Infobox UK place
official_name= Stalbridge
country= England
region= South West England
shire_county= Dorset
shire_district= North Dorset

static_image_caption= St Mary's Church

population= 2,579 (2001 Census)
os_grid_reference= ST735177
map_type= Dorset
latitude= 50.96
longitude= -2.38

post_town= Sturminster Newton
postcode_area= DT
postcode_district= DT10
dial_code= 01963

constituency_westminster= North Dorset



Stalbridge is a small town and parish in Dorset, England, situated in the Blackmore Vale area of North Dorset district, near the border with Somerset. In 2001 the town had a population of 2,579, and is still growing [Dorset County Council & ONS, 2001 " [ Stalbridge Parish Profile] ." Accessed 2003-07-19.] . 30.8% of the inhabitants are retired. The nearest towns are Sturminster Newton, four miles south east, Sherborne, six miles west, and Shaftesbury, seven miles north east. The town is situated on the A357 road on a low limestone ridge, one mile west of the River Stour. The settlement became a town in April 1992 [Stalbridge Town Council, 2005. [ Introduction] . Accessed 2005-12-30.]

Though relatively small, Stalbridge is quite independent, with its own small supermarket, newsagent, electronics store, GP Surgery and many other services, reflecting its catchment area of surrounding farms and hamlets. The town is also home to the local free newspaper, the Blackmore Vale Magazine.


There was a settlement near Stalbridge in Roman times. The town has a 15th century church with a 19th century tower, dedicated to Saint Mary and designed by T. H. Wyatt,Michael Pitt-Rivers, 1966. "Dorset". London: Faber & Faber.] which overlooks the town from a hill. The town has had market rights since the time of King George I, though it has not held a regular market for many years. In the town centre stands a 10 metre (30 ft) tall market cross, said to be the finest in the country.The Dorset Page, " [ Stalbridge] ."]

Stalbridge was home to scientist Robert Boyle (see below), and writer Douglas Adams, who wrote much of "The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" in the town. The town also boasts that it is home to the oldest living male twins in the world.

Artist Sir James Thornhill lived just south of the town, in Thornhill Park, which he bought in 1725. In 1727 he erected an obelisk in the park to honour the accession of King George II.

From September 1863 Stalbridge was served by the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway, with trains to Bath and Bournemouth. During World War II a Ministry of Food depot was situated here. The last train ran on 7 March 1966, and most of the tracks, station and goods yard have been replaced, though tracks still cross the road. [Mike Oakley, 2001. "Dorset Railway Stations". Wimborne: Dovecote Press ISBN 1-874336-96-2]

Stalbridge House

In 1618 Mervyn Tuchet (or Audley), 2nd Earl of Castlehaven, who had inherited Stalbridge Park from his father, decided to build a mansion house on his Stalbridge estate. He enclosed an area used as common land to the northwest of the church, moving tenant farmers out, and built a Jacobean style mansion, the fifth largest house in Dorset.

In 1631 the earl's eldest son James brought a case against him for "unnatural practices", and he was subsequently executed.

James sold the house to Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork. After his father's death, the scientist Robert Boyle became Lord of the Manor, and the house was his residence between 1644 and 1655. It was here that he conducted many of his experiments.

At some point during the house's history a 2 metre high stone wall was built around the boundary of Stalbridge Park. There is some argument as to when and why the wall was built. It may have been commissioned by Castlehaven as a status symbol, work for French prisoners of the Napoleonic Wars, or as work for local labourers in times of high unemployment.

By 1822 the house was in poor repair and the current owner, the Marquess of Anglesey, had it demolishedDenys Kay-Robinson, 1984. "The Landscape of Thomas Hardy". Exeter, Webb & Bower ISBN 0-86350-020-X] . By 1827 all that remained was the raised area where it had stood. The stone was sold off and much of it is in use elsewhere in the town, including the large farm house which now stands in the park.

There are many popular local myths and ghost stories about the demise of the house, mostly involving a fire destroying the house.

Stalbridge Park features in Thomas Hardy's Wessex as "Stapleford Park".

External links

* [ Stalbridge Town Council official website]
* [*/ WayBackMachine archive of '']
* [ Stalbridge Genealogy site]


*The Blackmore Vale article contains a panorama taken from the hill above Stalbridge.
* [ Photographs of Stalbridge]
* [ North Dorset District Council (showing Stalbridge church and market cross).]
* [ More photograhs of Stalbridge showing the town, church, and cross]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Stalbridge — es un pequeño pueblo y una parroquia civil en el condado de Dorset (Inglaterra), situado en el área de Blackmore Vale en el distrito de North Dorset, cerca del límite con Somerset. En 2001, tenía una población de 2.579 habitantes,[1] de los… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Stalbridge — Original name in latin Stalbridge Name in other language State code GB Continent/City Europe/London longitude 50.95807 latitude 2.37548 altitude 76 Population 2311 Date 2011 03 03 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Stalbridge Dock — is on the River Mersey at Garston, Merseyside, England. It has direct access to the Mersey and provides access to Old Dock, Garston.External links* http://www.mersey chapterId=189 * [http://www.multimap …   Wikipedia

  • Stalbridge railway station — Infobox UK disused station name = Stalbridge gridref = ST738182 caption = manager = Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway owner = SR and LMSR Western Region of British Railways locale = Stalbridge borough = North Dorset platforms = 2 years = 31… …   Wikipedia

  • Baron Stalbridge — Baron Stalbridge, of Stalbridge in the County of Dorset, was a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 22 March 1886 for the Liberal politician and long standing Member of Parliament for Flintshire Lord Richard Grosvenor. He …   Wikipedia

  • Richard Grosvenor, 1st Baron Stalbridge — Richard de Aquila Grosvenor, 1st Baron Stalbridge PC (January 28 1837 – May 18 1912), known from 1845 until 1886 as Lord Richard Grosvenor, was a British politician, a younger son of Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster.During an… …   Wikipedia

  • Blackmore Vale — The Blackmore Vale (less commonly spelt Blackmoor ) is a vale, or wide valley, in North Dorset, and to a lesser extent South Somerset and southwest Wiltshire in southern England. The vale is part of the Stour valley. The vale is delimited by the… …   Wikipedia

  • North Dorset — For the constituency, see North Dorset (UK Parliament constituency). North Dorset District   Non metropolitan district   …   Wikipedia

  • Cheltenham Gold Cup — Coordinates: 51°55′13″N 2°3′28″W / 51.92028°N 2.05778°W / 51.92028; 2.05778 …   Wikipedia

  • Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway — Overview Type Heavy rail Status Disused Locale …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.