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Longburton (Dorset)

Longburton shown within Dorset
Population 435
OS grid reference ST648126
District West Dorset
Shire county Dorset
Region South West
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district DT9
Dialling code 01963
Police Dorset
Fire Dorset
Ambulance South Western
European Parliament South West England
UK Parliament West Dorset
List of places: UKEnglandDorset

Coordinates: 50°54'42?N 2°30'00?W? / ?50.9116, -2.5

Longburton is a village in west Dorset, England, three miles (5 km) south of Sherborne. The village has a population of 435 (2001).

Longburton village is a ribbon development along the A352 road, which was the turnpike between Dorchester and Sherborne. The village is most noteworthy to motorists for having a set of traffic lights to control passage between the close-set stone cottages. The dominant features of the village are the church and the Rose & Crown pub.

The parish church is dedicated to Saint James the Great. It was originally a chapelry of Sherborne Minster. Most of it was built in the fifteenth century although the square tower was built local rubble with freestone dressings. about two hundred years earlier. The tower’s upper storey with the crenellated parapet was added as part of the main fifteenth century development. The tower holds six bells with the tenor tuned to G#. Local superstition had it that if the tenor bell sounded dull someone in the parish would die within the week.

The village stands in the parish of the same name in the western end of the Blackmore Vale in north-west Dorset. The parish covers about 4 square kilometres being about 3 km long north to south and about half that west to east. Its neighbouring villages are Castleton, Folke, Holnest, Leweston, and North Wootton. The landscape is typical Dorset pasture with small fields divided by hedgerows and small patches of woodland. The sub-soil is Oxford Clay, which affords the fertility that yields such rich dairy pastures.

Although the dominant industry is dairy farming, other local industries have included stone-quarrying and more recently land has been given over to orchards. In the early eighteenth century at least five attempts were made to find coal in the area; this was documented by the local vicar William Sharpe.

With the coming of the railway to Sherborne in the mid nineteenth century the village developed rapidly as a dormitory and most of the present housing stock was built as part of the railway boom. Broadly speaking, the village housing is seventeenth century, late nineteenth century or late twentieth century.

The seventeenth century houses are traditional two-storeyed Dorset cottages, and some retain their thatched roofs. After the Second World War some bungalows were built in the heart of the village set in comfortable gardens that have now matured to good effect.

Set apart from the village is Leweston Farm, which may have been the old Long Burton manor house. The farm also has a late seventeenth century five-bay barn.

Another interesting building is Burton House, just north of the church. This modern building incorporates a mixture of decorations and structural elements of different periods from all over Dorset.

Two substantial buildings mark the southern extent of the village on opposite sides of the road. The Methodist chapel built in 1878 stands to the East and the now disused Temperance Hall built in 1907 stands to the West.

The population rose regularly from 216 in 1801 to 339 in 1851,and then fell steadily until in 1931 it was only 241. In 1971 the inhabitants numbered 292 and during that decade increased by 44% to 420 by 1981 when a small housing estate was built on the south western edge of the village. The population has since steadied at 414 in 1991 and 435 in 2001.

The present parish is a tithing of the larger medieval parish of Long Burton. The name derives from burg, a fortified manor, and tun, a homestead or village. It was distinguished as Long Burton (presunably to distinguish it from the other four Burtons in Dorset) because of the length of its main street. The present form of the name as a single word seems to have arisen in the late nineteenth century. The village is still recorded as Long Burton on the 1889 Ordnance Survey map of the area.

The most notable resident of Longburton was Reverend Charles Herbert Mayo, the antiquarian who was vicar of Longburton from 1872 to 1912. More prosaically, in 1664 the probate inventory of the late Henry Gumbleton, village blacksmith was valued at £18-13-08.

Medieval records show that Longburton belonged to the See of Sarum. In 1547 the Bishop of Salisbury granted the Manors of Long Burton and Holnest to Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, the Protector. After his execution the manor was held by the Crown until it was granted to Sir Walter Raleigh. In 1594 Raleigh conveyed Long Burton and Holnest to John Fitzjames, who was already lord of the neighbouring manor of Leweston. The Fitzjames family lived at Redlynch near Bruton, Somerset. Their manors were sequestrated in 1645, but were returned at the Restoration. Leweston Farm House, mentioned above, has the Fitzjames shield carved into a panel above the entrance.

