Melcombe Horsey

alias Melcombe Bingham


Melcombe Horsey (milk valley well watered place with horses) parish lies 10 miles North East of Dorchester. The parochial church, St. Andrew’s is situated at the South Eastern edge of the parish. The registers date from 1690. For more about the church – see link below. The parish comprises 2,151 acres, mainly on chalk, formerly given over mainly to the growing of wheat & to pasture. The population in 1871 was 190 and in 1911 just 151 residents. The parish is in the Hundred of Whiteway and the Cerne Union.

The alleyways & house platforms of the deserted medieval village (DMV) of Bingham’s Melcombe can still be seen in the fields next to St. Andrew’s church (see the aerial photo link on the Links page below).  The modern settlement around the church is Melcombe Bingham.

St. Andrew’s Church, Melcombe Horsey Parish from the North West. Saturday, 12 February, 2005 just before sunset. © Andrew Cornwall

The ancient manor house here is a rare example in Dorset of a completed courtyard house. The estate is privately owned, with public access only to the church. Melcombe Horsey House is 2 miles from the church.The medieval settlement of Higher Melcombe is the second DMV in the parish. Also in the parish are the settlements of Hartfoot Lane and Newton.

Historic maps and directories often muddle up the names of the settlements and the parish. Both the civil and ecclesiastical parishes have always been officially called Melcombe Horsey.

There are a number of Bronze Age barrows in the parish. One feature, known locally as the Giant’s Grave, is now thought not to be a barrow but a pillow mound (medieval rabbit warren). There have been numerous archaeological finds in the parish attesting to the presence of humans locally for thousands of years. In 2004, the Dorset Geologists Association dug a large trench in order to record the geological strata in the valley.

The Online Parish Clerk (OPC) for Melcombe Horsey is Andrew Cornwall

Please include the words "OPC Melcombe Horsey " in the subject line of your messages
Click on Andrew's name above to generate a correctly addressed mail

Census 1841 Census transcription
1851 Census transcription
1861 Census transcription
1871 Census transcription
1881 Census transcription
1891 Census transcription
1901 Census transcription
Parish Registers Baptisms 1690-1812, 1813-1910 [Kim Parker]
Marriages 1696/7-1846 [Kim Parker]
Burials 1690-1812, 1813-1910 [Kim Parker]
Strays People born in Melcombe Horsey, but recorded elsewhere on Census Nights. Please contact the OPC for a list of strays.
Links Useful Links to Melcombe Horsey material on other websites
Records relating to Melcombe Horsey Held in the Dorset History Centre
NOT held in the Dorset History Centre
Dorset Natural History & Archaeological Society Proceedings
Other Academic Papers & Books
Tithe Apportionments 1841
Directories etc. Extracts from the following Directories & Poll Book
1807 Dorset Poll Book
A Topographical Dictionary of England. Samuel Lewis, 1831
A Topographical Dictionary of England. Samuel Lewis, 1844
Hunt & Co.’s Directory of Dorset, Hants., Wilts. & Som., 1851 
Post Office Directory of Dorsetshire, 1855
Post Office Directory of Dorsetshire, 1859
PostOffice Directory of Hampshire, Wiltshire & Dorset, 1875
Kelly’s Directory of Dorsetshire, 1889 
Kelly’s Directory of Dorsetshire, 1895
Kelly’s Directory of Dorset, 1915
St. Andrew’s Church History & Description
Rectors & Patrons

Monumental Inscriptions index
Maps The 1891 Ordnance Survey maps of the parish can be seen at the old-maps site, just enter 'Melcombe Horsey' under place search.
For modern location maps visit:-  www.multimap.com


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