Winfrith Newburgh, in Dorset, is a little known village which is just four miles from the Jurassic Coast and Lulworth Cove. The village of some 300 hundred odd houses mainly consists of a main road, which is lined with traditional thatched cottages and larger Georgian houses. The village is surrounded by an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Winfrith Newburgh History
This pretty village dates back over a thousands years. The village lies in an excellent position near the River Win, a tributary of the River Frome. The first half of the village name means bright stream. The village is mentioned in the Doomsday Book and was eventually granted to the de Neubourg family by Henry I. It stayed in this family until it was purchased by the Weld family (who own Lulworth Castle to this day) in 1641. The village retains its aristocratic ties with no less than two Lords and Ladies residing in the today’s village.
Winfrith is quite close to the county town of Dorchester and the original ancient road used to run through the village, however the village was “bypassed” in the 18th Century by a turnpike, which is now the modern route.
The local church of St Christopher dates back to Norman times and though it has been refurbished, there still remains Norman parts, including the north doorway. The lynch gate is particularly pleasing, having been lovingly created by local craftsmen. The parish register dates back to 1585.
The Winfrith Riots was an initially peaceful protest by agricultural workers, who were protesting low pay and were against mechanisation. On Monday 29th November 1830 the riots became violet and the local magistrate, James Frampton read the riot act and protestors were arrested. Only two years later the same magistrate invoked an oath swearing law to prosecute what became known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs and the start of Trade Unionism.
Winfrith Newburgh Cottages
Winfrith Newburgh was bypassed very early on in its history. It also avoided the destructive fires that plagued the nearby towns of Wareham, Blandford and Dorchester. It therefore is preserved in all its thatched glory. The main road is lined with lovely Purbeck stone cottages, most of which remain thatched.
Most of the cottages date back hundreds of years and therefore retain gorgeous features not found in modern builds.
Our own Cordwainer Cottage is a good example of a traditional Dorset cottage. Did you know that a cordwainer is a shoe maker and distinct from a cobbler who repairs shoes? Cordwainer Cottage lies next to the original village post office, the bread oven in the fireplace was used by the village to bake their bread.
Places To Eat Around Winfrith Newburgh
The village boasts a pub called the Red Lion which is a real community pub that welcomes dogs too. The pub has a smokery and is known for its burgers and ribs. It regularly hosts quiz nights and live bands.
The Sailors Return in Chaldon Herring, excellent food if you appreciate good food with a small adventurous and flavoursome menu and a fabulously chosen wine list. There is also art work from local artists displayed here for sale.
The Castle in Lulworth, excellent choice and quality pub food and choice of drinks. Great inside and outside seating. Fish and chips is particularly good.
The Wise Man in East Stoke, well executed and delicious food and offers a fabulous Sunday lunch, in a very pretty village. About a 15 minute drive .
The Black Bear in Wareham is good for food all day including breakfast and again a well executed dinner menu, offers cocktails and a really special environment to dine in. Wareham Market on a Saturday morning is a good produce market. It’s actually very easy to get the train from Wool to Wareham too.
The Indian restaurant called the 29029 Sandford road Wareham , is excellent and rather unusual.
The Potting Shed Cafe at Poundbury is excellent, all freshly made Mediterranean style food and locally supplied produce and fabulous value. There is also a superb wine shop in Poundbury, if you appreciate good wine you will love this place. And there is also a small day health spa, again really good.
Durdle Door – Only five minute drive from Winfrith Newburgh. World renowned sea arch featured in many blockbuster movies. Park up and walk down to the pebbly beach, does get very busy in the summer but it well worth the walk. Be warned the return journey is rather steep.
Lulworth Cove – Only 5 minute drive from Winfrith Newburgh. Park at the Lulworth Estate car park (charges apply every day) and spend the day enjoying the village and Cove. Lots of ice cream parlours, pubs and restaurants available or bring a picnic.
Lulworth Castle – Only a 5 minute drive from Winfrith Newburgh. Enjoy a whole day out exploring Lulworth Castle, church, Georgian chapel, formal gardens, estate grounds and cafe. Entrance fee applies, plenty of parking. Special events throughout the year including Camp Bestival, Halloween and Easter.
Sculpture By The Lakes – Approx 10 minute drive from Winfrith Newburgh. Spend a relaxing day taking in the sculptures of renowned artist Simon Gudgeon who has created an oasis of art in 26 acres of unspoilt countryside. Cafe on site. Entrance fee of £14.50 applies (2023).
Winfrith Nature Reserve – just a short walk from the village is the Tadnoll and Winfrith Nature Reserve run by The Dorset Wildlife Trust. Lovely circular walk and bike paths available. No entry fee.
In Chaldon Herring, in August over one weekend, there are tractor trailer rides that take you all over the coast line seeing the coast line from a very different perspective, and on return a few of the cottages offer a cream tea.
The village has a good stocked shop which sells local produce, newspapers, alcohol, lottery, fresh bakery items. If you are looking for locally sourced, quality food then why not visit the Jurassic Coast Farm Shop. The farm shop produces its own meat but also stocks fresh local fish, cheeses, dairy, chutneys and breads – all produced locally, using local ingredients.
Village Park which lies next to Cordwainer Cottage is a 7 acre park currently undergoing a 250k refurbishment. The village lies at the centre of a network of lovely walks that stretch to and include over the Lulworth Estate.
During the summer season a Thai food van sells its produce on a Saturday evening and parks near the church.