Area Parishes

Puddletown Area Parish Council covers and extensive area. The map below shows the boundaries of the two parishes.

Click here to see the Parish Boundary

Community Governance Review 

 In 2021 Dorset Councils undertook a Community Governance Review of all the parishes within the Council area. This review related to the whole of the Dorset Council area and considered changes to parish areas and parish electoral arrangements. These changes included the alteration, merging, creation and abolishing of parishes, the naming of parishes, and the adoption of an alternative style for new parishes. Residents of the Puddletown Area Parish Council area were given the opportunity to have their say via a survey which was carried out in the autumn of 2021.


In July 2022 Dorset Council approved the merging of the Parishes of Puddletown with Athelhampton and Tolpuddle with Burleston. This will form the basis of a new Dorset Council (Parish Areas and Electoral Arrangements) Order. This order took effect on 1 April 2024.


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Athelhampton like this:

ADMISTON, or Athelhampton, a parish in Dorchester district, Dorset; on the river Piddle, 5 miles NW of Moreton r. station, and 6 NE of Dorchester. Post town, Piddletown under Dorchester. Acres, 471. Real property, £1,026. Pop., 95. Houses, 13. This place is said to have been at one time the principal residence of the Kings of Wessex. The living is a rectory, united to the rectory of Burrelston, in the diocese of Salisbury. Value, £200. Patron, G. J. Wood, Esq. The church is perpendicular English, and has a tomb of Sir W. Martin.


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Burleston like this:

BURLESTONE, a parish in Dorchester district, Dorset; on the river Piddle, 4 miles NNW of Moreton r. station, and 7 ENE of Dorchester. Post Town, Piddletown, under Dorchester. Acres, 374. Real property, £561. Pop., 45. Houses, 7. The living is a rectory, annexed to the rectory of Athelampstone, in the diocese of Salisbury.


Puddletown is situated 5 miles east of Dorchester in the River Piddle valley. The village has a population of 1,177 (2001), of which 30.3% are retired.

Puddletown was featured in the novel Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy, where it was renamed as the village of Weatherbury.

To the western end of the village is a large recreation ground, containing a MUGA, kick wall, children’s play area and the sports pavilion. The pavilion is managed by a team of volunteers under the heading of PRIDE (Puddletown Recreation Ground Improvement & Development).

The village boasts a spacious Village Hall, centrally located within the village with easy access.

Booking information can be found at this link, click on “Halls Directory” for full details.


The village of Tolpuddle is situated 2 miles east of Puddletown and is considered the birthplace of the Trade Unions. The village is home to the Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum run by the TUC, St John’s Church, a village hall and Orchard Meadow park.

More information about Tolpuddle can be found at