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Worth Matravers, Dorset

Historical Description

Worth Matravers, a parish in Dorsetshire, on the coast, 4 miles from Corfe Castle station on the L. & S.W.R. It has a post office under Wareham; money order office, Langton Matravers; telegraph office, Corfe Castle. Acreage, 2712; population, 229. Purbeck stone and green marble are quarried. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Salisbury; net value, £96 with residence. Patron, the Rector of Swanage. The church, dedicated to St Nicholas, is a very ancient building of Purbeck stone, chiefly in the Norman style, and has been well restored. There is also an ancient chantry dedicated to St Aldhelm. 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 parishWorth-Matravers St. Nicholas 
Poor Law unionWareham and Purbeck1836 -
Registration districtWareham 
Registration sub-districtSwanage 

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

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1584. 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. Nicholas (parish church)

The parish church of St. Nicholas is a building of Purbeck stone, consisting of chancel, nave, south porch, and a tower containing 3 bells: the nave and west tower are Norman and the chancel Norman and Early English: a heavy projecting eaves-course runs the whole length of both nave and chancel, and is supported by rude grotesque blocks and heads: the entrance doorway is surmounted by an ornamental semicircular arch, inclosing a tympanum on which are remains of rude and very ancient sculpture: the chancel arch is an interesting example of Early Norman work, and on the west side consists of three orders, the two outer ones having bold zigzag moulding: the east window is late Decorated, with reticulated tracery: the other chancel windows are lancets, widely splayed: there is a trefoil-headed piscina, with a cinquefoil-headed niche above it; the font is good Perpendicular: here is the tombstone of Benjamin Jesty, noted for having been the first person known who introduced the cowpox by inoculation: the whole fabric has been restored and refitted, chiefly at the cost of the Earl of Eldon: there are 200 sittings.

Civil Registration

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

Worth Matravers was in Wareham Registration District from 1837 to 1937 and Poole Registration District from 1937 to 1974

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Worth Matravers from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Worth Matravers 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

Weston (Worth Matravers)

Visitations Heraldic

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

RegionSouth West
Postal districtBH19
Post TownSwanage