A Topographical Dictionary of England, Samuel Lewis, London 1831


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WINTERBOURNE (ST. MARTIN), a parish in the hundred of GEORGE, Dorchester division of the county of DORSET, 3 miles (W.S.W.) from Dorchester, containing 342 inhabitants.

The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Dorset, and diocese of Bristol, rated in the king's books at £9. 15., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Salisbury. The church has a neat embattled tower crowned with pinnacles. A market, granted by Henry III., was formerly held here; and a fair is still kept on St. Martin's day.

In this parish is Maiden Castle, one of the strongest and most extensive Roman camps in the west of England, which, according to Ptolemy, was the castra ęstiva of the garrison of Dunium, afterwards called Durnovaria, the capital of the Durotriges: it consists of a treble ditch and rampart, enclosing an irregular oval area of forty-four acres, but the entire work covers an extent of one hundred and fifteen acres and a half. There are two very intricate entrances, that at the east end being defended by five, and that at the west end by six, ditches and ramparts. Near the former passes the vicinal road leading from Dorchester to Weymouth, and to the latter extends a branch from the Via Iceniana, which passes about a mile north of the camp. The summit commands an extensive prospect of barrows stretching for many miles along the tops of the hills to the southward.

Volume 4, page 519

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