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Holnest church - geograph.org.uk - 316505.jpg
Holnest parish church
Holnest is located in Dorset
 Holnest shown within Dorset
Population 220 [1]
OS grid reference ST655102
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
List of places

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Holnest is a village and civil parish in the county of Dorset in southern England. It lies within the West Dorset administrative district, in the Blackmore Vale 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Sherborne. It is a scattered village, sited on Oxford clay[2] which is drained by a small stream called The Cam. The A352 main road passes through the village. Dorset County Council's 2013 mid-year estimate of the population of the parish is 220.[1] In the 2011 national census the population of Holnest parish combined with the small parish of Lillington to the north was 342;[3] figures have so far not been published for Holnest parish alone.

Holnest parish church stands behind a wall and large gates close to the main road. The gates are the result of a mausoleum which used to stand in the churchyard.[4] This had been built in 1872 by John Samuel Wanley Sawbridge Erle-Drax as part of his preparations for his own funeral, but no provision was made for its upkeep and after his death and interment in 1887 it fell into disrepair and was later demolished.[5] A description of the building was given in 1906 by Sir Frederick Treves, who said it was "almost as large as the humble church" and "a gaudy building, in the Byzantine style, made up of grey and yellow stone, worried by much carving and enlivened by highly polished granite pillars. The rounded roof, which to be consistent should be of corrugated iron, is of lead.".[6]

The church dates largely from the 14th to 15th century, though it has a 12th-century font and 17th-century pulpit.[4]

Holnest Park House is an 18th-century listed building which has more recently been divided into flats. It was badly damaged by a fire in 2010.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Parish Population Data". Dorset County Council. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Ralph Wightman (1983). Portrait of Dorset (4 ed.). Robert Hale Ltd. p. 17. ISBN 0 7090 0844 9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Area: Holnest (Parish), Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 14 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Roland Gant (1980). Dorset Villages. Robert Hale Ltd. p. 63. ISBN 0 7091 8135 3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Alan J Miller (January 2011). "Three cheers for Sawbridge Drax". Dorset Life Magazine. Retrieved 13 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Sir Frederick Treves (1906). Highways and Byways in Dorset. Macmillan & Co. Ltd. p. 331.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Fire hit Dorset stately home at risk of collapsing". BBC. 24 January 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Media related to Holnest at Wikimedia Commons