The Village Hall



Dolway Lane

Winterborne Whitechurch

Blandford Forum


DT11 0AW

Registered Charity 209082

Established 1937

Winterborne Whitechurch is situated in the Winterborne Valley at the point where the stream intersects the road between Dorchester and Blandford Forum which lies five miles to the north.

Recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 within the ‘Hundred’ (County sub-division) of ‘Combsditch’, along with Blandford, Charlton, Bloxworth and Thornicombe, Winterborne Whitechurch was registered as “Wintreburne” with a total population of 3 households.

The ‘grade 1′ listed parish church of St. Mary dates back to the early Norman period, with a possible Saxon cross built into the outside north wall.  ‘Whitechurch’ derives from two possible sources – either from the colour of the original stone or because it was built of stone rather than the common wood.

The ancient font dates from circa 1450 and features a rare emblem of a vine round the top.  The unique 15th Century pulpit was originally in Milton Abbey.  During the Commonwealth (1649 onwards under Cromwell), the pulpit was plastered over for preservation.  Hundreds of years later, regarded as an ugly piece of work, the pulpit was discarded and remained in the Abbey yard for years.  In 1867 the nave and contents at Whitechurch burnt down and the discarded pulpit was obtained as a temporary replacement.  Only in the very late 19th Century and by accident, plaster having come away when the reverend attempted to pull out a nail, was the original treasure below the plaster work discovered.

The stenciling around the windows and arches was painted by Mrs Wynne, the  vicar’s wife and her daughter around 1882.

John Wesley, father of the cleric and minor poet Samuel Wesley, and grandfather of the founders of Methodism John and Charles Wesley, was the vicar from 1658 to 1662.  Samuel was born in Whitechurch vicarage, being baptised in 1662.

The vicarage was built in 1743 and enlarged in 1781.  Edmund Morton Pleydell built Whatcombe House in 1750.  West Farm’s thatched circular horse drawn milling house (probably a cider press), was constructed around the same time.  One of the five church bells is dated in the 14th Century, the others between the 17th and 20th Centuries.

During the reign of Elizabeth 1, George Turberville, second son of Henry Turberville of Winterborne Whitechurch, was a scholar, poet and emissary who visited the court of Ivan the Terrible in 1568.  The Turberville’s were the inspiration in Thomas Hardy’s novel ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles.’

The Hall was established in 1937, the following is an extract of the  Constitution adapted from the original deeds dated 23rd February 1937:

‘The Hall shall be held upon trust for the purposes of physical and mental recreation and social moral and intellectual development through the medium of reading and recreation room, library, lectures, classes, recreations and entertainments or otherwise as may be found expedient for the benefit of the persons resident in Winterborne Whitechurch…… without distinction of sex or political or other opinions.”

“The Hall is for All”

Winterborne Whitechurch