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Sturminster Newton

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Dorset  /  Sturminster Newton
Sturminster Newton is a town and civil parish in the Blackmore Vale area of Dorset, England. It is situated on a low limestone ridge in a meander of the River Stour. The town is at the centre of a large dairy agriculture region, around which the town's economy is built. The larger part of the town (Sturminster) lies on the north side of the river, and includes most shops and services, whilst to the south is the smaller Newton. Between these two areas is a wide flood plain. The town was the home of poet and author William Barnes, and, for part of his life, Thomas Hardy. The town has 43 shops, a primary and secondary school, and a school and college catering for children with special educational needs. In the 2011 census the town's civil parish had a population of 4,292.A market is held in the town on Mondays. One of the largest cattle markets in England used to be held here, but the market was closed in 1998 and now in its place stands a housing estate and a 300-seat community arts centre called The Exchange. The town is part of the historic West Country Carnival circuit.HistorySturminster Newton was recorded in the Anglo Saxon charter in 968 as Nywetone at Stoure, and in the Domesday Book as Newentone. Newton refers to a new farm or estate, and Sturminster to a church (minster) on the Stour. Originally the two parts of the name referred to the settlements on the north and south of the river, but were combined to distinguish the town from Sturminster Marshall and other Newtons.
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