West Milton, Dorset

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West Milton
West Milton - geograph.org.uk - 891937.jpg
West Milton seen from the north
West Milton is located in Dorset
West Milton
West Milton
West Milton shown within Dorset
OS grid referenceSY501963
Civil parish
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBridport
Postcode districtDT6
Dialling code01308
FireDorset and Wiltshire
AmbulanceSouth Western
EU ParliamentSouth West England
UK Parliament
List of places
50°45′51″N 2°42′28″W / 50.7642°N 2.7079°W / 50.7642; -2.7079Coordinates: 50°45′51″N 2°42′28″W / 50.7642°N 2.7079°W / 50.7642; -2.7079

West Milton is a village in West Dorset in South West England, about 3 miles (5 km) northeast of Bridport and 1 mile (1.6 km) west of Powerstock. The village is on the Mangerton River, a tributary of the River Asker. West Milton is part of Powerstock civil parish.


In this case the toponym "Milton" is a contraction of "Middleton". The Domesday Book of AD 1086 records it as Mideltone. An entry for 1212 in the Book of Fees records it as Midelton.[1]

It is derived from the Old English middel-tūn. The word tūn originally meant "fence", but came to mean "enclosure" or "homestead". Hence a Middelton was the middle homestead of a group.[2] "West" distinguishes it from Milton Abbas near Blandford Forum.[3]

Early 16th-century tower of the former chapel of St Mary Magdalen

Chapel and church[edit]

West Milton has long been a dependent chapelry of Powerstock.[4] It had a Mediæval chapel of St Mary Magdalene, and in 1869 the architect GR Crickmay of Weymouth designed a new Gothic Revival chapel to replace it. This was built on a new site 12 mile (800 m) west of the old one and completed in 1874. It was a stone building with a spirelet on one side[5] and an apse at one end.

Historic photograph of West Milton, with the 19th-century church of St Mary Magdalene centre left

In 1873–76 the body of the Mediæval chapel was dismantled and re-erected in Powerstock as an extension to the parish school.[6] Only the embattled west tower was left in West Milton. This was built about 1500 and is now both a Scheduled Ancient Monument[7] and a Grade II* listed building.[8]

In 1976 the 19th-century church was demolished.[9]

Secular history[edit]

The village used to have two pubs: The Leopard (now Leopard Cottage)[10] and The Red Lion (now Red Lion Cottages).[11][12] Further, there are records of ale being sold from 'The Ship' inn, however it is not known where this was in the village. [13]

Mangerton Mill

In the hamlet of Mangerton, on the river about 1 mile (1.6 km) west of West Milton is an early 19th-century watermill.[14] It was a grist and flax mill, and last worked commercially in 1966. It has since been a tourist attraction and café.[citation needed]

West Milton had its own watermill on the same river. The mill was the home of the writer and broadcaster Kenneth Allsop until his death in 1973. Here he wrote In the Country, a collection of essays mostly about the surrounding Dorset countryside.[15]


  1. ^ Ekwall 1960, Milton
  2. ^ Ekwall 1960, tūn
  3. ^ Best 1970, p. 8.
  4. ^ Lewis 1931, p. 321.
  5. ^ Newman & Pevsner 1972, p. 34.
  6. ^ "Powerstock School reopens two years after fire destroyed hall". BBC News. 2 October 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  7. ^ Historic England. "St Mary's Church, West Milton (1003230)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  8. ^ Historic England. "Tower, remains of West Milton chapel  (Grade II*) (1227969)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  9. ^ Connor 2016, p. 36.
  10. ^ Historic England. "Leopard Cottage  (Grade II) (1228024)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  11. ^ Historic England. "Red Lion Cottages  (Grade II) (1228004)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  12. ^ Poole 1987, p. 15.
  13. ^ Connor 2016, p. 81.
  14. ^ Historic England. "Mangerton Mill, excluding the Mill House  (Grade II) (1215867)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  15. ^ Gant 1980, pp. 130–131.


External links[edit]