Blandford St Mary


St Mary's Church from an old postcard

This small Parish and suburb lies South of Blandford Forum. It is near the north bank of the River Stour and is South of the town of Blandford. This village was also called Little Blandford. Mentioned in DB 1086 as Blaneforde. It is thought to have derived from the word Blay a freshwater fish and Ford a crossing place. Blandford St Mary is mentioned in 1291 when a free chapel dedicated to St Michael was here and attached to the Manor House, it contained a Chancel and a small Chapel on the south side. It was rebuilt and enlarged forming part of the Church we see to-day. Built in the Early English Style and dates from the 14th century.

The family of Tregonwell held the Manor in the 17th century and St Marys Church either takes its name from St Marys the Nunnery in Clerkenwell London, whose hands the manor was in, or to distinguish it from Blandford Town. It has been rebuilt with some alterations and is now of Georgian Gothic style, with a small square tower. Thomas Pitt was buried here 1726, the ancestor of two William Pitts the Prime Ministers. This small village lies off the Dorchester to Salisbury road, A354. Blandford St Mary lies in the Hundred of Coombs Ditch and Union of Pimperne, the area covers 1,583 acres. In 19th century there were Nurseries, a Brewery and a Glove factory. The soil is chalk and loam. In 1861 the population was 409. In a rural community the area is used for agriculture and pasture sheep being on the higher ground.


An old post card of Blandford St Mary circa 1910


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Parish Registers Christenings 1581-1770 1771-1812 1813-1840 [transcribed by Kim Parker]
Marriages 1594-1754 1754-1837 [transcribed by Kim Parker]
Burials 1586-1812 1813-1840 [transcribed by Kim Parker]
Bishops' Transcripts
Baptisms 1753-1813 [Ann Preston]
Marriages 1765-1812 [Ann Preston]
Burials 1760-1813 [Ann Preston]
Census 1841 Census [Ann Preston]
1861 Census
[Ann Preston]
1891 Census [transcribed by John Ridout]
Other Records  
Maps The 1891 ordinance survey maps of the parish can be seen at the old-maps site, just enter 'Blandford' under place search. Blandford St Mary is to the south west of Blandford, see map below.
Records held at the Dorset History Centre
PE/BLM
Registers
Christenings 1581-1889. Marriages 1594-1953. Burials 1586-1942. Banns 1823-1850, 1882-1891.

Transcripts
Christenings 1581-1837. Marriages 1594-1837. Burials 1596-1837.

Interior of St Mary's church looking towards the chancel. © Anne Preston

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