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England dorset marnhull.JPG
Parish church of St Gregory
Marnhull is located in Dorset
 Marnhull shown within Dorset
Population 1,951 
OS grid reference ST782188
Civil parish Marnhull
District North Dorset
Shire county Dorset
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Police Dorset
Fire Dorset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament North Dorset
List of places

Coordinates: 50°58′03″N 2°18′43″W / 50.9675°N 2.3119°W / 50.9675; -2.3119

Marnhull /ˈmɑrnəl/ is a village and civil parish in the county of Dorset in southern England. It lies in the Blackmore Vale in the North Dorset administrative district, 3 miles (4.8 km) north of the small town of Sturminster Newton. The resort towns of Bournemouth and Weymouth are approximately 30 miles (48 km) to the south. Marnhull is sited on a low ridge of Corallian limestone[1] above the valley of the River Stour, which forms the northern and western boundaries of the parish. In the 2001 Census the village had 960 dwellings and a population of 1,951, of whom 42.3% were retired.[2]


Marnhull consists of several conjoined hamlets, connected by a network of minor roads. The village presents a mix of architectural styles, with post-war developments existing alongside properties dating back to Tudor times and earlier. It has three churches (Anglican, Roman Catholic and Methodist), two primary schools, two public houses, a GP surgery, a village hall and a recreation ground, as well as various small shops and services. The parish church of St Gregory has a 15th-century tower which is a landmark and has been described as "the finest in the Vale."[3]


Saxon charters show that Marnhull existed as a village in the 10th century,[4] although the village's site has seen human occupation as early as the Iron Age,[4] and a Roman settlement was established at Ashley Wood in the east of the parish.


The television adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles was filmed in the village.[when?] Marlott was Hardy's name for Marnhull and The Pure Drop Inn was his name for The Crown Inn.

Notable residents[edit]

  • Catherine Parr the last of Henry VIII's wives was given the original manor of Nash Court in 1544. From her it passed to Edward VI and then to Elizabeth I after which it passed through the families of several noblemen and eminent civilians.
  • Giles Hussey was born here and lived at Nash House before studying art in Italy.[5]
  • Sir Peter Harding, GCB, (born 2 December 1933) is a retired Royal Air Force Chief of the Air Staff, and Chief of Defence Staff.


  1. ^ Ralph Wightman (1983). Portrait of Dorset. Robert Hale Ltd. p. 17. ISBN 0 7090 0844 9. 
  2. ^ Census data
  3. ^ Roland Gant (1980). Dorset Villages. Robert Hale Ltd. p. 57. ISBN 0 7091 8135 3. 
  4. ^ a b North Dorset District Council (c. 1983). North Dorset District Official Guide. Home Publishing Co. Ltd. p. 38. 
  5. ^  "Hussey, Giles". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 

External links[edit]