The village

Winterborne Houghton is sometimes referred to as a 'linear' village because it follows the course of the river Winterborne. This was originally a small stream rising in Higher Houghton at the head of the valley. Now, for most of the year it is fed from a borehole supplying the fish farm at the lower end of the village. (Winterbournes explained)

The main approach is from Winterborne Stickland, the neighbouring village. This is a winding single track road running beside the stream.

Please take care - there has been a serious accident at this spot recently.

 Moorhens, egrets, herons and occasionally, kingfishers can be seen along this stretch of water.

With increasing frequency, unwary drivers can also be seen with a wheel stuck in the stream!  Even articulated lorries (probably following sat nav!) have been spotted reversing down to the next village, unable to turn round in Houghton.   Entertainment for the locals, misery for the driver!

To the west of the village, behind the private road to Higher Houghton, chalk down-land rises to over 700ft above sea level.  

Higher Houghton farm sits almost at the head of the valley.



People born in the village are known as Houghton Owls! 


Thomas Hardy on 'Houghton Owls'

The 'owl' motif appears in several places in the village -

For example on the pond seat -



Notice that one owl is winking!


Other owl carvings can be seen in the church and also on the seat beside the telephone box.


  Click here for details of the 6 listed

  buildings in Winterborne Houghton as

  found in the Images of England web

  site; then enter Winterborne Houghton

  in the Quick Search box and click on



Click here for the Online Parish Clerk web site which has links to past census returns.


The village centre close to St. Andrew's Church contains 20 households within the conservation area. There are a further 65 in the remainder of the village. The oldest dwellings date from the 18th century and several have wells sunk to a depth of 20 feet or more. Even in recent winters, the high water table has also resulted in springs appearing inside some of these homes. An example is Michaelmas Cottage on the left of this picture which has appeared in recent magazine articles on Dorset.

This is the view of St. Andrew's Church from within the conservation area.

The telephone box at the village centre stands in front of an old cattle pound that has been converted to a garage.

This is the view of the Church from the telephone box showing the original sign. The present sign incorrectly refers to 'Higher Winterborne Houghton'.


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