In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Holwell like this:
HOLWELL, a parish in Sherborne district, Dorset; on a branch of the river Lidden, 5 miles SE of Sherborne r. station. It includes the hamlet of Buckshaw; and, till 1844, was part of Somerset. Post town, Sherborne. Acres, 2, 356. Real property, £3, 290. Pop., 495. Houses, 104. The property is subdivided. The parish was part of Blackmore forest, and had, within its limits, the principal lodge of that forest. King John appears to have visited Holwell at several times, probably for hunting. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Salisbury. Value, £456. * Patron, Queen's College, Oxford. The church, excepting the chancel, is later English. There are a Wesleyan chapel and a national school.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Holwell has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of West Dorset. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Holwell and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Holwell in West Dorset | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 28th February 2017
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