Parish church of St Osmund
Melbury Osmond shown within Dorset
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
Melbury Osmond is a village in the county of Dorset in southern England. It lies in the West Dorset administrative district of the county, about seven miles south of the Somerset town of Yeovil. It is sited on Cornbrash limestone soil, with adjacent Oxford clay. Within the clay can be found deposits of stone which can take on a very high polish, earning them the name "Melbury marble". The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book as a possession of the Arundell family, and remained so until the 19th century. The parish church, St. Osmund's, was totally rebuilt in 1745 and restored in 1888, although it has registers dating back to 1550. In the 2001 Census the village had a population of 190.
In 1905 Sir Frederick Treves wrote of Melbury Osmond that it "clings to a narrow waving lane on a steep slope, at the top of which is the church and at the bottom a stream". He waxed lyrical about the village, declaring it to be "the most charming village in these Western backwoods" and that it was "the village of the pastoral poem and of the rural lyric, dainty enough for the feet of Amaryllis and attuned to the love songs of Strephon." However he also noted that in its history the village had driven "extensive trade" in plated buckles and horn buttons, and that it had "engaged robustly in the manufacture of dowlas".
- Wightman, R., Portrait of Dorset, Hale, 1983, p18
- West Dorset District Council, Holiday and Tourist Guide, c.1983, p13
- Treves, Sir F., Highways and Byways in Dorset, Macmillan, 1905, pp322-323
- "Listed Buildings in Melbury Osmond, Dorset, England". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 10th July 2012.
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