Iwerne Courtney, also known as Shroton, is a village and civil parish in the English county of Dorset. It lies within the North Dorset administrative district, approximately north-west of the town of Blandford Forum. It is sited by the small River Iwerne between Hambledon Hill to the south-west and the hills of Cranborne Chase to the east. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 400.
In the Domesday Book Shroton was known as "Sheriff's Town", and in 1261 it received a grant from Henry the Third, enabling it to hold two annual fairs and a weekly market. The autumn "Shroton Fair" used to be "one of the main Dorset events of the year". Dorset-born broadcaster Ralph Wightman wrote of the fair that "For many years time was dated in this part of Dorset by Shroton Fair. Old men recalled events by the number of months they had happened before or after this event." However the fair has now "vanished without a trace". The name Iwerne Courtney - of which in 1980 author and Dorset resident Roland Gant wrote "I have heard only visitors to Dorset call it Iwerne Courtney" - derives from when the Courtenays (a Devon family ) owned land here, on the Iwerne stream.
The hamlet of Farrington is in the far northwest of the parish of Iwerne Courtney.
A sketchmap of the rural district can be viewed at Blandford Rural District.
Dorset Research Tips
One of the many maps available on the website A Vision of Britain through Time is one from the Ordnance Survey Series of 1900 illustrating the parish boundaries of Dorset at the turn of the 20th century. This map blows up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets. The internal boundaries on this map are the rural districts which are indicated in the "See Also" box for the place concerned (unless it is an urban parish).
The following websites have pages explaining their provisions in WeRelate's Repository Section. Some provide free online databases. Some are linked to Ancestry.