In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Melbury Abbas like this:
MELBURY-ABBAS, a parish in Shaftesbury district, Dorset; adjacent to Wilts, 2¼ miles SSE of Shaftesbury, and 5 S by E of Semley r. station. Post town, Shaftesbury, under Salisbury. Acres, 2,276. Rated property, £2,035. Pop., 412. Houses, 94. The property is divided among a few. The manor belongs to Sir R. G. Glyn, Bart. Melbury-Hill and Melbury-Down are prominent features. Limestone is worked. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Salisbury. Value, £263.* Patron, Sir R. G. Glyn, Bart. The church was rebuilt in 1851, and has a turreted tower. There is a national school. Bishop Blandford was a native.
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 Melbury Abbas has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of North Dorset. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Melbury Abbas and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Melbury Abbas in North Dorset | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 25th November 2014
Click here for more detailed advice on finding places within A Vision of Britain through Time, and maybe some references to other places called "Melbury Abbas".