Weymouth-Dorset.co.uk Local History


Poxwell, or Pokeswell as it is pronounced and often found written, is a tiny place straddling the A353 on two sharp bends approximately 6 miles East of Weymouth. It consists of a Manor House and a few Portland stone built, thatched cottages along the main road, which were built in 1843.

Poxwell Manor, Dorset

Poxwell Manor

The Manor House, set back from the road and fronted by hedging, was the seat of the Henning family. Poxwell was formerly in the possession of Cerne Abbey. After the dissolution of the monasteries, Elizabeth I granted it to Thomas Howard of Lulworth and Bindon. In 1575 it was sold to John Henning, a merchant of Poole.

The porch bears a date of 1613 and the Manor is listed in the Survey of Dorset of 1625. A date of 1634 was inscribed over the archway of the gateway, which suggests that maybe this was added at that time.

By 1699 the Manor had passed to its next heir, Elizabeth Trenchard nee Henning, the wife of Colonel Thomas Trenchard of Wolfeton (in the parish of Charminster near Dorchester). In 1727 the Trenchards resettled the Henning estates.

The Land Tax assessments of 1798 show just three plots of land for Poxwell. John Trenchard is the proprietor of Poxwell Farm, which is assessed at 40, 18 shillings, 8 pence, and Water Combe Down at 4 16 shillings. Both are in the occupation of Edmund Henning, a Weymouth banker. Weymouth's great patron, King George III often visited Henning at Poxwell. The third plot, Watercombe Farm is owned by the Honourable Lionel Damer and occupied by Thomas Billett.

The Henning Bank of Weymouth failed and so the manor house and land at Poxwell passed to the Pickards of Bloxworth and continued in possession of that family descent.

Extensive renovations were carried out in the 1930s to bring the Manor back to its former glory, it having become rather neglected.

There was once a small church standing alongside the Manor House, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist and rebuilt in 1868, only to be demolished a hundred years later in 1969. There remains the enclosing wall around where the church once stood. Poxwell had been a parish in its own right and was united with Warmwell in 1748. The parish registers run from 1674.

Poxwell Church

Poxwell Church

Just on the edge of the village there is a small stone circle that is said to have been worshipped by the druids. It is known as a Cairn Circle. It is like a miniature version of Stonehenge, being just fourteen feet in diameter. To find out more about this and to see some pictures of it, please see this website: The Megalithic Portal - Poxwell Cairn (external link)

Historical Parish Information


Parish Registers begin:


Hundred or Liberty:


Poor Law Union & Registration District:


Somerset & Dorset FHS Census Volumes

1841 - Vol.9 1851 - Vol.9 1891 - Vol.13

Online Parish Clerk Project (external link):

Poxwell OPC

Poxwell or Pokeswell Directories 1851, 1855, 1859, 1875, 1889, 1895 transcriptions


Nearby Parishes and Places

Chaldon Herring or East Chaldon

Lulworth, East & West & Lulworth Cove

Osmington, Osmington Mills & Ringstead



Sutton Poyntz



West Knighton

West Stafford



Local Attractions and Places to Visit


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