Blandford St Mary
The village of Blandford St. Mary sits adjacent to Blandford Forum and the parish of Bryanston (including Bryanston School) to the north and Charlton Marshall to the south and as with many Dorset villages, is strung out along the main road, in this case the main road from Blandford Forum to Poole and Bournemouth.
The parish boundaries include the River Stour to the east and encompass the Down House estate to the west. The parish church of St. Mary sits in the hamlet of Lower Blandford St. Mary.
We are a small (population 1,460 in 2007) but varied community with an active primary school, an annual horticultural and craft show held each August at the parish church and various groups which meet regularly in and around the village in residents’ homes – we also have a talented group of artists who regularly exhibit as part of the bi-annual Dorset Art Weeks (next exhibition in 2014).
As well as a variety of old and distinguished properties dating back a century or more (such as the Stour Inn, Brook House and the Manor House), we have many relatively new residential properties, together with a busy business estate which is home to, among others, Tesco, Homebase and the famous Hall and Woodhouse brewery.
Blandford St. Mary has been no stranger to change over its long history and this is set to continue with the redevelopment of the Hall and Woodhouse brewery site over the next few years, to include new brewery buildings, housing and the possibility of a new community hall for the use of residents of the village.
Beyond the village and the A350 are acres of productive farmland and, happily, miles of public footpaths and bridleways for everyone to enjoy, together with a new section of cycle and bridleway running from Ward Drove close to St. Mary’s Church to Spetisbury via Charlton Marshall.
Present day Blandford St Mary is adjacent to the town of Blandford Forum, but is keen to retain its identity.