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Winterborne Abbas, Dorset

Historical Description

Winterborne Abbas, a parish, with a village, in Dorsetshire, 3¼ miles from Portisham station on the G.W.R. It has a post and money order office under Dorchester; telegraph office, Little Bredy. Acreage, 1514; population of the civil parish, 207; of the ecclesiastical, 347. There are a Druidical circle and numerous barrows. The name Winterborne arose to this parish and to others from the periodicity of streams, issuing from chalk formations, disappearing in summer, and flowing copiously in winter. The living is a rectory, united with Winterborne Steepleton, in the diocese of Salisbury; net value, £320 with residence. Patron, Lincoln College, Oxford. The church is a small building of stone in the Perpendicular style. There is a Baptist chapel. Bishop Ironside was rector.

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 unionDorchester1836 -
Registration districtDorchester 
Registration sub-districtMaiden Newton 

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

Church Records

The register dates from the year 1791. 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 building of stone, in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, north porch and an embattled western tower with turret, containing 3 bells, on one of which is an impression, stamped from the die of a coin of the Plantagenet period: the chancel arch is Early English: there are about 130 sittings.

Civil Registration

Winterbourne Abbas was in Dorchester Registration District from 1837 to 1949 and Weymouth Registration District from 1949 to 1974

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Winterborne Abbas 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.