Winterborne Whitechurch is situated in the Winterbourne Valley at the point where the stream intersects the road between Dorchester and Blandford Forum, and lies five miles south of the latter. It is thought that the village, which appears in ancient documents by the Latinate “Winterburn Albi Monasterri” or the old French “Winterburn Blancmustier”, is so named because its church was built of stone rather than wood. Hamlets within the parish include Lalee and Whatcombe, where Edmund Morton Pleydell built an elegant country seat in 1750.
The church is dedicated to St. Mary and houses a unique fifteenth century carved pulpit, discarded from the old church at Middleton when Joseph Damer, Lord of Milton, demolished the village in 1780 and rebuilt it as Milton Abbas in a new location that did not spoil his view. John Wesley, father of the cleric and minor poet, Samuel Wesley, and grandfather of the founders of Methodism, brothers John and Charles Wesley, was briefly the vicar here from 1658 to 1662.
In the time of Mary Tudor, Sir John Tregonwell rented out the manors of Whitchurch and Whatcombe for the yearly rent of a single red rose. Other grand families associated with the parish include the Squibbs and the Turbervilles. During the reign of Elizabeth I, George Turberville, second son of Nicholas Turberville of Whitchurch, was renowned as a scholar, author and poet. After visiting the Court of Ivan the Terrrible as secretary to Ambassador Thomas Randolph, he famously described the Russians as “a people passing rude to vices vile inclined”.
One of the parish’s most heroic sons was Sydney William Ware. Son of Maud and William Ware, a dairyman, Sydney was born at Whatcombe on November 11th, 1892, one of eight sons in a family of thirteen. He enlisted in 1911 and served in India and France before being posted to Mesopotamia. He was awarded the Victoria Cross on April 6th, 1916, after repeatedly exposing himself to enemy fire to carry many wounded men to safety. He himself died of his own wounds ten days later and lies buried in the Amara War Cemetery in what is now Iraq.
David has recently (Dec 2009) taken on the role but together with the information already online has details of the 1861 and 1871 censuses as well as various baptisms, banns, marriages and burials. Please contact David by clicking on the link above and adding "OPC Winterborne Whitechurch" to the subject line
1821 Census transcribed by Kim Parker
1851 census transcribed by Tony Higgins
1881 Census transcribed by Tony Higgins
1599-1699, 1700-1790, 1790-1812 (PRs, Kim Parker)
1780-1812, 1813-1837, 1838-1880 (BTs, Tony Higgins)
1599-1753, 1754-1831 (PRs, Kim Parker)
1780-1812, 1813-1847 (BTs, Tony Higgins)
1614-1699, 1700-1790, 1790-1812, 1813-1897 (PRs, Kim Parker)
1813-1880 (BTs, Tony Higgins)
|Monumental Inscriptions||Monumental Inscriptions (Brian Webber)|
in the 1790-1812 Christening register (Kim Parker)
Roll of Honour
|Maps||The 1891 Ordnance Survey maps of the parish can be seen at the old-maps site, just enter 'Winterborne Whitechurch' under place search.|
| Records held at the Dorset History Centre
Christenings 1599-1955. Marriages 1599-1993. Burials 1614-1897. Banns 1755-1962
|Links to other Winterborne Whitechurch web sites||Welcome to Winterborne Whitechurch|
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