Horton (St. Wolfrida)

HORTON (St. Wolfrida), a parish, in the union of Wimborne and Cranborne, hundred of Badbury, Wimborne division of Dorset, 5 miles (S. S. W.) from Cranborne; containing 448 inhabitants. The parish is situated in a well-wooded country, on the road between Shaftesbury and Ringwood; and comprises, with the tything of Woodlands, 3978 acres, of which 281 are common or waste: the soil is in general clayey. On a hill near the village stands a lofty tower of brick, built by Mr. Sturt about fifty or sixty years ago, and commanding fine views of the county, the Needles' point of the Isle of Wight, &c. A fair, formerly held at Knowlton, a hamlet now depopulated, was removed about the year 1730 to Woodlands, where it takes place on the 5th of July, for horses, cheese, and toys. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7. 13. 10.; patron and impropriator, the Earl of Shaftesbury. The great tithes have been commuted for £400, and the vicarial for £150; the glebe contains 3 acres, with a house. The church is in the later English style; the belfry contains the figure of a Knight Templar. The Wesleyans have a place of worship. An abbey founded here in 970, by Ordgar, Earl of Devonshire, became a cell to Sherborne Abbey in 1122. At Knowlton are the remains of a chapel, which, with the cemetery, are surrounded by a deep circular intrenchment, comprising one acre of ground, and containing several tumuli; in the vicinity are several other works of the kind.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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