Leweston Fitzjames, who died in 1638, was responsible for the addition of the small chapel to the north of the church chancel. In this chapel he installed effigies of his parents Sir John Fitzjames (died 1625) and Joan (died 1602). Another monument contains similar effigies of the parents of Leweston's wife Eleanor, Sir Henry and Dionise Winston, who came from the parish of Standish (in Gloucestershire) and of her grandfather Thomas Winston. Thomas Winston’s effigy is carved of alabaster and is so heavy that it had to be placed near the floor with those of his son and daughter-in-law above him. It shows him in full plate armour and originally decorated his tomb at Standish. When the church at Standish denied Eleanor’s request to add effigies of her parents she moved his effigy to her husband’s parish at Long Burton. Eleanor’s younger sister, Sarah, married John Churchill and was the grandmother of John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, whose line included Sir Winston Churchill. The Christian name Winston had become a family name to commemorate Sarah Winston.

Sir John Fitzjames (died 1670) son of Leweston, and his wife Margaret Stephens are buried beneath a large well preserved tablet on the floor immediately west of the church altar.

When Sir John Fitzjames Junior died in 1699, the manor passed jointly to his sisters, Grace and Catherine and ultimately was settled on Grace’s husband Sir George Strode until he died in 1702. The manor then passed to his only daughter Grace Strode who subsequently married and was widowed before dying intestate in 1729. In the absence of her will the terms of her father's will of 1700 applied and matters were so complex that the Government appointed a Commission to determine how the Strode estates should be divided between Grace's daughters. It took seventeen years before an Act of Parliament was passed to agree the apportionment of the lands between the two heirs, one of whom had since died. The dead daughter’s son received her portion and Long Burton manor passed to the dowager Countess of Hertford. She died in 1754 and her estates passed to Sir Hugh Smithson, husband of her only daughter Elizabeth, and subsequently Duke of Northumberland. His family sold the manor to Anthony Chapman, who built an elegant small mansion at Long Burton, which was later owned by Mark Davis. Chapman’s widow sold the manor to J.S.W. Sawbridge in 1826. Sawbridge married Sarah Frances Erle-Drax, the heiress of Charborough, and assumed her surname.

[edit] Records in Dorset County Records Office, Dorchester

The Longburton parish registers begin in 1589 (marriages and burials) or 1590 (baptisms). The latter continue without gaps to 1865. Marriages are likewise complete to 1842, except for the one year 1812. Burials are missing for 17971601 and 1804, and have not been deposited after 1812. There are banns for 182445 and 18691940. There is a printed transcript of the register to 1812, while typescripts are available for the whole register for 18131837, burials being extended to 1865. Churchwardens' accounts cover a remarkable span from 1634 to 1897 with just two short gaps. Accounts for the Overseers of the Poor survive for 16811759; there are six settlement orders, nine removal orders and one bastardy order.

A court book of the Manors of Long Burton and Holnest survives for 1523 to 1609. There are deeds for various properties from 1705 onwards in the archive D/FFO in the County Record Office. One dated 1702/3 relates to property in Long Burton, Little Burton and Leweston.

The tithe map of 1843–4 has an attached apportionment. Another map of 1768 shows lands in Long Burton and Holnest. A facsimile record of land given for a school by J.S.W.S. Erle-Drax, Lord of the Manor, has also been deposited. The school records include log-books for 1872–1900 and 19201949 and an attendance register for 18531887. Minutes and accounts of the Longburton parish council are deposited for 1894 to 1935.

[edit] Bibliography

  • ‘Spotlight on Longburton’, The Greenwood Tree, 23.3 (August 1998), Somerset & Dorset Family History Society
  • Dorset Churches. (Dorchester: Dorset Historic Churches Trust, 1988)
  • Wendy Fox, ‘Transcription of will of Henry Gumbleton’, Gumbleton Compendia,, 2000
  • John Hutchins, The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset, 3rd ed., edited by William Shipp and J.W. Hodson, (Westminster: J.B. Nichols, 1861-1873).
  • Arthur Mee, The King's England: Dorset. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1939, p. x.
  • John Newman and Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Dorset. (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972).
  • Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England), An Inventory of Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset, Vol. 1, West Dorset. (London: HMSO, 1952)
  • William Sharpe, A Treatise upon Coal Mines, 2nd ed. (London: F. Newbery, 1764)

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(Source: Wikipedia)
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