General Information on Burton Bradstock

Burton Bradstock

Henry I gave the village and living of Burton Bradstock to the great Normandy abbey at Caen in exchange for the royal regalia of William the Conqueror, which the monks claimed had been gifted to them by the dying king. The lovely village was considered a reasonable exchange for England's Crown Jewels.

The Burton Bradstock Estate

“BURTON BRADSTOCK formed part of the great Estates of the Pitt family, and has been closely linked with the history of the Country since the middle of the seventeenth century.

Originally owned by a John Taylor of Burton Bradstock, an Alderman of London who died in 1641, it passed to his son-in-law, Sir Thomas Freke of Iwerne Courtney, Baron of the Exchequer and M.P. for Dorset, whose descendants were tenants of Hinton St. Mary Manor House (the seat of the present owner) for over two hundred years.

Sir Thomas Freke’s grandson, another Thomas, left Burton Bradstock, Hinton St. Mary, Shroton and other lands to his daughter-in-law and the reversion to George Pitt, of Stratfield-Say; this succession amalgamated into one ownership one of the great estates of the West Country and subsequently passed to George, the eldest son, who was created, in 1776, Baron Rivers of Stratfield-Say, which place his son, the second Baron Rivers, sold to the Government, when it was presented by Parliament to the Duke of Wellington.

From the second Baron Rivers, a great-uncle of General Pitt-Rivers of Rushmore, the Estate was eventually inherited by Mr. Pitt-Rivers of Hinton St. Mary.

The History of Burton Bradstock could not be written without reference to its seafaring association, legal or illegal. There are many legends of the activities of smugglers operating in the area; old documents of the proceedings of the Court Leet and Court Baron of Burton Bradstock record the admission as tenants of the Estate cottages many mariners, and many of the present Tenants can trace their ancestry on the Estate for generations.”



Click on a picture for a more detailed image.
Extract of a report on a talk to the Dorset Natural History &
Archaeological Society by Maurice Ouseley contained in the
Dorset Daily Echo on Tuesday, January 4th 1938
Click here for report
Extract of a report on a talk by Maurice Ouseley in the WI Hall
contained in the
Dorset Daily Echo on Tuesday, January 4th 1938
Click here for report

Extract from:
The Dorset & Swanage Times, JANUARY 6, 1938

on Maurice Ouseley's presentation

Click here for report
A sample of some of the adverts taken from the Burton Bradstock,
Shipton Gorge and West Bay Church magazine in the 1920's
Old advert
A montage of old village adverts from the 1960's or 1970's A montage of old village adverts from the 1960's or 1970's
Many boys from Burton went to sea and spent their time away from home, coming back occasionally with astonishing tales. Here's Joseph Gear's story.
Joseph Gear's story
1903 map of Burton Bradstock showing the names of every field in the village! (TIF image and text files as alternatives.)
Map showing all fields with names
Notes on a Sixteenth Century Indenture of Lease (reasearched and written by Mr Maurice H Ouseley, a local historian). M Ouseley's notes in Indenture
1923 map of Burton Bradstock 1923 map of Burton Bradstock
Extracts on press reports of two major fires in Burton Bradstock
in 1843 and 1854
Click here for report

Example of the Darset lingo.

" - I were up Clayhanger, and the baby were due thik night, and the pains were comin' on bad. Zoo I put the wold 'ooman on the back of me motor-bike and set off for Bridport Hospital. Well, the pains came on wuss than ever by the time I reached Burton, zoo I stopped at the kyosk, rang up the Hospital and zaid to Matron, 'Yurr, my wife's having a baby!' 'How far have 'er got?' asked Matron. 'Burton Bradstock,' I zaid!"


Some more of the Darset lingo.

“...the boat were down Freshwater thik time, and I were only a young chap then so ‘twas I they zent back for to get the cider jar filled up. Well, I got’n filled up, and cor! ‘twas tarble hot, so I had two-dree pints o’ scrumpy myself ‘fore I started back. Went to my ‘aid, zno! I slung the jar over my shoulder on its string and champed off to Freshwater—and as I got over the stile at Southover the jar must ha’ swung over and hit the geäite-post; ‘cos when I got back to Freshwater there wadden no jar, just the cark, like, on the end o’ the string. Cor, didden they take it out of I!”

more pictures

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