Did you know?

Sturminster Newton is situated at a historic fording point on the Stour. The ford was replaced in the 16th century with a six-arch stone bridge. A 19th-century plaque affixed to the stonework states that anyone damaging the bridge would be transported to Australia as a felon.

Thomas Hardy lived in Sturminster Newton from 1876 to 1878 after he married Emma Gifford. He said that his home was ‘idyllic’ and described his years there as being among the happiest of his life. The house is now a private home.

Sturminster Mill dates from the 17th century but a mill was in the same spot in the Domesday survey. It’s one of several that have dominated the banks of the Stour over the centuries. It was once a place for hiding contraband liquor and is now a working tourist attraction.


This week the Boogie Woogie festival comes to Town, This now well established and much loved Festival has more venues, more activities and more stars then ever before. You can check out everything by clicking here 

and a busy summer for the Community Chest

It’s time for some thank-yous!  First to all our customers – in the last month or so you have found us not just at the shop in Market Cross but at our travelling stall in town supporting the first Saturday vintage vehicle events, the fabulous Big Weekend and the inaugural Literary Festival.  We also made the journey to Child Okeford’s Hey Day and introduced ourselves to a host of new customers who were very impressed with our range of quality goods. We love getting out and about and displaying our wares under the trusty gazebo!  As I write we are preparing our window to reflect the Boogie Woogie festival activities.  Well done Stur and thanks to all who organise such lovely times in our town.

We obviously couldn’t do this without extraordinary support from our volunteers.  As well as those who have been with us since those heady days of setting up and opening at Easter last year, our request for more help has resulted in a number of wonderful people coming forward to serve, sort and assist with every aspect of the ‘shop for Sturminster’.  At the hub of this activity, forever inspiring, is our manager Cheryl who never rests!  So to our army of helpers we say thanks for the help and the fun. The busy summer has swallowed up all of our time but now we want to put our efforts behind making the Community Chest more of a hub.  This means sourcing, collecting and collating local knowledge so we can act as a signpost for a whole range of information and activities.  If this sounds like something you would like to get involved with, do please pop in and have a chat or call Jane on 01258 475567.

Jane Williams

Quick facts about our town

Sturminster highlights

Oxfords Bakery, run by fourth generation baker Steve Oxford, uses equipment dating back to the early 1900s. Its a traditional artisan bakery, with a very modern owner, and a town highlight.

Hansons is one of the largest craft and fabric warehouses in the South of England. With over 20 000 rolls of fabric, as well as sewing machines, wools, patterns and a myriad of craft utensils, its no surprise it attracts loyal customers from far and wide.

Or visit Harts of Stur – owned and run by Philip Hart and now nearly 100 years old. It’s a cookware specialist but sells everything you ever need for your home. From tiny picture screws to Christmas lights, coffee pots and wellington boots. Its a local treasure.

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