A delightful, traditional Dorset town that owes its existence to the fact that it stands halfway between Blandford Forum and Sherborne where the road crosses the River Stour. The medieval, six-arched, 17th century bridge that spans the river still carries the penalty of ‘Transportation for Life’ for anyone who damages it. The bridge is the one featured in Hardy’s poem ‘On Sturminster Bridge’.
There’s much about Sturminster Newton that’s well worth seeing and Plumber Manor is only a very short distance away and considered one of the finest country house hotels near Sturminster Newton.
There are the ruins of a small 14th-century castle set within the crescent-shaped grassy mound that might be part of an Iron Age fort.
Sturminster Newton has always been an important market town and to this day, market stalls fill the square on Mondays. The largest calf market in Britain used to be in Sturminster Newton but it has long since closed. Sturminster Newton Mill was restored in the 1980s and you can see the grinding machinery working.
The town has strong literary links. The Dorset poet, William Barnes, was born and educated in Sturminster Newton, and Thomas Hardy wrote The Return of the Native whilst living in the town.
Other towns worth visiting:Sherborne
, Blandford Forum
, and Cerne Abbas
Plumber Manor is recommended by: Michelin
, The Good Food Guide
, The Good Hotel Guide
, the Best Loved Hotels