Cranborne & Edmondsham
Parish Council
is a joint council covering the village of Cranborne and
the hamlet of Edmondsham
in Dorset.


Cranborne village lies at the centre of the Cranborne Estate.  It was once an important market town and has a long history - it is the ‘Chaseborough’ of Thomas Hardy’s Wessex novel and was also featured in a poem by Rupert Brookes.  King John was a regular visitor to Cranborne who enjoyed hunting on Cranborne Chase.

Cranborne Manor is the Dorset home of Viscount Cranborne, the eldest son of the 7th Marquess of Salisbury.  The 16th century Manor House has exceptionally beautiful gardens, laid out by the 17th century gardener John Tradescent, which are open to the public every Wednesday during the summer season.  On the outskirts of the grounds there is a flourishing garden centre and tea rooms that are open all year round.  The Church of Saints Mary and Bartholomew is Norman in origin and built on the site of a saxon Benedictine Monastery.  It has an eight belled perpendicular tower.

The village boasts such amenities as a village stores, post office, Doctor’s surgery, veterinary practice, WVS charity book shop, an outstanding first school and middle school, the office of Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB, and a beautiful village hall.  It also has 2 public houses, The Sheaf of Arrows and The Inn at Cranborne, formerly theThe Fleur de Lys, and a restaurant with rooms, La Fosse, which is situated in The Square.  Cranborne is also the home of the Ancient Technology Centre which now has a new magnificent viking longhouse.


St Nicolas Church Edmondsham

This small but pretty church was dedicated to St Nicolas in 1644. The date of the foundations is unknown ,but the square stone pillars separating the Nave and North Aisle appear to be dated from the 12th Century. There is a register of Rectors which starts in the 14th Century by the north door.  The church was extensively altered in 1863 when the west end Gallery was removed and the Hussey Vault in the North Aisle was covered over. At the same time the 16th and 17th Century Hussey, Fry monuments slabs were placed upright against the walls. A new font was put in near the Tower arch but now stands in the Nave; the upper part of the older 17th century font still exists. The north door was the original entrance, the south entrance and porch was built in the 19th Century when the road was diverted from in front of Edmondsham House.  There is a 19th century tombstone near the north east corner, with this delightful epitaph.

Behold and see as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so you will be,
Prepare for death and follow me.

St Nicolas became part of the Quintet Group of churches which include the villages of Woodlands, Wimborne St Giles, and Cranborne with Boverage, the first encumbrance being the Rev Robert Prance.

The Village Pump.

This was the main source of water for the villagers constructed in 1884. The now listed cover was designed by Anthony Medleycott in the 1930’s.  The pump went out of general use in the 1950’s when the Village houses were first modernised and given a mains water supply.

Edmondsham House

Edmondsham House is a fine Tudor Manor House with Georgian additions which has been within the ownership of the same family since the 16th Century .It is built on the site of a former Manor mentioned in the Doomsday Book. The Saxon owner Dodo was replaced by Edmond who was ousted by William the Conqueror, who in turn gave it to Queen Matilda .It, was later sold to Thomas Hussey who possibly built the central part of present house. Edmondsham House and Gardens are open to the public on Easter Sunday and all bank Holidays and Wednesdays during April to October from 2pm to 5pm. This is a family home and conducted tours of the house are given by the owner. Demonstration of the organic gardens can also be arranged. It is also open to interested groups by appointment with the owner Mrs Julia Smith Tel 01725 517207



(as at mid year 2009)

Cranborne:           790
Edmondsham:      200


Cranborne:           328
Edmondsham:      77