Weymouth-Dorset.co.uk Local History

 Winterborne Came

St.Peter's Church, Winterborne Came, Dorset

St Peter's, Winterborne Came, Dorset

As with all the Winterborne villages and hamlets the first part of the name comes from the river that runs through them. The second part of the name of Winterborne Came comes from Caen. However, in some old records prior to 1391 this is recorded as Winterborne Hundyngton or Houndyngton.

A charter of Richard I says that Winterborne Came was given to the abbey of St. Stephen at Caen by William the Conqueror. At the dissolution of alien priories Came and the priory of Frampton of which it was part was given to the college of St. Stephen at Westminster.

The Manor of Winterborne Came was granted to William, Earl of Pembroke in the reign of Edward VI. Later, in the third year of the reign of Elizabeth, it came into the hands of John Meller, so beginning the long line of descent of the manor through the Meller (sometimes recorded as Miller) family. This family also held Bridehead in the parish of Little Bredy but returned home for burial.

By the time of the sequestering of estates in 1645 it was held by Sir John Meller. At that time he held a farm covering the land partly in Came but also at Winterborne Faringdon with one third at Cripton.

The Manor passed in time to the Damer family from Ireland when Joseph Damer purchased it from the Mellers. Joseph Damer died in 1736 and left the manor to his son George. George however died without issue and so it passed to his brother, John Damer who built Came House as the family seat in 1754. A brother of George and John was the Joseph Damer who became Lord Milton after he purchased Milton Abbey. The manor passed in succession and by 1865 it was in the possession of Lionel Seymour W. Dawson Damer, M.P.

Came House, Winterborne Came, Dorset. Home of the Mellor family and later the seat of the Damer family

Came House, Winterborne Came (Hutchins)

The church, dedicated to St. Peter has seen some historic figures through its doors. An interesting entry in the marriage register records that Napolean Louis Bonaparte, the Emperor of the French at the time, was a witness to the marriage of Hugh Fortecue, Viscount Ebrington and Georgiana Augusta Charlotte Caroline Dawson Damer on March 11th 1847.

A rector by the name of Christopher Laurence, an intruder who was ejected in 1662, was born at Dorchester in 1613 at the time that the town was on fire.

Another rector, famed for his Dorset dialect poetry in particular, was none other than William Barnes who came to the rectory in 1862 where he later died.

A large tomb in the church complete with effigies is dated 1610 on the death of Anne the wife of John Meller. There are also many memorials to the Damer family.

The Churches Conservation Trust - Winterborne Came

Historical Parish Information


Parish Registers begin:


Hundred or Liberty:

Frampton Liberty; Culliford Tree (Cripton & Farringdon)`

Poor Law Union & Registration District:


Online Parish Clerk Project (external link):

Winterborne Came OPC

Old Trade Directories for Winterborne Came

Meller Family


Nearby Parishes and Places



Little Bredy


Sutton Poyntz



West Knighton

West Stafford


Winterborne Herringston & Winterborne Faringdon

Winterborne Monkton

Winterbourne Abbas


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