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Melbury Bubb

Parish 17

Date of Agreement / Award

Date of Confirmation of Apportionment

Melbury Bubb



Date on Map

Scale of Map



6 chains

John Martin Valuer

The great man himself made no comment as to the aesthetic virtues of the parish but his later editors were clearly impressed by Melbury Bubb as in the third edition they eulogised :Its situation is pleasant, among old inclosures, on a declivity on the eastern side of Bubdown Hill, and commands an extensive view of the Vale of Blakemore.” For him and them great praise and the truth is that this is a little gem of a place set at the end of a no through road, the most Hardyesque [to coin a phrase] of all the parishes in which John Martin worked.

             Set agains the background of Bubbdown and overlooking the Blackmore Vale this is one of the prettiest of Dorset’s many pretty villages.

Why this Melbury was not commuted at the same time as the other two Melbury’s is not known. There were only two land owners in the parish, the Earl of Ilchester and a Mr Thomas Champion. Neither farmed their own lands directly but the Earls tenants were a part of that very extended family, the Jesty’s, with whom Martin was friendly. The map is somewhat plain and oddly orientated. North is actually facing south west. The parish was home to Woolcombe farm, one of Martin’s favourite haunts, particularly for rook shooting, and belonged to his friend Charles Jesty. The church at Melbury Bubb is artistically drawn but whereas on the original map it has three sections, tower, nave and chancel the copy map has only two sections, tower and nave/chancel combined.

The cross, ‘remains of’, is noted on the Ordnance Survey Map but no mention of it is made in either edition of Hutchins and it’s antiquity must be doubted.

The feature in the Genealogist that allows you to overlay on the modern map shows that the road system to the village has changed; the old lane leading from Holywell had to be rerouted when the railway was constructed.

William Jennings signed both maps [genuine signatures on both maps] in his role as agent for both the Earl of Ilchester and Thomas Champion and records that the map was signed in his office in the town of Evershot. He for one was aware of its history. There are no diary entries related to Melbury Bubb and the commutation itself was unremarkable.