Broadwindsor

Broadwindsor, Devon

Broadwindsor and various similar spellings is a small village in West Dorset about 2.5 miles from Beaminster, the nearest town.

So far, it is the origin of the Pomeroy branch of my Family Tree. It is thought that there are two separate DNA groups of Pomeroys in the area which obviously causes ssome confusion and complications whist researching Family Trees.

The village has a website with a tab regarding history and a page in he Dorset Guide. It also has a record in British History Online listing some notable buildings. There were signs of settlements in this area prior to the arrival of the Romans in AD 43 and the village is recorded in the Domesday book as the manor of Windesore held by Hunger, the son of Odin. Many of the names of people still living in the village and surrounding farms are recorded in documents dating from the 13th and 14th centuries, when many of the inhabitants were freemen. These names include Hallett, Paul and Studley.

There has been a church in Broadwindsor since Anglo-Saxon times. Records of the local ministers date back to 1304 and three of the church bells are from an earlier pre-Reformation building.

When Henry VIII (28 June 1491 – 28 January 1547) came to power, (he was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death), he raised a local militia to deal with emergencies and it can be read that “In the Dorset lists, thirty-eight able-bodied men are noted at Broadwindsor.” The parish itself was expected to provide” a suit of armour, a bow and a sheaf of arrows to serve the King”. Henry VIII oversaw the legal union of England and Wales with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542 and following the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 he was the first English monarch to rule as King of Ireland.

Some two centuries later, after Charles II's defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651 he realised he must flee the country and under a false names stayed the night at the Castle Inn which later became The George Inn where he was given rooms at the top of the house. Then a constable arrived at the inn with 40 soldiers in search of the King, but when a camp follower went into labour in the kitchen the ensuing hullabaloo allowed him to escape disguised as a serving wench.

To give some idea of Broadwindsor and the surrounding area, especially some of the places mentioned in the family history. The distances are in miles, so no suprise there, but to keep the relevant perspective, the journey times between places is based on Google Maps walking times.

Broadwindsor to;-

  • Beaminster                           2.5 miles - 1hr.
  • Bettiscombe                         3.8 miles - 1hr 15mins
  • Blackdown                            3.1 miles - 1hr
  • Bridport                                 6.9 miles - 2hrs 10mins
  • Chideock                               8.9 miles - 3hrs
  • Childhay Manor Farm           2.6 miles - 50mins
  • Cole's Cross                         3.1 miles - 1hr (Between Blackdown and Racedown on the B3165)
  • Forde Abbey                         6.2 miles - 2hrs
  • Netherhay                             2.4 miles - 45mins
  • Marshalsea                           4.1 miles - 1hr 25mins
  • Marshwood                           5.0 miles - 1hr 40mins
  • South Perrott                         4.3 miles - 1hr 30mins
  • Thorncombe                          5.2 miles - 1hr 45mins
  • Whitchurch Canonicorum      6.8 miles - 2hrs 15mins

 

 

 

At the beginning of the 19th century Broadwindsor was a thriving place. but gradually sank into its present day calm. Broadwindsor was at its most populous in the early 19th century but began to decline when it was bypassed by the railway and was no longer on the stage-coach route. The population today is around 1,200

Extracted data from an image of the Broadwindsor Parish Baptism records found on Ancestry for 1794 suggest that 25 children were baptised in the year across 22 family groups. 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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