Iwerne Minster

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Iwerne Minster
View over Iwerne Minster - geograph.org.uk - 513849.jpg
View over Iwerne Minster from the west
Iwerne Minster is located in Dorset
Iwerne Minster
Iwerne Minster
 Iwerne Minster shown within Dorset
Population 978 [1]
OS grid reference ST865143
District North Dorset
Shire county Dorset
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Blandford
Postcode district DT11
Dialling code 01747
Police Dorset
Fire Dorset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament North Dorset
List of places

Coordinates: 50°55′42″N 2°11′26″W / 50.9284°N 2.1906°W / 50.9284; -2.1906

The former Co-op shop

Iwerne Minster /ˈjuːɜrn/ is a village and civil parish in the English county of Dorset. It lies on the edge of the Blackmore Vale in the North Dorset administrative district, approximately midway between the towns of Shaftesbury and Blandford Forum. The A350 main road between those towns passes through the edge of the village, just to the west. In the 2011 census the civil parish had a population of 978.[1]


Evidence of prehistoric human activity in the parish consists of five round barrows on the chalk escarpment in the east, and the site of an Iron Age settlement in the southwest, near Park Farm. The settlement, which takes the form of several pits, was excavated by General Pitt-Rivers in 1897; finds included a bronze brooch and silver coins.[2]

In the early Roman period the Iron Age site was altered with the construction of ditches and sub-rectangular pits; finds included 1st and 2nd-century samian pottery and Roman coins dating from the period between Vespasian and Commodus. In the 3rd century a building, possibly an aisled barn, was constructed on the western half of the site; it was 34 metres (112 ft) long, 12 metres (39 ft) wide and had flint footings 0.9 metres (3.0 ft) wide. More Roman coins were found here, dating from the period between Gordian I and Tacitus. Around 300 AD a substantial building was constructed on the eastern half of the site; it was 38.3 metres (126 ft) long and 5.5 metres (18 ft) wide and divided into four rooms, with a granary built against one external wall and a corridor or outbuildings against another. One of the rooms had plaster walls and a floor made from shale from Kimmeridge. The building was occupied for about sixty years.[2]

In the Domesday Book in 1086 the village was recorded as Euneministre (or Euneminstre).[3][4] It was in Sixpenny Hundred and the lord and tenant-in-chief was Shaftesbury Abbey.[5]

The early settlements in the parish—Iwerne and Preston—were sited by the River Iwerne. There may have been a third settlement contemporary with these, called Hulle. Pegg's Farm in the northwest of the parish is probably a secondary settlement; it was in existence by the early 14th century, though the present buildings are mostly 18th century.[2]

Iwerne Minster House (today home to Clayesmore School, a fee-paying boarding and day school) was built in 1796 by the Bowyer Bower family (who had owned the village and estate of Iwerne Minster since at least 1645), on the site of their original manor. Their family crest, the Talbot, is still represented in the name of the village pub. Iwerne Minster remained in the Bowyer Bower family until 1876, when they sold the estate to George Glyn, 2nd Baron Wolverton.


Iwerne Minster civil parish covers an area of 2,865 acres (1,159 ha)[2] at an altitude of about 52 to 190 metres (171 to 623 ft).[6] From east to west the geology of the parish comprises chalk hills in the east, then upper greensand and gault, through to lower greensand around the Fontmell Brook in the northwest.[2] Measured directly, Iwerne Minster village is about 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Blandford Forum and 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Shaftesbury.[7]


Iwerne Minster is in the northern part of the electoral ward called Hill Forts, which extends west to include Child Okeford and Shillingstone, and south along the A350 road to Stourpaine. It falls within the North Dorset parliamentary constituency and in the 2011 census had a population of 4,818.[8]


In the 2011 census the civil parish had 326 dwellings,[9] 298 households and a population of 978.[1] 21.4% of residents were aged 65 or over (compared to 16.4% for England as a whole).[10]

In literature[edit]

In fiction, a pre-Norman conquest Iwerne Minster is imagined (along with neighbouring village Shroton) in Julian Rathbone's novel The Last English King.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Area: Iwerne Minster (Parish), Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "'Iwerne Minster', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 4, North (London, 1972), pp. 36-41". British History Online. University of London. 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  3. ^ David Mills, ed. (2011). A Dictionary of British Place Names. Oxford University Press. p. 259–260. ISBN 978-0-19-960908-6. 
  4. ^ "Dorset H-R". The Domesday Book Online. domesdaybook.co.uk. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Place: Iwerne Minster". Open Domesday. domesdaymap.co.uk. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Pathfinder Series, sheet 1281 (ST 81/91), Shillingstone & Tollard Royal, published 1987, ISBN 0-319-21281-5
  7. ^ Bartholomew 1:100,000 National Map Series, sheet 4 (Dorset), 1980, ISBN 0-7028-0327-8
  8. ^ "Hill Forts ward 2011.Retrieved 28 Feb 2015". 
  9. ^ "Area: Iwerne Minster (Parish). Dwellings, Household Spaces and Accommodation Type, 2011 (KS401EW)". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  10. ^ "Area: Iwerne Minster (Parish). Age Structure, 2011 (KS102EW)". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Iwerne Minster at Wikimedia Commons