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The Rodgetts and Filleuls of Sandford House 1863-1947

The Rodgetts and Filleuls have long been forgotten apart from a few local roads named after them, but they were key figures in the history of Sandford.  Miles and Mary Rodgett could be called the founders of the present village. When they bought the Sandford Estate  in 1863, only the pottery, the Terrace and about five other houses existed. As well as building Sandford House for themselves, they built the school/church/community hall, (now called the Sandford Heritage Hall), Home Farm, and provided houses for some of the estate workers.


Revealed: the history of Sandford Pottery

Sandford Pottery, with its 180-foot tall chimney, dominated the village of Sandford near Wareham for more than  a century before it was demolished in 1979. In fact, when the factory was built in 1860, there was no Sandford: the village grew up around it. The pottery was a big employer in the Wareham area until it closed in 1966. Forest Edge housing development now occupies the site. Shaw Drive is named after the the Shaw family, the last owners of the pottery.

Holton Bridge

King’s Bridge, where the A351 crosses the Sherford River adjacent to the Baker’s Arms roundabout, is well known.  There were at least two other crossing points further downstream that are less well known.  The lower one is largely conjectural, but that nearer King’s Bridge lay on a footpath connecting East Holton Farm to Lytchett Minster.  This path was probably of some importance to those living in and around Holton, but little now remains of it and of the bridge by which it crossed the river.

Photo of post-war bridge


How the use of the name Sandford has evolved.

The first written record of the name Sandford is in relation to Sandford Bridge and dates from 1597. The first consistent use of the name on maps for anything else dates from around 1800, and applied to the area west of the bridge and centred on Sandford Farm, which was sited where Sandford Lane Industrial Estate now is. The earliest record so far of the use of Sandford for an area within the present village dates from 1855. This use became firmly established through the naming of Sandford Pottery, Sandford Terrace and Sandford House soon afterwards. The focus remained around the pottery until housing developments that began in the 1930s shifted it eastwards to its present location.

Location of Sandford in 1800


Where people lived and what they did.

The Sandford of the 1840s was very different from the Sandford of today. About half was plantation, a third heath and most of the remainder farmland. The Census of 1841 records only 26 inhabitants. They mostly relied on farming, and lived in what are now known as Camp Cottage, Camp Farmhouse, Dibgy Cottages and Keeper's Cottage. These buildings, the remaining field boundaries, and the main road to Poole, which has bisected Sandford since its construction as a turnpike in the 1760s, provide the main points of reference for today.

Land use in Sandford in the 1840s


The boundary of Sandford is not officially defined. The parish of Wareham St Martin and of the electoral district include many areas that would not be regarded as Sandford, recent local plans focus on the built-up area so missing parts that would be regarded as Sandford and, as the accompanying historical articles show, Sandford has moved significantly since the name was first applied. An informal, working definition would be useful to the Sandford Heritage Project.

Present Day Sandford

19th Century St Martin’s Parish

The area occupied by present day Sandford lies mostly, but not entirely, in the 19th Century Civil Parish of Wareham St Martin. This parish consisted of three distinct areas linked only by roads. These were:

• The Northern Eastern part of Wareham including Northport.
• Carey, Trigon, Cold Harbour, and Bere Road.
• Sandford, Keysworth, West Holton, Holton and part of Organford.

The first area was the "in parish", and the last two areas were the Western and Eastern parts, respectively, of the "out parish", so Sandford lay in the Eastern part of the out parish.

The out-parish of St.Martins in the 1840s


1840s Tithe map and census for St Martin

The area occupied by present day Sandford lay mostly, but not entirely, in the 19th Century Civil Parish of Wareham St Martin. The Census of 1841, the Tithe Map of 1843, and the accompanying Apportionment of 1844 together provide a view of where people lived, who lived there, and what they did. It is interesting to note, however, that none of these three documents uses the name Sandford anywhere. The view they give is unrivalled, because for most of the period for which census data are available (until 1911) most buildings in St Martin did not have formal addresses so, with a few exceptions such as Pottery Terrace and Sandford House, it is much harder to associate census entries with buildings.

Extracts from Tithe map and apportionments