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.

The recently revived White Hart is an old coaching Inn with a  date of 1708 on its front wall Although it may be even older. In 1729 a fire tore through Sturminster leaving two buildings standing, the White Hart and St Mary’s Church. The Inn is reputedly haunted. One ghost is a woman in victorian clothing who walks the ground floor and bar area, some say cleaning! now under new management it has quickly established itself as a friendly and very traditional public house with music and food.

A fifteenth century medieval bridge with six arches guards the southern entrance to Sturminster. Half way across it bears the threat of ‘Transportation for life’ for anyone who vandalises it. The ancient bridge has stood the test of time more recently surviving numerous car crashes into its ancient walls. Thomas Hardy famously wrote about the bridge in his poem “On Sturminster Bridge”

Another well known literary name of Sturminster Newton is Dorset dialect poet Robert Young. Popular for his wit and style, Young was something of a local celebrity. His riverside home, The Hive, also included the ownership of nearby ‘Riverside’ Villas in which Thomas Hardy and his wife were tenants. Young died in 1907 aged 97! His basket travel chair in which he could often be seen travelling around the streets of Sturminster is now on display at the town museum

SNEDSL owners and managers of the Community Chest / Boutique and the Emporium

There is a great blog from the Charity for Sturminster published today on the site lising an impressive array of things the charity has / is / will be doing for the Town. We salute the charity and especially its volunteers. Click Here to read or scroll down to the bottom of the page

Some Highlights (a small selection only)

  • Developing, managing and paying for running the town web site.
  • Taking on the  “Who’s who” listing, print, distribution and online presence
  • Improvements in the Town’s built environment including;
    • Paying for improvements to the entrance to town from the Trailway
    • Paying for the large pictures at the banks
    • Organising planters and flowers around the town
    • Part paying for planters
    • Paying for Xmas tree lights and trees
    • Paying for trees and lighting to be erected outside every participating shop in the Town
    • Organising the new seating space by the museum
    • Supporting and part paying for planting of bulbs at the Trailway entrance
Other less obvious but in some ways more important benefits of the charity include;
  • Setting up a reuse, recycle, repurpose charity shop with minimal environmental footprint.
  • Creating a community focussed volunteer led organisation with up to 30 full and part time volunteers
  • Creating 1.5 full time equivalent jobs in the town
  • Hugely increasing footfall in the Town to the significant advantage of the Towns retailers by creating a well known shopping venue and supporting retail friendly events such as
    • Markets, The vintage car shows, The literary festival….

Who’s Who in Sturminster Newton

Wondering who the best person to contact is? We’ve put together a comprehensive list of contact details for numerous going ons around the town.

Find out Who’s Who

Hearts of Stur

Sturminster Newton at a glance

A snapshot out our latest events, businesses and attractions.

Quick facts about our town

Sturminster Newton was recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Charter of 968 as Nywetone at Stoure, and in the Domesday book as Newentone.

In the 2011 census the town’s civil parish had a population of 4,945

The Town 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 bridge states that anyone damaging the bridge would be transported to Australia as a felon.

On the south bank of the river is the watermill. It achieved fame in USA TV as a key supplier of ground flour in the COVID crisis! Actually, restored in 1980 it is now a museum.

Hidden on the hill above the bridge over the river are the ruins of Sturminster Newton Castle. The 14th-century building stands on a crescent shaped mound. Sadly it is NOT publicly accessible

The town was the home of dialect poet and author William Barnes and for part of his life, Thomas Hardy. Hardy wrote Return of the Native whilst living in Sturminster. He was later to say that his period of living here were some of the best years of his life. Hardy used the Town as the location for many parts of Tess.

Our Partners

This site is brought to you Sturminster Newton Community Benefit Society  supported by Our Partners:
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