From Kelly’s Dorsetshire Directory 1915: “CHESILBORNE (or Cheselbourne) is a parish and small village, 8 miles north-east from Dorchester station, on the Great Western and London and South Western railway, 8 north-west from Bere Regis, and 11 south-west from Blandford, in the Western division of the county, Whiteway hundred, Cerne petty sessional division and union, Dorchester county court district, rural deanery of Whitchurch (Bere Regis portion), archdeaconry of Dorset and diocese of Salisbury. The church of St. Martin is an ancient edifice of flint and stone in the Gothic style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, north and south porches and an embattled western tower, with pinnacles, containing 5 bells: it was restored in 1875, and has 200 sittings. The register dates from the year 1560.

The church plate consists of an Elizabethan cup with cover, dated 1574, and two patens, the larger of 18th century date, and the smaller the gift in 1910 of the Rev. T. O. Marshall B.A. of Teddington, Middlesex. The living is a rectory, net income £290, including 44 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of A. E. L. Fox-Pitt-Rivers esq. and held since 1913 by the Rev. Frederick Sheriff Beale M.A. of Durham University. Here is a Primitive Methodist chapel, erected in 1866. A. E. L. Fox-Pitt-Rivers esq. is lord of the manor and the principal landowner. The soil is a thin loam on chalk. The chief crops are wheat, oats, barley, and some land in pasture. The area is 3,031 acres; rateable value, £1,451; the population in 1911 was 233. in the civil and 219 in the ecclesiastical parish.

Photographs by Caryl Parsons ©

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Census 1841 [Kim Parker]
1851 [Wendy Warne]
1861 [Royston Clarke]
1871 [Wendy Warne]
1881 [Wendy Warne]
1901 [Andrew Cornwall]
Parish Registers Baptisms 1663-1812 [PR] [Kim Parker] 1813-1902 [PR][Wendy Warne]
Marriages1664-1840 [PR] [Kim Parker] 1840-1909 [PR][Wendy Warne]
Burials 1813-1985 [PR] [Wendy Warne]
Postal Directories Post Office Directory 1855 &1859
Kelly's Directory 1889, 1895 & 1915
Protestation Returns Transcription of the Protestation Returns of 1641
Memorials Civic Cemetery
St Martin's
Other Records List of Rectors by Michael Russell
Overseers Accounts 1791 by Michael Russell
Maps The 1891 Ordnance Survey maps of the parish can be seen at the old-maps website, just enter ‘Cheselbourne’ under place search.

Records held at the Dorset History Centre
[Ref PE-CHE]
Christenings 1644-1992. Marriages 1664-2011. Burials 1653-1992.
Registration District
(for the purpose of civil registration births, marriages, deaths & civil partnerships)
1 Jul 1837-14 Jan 1838: Cerne
15 Jan 1838-30 Jun 1949: Dorchester
1 Jul 1949-31 Mar 1997: Weymouth
1 Apr 1998-30 Sep 2001: South Dorset
1 Oct 2001-17 Oct 2005: South & West Dorset


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