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Church and The Square, Cattistock
Cattistock is located in Dorset
 Cattistock shown within Dorset
Population 509 [1]
OS grid reference SY592996
District West Dorset
Shire county Dorset
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Police Dorset
Fire Dorset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament West Dorset
List of places

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Cattistock is a village and civil parish in west Dorset, England, sited in the upper reaches of the Frome Valley 8 miles (13 km) northwest of the county town Dorchester. The Dorset poet William Barnes called it "elbow-streeted Cattstock",[2] a comment on the less-than-linear village street. In the 2011 census the parish had a population of 509.[1]

Parish church

A church was built here in the 12th century by the monks of Milton Abbey, though this structure has not survived.[3] The current church, dedicated to St Peter and St Paul,[3] was rebuilt in the 19th century by architects Sir George Gilbert Scott and his son George Gilbert Scott Junior. The Perpendicular-styled tower was the work of the latter, and has led to the church being dubbed the 'Cathedral of the Frome Valley'; he was also responsible for the porch, north aisle and vestry.[4] A carillon of 35 bells was installed in the new tower a few years after its construction. This was the first carillon to be introduced to England and attracted hundreds of visitors to the valley, though the bells were destroyed by a fire in the tower on 15 September 1940.[2][5] The fire also destroyed the very large clock, which previously almost spanned the width of the tower.[2] In 1972 the Pevsner guide to Dorset architecture said that "for the mid- to late-nineteenth century, this is the masterpiece amongst Dorset churches".[2]


Nearly 1.75 miles (2.82 km) north of the village is Chantmarle, a house dating from the 15th century, with additions in the 16th, 17th and 19th centuries.[6] It received its name—which means "song of the blackbird" in Norman French—from the Chauntmerles family, who lived on the site in the early 13th century.[7] In 1910 Inigo Thomas designed new end wings and a terraced garden with ponds.[2][8] In the late 20th century Chantmarle was used as a centre for police training.[2] It is now a Christian retreat and wedding reception venue.[7]

Cattistock Hunt

The Cattistock Hunt is a foxhound pack established by a parson at Cattistock Lodge in the mid 18th century. It was given the name 'The True Blue'.[2]

Food festival

Cattistock hosts a Dorset Knob throwing event and the Frome Valley Food Festival every year on the first Sunday in May.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Area: Cattistock (Parish). Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 16 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Roland Gant (1980). Dorset Villages. Robert Hale Ltd. pp. 100–1. ISBN 0 7091 8135 3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Cattistock / St Peter and St Paul". The Dorset Historic Churches Trust. Retrieved 16 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Betjeman, John, ed. (1968) Collins Pocket Guide to English Parish Churches; the South. London: Collins; p. 172
  5. Ralph Wightman (1983). Portrait of Dorset (4 ed.). Robert Hale Ltd. p. 95. ISBN 0 7090 0844 9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Cattistock, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 1: West (1952), pp. 71-74". British History Online. University of London & History of Parliament Trust. 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 Claire Price (20 December 2006). "Chantmarle Manor". BBC. Retrieved 16 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Newman, John; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1972). Dorset. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. p. 139. ISBN 0 14 071044 2.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Records set in biscuit throw show". BBC News. 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2010-01-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links