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Sturminster-Marshall (St. Mary)

STURMINSTER-MARSHALL (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Wimborne and Cranborne, hundred of Cogdean, Wimborne division of Dorset, 5 miles (W.) from Wimborne-Minster; containing, with the chapelries of Lytchett-Minster, Corfe-Mullen, and Hamworthy, 2869 inhabitants, of whom 902 are in the township of Sturminster-Marshall. This place derives its name from the situation of its church on the river Stour, and its adjunct from the Earl of Pembroke, earl marshal, to whom it anciently belonged, and who, in the reign of Henry I., obtained for it the grant of a fair. The parish comprises 11,496 acres. The township comprises 3465 acres, of which 361 are common or waste; it is bounded on the north-east by the river Stour, over which is a bridge of eight arches. In the centre of the village is an open spot still called the market-place, though no market has been held within the memory of man. The living is a vicarage, endowed with the rectorial tithes of Lytchett-Minster, Corfe-Mullen, and Hamworthy, and valued in the king's books at £31. 5.; net income, £920; patrons and impropriators, the Provost and Fellows of Eton College. The great tithes of the township have been commuted for £469; and the vicarial for £120, with a glebe of 122 acres. The church has an embattled tower, and a remarkably large chancel; and at the west end of the north aisle a space is partitioned off, in which the royal peculiar court of Sturminster-Marshall is held. Each of the three chapelries contains a chapel of ease. In 1799, William Mackrell endowed two schools with the interest of £1200 three per cent, consols. Upon Cogdean Elms, an eminence in the parish, where the courts of the hundred to which it gives name were formerly held, are some stately elm-trees.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.