Dorset OPC

Purse Caundle

Dorset OPC

Purse Caundle is a small village 1m North of Milborne Port and 4m from the larger town of Sherborne. The name derives from two Celtic words - Purse (priest) and Candel (a name given to the hills between Dorset & Somerset).

The village is dominated by two beautiful 15th century buildings – the church and the manor house. St Peters was built in c.1480, although there have been several alterations through the centuries. It is believed to have been built on the site of an earlier Saxon church of which little evidence now remains.

The manor house, which some say is haunted by a pack of dogs, was restored in Tudor times and was held by John Alayne in the reign of Edward I, ownership having since been passed through several noble families.

Two famous men are associated with Purse Caundle – best known was Nathaniel Highmore (1613-1685) who, after moving to the village with his family when only 1 year old, later attended Sherborne School, and Oxford University before becoming a renowned physician and anatomist. The Highmore family lived in the village for several generations and many of the men became rectors of St Peters. Highmore is buried in the parish church.

The second son, Peter Mews (1619-1706), was a brave warrior who fought as a Royalist in the Civil War, then was created Bishop of Winchester – he later took part in Monmouth’s Rebellion. Although born in Purse Caundle Manor, he was not buried in the village.

The Online Parish Clerk (OPC) for Purse Caundle is Karen Francis

On-line data

Census Transcriptions of the 1841 & 1871 Census
1851 Census [John Ridout]
1861 Census [John Ridout]
Parish Registers Baptisms 1730 – 1836
Marriages 1731 – 1800
Burials 1731 – 1840
Postal Directories  
Other Records Monumental Inscriptions for St Peter's Church
Monumental Inscriptions for the civic cemetery
  For modern location maps visit:-


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