OUR friends at the Dorset History Centre in Dorchester have drawn our attention to this essential handbook from the 1800s.

Edward Boswell's Survey of The Civil Divisions of the County of Dorset became an indispensable tool after 1833 when boroughs, tidings, hamlets and parishes took on more administrative responsibilities.

This survey, or the Nomina Villarum, showed the Civil Division of Dorset with lists of civil ministerial officers, magistrates and subordinate officers. It lists 'the county and other bridges' together with 'the annual value of real property, amount of the land tax, of the poor's rate, the county rate, the population and the rules and orders.