The Parish of Holwell

The Parish of Holwell is located in West Dorset and has a population of approximately 370 residents (DCC, Dorset Data Book, and Census 2011). It covers approximately 10 square kilometres (or 2,400 acres) of gently undulating, mainly agricultural land. The main settlement of Holwell is focused around Fosters Hill, Crouch Hill, Pleck and Gunville, and the wider area comprises generally undeveloped, small clustered hamlets (including Holwell Borough; Buckshaw; The Manor and Sandhills; Westrow; Hill Street; Packers Hill and Piccadilly; and Woodbridge) and individual farmsteads. Although there are now significantly fewer smallholders and farms than in the 1900s, Holwell’s 10 working farms remain largely non-intensive, supporting a thriving wildlife community and distinctly rural environment which is much appreciated by its residents.

The surrounding landscape comprises chalk escarpments and limestone hills, as the parish borders the rolling hills and valleys of the Blackmore Vale, with views to Bulbarrow and the Dungeon Hills. The undulating land is largely Oxford Clay, drained by numerous small streams running north to join Caundle Brook, with an area of sandy loam at Sandhills.

Outside the parish the nearest settlements include Bishops Caundle to the north, Kings Stag to the east and Pulham to the south; these small settlements are set apart by large spans of agricultural land and patches of woodland and contribute to the remote, rural character of the area.  Larger settlements are a further distance from Holwell including Sherborne 10km to the north west and Dorchester 25km to the south.

  • 370 PEOPLE
  • 10 square kilometres
  • Very RURAL PARISH with few facilities, the nearest town is Sherborne (10km away)
  • Traditional, pastoral CLAY VALE landscape with mature oaks, hedgerows and streams
  • 23 LISTED buildings and structures, plus many other features of local interest, including an extensive network of ancient TRACKS and FOOTPATHS

News and Notices

Please note, that due to Councillor absences the Parish Council will not be quorate, therefore the meeting tonight (Thursday 7 September) has been cancelled.  Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Notice of Vacancy in Office of Councillor  – May 2023 – Notice of Casual Vacancy_Holwell


Livestock worrying is a criminal offence under the Protection of Livestock Act 1953 and does not require an animal to be injured.

Allowing a dog to be off a lead or otherwise not under close control in a field or enclosure of sheep is an offence. The penalty for livestock worrying can be six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £1,000

We would like to remind all dog owners to ensure their dog is on a lead whenever it is near livestock.

Message Sent By

Mark Jones

(Dorset Police, PCSO, Sherborne, Dorchester, Bridport)

PUBLIC SPACES CONSULTATION – Have your say on dogs in public spaces consultation.  The current Order expires on 31 December 2023. From 1 January 2024and Dorset Council will need to either extend the current Order (if unamended) or provide a new Order if changes are required. A public consultation is required for either option. The public consultation will run from 14 June 2023 until 25 August 2023 and can be accessed on the Dorset Council website –  Dogs PSPO poster 2023