The local website for the Radipole and Southill Community in Dorset and those interested in its history

Radipole, Dorset including Southill, near Weymouth

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Genealogical Links:

Dorset History Centre

Dorset Online Parish Clerks

Rootsweb - Dorset

Genuki - Dorset

Somerset & Dorset Family History Society

Dorset Family History Society

Genealogy and Dorset


Researching Radipole ancestors is not as straightforward as it is for most village parishes. This is due to ecclesiastical changes which have taken place. Firstly, St. Ann's, Radipole was formerly called St. Mary's and was the mother church to that of Melcombe Regis. In the early days the church at Melcombe Regis, now called St. Mary's in St. Mary Street, was no more than a small chapel and then known as Christchurch.

All early parish register entries were recorded in the Radipole registers for both Radipole and Melcombe Regis. Then in 1605 a new church was built for Melcombe Regis on the same site as Christchurch, consecrated and dedicated to St. Mary in 1606. The roles of the two churches were to be reversed much to the consternation of the then Rector of Radipole, James Marwell who fiercely opposed such a move, as did his son and successor, Richard Marwell.

The register reflected the change in being a record primarily of Melcombe Regis events with Radipole events added. It must have been something of a pain for the Rector to carry the register back and forth between the churches and it would appear he mostly didn't, for there appears to be a distinct lack of Radipole entries in some years, especially in the late 1700s.

In 1927, the church at Radipole having been re-dedicated to St. Ann, once again became a parish church.


Notes regarding research for Radipole:

Radipole lay in the Hundred of Cullifordtree

Parish Registers begin in 1560 (with Melcombe Regis)

The Church of St John (at the end of the esplanade) opened in 1854 and was hailed as the 'new' church of Radipole within which parish it then lay. Most early register entries are for people who lived along the lower part of Dorchester Road.

Census Returns 1841, 1851 and 1861 include the entire parish down to Greenhill. 1865 saw a boundary change of the Borough of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis when it was extended up as far as Lodmoor Hill on the Dorchester Road. Thereafter, this area is enumerated as part of Melcombe Regis, although usually appears next to that of Radipole.

Directories reflect the Borough boundary change of 1865 and residents of Greenhill and the lower part of Dorchester Road are listed under Melcombe Regis. In later years, the directories clearly only list those from the Spa into the old village for Radipole.

Some transcriptions of historical records can be found on the Dorset Online Parish Clerk site for Radipole: Radipole OPC

Some of these transcriptions (census 1851, 1861 and 1871, Directories, Tudor Muster Rolls, Hearth Tax 1662-64, Land Tax 1798, List of Rectors, and Index of Wills) were transcribed by me and donated to the project.

Some are also available on this site having been transferred from the sister site They are:

1798 Land Tax - Radipole

1861 Census - Radipole

1871 Census - Radipole

1873 Return of Owners of Land - Radipole

Also on the sister site there is a Forum dedicated to Radipole's history and genealogy and it can be found here: Radipole Forum You are welcome to join the forums and once a member you may post to them.

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