The monastery of “Middletun” was founded in 934 by King Athelstan, and was granted estates all over Dorset.
The town grew up south of the monastery and flourished to become the crossroads of Dorset (the London to Exeter road came through here).
There was a weekly market which paid the second largest subsidy of any town in Dorset.
There were two annual fairs where people from all over Dorset came to trade and find work.
Hard to believe now!
All this changed when Joseph Damer, Lord Milton decided with Capability Brown to create a new landscape which did not include the old Town. This was pulled down in the 1770s, and new cottages erected for his estate workers in the next valley out of sight. This became the village you see today. This was the largest such project in England at the time.
We have now confirmed the dates in the Reading Rooms and St James Church, Milton Abbas for 5 to 7 Oct 2018. Refreshments will be available. Watch this space for more news as our research expands.
The Milton Abbas Local History Group meet on the first Wed of the month Oct – June at 19:00 in the Reading Rooms Milton Abbas. Membership is £10pa. Our next meeting is on Wed 6 Jun 2018. All are welcome. We will be focusing on the site of the Old Town using maps, in preparation for our walk there in July.
There will be a presentation on Dorset Migration by Jane Ferentzi-Shepherd
Are you interested in exploring old documents?
You can help us by transcribing documents and audio recordings. We already have transcribers around the world who are working on Churchwardens Books and Overseers of the Poor Books. The pages are shared using Google docs, although MyAirBridge, One Drive or Dropbox is also possible.
Although we are a local history group, we are carrying out family and social history research to see how the ordinary people lived, how they were treated, their economic fortunes, religious beliefs, health, demographics, etc. We are particularly interested in the mobility of families in the 18th century.