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.
The Milton Abbas Local History Group next meeting at 19:00 on Wed 1 Nov 2017 in the Reading Rooms, Milton Abbas. All are welcome. There will be a presentation by Bryan Phillips on Damer Moves the Highways of the Old Town of Milton Abbas.
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.