The Parish of Winterborne Came
Winterborne Came is a small rural parish in south Dorset. It is 2 miles south of Dorchester and 5 miles north of Weymouth. It is bordered by the parishes of Dorchester to the north (formerly Fordington parish), West Stafford and Whitcombe to the east, Bincombe to the south and Winterborne Herringston to the west. The land slopes from Conygar Hill at the northern boundary down to the Winterborne River and rises again to a height of 148m at at Came Wood on the southern edge of the parish. A map of parish boundaries can be found here
There is a manor house and most of the other dwellings are, or were, related to the manor's estate. The A352, the Wareham Road, passes through the east part of the parish. For several years until 1999 the Dorset County Show, known at the time as the Dorchester Show, was held each September on the fields to the north of Came House and towards the Wareham Road. It has since moved to a new site at Coker's Frome to the north of the town. All of the parish south of Conygar Hill and west of the A352 is part of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), designated in 1959.
The parish is well known for its connections with the Dorset dialect poet William Barnes, who was rector here for 24 years until his death in 1886 [Bingham 1987]
The placename evolved as follows:
- Wintreburne 1086 (Domesday Book)
- Winterburn Caam 1280
- Wynterborne Cam 1288
- Wynterborn-came 1437
The suffix Came relates to the manor being owned by the abbey of St Stephen at Caen (in Normandy) from the time of William the Conqueror [Mills 1998]. They retained ownership through the early middle ages. The College of St Stephen, Westminster owned the land at a later date, as did the Earl of Pembroke during the 16th century. The manor was purchased by the Meller or Miller family in 1561. The manor passed to the Damer family in the early 18th century. The Damer family later became the Dawson-Damers, Earls of Portarlington [Bettey 1997].
The tithe was apportioned in 1844. One copy of the schedule of apportionment and accompanying map are kept in the Dorset History Centre and at the National Archives in Kew.
Hutchins wrote in 1750 that the village was,
"now almost depopulated, consisting only of three or four houses"
It is supposed that some depopulation may have occurred at the time that Came House was built.
The Online Parish Clerk (OPC) for Winterborne Came is James Purkiss. You may contact me by e-mail if you have further queries.
Please Note: I am an unpaid volunteer willing to assist others with their genealogical research and should in no way be confused with the Parish Council or Parochial Church Council clerks.
Places within the parish
- Came Church: St Peter
- Came Dairy
- Came Down Golf Club
- Came Farm
- Came House
- Came Old Rectory
- Came School
- Winterborne Farringdon
Available Genealogical Data
Held at Dorset History Centre
- Baptisms 1696 - 1813 ... 1782/3 and 1799 - 1801 available online
- Baptisms 1813 - 1986 ... 1813 - 1851 and 1859 - 1905 available online. 1906 - 1985 available on request
- Marriages 1699 - 1975 .. 1837 - 1847 & 1875 - 1910 available online. 1911 - 1966 available on request
- Burials 1698 - 1990 .... 1813 - 1903 available online. 1904 - 1990 available on request
a) Copies of the parish register entries were sent to the Bishop every year. Because the parishes are part of the Diocese of Salisbury, the Bishop's Transcripts are held at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre in Chippenham.
b) 1813 - 1837 baptism and burial entries have been indexed by the Dorset Family History Society.
c) Baptisms appear to have ceased at the church in 1986.
Have been undertaken by the Somerset & Dorset Family History Society. The inscriptions from Whitcombe are available elsewhere on the Dorset OPC website.
- Tithe Map and Apportionment 1844 Held at the Dorset History Centre.
- Ordnance Survey 1890
- Aerial Photos 2000
- Ordnance Survey 1:25000 2004
Civil Registration & Poor Law see section
- 1841 6 June 1841 (transcribed by Jacqui Bowen)
- 1851 30 March 1851
- 1861 7 April 1861
- 1871 2 April 1871
- 1881 3 April 1881
- 1891 5 April 1891
- 1901 31 March 1901
- School Log Book 1872 - 1923 (incomplete transcription)
- Admissions Register 1894 - 1922 (not yet transcribed)
I have transcribed one postal directory for the parish so far. More are available courtesy of the University of Leicester
Dorset History Centre holds the electoral roll for the years 1838-1844.
Land Tax returns exist for the years 1782-90, 1792-3, 1795, 1799-1800, 1802-1820, 1822-4, 1826-32. These are held at the Dorset History Centre.