Winterborne St Martin
|Winterborne St Martin (Martinstown)|
Winterborne St Martin (Martinstown) shown within Dorset
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
|UK Parliament||West Dorset|
Winterborne St Martin, commonly known as Martinstown, is a village in south west Dorset, England, situated four miles south west of Dorchester, beside Maiden Castle. The village has a population of 754 (As of 2001[update]).
In the centre of the village is the parish church of St Martin, which dates from the 12th century and has a Norman font. Other amenities in the village include a public house, a village hall and a farm shop. Bronze Age barrows including Clandon Barrow surround the village, and Maiden Castle hillfort is nearby. The stream running through the village is a winterbourne.
Winterborne St Martin is in the UK Weather Records for the Highest 24-hour total rainfall, which was recorded in the village on July 18 1955. The total recorded was 279 mm (11 inches) in a 15-hour period.
In 1268 Henry II granted a charter to Winterborne St Martin, which allowed the village to hold an annual fair within five days of St Martins Day. The fair, which in times past was a leading horse market and amusement fair, had been revived but the old-time custom of roasting a ram was replaced once during an event in the 1960s with a 'badger roast'. The 80 lb badger was caught in a snare and many villagers thought they were eating goose.
After a hundred years silence, bells in the church rang out in 1947. Five new bells were hung as a village memorial to those who died in the war. An earlier peal had been sold to defray debts.
In 2007 Martinstown won the Best Kept Village in Dorset Award, in the Large Village Category.
The Catholic martyr John Adams was born in Winterborne St Martin in about 1543.
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