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Charminster, parish church of St. Mary - - 503842.jpg
Parish church of St Mary's
Charminster is located in Dorset
Location within Dorset
Population2,940 [1]
OS grid referenceSY680927
Unitary authority
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townDorchester
Postcode districtDT2
FireDorset and Wiltshire
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
50°43′58″N 2°27′17″W / 50.7327°N 2.4546°W / 50.7327; -2.4546Coordinates: 50°43′58″N 2°27′17″W / 50.7327°N 2.4546°W / 50.7327; -2.4546

Charminster is a village and civil parish in west Dorset, England, situated on the River Cerne and A352 road 1 mile (1.6 km) north of the county town Dorchester. In the 2011 census the parish had a population of 2,940 [1] and also contains the hamlet of Charlton Down.

The village name derives from the River Cerne and the small 'minster' church of St Mary, resulting in "Cerneminster" (recorded in 1223), which eventually evolved into Charminster.[2] The village, which includes Wolfeton House, was the place of origin of Richard Norman and family, one of the Planters of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in America, who arrived there in ca. 1626.[3] Scientist Margaret Bastock died in the village in 1982, aged 62.

Charminster is in the Charminster and Cerne Valley electoral ward, which stretches from the northern outskirts of Dorchester through Cerne Abbas to Minterne Magna. The total population of this ward at the 2011 census was 4,768.[4]


As a relatively large village Charminster has an abundance of amenities, with three pubs,[5][6][7] a village hall[8] and a community center with the former having seating capacity in the main hall of 100 seated 120 standing and a further 10 or so in other rooms,[9] as well as a village green at Charminster house[8] used for fetes and community celebrations,[10] beyond this the village has a park and a numerous variety of shops and business with a previously mentioned church and a First school[11]


  1. ^ a b "Area: Charminster (Parish). Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistic. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., 1986. Dorset Place Names. Ensign, Southampton. ISBN 1-85455-065-9.
  3. ^ Leslie Mahler, "The English Origin of Richard Norman of Salem, Massachusetts." The American Genealogist, Vol. 77, No. 2 (April 2002).
  4. ^ "Charminster & Cerne Valley ward 2011". Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  5. ^ Retrieved 29 July 2022. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Retrieved 29 July 2022. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Retrieved 16 August 2022. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ a b "Charminster Village Hall". Retrieved 29 July 2022
  9. ^ "Charminster Village Hall". Retrieved 29 July 2022
  10. ^,listed%20on%20the%20national%20Platinum%20Jubilee%20events%20programme. Retrieved 16 August 2022. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Retrieved 16 August 2022. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]

Media related to Charminster at Wikimedia Commons