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Milborne Port, Somerset

Historical Description

Milborne Port, a small town and a parish in Somerset. The town stands at the foot of a hill, on a small affluent of the river Yeo, three-quarters of a mile WNW of the boundary with Dorsetshire, and has a station on the L. & S.W.R., 114 miles from London, and 2¾ NE by E of Sherborne, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office. It took its name from its situation on a mill-stream, and from the Saxon word port, signifying a borough; was a place of some consequence prior to the Norman conquest; is a borough by prescription, having still nine capital bailiffs; sent two members to Parliament in the time of Edward III., and from that of Charles I. till the passing of the Act of 1832, but then was disfranchised; was long a market-town, but has ceased to be so; possesses still the pediment and steps of an ancient market-cross; has also a curious old town-hall, half a cottage, with a Norman doorway; has likewise a ball-court, erected by Sir William Medlycott for the use of its inhabitants; was occupied for some time by a party of Cromwell's soldiers, who provoked the townspeople to rise against them, and drive them from the town; consists now chiefly of detached houses; and has a good inn, a church, and Congregational and Wes-leyan chapels. The church is Norman; was restored in 1869; consists of nave, aisles, transept, and chancel, with a large tower; and contains monuments of the Medlycotts. Fairs are held on 5 June and 28 Oct.; a manufacture of cloth, dowlas, and stockings was formerly considerable; but glove-making, leather-dressing, and shoemaking are now the staple trades. The parish contains also the tithing of Kingsbury Regis and the hamlet of Milborne Wick. Acreage, 3381; population, 1951. Venn House, a red brick mansion of somewhat unique appearance, built by Inigo Jones, is the seat of the Medlycotts, who are lords of the manor. An ancient camp is at Milborne Wick. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bath and Wells; value, £110 with residence.

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 CountySomersetshire 
Ecclesiastical parishMilborne-Port St. John the Evangelist 
Poor Law unionWincanton 

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


A cemetery 1½ acres in extent, situated in Wheathill lane, was acquired in 1901, the cost of the land being £150, and the cost of laying out £750, including a large mortuary.

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1538., in association with Somerset Archives & Local Studies, have images of the Parish Registers for Somerset online.


Church of England

St. John the Evangelist (parish church)

The church of St. John the Evangelist is a cruciform edifice of local stone, with Hamhill stone dressings, in the Norman and Perpendicular styles, and consists of chancel with aisle, now used as a vestry, nave of five bays, north aisle, transepts and a central embattled tower, with pinnacles, and containing 8 bells: the tower is supported by massive Norman piers and arches, but the upper stage is Perpendicular: the stair turret, the various stages of which are in turn circular, octangular and hexagonal, exhibits on the exterior remains of herring-bone work: the south doorway is also a fine example of Early Norman work, with billet moulding: the chancel retains a piscina, credence shelf and two arched recesses, and on the exterior south wall are remains of very early arcading, and a low side window: the chancel is divided from the nave by an ancient carved and traceried oak screen of Perpendicular date with a coved cornice: the stained west window, inserted by subscription, at a cost of £300, exhibits scenes from the early life of Our Saviour, and there are several others: the pulpit and chancel stalls are of oak: in the south transept within an arch is a recumbent effigy, and here also is a piscina; in the north transept are monuments to the Medlycott and other families: chained copies of Jewel's "Apology of the Church of England" and Erasmus's "Paraphrase of the New Testament" are preserved in the vestry: the church plate includes a chalice of Elizabethan date, a small and ancient paten, one of the 17th century, and a modern flagon: the church was restored in 1867-9, when most of the edifice, except the chancel and tower, was rebuilt, at a cost of £3,000, under the direction of Mr. Henry Hall, architect, of London, and the nave was lengthened westward about 28 feet: in 1908 the chancel was restored and partly rebuilt by the lay rector at a cost of about £700, and has also been refurnished and considerably beautified by other members of the Medlycott family; in the same year the tower was thoroughly restored and made secure, so that bell ringing, after a discontinuance for forty years, has been again resumed, the bells having been rehung in a new oak frame and the tenor recast at a cost of £330, the total cost of the restoration, including heating and lighting, being £1,290: an organ was provided in 1912 at a cost of £550: the church is seated with open benches for 400 persons. The church house adjoining the church was erected in 1897, at a cost of £600, and is used for classes and parochial purposes.

St. John the Evangelist, Milborne PortSt. John the Evangelist, Milborne Port
Nave of St. John the Evangelist, Milborne PortChancel aisle of St. John the Evangelist, Milborne Port


Congregational Chapel

The Congregational chapel dates from the ejectment in 1662 of the Rev. William Hopkins, then vicar here, who became its founder: the present chapel, built in 1749, was rebuilt 1844, and additions and restorations have been made at various subsequent dates: there are 450 sittings.


Wesleyan Chapel

The Wesleyan chapel, erected in 1866 at a cost of £2,732, and renovated in 1903 at a cost of £900, is a building of native and Bath stone, in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles, and has a turret: the interior was entirely re-constructed in 1901: on the north side is a Sunday school: the chapel will seat 480 people.

Civil Registration

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

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Milborne Port from the following:


Online maps of Milborne Port are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Somerset papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

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

DistrictSouth Somerset
RegionSouth West
Postal districtDT9
Post TownSherborne