Powerstock is a village and civil parish in south west Dorset, England, situated in a steep valley on the edge of the Dorset Downs, 5 miles (8.0 km) north-east of the market town of Bridport. The civil parish includes the village of West Milton to the west and the summit and northern slopes of Eggardon Hill to the south-east. Powerstock village contains many cottages and 2 inns: The Three Horseshoes near the church and The Marquis of Lorne Inn on the other side of the valley in a small hamlet called Nettlecombe. The small Mangerton River runs through the valley.
In 2013 the parish had an estimated population of 290. In the 2011 census figures have been published for Powerstock parish combined with the small parish of North Poorton to the north; the population in this area was 358.
The origins of the name Powerstock have not been fully determined; the second part derives from the Old English stoc, meaning an outlying farmstead, but the first part—similar to the nearby settlement of Poorton—is unresolved. In the Domesday Book of 1086 it was recorded as Povrestoch. According to one source, the name was 'Poorstock' until the Bridport Railway was built through the village in 1857, when the change to Powerstock was made to avoid connotations of 'poor (rolling) stock'. However another source states the name existed in its current form as early as 1787. Powerstock railway station (and the entire Bridport branch line) closed on 5 May 1975.
Poorstock Forest was one of the 80 royal forests created by the Normans in the 11th, 12th and early 13th centuries, in part to support medieval hunting. The term forest originally referred to land where hunting and forestry rights were reserved for a monarch or the aristocracy.
The nearby Eggardon Hill (height 252 metres) lies about 1.5 miles south-east of the village. On the summit is a 14 hectare Iron Age hill fort, from which can be viewed a wide panorama of the Dorset countryside. Just over a mile to the east of the village lies the nature reserve of Powerstock Common.
There is also a cricket pitch located at The Weir playing field in Nettlecombe. This has traditionally been used by Powerstock and Hooke Cricket Club. It has also been used to host Powerstock's Village Fete.
In popular culture
- "Parish Population Data". Dorset County Council. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Area: Powerstock (Parish), Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 14 March 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- David Mills, ed. (2011). A Dictionary of British Place-Names. Oxford University Press. p. 375. ISBN 9780199609086. Retrieved 15 May 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Diana P Read Powerstock Station All Change. ISBN 0-9527522-0-4
- Matt Wilkinson (January 2014). "The Dorset drive: The valleys of the West and the scenic coast road". Dorset Life Magazine. Retrieved 15 May 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "THE 20 MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES IN THE UK AND IRELAND, 20 October 2020". Retrieved 14 March 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
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