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Wimborne St Giles, Dorset

Historical Description

Wimborne St Giles, a parish in Dorsetshire, 11 mile SW Cranborne, and 3½ miles NNW of Verwood station on the L. & S.W.R. It contains a village of its own name, and includes the tithing of Wimborne All Saints. Post town, Cranborne, under Salisbury. Acreage, 5947; population of the civil parish, 560; of the ecclesiastical, 405. The manor, with St Giles Park, belongs to the Earl of Shaftesbury, and gives him the title of Baron. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Salisbury; net value, £480 with residence. Patron, the Earl of Shaftesbury. The church was rebuilt in 1732, and is a structure of flint and stone in the Georgian style. In 1887 the Countess of Shaftesbury restored and beautified the interior with an Early English arcade to the memory of her husband, the eighth Earl of Shaftesbury. The parish of Gussage St Michael was added to this parish in 1886.

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 -
HundredWimbore St Giles 
Poor Law unionCranborne1835 - 1836
Poor Law unionWimborne and Cranborne1836 -
Registration districtWimborne 
Registration sub-districtCranborne 

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

Church Records

The register dates from the year 1589. 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. Giles (parish church)

The parish church of St. Giles has passed through many changes; originally it was a structure of flint and stone in the Georgian style, consisting of chancel and nave with a square western tower, containing a clock and 8 bells, dated 1737: it was rebuilt and enlarged in 1732, and repaired by Anthony, 5th Earl of Shaftesbury, in 1785, and remodelled by the 7th Earl in 1852, and in 1887, Harriet, Countess of Shaftesbury (d. 1898), restored and beautified the interior with an Early English arcade, to the memory of her husband the 8th Earl, Mr. G. F. Bodley A.R.A. being the architect: there was a tomb to Sir Anthony Ashley kt. and his wife, who died in 1627, a monument to Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper bart. and 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, who died in 1683, and a mural tablet to Anthony, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury K.G. who died Oct. 1, 1885, and was here buried. In 1908 the old church was totally destroyed by fire which originated in the tower: it has, however, been entirely reconstructed under the superintendence of Mr. J. N. Comper, and was rededicated by the Bishop of Salisbury on September 1st, 1910: the east window is a memorial to Anthony, 8th Earl of Shaftesbury and Harriet his wife: the east window in the lady chapel is a memorial to the 1st Duke of Westminster, who died at St. Giles House: the church will seat 440. The monuments were greatly damaged by the fire, but have, as far as possible, been restored.

Civil Registration

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

Wimborne St. Giles was in Wimborne Registration District from 1837 to 1937, Blandford Registration District from 1937 to 1956, and Poole Registration District from 1956 to 1974

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Wimborne St Giles 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

Wimborne All Saints

Visitations Heraldic

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

DistrictEast Dorset
RegionSouth West
Postal districtBH21
Post TownWimborne