Thorncombe, Dorset Family History Guide

Thorncombe is an Ancient Parish in the county of Dorset.

Other places in the parish include: Ford Abbey and Forde Abbey.

Alternative names:

Parish church: St. Mary

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1551
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1606

Nonconformists include:

Adjacent Parishes

  • Winsham, Somerset
  • Wayford, Somerset
  • Chard, Somerset
  • Crewkerne, Somerset
  • Marshwood, Somerset
  • Broadwindsor
  • Chardstock
  • Hawkchurch

Parish History

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

THORNCOMBE (St. Mary), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union of Axminster, county of Dorset, 6½ miles (N. E. by E.) from Axminster; containing 1425 inhabitants. At Ford, in this parish, an abbey was founded about the year 1141 for monks of the Cistercian order, by Adelicia, daughter of Baldwin de Brioniis, of Normandy. The remains of the foundress were interred here. The institution soon became highly celebrated, and some of the greatest men of the time were connected with it: Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, who flourished in 1184, was at one time a monk here; Devonius, or John of Devonshire, chaplain and confessor to King John, was abbot, and, about 1217, was buried in the conventual church. Dr. Thomas Chard, abbot, surrendered the establishment to Henry VIII. in 1539, when its annual income was estimated at £381. 10. 8½. The remains are considerable, including the entrance tower, the old abbey walls, and various other portions now occupied as a private mansion; the chapel has a groined roof in the early English style, and some arches of late Norman character. Ford Abbey, the seat and estate of the Gwyn family, was sold in Sept. 1846, for £52,650. Jeremy Bentham resided here a few years. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king’s books at £15. 18. 9., and in the gift of John Bragge, Esq.: the vicarial tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £491. 13., and the glebe contains 48 acres. At Holditch, in the parish, was formerly a church, of which scarcely any remnant exists. A free school was founded by the Rev. Thomas Cooke, in 1734, with a small endowment. A fair is held on Easter-Tuesday.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Parish Records

FamilySearch Catalog - Free

Buildings, dwellings, etc.

Thorncombe : life memories and the history of the parish Author: Farley, Ron, 1927-

Cemeteries

Monumental inscriptions of the parish church of Thorncombe, Dorset Author: Faulkner, Pat; Faulkner, Harold; Somerset and Dorset Family History Society. West Dorset Group

Census

Census returns for Thorncombe, 1841-1891

Church history

Thorncombe : life memories and the history of the parish Author: Farley, Ron, 1927-

Church Records

Bishop’s transcripts for Thorncombe, 1838-1880. Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Thorncombe (Dorsetshire)

Churchwardens’ accounts, 1742-1935 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Thorncombe (Dorsetshire)

Marriages at Thorncombe, 1552-1812 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Thorncombe (Dorsetshire)

Parish registers for Thorncombe, 1551-1989 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Thorncombe (Dorsetshire); Dorset Record Office

Thorncombe : baptisms 1813-1825 Author: Devon Family History Society

Thorncombe : burials 1813-1841 Author: Devon Family History Society

Thorncombe marriage registers, 1813-1837 Author: Devon Family History Society

Court records - Bibliography

The records of the bishop of Exeter’s Consistory Court to 1660 Author: Vage, J. A.; Devon Record Office (Exeter); Church of England. Diocese of Exeter. Consistory Court

History

Thorncombe : life memories and the history of the parish Author: Farley, Ron, 1927-

Taxation

Land tax assessment for Thorncombe, 1782-1832 Author: Great Britain. Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace (Devonshire)

Land tax assessment for Thorncombe, 1798 Author: Great Britain. Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace (Devonshire)

Administration

  • County: Dorset
  • Civil Registration District: Axminster
  • Probate Court: Pre-1836 - Court of the Bishop of Exeter (Episcopal Consistory), Post-1835 - Court of the Archdeaconry of Dorset
  • Diocese: Salisbury
  • Rural Deanery: Pre-1836 - Honiton, Post-1835 - Bridport
  • Poor Law Union: Axminster
  • Hundred: Whitchurch Canonicorum
  • Province: Canterbury