A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE, WORK AND PLAY

A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE, WORK AND PLAY

AT THE HEART OF THE BLACKMORE VALE

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”

Sturminster Mill -The Day American TV came to Town.

Many of us already know that in the time of COVID the popularity of bread making overtook the level of supply of flour available to the supermarkets. Bread was officially the new “Black”. By the way it still is! Step up to the plate Peter Loosemore and his colleagues at the Mill. Using grain reserves they had judiciously stored for such a rainy-day Peter and his team of volunteers cranked the Mill into full 24 hour a day action and pretty soon had vendors such as Dike and Sons and Oxford’s and American TV broadcasters (Yes American TV!) were beating a path to the Mill door. There is a new blog below that includes clips from both broadcasts. https://sturminster-newton.org.uk/sturminster-mill-the-day-american-tv-came-to-town/

The Gravity in the Town is shifting

By the way have you noticed how the gravity in the Town is gradually shifting from the Exchange to the Market Square end of Town? The White Hart proud in its new coat issoon to be joined by a bistro. The Japanese food shop also sporting new livery is open again.. The Community Chest has undergone a miraculous facelift and now looks like an upmarket boutique but with prices suited to everyones pocket. And last but by no means least the awful parking that took place in front of Gallery One (apologies to its users, I am sure it was a useful stopping place for those that needed parking in our parking poor town) has been replaced by chairs, parasols and a welcoming centre for people using Joshua’s, The White Hart and Sweet Pea. The place is regularly full. Fantastic.

 

 

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.

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