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 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.
“an important market town and to this day, market stalls fill the square on Mondays.”