History of the town

Sturminster Newton was recorded in the Anglo Saxon charter in 968 as Nywetone at Stoure and in the Domesday Book as Newentone. Newton is a new farm or estate and Sturminster refers to a church (minster) on the Stour. 

The ruins of the 14th-century Sturminster Newton Castle are on the hill above the bridge – a historic fording point on the Stour. The bridge, which replaced the ford in the 16th century, has six-arches and a 19th-century plaque which states that anyone damaging it would be transported to Australia as a felon. On the south bank of the river is the iconic mill. The parish church of St Mary was rebuilt in 1486 by the abbots of Glastonbury and although it was modified in the 19th century, the carved roof remains.

The railway, which ran through the town until 1966, was dismantled as part of the Beeching cuts and the station and goods yard demolished in the 1970s. The creamery, which was started in 1913 by local farmers to produce cheese and pasturised milk, was closed in 2000.