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Puncknowle, Dorset

Historical Description

Puncknowle or Pucknoll, a village and a parish in Dorsetshire. The village stands 1½ mile from the coast, 3¼ miles from Abbotsbury station on the G.W.R., and 5¼ SE by E of Bridport, and has a post office under Dorchester; money order and telegraph office, Abbotsbury. The parish extends to the coast, and comprises 1974 acres; population, 427. There is a parish council consisting of seven members. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Salisbury; net value, £165 with residence. The church is good, and has a tower and spire. A N aisle was added in 1891. There is a Wesleyan chapel.

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 -
Ecclesiastical parishPuncknowle St. Mary 
Poor Law unionBridport1836 -
Registration districtBridport 
Registration sub-districtBurton Bradstock 

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

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1630. 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 is a small edifice of stone, in the Norman and Early English styles, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles and a low tower with a dwarf conical spire containing 3 bells: the font is a double one, probably Norman, the lower half having been saved from Bexington church, which was burnt by the French during the 16th century: over the tower arch towards the nave is the date 1678, and the initials "R. M. N.": on the north wall is a mural monument of freestone, with two columns supporting a pediment bearing the arms of Napper; this monument was erected by Sir Robert Napper, knight and baronet, in memory of his father, Robert Napper or Napier, d. 1686, his mother Anna (Corrance), and his mother-in-law, Katherine (Evelyn), d. 1691: the helmet and gauntlets of a knight of the Napper family stiull hang in the church over the south door: in 1891 the north aisle was added, and there are now 150 sittings.

Civil Registration

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

Puncknowle was in Bridport Registration District from 1837 to 1974

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Puncknowle from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Puncknowle 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