Place:Winterborne Houghton, Dorset, England


NameWinterborne Houghton
Alt namesWintrebornesource: Domesday Book (1985) p 96
Wintreburnesource: Domesday Book (1985) p 96
Coordinates50.833°N 2.25°W
Located inDorset, England
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names

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Winterborne Houghton is a village and civil parish in north Dorset, England. It is situated in a winterbourne valley on the Dorset Downs, southwest of Blandford Forum. , the village had a population of 195.

The name "Winterborne" derives from the River Winterborne, which has its source here. The river only flows overground during the winter, hence the name. To the east is Winterborne Stickland and the river flows on to this village, eventually joining the River Stour.

The village church is named after St Andrew. It was designed by Thomas Henry Wyatt and built during 1861–62. It is in the Perpendicular style and faced with flint.

Residents of Winterborne Houghton used to be known as "Houghton Owls", in reference to the story of a villager who, when calling for help having got lost in the woods, mistook the calls of owls for answering human voices. In his book Dorset Villages Roland Gant posits the theory that Thomas Hardy used this tale as inspiration for the scene where Joseph Poorgrass gets lost in Yalbury Wood in Far From the Madding Crowd.

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