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Church and The Square, Cattistock - - 160877.jpg
Church and The Square, Cattistock
Cattistock is located in Dorset
Cattistock shown within Dorset
Population509 [1]
OS grid referenceSY592996
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
FireDorset and Wiltshire
AmbulanceSouth Western
EU ParliamentSouth West England
UK Parliament
  • West Dorset
List of places
50°47′41″N 2°34′52″W / 50.7947°N 2.5811°W / 50.7947; -2.5811Coordinates: 50°47′41″N 2°34′52″W / 50.7947°N 2.5811°W / 50.7947; -2.5811

Cattistock is a village and civil parish in west Dorset, England, sited in the upper reaches of the Frome Valley, 8 miles (13 km) northwest of the county town Dorchester. The Dorset poet William Barnes called it "elbow-streeted Cattstock",[2] a comment on the less-than-linear village street. In the 2011 census the parish had a population of 509.[1]

Parish church[edit]

A church was built here in the 12th century by the monks of Milton Abbey, though this structure has not survived.[3] The current church, dedicated to St Peter and St Paul,[3] was rebuilt in the 19th century by architects Sir George Gilbert Scott and his son George Gilbert Scott Junior. The Perpendicular-styled tower was the work of the latter, and has led to the church being dubbed the 'Cathedral of the Frome Valley'; he was also responsible for the porch, north aisle and vestry.[4] A carillon of 35 bells was installed in the new tower a few years after its construction. This was the first carillon to be introduced to England and attracted hundreds of visitors to the valley, though the bells were destroyed by a fire in the tower on 15 September 1940.[2][5] The fire also destroyed the very large clock, which previously almost spanned the width of the tower.[2] In 1972 the Pevsner guide to Dorset architecture said that "for the mid- to late-nineteenth century, this is the masterpiece amongst Dorset churches".[2]



Nearly 1.75 miles (2.82 km) north of the village is Chantmarle, a house dating from the 15th century, with additions in the 16th, 17th and 19th centuries.[6] It received its name—which means "song of the blackbird" in Norman French—from the Chauntmerles family, who lived on the site in the early 13th century.[7] In 1910 Inigo Thomas designed new end wings and a terraced garden with ponds.[2][8] In the late 20th century Chantmarle was used as a centre for police training.[2] It is now a Christian retreat and wedding reception venue.[7]

Cattistock Hunt[edit]

The Cattistock Hunt is a foxhound pack established by a parson at Cattistock Lodge in the mid 18th century. It was given the name 'The True Blue'.[2]

Food festival[edit]

Cattistock hosts a Dorset knob throwing event and the Frome Valley Food Festival every year on the first Sunday in May.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Area: Cattistock (Parish). Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Roland Gant (1980). Dorset Villages. Robert Hale Ltd. pp. 100–1. ISBN 0 7091 8135 3.
  3. ^ a b "Cattistock / St Peter and St Paul". The Dorset Historic Churches Trust. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  4. ^ Betjeman, John, ed. (1968) Collins Pocket Guide to English Parish Churches; the South. London: Collins; p. 172
  5. ^ Ralph Wightman (1983). Portrait of Dorset (4 ed.). Robert Hale Ltd. p. 95. ISBN 0 7090 0844 9.
  6. ^ "Cattistock, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 1: West (1952), pp. 71-74". British History Online. University of London & History of Parliament Trust. 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  7. ^ a b Claire Price (20 December 2006). "Chantmarle Manor". BBC. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  8. ^ Newman, John; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1972). Dorset. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. p. 139. ISBN 0 14 071044 2.
  9. ^ "Records set in biscuit throw show". BBC News. 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2010-01-26.

External links[edit]