St. Mary's parish church
Beaminster shown within Dorset
|Population||3,136 (2011 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|- London||145 miles (233 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
|UK Parliament||West Dorset|
Beaminster // BEM-in-stər is a small town and civil parish in the West Dorset district of Dorset in South West England, at the head of the valley of the River Brit. Beaminster is 45 miles (72 km) south of Bristol, 38 miles (61 km) west of Bournemouth, 35 miles (56 km) east of Exeter and 15 miles (24 km) northwest of the county town Dorchester. The 2011 Census recorded a parish population of 3,136.
In the English Civil War the town declared for Parliament and was sacked by Royalist forces in 1644. Prince Maurice stayed in the town on Palm Sunday, though his stay was brief because a fire, caused by a musket being discharged into a thatched roof, almost totally destroyed the town. The town suffered further accidental fires in 1684 and 1781. The town did not get a railway and thus remained relatively small.
Horn Park, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north-west of Beaminster, is a neo-Georgian country house of five bays and two-storeys designed by architect T. Lawrence Dale and completed in 1911. Inside the house the central corridor is barrel vaulted and leads to a drawing room whose groin vault is reminiscent of the work of Sir John Soane (1753-1837). The drawing room includes Jacobean features re-used from a 16th-century country house at nearby Parnham, which was being altered and restored at about the time that Horn Park was being built. Horn Park is Listed Grade II. Its gardens are occasionally open to the public as part of the National Gardens Scheme.
Economy & society
The town hosts the Beaminster Festival, an annual music and art festival. Whitcombe Disc Golf Course at Beaminster has hosted the British Open Disc Golf Championship on a number of occasions and the European Disc Golf Championship in 2003. Clipper Teas Ltd is based in Beaminster. It is currently held by the Dutch company Royal Wessanen. The town is twinned with the town of St James on the Brittany / Normandy border in France.
The nearest railway station is 5 miles (8.0 km) north of the town at Crewkerne. Exeter International Airport is 30 miles (48 km) to the west. The main road through the town is the A3066, which leads to Bridport to the south and Mosterton and Crewkerne to the north. The road north passes though Horn Hill tunnel, which opened in June 1832 and is the sole pre-railway age road tunnel that is still in daily public use.
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2012)|
St Mary's Church of England Primary School[clarification needed]
Now Beaminster Technology College, it "is a good school that is well-led and managed" (Ofsted report 2008) and is set to receive Bridport's Mountjoy Special School into its curtilage when the latter moves in the near future. More future plans include a new emphasis on training for facets of sustainable agriculture.
Sweet Be'mi'ster, that was bist a-bound
By green and woody hills all round,
Wi' hedges, reachen up between
A thousand vields o' zummer green.
Beaminster is the adopted hometown of actor Martin Clunes, and was where singer PJ Harvey went to school. Mat Follas had his first restaurant The Wild Garlic in the town square, though now moved to larger premises nearby. Beaminster is also home of Lynne Reid Banks, author of The L-Shaped Room and The Indian in the Cupboard.
Beaminster is twinned with:
- "Area: Beaminster (Parish). Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Reginald J W Hammond (1979). Dorset Coast. Ward Lock Ltd. p. 41. ISBN 0 7063 5494 X.
- Sir Frederick Treves (1905). Highways and Byways in Dorset. Macmillan & Co. Ltd. p. 299.
- Newman & Pevsner, 1972, page 86
- Newman & Pevsner, 1972, page 88
- Newman & Pevsner, 1972, page 87
- Rene Gerryts (June 10, 2011). "Beaminster Festival: Melvyn Bragg one of the headlines at annual event". Bridport NEWS. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- "PDGA Results search". Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- "Clipper Teas bids whittled down to five". The Grocer. November 10, 2007. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- "Clipper tea firm to stay in Dorset, new owner Wessanen says". BBC News. March 5, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- "‘A tunnel wide’". Dorset Life. November 2010.
- "BEAMINSTER: A LITTLE HISTORY". Beaminster Town Council. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "Surrounding towns and villages". Dorset County Council. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- Rene Gerryts (August 18, 2010). "Martin Clunes shuns Hollywood for Beaminster". Dorset ECHO. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- Anna Tyzack (August 20, 2012). "Martin Clunes interview". The Telegraph. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- The Wild Garlic
- Andy Beckett (August 20, 1995). "Indian Summer". The Independent. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- "British towns twinned with French towns [via WaybackMachine.com]". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
- "Beaminster twinned with Saint-James". Beaminster Community.net. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
- Thoury, Michel. "31 ème anniversaire du Jumelage à Beaminster". Site de L'Office de Tourisme Saint James (in French). Retrieved 2013-07-29.
- "Dorset Twinning Association List". The Dorset Twinning Association. Archived from the original on 2013-06-21. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- Newman, John; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1972). Dorset. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 84–89. ISBN 0-14-071044-2.