Dorset OPC

Sandford Orcas

Dorset OPC

St Nicholas Church, Sandford Orcas
Jan Hibberd, Dorset OPC 2012

Sandford Orcas is a village and parish in north west Dorset, three miles north of Sherborne The village has a population of 195 (as of 2001). Just to the east of the village is the hamlet of Holway. The village lies in hill country on the Dorset/Somerset county border, and was transferred from Somerset to Dorset only in 1896. The parish formed part of the Hundred of Horethorne.

The name of the village is thought to have derived from the three streams that rise in the parish. In Saxon times, the confluence of the three streams was forded over a sandy bottom at this point. The Domesday book records the name as Sanford. The Orcas suffix derives from the Norman Orescuilz family who owned the manor in the 12th century. The current manor house is a Tudor structure, formerly the seat of the Orskoys and the Knoyles, and for the last 250 years the Medlycotts

The parish church is dedicated to St Nicholas and stands next to the Manor. The present building dates from the 15th century, but there is evidence of earlier places of worhsip on the site dating from the early 13th century. The current building consists of a 15th century south porch, a nave of uncertain vintage, a ten foot square west tower and a north aisle with a vestry at the western end, added during a major Victorian restoration of 1871 by Henry Hall. The south chapel is also 15th century and is notable for its oak ceiling with moulded beams and square panels.

The village nowadays has a population of about 250. The village pub, the Mitre Inn was built in 1851.

Mitre Inn, Sandford Orcas
Jan Hibberd, Dorset OPC 2012

The Online Parish Clerk (OPC) for Sandford Orcas is Jan Hibberd
You may contact me by e-mail if you have further queries.
Please note new email address frm 5 April 2014.

Available Data

Census 1841 Census
1851 Census [John Ridout]
1861 Census [John Ridout]
1871 Census
1891 Census
1901 Census [Keith Searson]
Parish Registers Baptisms 1813-1837
Burials 1892-1981
Trade & Postal Directories  
Other Records Parochial School Log Book [Caryl Parsons]
Monumental Inscriptions Photographs and Inscriptions from the Churchyard [Jan Hibberd]
Monumental Inscriptions Index [Jan Hibberd]
Records held at the Dorset History Centre [Ref PE/SDO]
Christenings 1538-1993. Marriages 1540-1983. Burials 1538-1991.


St Nicholas Church, Sandford Orcas (Rear view)
Jan Hibberd, Dorset OPC 2012



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