Buckland Newton

Buckland Newton is a village and civil parish in Dorset, England. It is situated beneath the scarp slope of the Dorset Downs, 7 12 miles (12.1 km) south of Sherborne.[2] In the 2011 census the civil parish had a population of 622.[1] The village covers around 6000 acres.[3]

Buckland Newton
The Church of the Holy Rood, Buckland Newton
Buckland Newton is located in Dorset
Buckland Newton
Buckland Newton
Location within Dorset
Area9.4 sq mi (24 km2)
Population622 [1]
• Density66/sq mi (25/km2)
OS grid referenceST692053
Unitary authority
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townDorchester
Postcode districtDT2
FireDorset and Wiltshire
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
50°50′47″N 2°26′24″W / 50.8463°N 2.4401°W / 50.8463; -2.4401Coordinates: 50°50′47″N 2°26′24″W / 50.8463°N 2.4401°W / 50.8463; -2.4401

The village lies within the Buckland Newton Hundred. Amenities in the village include a pub (The Gaggle of Geese), shop, primary school and village hall.[4]

Approximately three quarters of the parish lies within the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.[5]


The name 'Buckland' derives from bōc-land, Old English for 'charter land' or land with special privileges created by royal diploma, while 'Newton' is a more recent addition taken from Sturminster Newton, a nearby town.[6]

Evidence for prehistoric settlement comes from Bronze Age barrows at Gales Hill and the Iron Age hill fort of Dungeon Hill.[7]

The parish originally had five settlements, each with their own open field system: Buckland Newton, Brockhampton, Duntish, Henley (perhaps previously known as Knoll) and Minterne Parva, the last now part of Minterne Magna parish.[3]

Although the Parish Church of the Holy Rood was restored in the 19th century, it has a 13th-century chancel and 15th-century nave, west tower and aisles, plus fragments of 12th-century sculpture which are evidence of an earlier structure.[3] In 1980 the writer and literary director Roland Gant described Holy Rood as "a lovely church", but that the first impression it created was not favourable due to its exterior having been rendered in cement, "giving the Perpendicular square tower the look of a Foregn Legion fort".[8] The church has six bells, the oldest having been cast around 1380.[9]

Duntish Court, sited about 12 mile (0.80 km) north of the main village, was a compact, classical country house built in 1764 beside the main Weymouth to Bath turnpike road. Designed by Sir William Chambers, the Court—originally named Castle Hill—had notable plasterwork, grounds of 1,300 acres (530 ha) and played a role in the arrest of agricultural labourers in Dorset's 'Captain Swing' riots of 1830. It was demolished in 1965.[10]


Prominent nearby hills at the top of the escarpment to the southeast include the 820 ft (250 m) Ball Hill and the 860 ft (260 m) Lyscombe Hill near the Dorsetshire Gap.[11] The southern part of the parish is mainly chalk with an elevation ranging from 500–800 feet (150–240 m). The northern lies between 300–500 feet (90–150 m) above sea-level and is mainly clay with Gault and Corallian Limestone beds.[3]

The River Lydden rises in the numerous springs round the village, principally Buckland Bottom and Bladeley Bottom [11]

There are 11 locally recognised Sites of Nature Conservation Interest within or close to the parish, as well as areas of Ancient Woodland. The main habitat types for sites of wildlife interest are deciduous woodland and calcareous grassland (the latter is particularly significant for butterflies). There is also a small area of lowland meadows within Buckland Newton Itself.[12]


  1. ^ a b "Neighbourhood Statistics. Area: Buckland Newton (Parish). Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  2. ^ Google. "Seagrove Bay" (Map). Google Maps. Google.
  3. ^ a b c d "'Buckland Newton', An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 3: Central (1970), pp. 48-54". British History Online. University of London & History of Parliament Trust. November 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  4. ^ "Around the Village". Buckland Newton Community Website. bucklandnewton.com. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  5. ^ Neighbourhood Plan | http://www.planvu.co.uk/wdwp/written/cptbnnp3.htm
  6. ^ David Mills, ed. (2011). A Dictionary of British Place Names. Oxford University Press. p. 83. ISBN 9780199609086. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  7. ^ 'Buckland Newton', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 3, Central (London, 1970), pp. 48-54. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/dorset/vol3/pp48-54.
  8. ^ Roland Gant (1980). Dorset Villages. Robert Hale Ltd. p. 72. ISBN 0-7091-8135-3.
  9. ^ Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers, Central Council of Church Bell Ringers
  10. ^ Jo Draper (May 2008). "Leave not a rack behind". Dorset Life Magazine. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  11. ^ a b Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 Landranger series
  12. ^ Neighbourhood Plan - http://www.planvu.co.uk/wdwp/written/cptbnnp3.htm

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