Winterborne St Martin - History

History

In 1268 Henry II granted a charter to Winterborne St Martin, which allowed the village to hold an annual fair within five days of St Martins Day. The fair, which in times past was a leading horse market and amusement fair, had been revived but the old-time custom of roasting a ram was replaced once during an event in the 1960s with a 'badger roast'. The 80 lb badger was caught in a snare and many villagers thought they were eating goose.

After a hundred years silence, bells in the church rang out in 1947. Five new bells were hung as a village memorial to those who died in the war. An earlier peal had been sold to defray debts.

In 2007 Martinstown won the Best Kept Village in Dorset Award, in the Large Village Category.

The Catholic martyr John Adams was born in Winterborne St Martin in about 1543.

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