Dorset OPC

Sixpenny Handley

Dorset OPC

Photographs Courtesy of Anne Preston

Handley a large village in the Hundred of its name, is 4 miles from the Wiltshire border, 5 miles NW of Cranborne and 10 miles NE of Blandford. The Church of St Mary is of mainly Gothic architecture with an embattled square tower and a sturdy porch built in stone and of brick interior. It has a splendid wooden beamed roof, the font is of Early English 12th c with straight supports on each corner. The belfry contains 3 bells. It has been much added to in later years. Two Wesleyan chapels were here and a National School was erected in 1851. 

Handley includes the hamlets of Woodcutts, Newton, Deanland and Minchington with the Chapelry of Gussage St Andrew 3 miles SW now annexed from Handley. Sixpenny-Handley were anciently two separate Hundreds, revenues each year make Sixpenny the more important. It belonged with the chapel of St Andrew to the Abbess of Shaftesbury.  About 1332 Sixpenny disappeared from the records. It reappeared in the 16th c added to Handley. After the Reformation it was sold to the Glyn family. The Ley family known as ALYE have a memorial plate in the church dating from 1625. Handley is one long street with the church at the top. Worbarrow Hill is famed for its celtic treasure here and can be seen in Farnham Museum.

Sheep farming was the main occupation but other trades were well covered. The population in 1861 was 1,203. Area covering 5,928 acres. A fire in the village in the 19th c made over 200 people homeless. Many donated sums of money to the homeless totalling approx 1000 at that time.

The OPC for Sixpenny Handley is Kim Parker

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Census 1841 [Kim Parker]
1851 [Kim Parker]
1861 ED16
, ED17 [Kim Parker]
Bishop's Transcripts Baptisms 1731-1770
Marriages 1732-1754
Burials 1731-1770
Parish Registers Baptisms 1767-1812, 1813-1844, 1844-1880
Marriages 1754-1836, 1837-1880
Burials 1769-1812, 1813-1880

Chapelry of Gussage St Andrew
Baptisms 1751-1920
Marriages 1751-1753
Burials 1775-1819
Other Records Index of Wills for Sixpenny Handley residents
St Mary's Monumental Inscriptions index [Jan Hibberd]
Maps The 1891 Ordnance Survey maps of the parish can be seen at the old-maps site, just enter 'Handley' under place search.
For modern location maps visit:- and enter 'Handley'.
Click on the thumb nail (left) for a 1920s map of the area.

Records held at the Dorset History Centre
Christenings 1767-1925. Marriages 1754-1963. Burials 1767-1976.

Entrance to the parish church with the war memorial Anne Preston

Chapel of St Andrew, courtesy of Peter Walker


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