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History of Monk Sherborne

Ramsdell RoadSherborne means ‘bright stream’ and the Monk prefix arose from the existence of a priory, at Pamber, at the northern end of the parish.

The manor of Monk Sherborne was held by Alnol Cild in the reign of Edward the Confessor and is mentioned in the Domesday Survey, when the manor belonged to Hugh de Port.  His son, Henry, established a priory (Pamber Priory) as a cell of St Vigor of Cerisy in Normandy.

 The manor was taken into the hands of the king in the 14th century.  In 1462 Edward IV granted the manor to the Hospital of St. Julian, commonly known as Gods House, at Southampton.  This house had been granted to Queens College, Oxford by Edward III so consequently Monk Sherborne came into the hands of the Provost and Fellows of that College. Flints, pottery and crop marks discovered at Monk Sherborne indicate a prehistoric settlement. 

During excavations in 1996 a foundation plan of a Roman winged corridor house was revealed at Manor Farm.  Two well-preserved corn dryers were also discovered and in other pits, coins and pottery dating back to the 3rd and 4th centuries were found.  A further pit revealed iron work including two belt-set elements of a buckle-plate and back plate, decorated and inlaid with silver wire.  These have been identified as ‘Frankish’ in origin and date from the late 6th or early 7th centuries. 

These archaeological finds are extremely significant in that they provide evidence of the area being a settlement for many hundreds of years. About 2 kilometres to the west of the village there exists the site of a Norman motte and bailey castle, which, at one time, would have dominated the surrounding area.  This parcel of land was given to Aethelnod by King Edmund in 945AD and became Woodgarston Manor. The area appears to have been predominately agricultural with evidence of two farms within the settlement.  

In times past the village had its own Wheelwright and Blacksmith.  A small building used as a forge by the blacksmith and located opposite the entrance to Kiln Lane, remains to this day.  There was also a  Village Store / Post Office which eventually closed in the 1970's. Monk Sherborne has some connection with the writer Jane Austen.  Her elder brother suffered from a mental disablement and was sent to live with a poor family at Beam Ende, now known as Apple Tree Cottage.  Thereafter he remained in the village until his death at age 72 whereupon he was buried in an unmarked grave in the grounds of All Saints Church.


Courtesy of Mrs Joan Pope