Winterbourne (St. Martin)

WINTERBOURNE (St. Martin), a parish, in the union of Dorchester, hundred of George, Dorchester division of Dorset, 3 miles (W. S. W.) from Dorchester; containing 422 inhabitants. The parish comprises 3474 acres, of which 100 are common or waste. A market, granted by Henry III., was formerly held here; and a fair is still kept on St. Martin's day. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £9. 15.; net income, £73; patron, the Bishop of Salisbury; impropriator, H. Sturt, Esq. The church has a neat embattled tower crowned with pinnacles. In this parish is Maiden Castle, one of the strongest and most extensive Roman camps in the west of England, which, according to Ptolemy, was the castra æstiva of thegarrison of Dunium, afterwards called Dumovaria, the capital of the Durotriges. It has a treble ditch and rampart, inclosing an irregular oval area of 44 acres; the entire work covers 115½ acres. There are two very intricate entrances, that at the east end being defended by five, and that at the west end by six, ditches and ramparts. Near the former passes the vicinal road leading from Dorchester to Weymouth, and to the latter extends a branch from the Via Iceniana, which passes about a mile north of the camp. The summit commands a prospect of barrows stretching for many miles along the tops of the hills southward.

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

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