In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Motcombe like this:
MOTCOMBE, a village and a parish in Shaftesbury district, Dorset. The village stands 1 mile S by E of Semley r. station, 1¼ W of the boundary with Wilts, and 1¾ NNW of Shaftesbury; and is large and straggling. The parish comprises 4,841 acres. Post town, Shaftesbury, under Salisbury. Real property, £8,943. Pop. in 1851, 1,535; in 1861,1,433. Houses, 311. The decrease of pop. was caused by the reduction of the number of families to a house. The property is divided among a few. The manor, with Motcombe House, belongs to the Marquis of Westminster. M. House contains a good collection of pictures. Market-gardening is carried on. The living is a p. curacy, annexed to the vicarage of Gillingham, in the diocese of Salisbury. The church was rebuilt in 1846, and has a tower. There are a Wesleyan chapel, a parochial school, and charities £49.
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 Motcombe 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 Motcombe and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Motcombe in North Dorset | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 24th November 2014
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