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Powerstock, Dorset

Historical Description

Poorstock or Powerstock, a village and a parish in Dorsetshire. The village stands on an affluent of the river Brit, with a station on the G.W.R., 159 miles from London½ and 4 NE of Bridport, It has a post office under Melplash; money order and telegraph office, Bridport. The parish includes the tithings of West Milton, Mappercombe, Nettlecombe, South Poorton, Witherston, and part of Loscombe, the two latter not being in the ecclesiastical parish. Acreage, 4146; population of the civil parish, 776; of the ecclesiastical, 698. There is a parish council consisting of nine members. The living is a vicarage, united with the chapelry of West Milton, in the diocese of Salisbury; net value, £207 with residence. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury. The church was rebuilt in 1859 at a cost of more than £15,000, is in the style of the 12th, 14th and 15th centuries, and consists of nave, aisles, chancel, and porch, with a tower 60 feet high; it contains some handsome stained glass windows and beautiful sculpture. The Earl of Sandwich is lord of the manor.

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-districtBeaminster 

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

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1568. 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).

The Phillimore transcript of Marriages at Powerstock and West Milton, 1568-1812 is online.


Church of England

St. Mary (parish church)

The parish church of St. Mary is a building of stone, principally in the Decorated style, and consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch, and an embattled western tower, containing a clock with chimes, and 5 bells, rehung in 1897: the chancel contains six stained windows; the stained west window is a memorial to the Ven. Thomas Sanctuary M.A. archdeacon of Dorset, and vicar of this parish, 1848-89: the original chancel arch is still preserved and is a highly interesting example of the Early Norman period; its capitals are enriched with characteristic sculpture and its pillars with a variety of arabesque patterns: the south doorway is elaborately adorned with niches flanked by panelled and crocketed butresses and pinnacles, the principal niche containing a group of the Virgin and Child: at the base of the tower are some remains of sculptured stones which belong to the Early Norman period: there is a fine brass eagle lectern, a panelled pulpit enriched with sculptured effigies of St. Peter, St. John and the Virgin, and an Early English font of Purbeck marble: the church was restored in 1859 at a cost of about £2,200, and affords 350 sittings.

Civil Registration

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

Powerstock 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 Powerstock from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Powerstock 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

South Poorton
West Milton

Visitations Heraldic

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

DistrictWest Dorset
RegionSouth West
Postal districtDT6
Post TownBridport