the Shaftesbury Registration District.
For births, marriages, and deaths in Motcombe from 1937 to 1974 you should search for the Sturminster Registration District.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Motcombe from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Motcombe 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.

Villages, Hamlets, &c

Enmore Green

Visitations Heraldic

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

DistrictNorth Dorset
RegionSouth West
Postal districtSP7
Post TownShaftesbury