Dorset OPC


Dorset OPC

Swyre is a coastal parish 6 miles south-east from Bridport,  situated in a valley beside Chesil beach and adjacent to Puncknowle on the east side and Burton Bradstock on the west. The church of the Holy Trinity is stone built in the Early English style, largely rebuilt in 1843, though the west tower and chancel arch date from about 1400.

Berwick situated in the parish of Swyre lies to the north of the village. It was once a manor where part of the farm lay in the chapelry of Stirthill or St. Luke's in Burton Bradstock.

A Board School was built in 1851 to accommodate 40 children. In 1895 the whole parish was owned by a sole landowner, the Duke of Bedford. The cottages on the right were built by the Duke in the mid 1800s to replace older ones. The soil is clay and the chief crops were wheat, barley and oats. The parish covers an area of 1081 acres and had a population of 154 persons in 1891.
These photographs courtesy of Valerie Pettifer 2002. More photographs below.

The Online Parish Clerk (OPC) for Swyre is Judy Hodges [note new address]

Resources are available for look-up by contacting me, using the above link. Unless specified, all transcriptions and indexes used to answer queries have been made by me. The list below represents the main transcriptions I have, there may well be other smaller items not listed, so it is always worth contacting me.

Census At present I have transcriptions of the following census: 1851, 1881 & 1891
1871 Census online [John Ridout]
Parish Registers
Baptisms 1587-1880 [Rachel Kent & Judy Hodges]
Marriages 1588-1836 [Rachel Kent]
Burials 1588-1792 [Rachel Kent], 1793-1981 [Judy Hodges]
Postal & Street Directories
Maps The 1891 Ordnance Survey maps of the parish can be seen at the old-maps site, just enter 'Swyre' under place search.
For modern location maps & aerial views visit:-

Records held at the Dorset History Centre [PE-SWY]
Christenings 1587-1998, Marriages 1588-1926, Burials 1588-1812, 1814-2001
Registration District
(for the purpose of civil registration births, marriages, deaths & civil partnerships)
1 Jul 1837-31 Mar 1997: Bridport
1 Apr 1997-30 Sep 2001: West Dorset
1 Oct 2001-17 Oct 2005: South & West Dorset

The Old School House, which is now a private residence. However the single school bell can still be seen. Courtesy Valerie Pettifer 2002

A view of the coastline in the parish, showing part of Chesil Beach.
Lynda Small February 2003

The track above is a continuation of the Main Street and goes down to the sea, a route often used in the past by smugglers. Courtesy of Valerie Pettifer 2002


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