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The Great Town of the King

In the north of the county, commanding superb views over the Blackmore Vale, Stour Valley and distant hills is the parish of Kington Magna, which means “the Great Town of the King”. Extending to nearly 2,000 acres the parish is divided into two parts: by the River Cale to the north-east is Kington and to the south-west is Nyland. Within the parish boundaries are the hamlets of Higher Nyland, Bye, Hartmoor and Bowden. The village is at the foot of the steep west slope of Stour Hill with the Parish Church of All Saints standing in an elevated position overlooking the village, where some of the cottages date from the 17th and 18th century. In the 19th century bricks were made here.

The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book. During the reign of King John (1199-1216) John de Ingham died, having owned the manor. William de Boterelles is recorded giving two coursers and a Norway goshawk for licence to marry Aubrey, John de Ingham’s widow; she paid a fine of 300 marks for licence to marry.

The church has walls built from local rubble with ashlar dressings; the roofs are tiled. Its massive embattled west tower has stood since the late 15th century; it has five bells and a clock. It is quite likely that the men of Kington Magna were busy working on the tower as their king was being slain on Bosworth Field. Before 1862 the church had been described as “small and antique” but then the Revd. William Dugdale had the Chancel, Nave, North and South Aisles and the South Porch rebuilt.  The church registers for baptisms and marriages survive from 1680 and the burial register from 1686; they are held at the Dorset History Centre in Dorchester. A National School was built in 1854 and there is a Methodist Chapel with a stone in the gable inscribed ‘1851 Primitive Methodist Chapel. T Tanner, Mason’  Near to the church is Kington Manor Farm, a 17th century structure that retains many original features.

We have placed a photograph of the church in the gallery.

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