History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Links to Thomas Hardy, whose heart is buried in St Michael's churchyard
The parish church itself, dedicated to St Michael, is 13th century, with a 14th century tower. Into the tower has been set a Saxon carving of St Michael from the original church on this site. Another historic highlight is the Norman font, made of Purbeck marble.
The parish of Stinsford is home to no less than 5 country houses; Frome House, Old Manor House, Stinsford House, Kingston Maurward House, and Birkin House. Kingston Maurward College now owns most of the land in the parish. Stinsford House, just west of the church, dates to the 17th century, though most of what you see today is a result of 19th century remodelling.
Kingston Maurward House, east of the church, was built from 1717 for George Pitt of Stratfield Saye. Pitt married Lora Grey, the heiress of The Old Manor House, a late 16th century manor with the addition of a 17th century wing. The manor was abandoned for Kingston Maurward House, eventually becoming a home for poor widows. It was scheduled for demiolition in the 1950s until Rohan Sturdy stepped in. Sturdy leased the house from the County Council and restored it at his own expense. In gratitude the Council granted him the freehold of the property, and it remains in private hands today.
The River Frome meanders through the parish, and the water meadows beside the river have been declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). the parish. There are also popular footpaths through Thorncombe Woods.
On the south side of the Dorchester road stands Stinsford Cross, a Roman milestone. The location suggests that it was placed exactly one Roman mile from the east gate of Dorchester.
Address: Stinsford, Dorset, England
Attraction Type: Village
OS: SY 7149 9150
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Kingston Maurward Gardens - 0.3 miles (Garden)
Stinsford, St Michael's Church - 0.4 miles (Historic Church)
Hardy's Cottage - 0.9 miles (Historic Building)
Dorset Teddy Bear Museum - 1.3 miles (Museum)
The Dinosaur Museum - 1.4 miles (Museum)
Dorchester, St Peter's Church - 1.5 miles (Historic Church)
Dorset County Museum - 1.5 miles (Museum)
Tutankhamun Exhibition - 1.6 miles (Museum)
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