Dorset OPC

Fontmell Magna

including Bedchester & Hartgrove

Dorset OPC

Fontmell Magna is a village and a parish 4 miles south from Shaftesbury and 8 miles north from Blandford. It is on the edge of the Vale of Blackmore with the slopes of Cranborne Chase on the east side of the parish. A chalk stream rising in the hills flows through the village. The village is mentioned in Saxon chronicles and in the Domesday Book.

To the west of the main village, the hamlet of Bedchester is of pre-Conquest origin, though the settlement furthest west in the parish, Hartgrove, wasn't recorded before 1254. Hill Farm, over the chalk hills in the east of the parish, first appears in records in 1333.

The church of St Andrew is on a rise above the village and contains many interesting features, it was restored in 1862 by the Glyn family. The registers date from 1653. A Wesleyan Chapel, which is still in use is believed to be one of the earliest erected in Dorset, being constructed in 1797. It is opposite the War Memorial. A National School was constructed in 1865. The parish covers 2632 acres and the chief crops used to be wheat, barley, oats, beans and carrots as well as a considerable number of apple orchards. The population in 1861 was 875, in 1891 was 637 and is currently about 700.

All photographs  OPC Project 2017

The new OPC for Fontmell Magna is Chris Bellers

Please include the words "OPC Fontmell Magna" in the subject line of your messages
Click on Chris' name above to generate a correctly addressed mail

Census 1841 Census  [Nicola Merrifield]
1851 Census  [Nicola Merrifield]
1851 Census for Hartgrove Tything - see West Orchard
1861 Census includes Hartrove & Bedchester [Chris Bellers]
1861 Census
includes Fontmell Parva [Royston Clarke]
1871 Census
1881 Census 
1891 Census
1901 Census [Chris Bellers]
1911 Census [Chris Bellers]
Parish Registers
Baptisms 1653-1730 1731-1812 [Kim Parker]
Marriages 1653-1753 1754-1837 [Kim Parker]
Burials 1653-1730 1731-1789 [Kim Parker] 1790-1879 [Richard Travell], 1880-1899, 1900-1948 [Chris Bellers]
Postal Directories Extracts from various Directories 1848-1939 [23 directories in total, including Post Office, Hunt's, Harrod's, Mercer & Crockford and Kelly's] [Chris Bellers]pdf
Other Records St Andrew's Church Monumental Inscriptions index
Rectors of Fontmell Magna from 1303 [Chris Bellers]
Militia Ballot List for 1798 [Chris Bellers]
Register of Voters, 1837-38 [Chris Bellers]
Hearth Tax 1664 [Chris Bellers]pdf
Protestation Returns 1641-2 [Chris Bellers]pdf [Updated]
Church Goods 1552 [Chris Bellers]pdf
Muster Rolls 1539, 1542, 1569 [Chrs Bellers]pdf
Lay Subsidy Roll 1332 [Chris Bellers]pdf
Extract from Hutchins' History of Dorset [Chris Bellers]pdf
St Andrew's Church - Notes by Sir Stephen Glynne 1830 [Chris Bellers]pdf
Photographs More Photographs of the church & village
Links Fontmell Magna Village Archive Society [External Link]
Maps The 1891 Ordnance Survey maps of the parish can be seen at the old-maps site, just enter 'Fontmell Magna' under place search.

Records held at the Dorset History Centre
[Ref PE-FOM]
Christenings 1653-1993. Marriages 1654-2011. Burials 1653-1948.
Registration District
(for the purpose of civil registration births, marriages, deaths & civil partnerships)
1 Jul 1837-31 Mar 1974: Sturminster
1 Apr 1974-17 Oct 2005: North Dorset


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