Weymouth-Dorset.co.uk Local History


Thatched cottages at Owermoigne, Dorset

Owermoigne is a quaint little Dorset village just off the main A353. Picturesque thatched cottages surround the charming St. Michael's church.

Owermoigne was originally a Saxon settlement by the name of Ogre that later became Oweres.  It is not too hard to see how the joining of Ower and the name of the ancient landholding family of Le Moigne came to give the village its name.

The parish church of Owermoigne is dedicated to St. Michael's and stands at the heart of the small village set in an almost triangular shape. Opposite the church and along the lane are some delightful reminders of previous centuries by way of whitewashed thatched cottages.

The date of the original building of the church is uncertain but the first Rector to be recorded was Walter Chaundos in 1333 under the patronage of John Le Moigne.

Despite being inland, the smugglers of long ago used Owermoigne as a convenient storage place. They hid their contraband in the church tower.

Another name strongly associated with Owermoigne is that of Sturton, perhaps sometimes recorded as Stourton. The family were land owners of Stourton Caundle and came to be such in Owermoigne with the marriage of Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir John Moigne to William Sturton, during the reign of Richard II.

The Sturtons as Lords of the Manor had their home at Owermoigne Court. It is a thirteenth century house with a hall unusually situated on the first floor.

Church of St Michael, Owermoigne, Dorset

St. Michael's Owermoigne

Owermoigne Court, Dorset

Owermoigne Court

Owermoigne Court was the scene of a treacherous murder carried out in the sixteenth century. The Sturtons were not all they appeared to be. There lay within a dark and sinister side. Lord Charles Sturton murdered a man of the name of Hartgill during the reign of Queen Mary. He was hanged, but in recognition of his title and his Roman Catholic faith, the Queen granted permission for him to be allowed the use of a silk rope at his execution.

Just to the east of the village of Owermoigne is the tiny hamlet of Galton. It consists of a few cottages, a farm and a house with it. Galton is however within the parish boundary of Owermoigne, and bounded to the east by the parish of Chaldon Herring. Beyond Galton is the heathland of Tadnoll.

The Land Tax of 1798 shows that Robert Ingram who occupied Fossil Farm in the adjoining parish of Chaldon Herring also occupied all the land at Galton. He owned most of Galton's land with the remainder being owned by the Honourable Lionel Damer and a small piece by a Mr Messiter. These lands although lying in two parishes, were together, intersected only by a track leading to Tadnoll and Galton Heath.

The hamlet of Galton in the parish of Owermoigne, Dorset

Galton Farm and House

Through the village of Owermoigne and out onto the rather bumpy country road for a mile or two leads to the Mill House nurseries. The mill is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. The Mill House is the location of the Cider Museum and the quietly hidden Dorset Clock Collection. The latter has many fine examples of the work of Dorset's clockmakers dating back to the earliest times when a clock only had one hand.

Historical Parish Information


Parish Registers begin:


Hundred or Liberty:

Owermoigne Liberty

Poor Law Union & Registration District:


Online Parish Clerk Project (external link)

Owermoigne OPC

Nearby Parishes and Places


Chaldon Herring

Lulworth, East & West, and Lulworth Cove

Osmington, Osmington Mills, Ringstead




West Knighton

West Stafford



Family History


Local Attractions and Places to Visit



Back to Weymouth Home Page

All photographs on this page are my own and I therefore hold the copyright. Please respect this and if you wish to copy any of them or use them elsewhere, please ask permission first.