Sturminster Newton in 1837
Sturminster or Stourminster Newton Castle is in the hundred of the same name, in a rich vale on the bank of the Stour, 109 miles from London. The town is divided into two parts : Sturminster (by far the largest) lies on the north side, Newton Castle lies on the south side of the river. The two are connected by a bridge. The parish contains 4,530 acres, and had in 1831 a population of 1,831, of which two-fifths are agricultural. The market is on Thursday for corn and on Saturday for butchers meat : the cattle market is once a fortnight : there are two fairs in the year for cattle, &c.
The town is irregularly built ; the market-house is a very ancient building, near which is the base of a cross, on four steps. The church is a large building with an embattled tower of moderate height. The living is a vicarage of the yearly value of £712. In Newton Castle is an ancient fortification, probably of the Saxon time, in the form of a Roman D, surrounded on the south-west side and part of the east side by a vallum and ditch : there are the remains of some ancient buildings near it. There were in the parish in 1833, one infant school with nearly 170 children, one day-school with 60 or 70 boys, and one Sunday-school of 140 children, all supported by subscriptions or donations : and five other day-schools with about 50 children.