Dorset OPC

Athelhampton with Burleston

Dorset OPC
St John's Athelhampton
St John's church

Situated 6 miles North-east of Dorchester, Athelhampton and Burleston were originally separate Manors on the old road between Puddletown and Tolpuddle. In the Domesday Book (1086) Athelhampton is listed as 'Pidele', after the river which runs through the parish. It is not until the 13th Century that 'Athelamston', a form of the modern name comes into use. By the 16th Century the name 'Adminston' was in popular use, a name which can still be found in the parish in the small hamlet of South Adminston.

Both parishes, originally in the diocese of Salisbury transferred to the diocese of Bristol in 1542, but maintained separate Rectors until Andreas Bromhall was appointed Rector of Athelhampton in 1638 and then Burleston the following year when it became vacant. The advowson (the right to recommend the rector) for both parishes was purchased and since that time one Rector has overseen both parishes, with the living at Burleston becoming annexed to that of Athelhampton. Burleston old church was declared rudundant by the church of England in 1975 since when it has been classed as a momument.

The original church of 'Admiston' was a small edifice repaired by Sir Robert Long in 1740 before which it contained an apartment supposed to have been inhabited by the rector. The church of St Johns was built in 1862 as a way of moving the old church away from Athelhampton house which dominates the parish. It was designed by a Dorchester architect named Hicks who at the time had Thomas Hardy in his employment.

The Church was acquired with its pews and most of the Grave Yard by Sir Robert Cooke in 1984 after the church had fallen into disrepair having been made redundant by the Church of England in 1978. The Church is now used by the Greek Antiochian Orthodox community as the parish of St Edward King and Martyr.

history and that of its inter-related families covers more than a thousand years with much of the present house having stood for over five centuries. Athelhampton Hall was built by Sir William Martyn about the year 1485 when he was also licensed to enclose 160 acres of deer park and fortify the manor with walls of stone.

The house was further improved in the 16th Century by Robert Martyn who added the West wing and a gatehouse. Athelhampton is well known not just for its manor house but also the extensive laid out gardens and a link to the official website is provided below where it is possible to download guide books on the history of the house and gardens.

Athelhampton House
Old postcard of Athelhampton House

The post of Online Parish Clerk (OPC) is currently vacant
If you would like to volunteer for the role, please contact the OPC Project Co-ordinator
Contributions of additional resource materials for the site are always welcome

Census - Athelhampton 1841 Census by Mari Viertel
1851 Census by Michael Russell
1861 Census by Mari Viertel
1901 Census by Keith Searson
Census - Burleston 1841 Census by Glenda Lightowler
1851 Census by Ron Adams
1861 Census by Glenda Lightowler
1891 Census by Keith Searson
Parish Registers Baptisms 1733 - 1855 by Terry Pine
Marriages 1744 - 1845 by Terry Pine
Burials 1732 - 1879 by Terry Pine
Postal Directories Extracts from Trade Directories by Glenda Lightowler
Other Records Clergymen of Athelhampton & Burleston by Michael Russell
Will of Levi Christopher of Burleston - 1939 by Michael Russell
St John's Church Monumental Inscriptions Index by Jan Hibberd
Useful Links Athelhampton House : Toll House & Charges 1843
Records held at the Dorset History Centre
PE/ATH (includes Burleston)
Christenings 1692/3-1973. Marriages 1694-1966. Burials 1692/3-1976. Banns 1867-1966.

Christenings 1693-1837. Marriages 1694-1848. Burials 1693-1814.
Maps The 1891 Ordnance Survey maps of the parish can be seen at the old-maps site, just enter 'Athelhampton' or 'Burleston' under place search.
For modern location maps visit:-


Visitors to Dorset OPC

shopify site analytics

Privacy Policy

Copyright (c) 2018 Dorset OPC Project