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St Michael's Church, Stinsford
Stinsford is located in Dorset
 Stinsford shown within Dorset
Population 334 [1]
OS grid reference SY712911
Civil parish Stinsford
District West Dorset
Shire county Dorset
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Dorchester
Police Dorset
Fire Dorset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament West Dorset
List of places

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Stinsford is a village and civil parish in southwest Dorset, England, one mile east of Dorchester. The parish includes the settlements of Higher and Lower Bockhampton. The name Stinsford may derive from stynt, Old English for a limited area of pasture.[2] In the 2011 census the parish had a population of 334.[1]

The parish has five large country houses - Birkin House, Frome House, Kingston Maurward House, the Elizabethan Old Manor House and Stinsford House. Much of the land in the parish is occupied by Kingston Maurward College, a further education college.[3]

St Michael's church

There has been worship at the site since at least Norman times, but the only remaining parts of the earliest structure are the sculpture of St. Michael, inside the west wall of the south aisle, and the restored Purbeck Marble font.[4]

St Michael's was the local church of novelist and poet Thomas Hardy and he was baptised here. His heart is the buried in the churchyard, alongside the grave of his first wife Emma Lavinia Gifford who died in 1912. Stinsford is the original 'Mellstock' of Hardy's novels Under the Greenwood Tree and Jude the Obscure. The churchyard also contains the grave of Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis, who died in 1972 and had arranged for his burial to be close to the grave of Hardy, whom he admired.[5][6] Also here are the remains of the actor and dramatist William O'Brien and his wife Lady Susan Fox-Strangways.[7]


Stinsford has a six-a-side football team which plays in the Dorset six-a-side leagues. The team is noted for its luminous orange strip and has provided players who have later moved on to play for football teams such as Yeovil Town F.C.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Area: Stinsford (Parish), Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 22 April 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Roland Gant (1980). Dorset Villages. Robert Hale Ltd. p. 173. ISBN 0 7091 8135 3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Stinsford". 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "St Michael's, Stinsford". 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "St Michael's Church, Stinsford". Retrieved 19 December 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Liukkonen, Petri. "Cecil Day-Lewis". Books and Writers ( Finland: Kuusankoski Public Library. Archived from the original on 10 February 2015. Unknown parameter |dead-url= ignored (help); Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Hyams, John (1970). Dorset. B T Batsford Ltd. pp. 156–7. ISBN 0-7134-0066-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Welcome to Soccerpitch

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