Winterborne St Martin

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Winterborne St Martin (Martinstown)
Martinstown church.jpg
Parish church of St Martin
Winterborne St Martin (Martinstown) is located in Dorset
Winterborne St Martin (Martinstown)
Winterborne St Martin (Martinstown)
 Winterborne St Martin (Martinstown) shown within Dorset
Population 780 [1]
OS grid reference SY650890
Civil parish Winterborne St Martin
District West Dorset
Shire county Dorset
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Dorchester
Postcode district DT2
Dialling code 01305
Police Dorset
Fire Dorset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament West Dorset
Website Village website
List of places

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Winterborne St Martin, commonly known as Martinstown, is a village and civil parish in southwest Dorset, England, situated 4 miles (6.4 km) south-west of Dorchester, beside Maiden Castle. In 2013 the estimated population of the civil parish was 780.[1]

In the centre of the village is the parish church of St Martin, which dates from the 12th century and has a Norman font. Other amenities in the village include a public house, a village hall and a farm shop. Bronze Age barrows including Clandon Barrow surround the village, and Maiden Castle hillfort is nearby. The stream running through the village is a winterbourne.

Winterborne St Martin is in the UK Weather Records for the Highest 24-hour total rainfall, which was recorded in the village on 18 July 1955. The total recorded was 279 mm (11 inches) in a 15-hour period.


In 1086 in the Domesday Book Winterborne St Martin was recorded as Wintreburne;[2] it had 22 households, 6 ploughlands, 13 acres (5.3 ha) of meadow and 1 mill. It was in the hundred of Dorchester and the lord and tenant-in-chief was Hawise, wife of Hugh son of Grip.[3]

In 1268 Henry II granted a charter to Winterborne St Martin, which allowed the village to hold an annual fair within five days of St Martins Day. The fair, which in times past was a leading horse market and amusement fair, had been revived but the old-time custom of roasting a ram was replaced once during an event in the 1960s with a 'badger roast'. The 80 lb badger was caught in a snare and many villagers thought they were eating goose.

After a hundred years silence, bells in the church rang out in 1947. Five new bells were hung as a village memorial to those who died in the war. An earlier peal had been sold to defray debts.

In 2007 and 2014 Martinstown won the Best Kept Village in Dorset Award, in the Large Village Category.

The Catholic martyr John Adams was born in Winterborne St Martin in about 1543.


Winterborne St Martin is within an electoral ward that bears its name and extends from Winterbourne Abbas in a roughly south-easterly direction to the edge of Upwey. The total population of this ward was 2,095 in the 2011 census.[4] The ward is one of 32 that comprise the West Dorset parliamentary constituency, which is currently represented in the UK national parliament by the Conservative Oliver Letwin.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Parish Population Data". Dorset County Council. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Dorset H-R". The Domesday Book Online. Retrieved 4 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Place: Martinstown". Open Domesday. Retrieved 4 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Winterborne St Martin". Retrieved 26 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links