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Key: 9. F.S. Horan setting the world record 10. School built 1856 11. Schoolchildren 1896 12. Scott Arms (formerly Eldon arms)
The village retains its pub, now called the Scott Arms , but the school closed over 50 years ago and the post office over a decade ago. The Scott Family ended its 186 year ownership of the Encombe Estate back in 1994 and it is now in the hands of airline tycoon James Gaggero.
The old church, for a while used as the village hall, is now a private residence. Neither the old or new vicarages are home to any clergy as Kingston now falls within a combined benefice of three parishes with a Priest-
The reading room now provides office accommodation for letting agents, architects and an Estate administrator.
By 2004 the population had fallen to 100 and has since fallen further as Estate cottages have been privately purchased and let as holiday homes.
The village website is continually evolving and includes a wealth of genealogical information, census records, parish register transcriptions, probate records etc. along with features on families, photographs, old postcard views, local history etc. There is a facebook group with over 100 members which continually yields more information about Kingston of yesteryear.
Kingston is just one of over 1,800 places on the free Register of One-
Researching an ancestral village:
Kingston in Purbeck
Welcome to One-
This is where the spotlight can be shone on individual studies, individual one-
Saturday 14 February 2015
Many of us have a special attachment to a place where we once lived or our ancestors once lived. Making that place the subject of a one-
Nine years ago I started a One-
Kingston is a great example of a small estate village, the extent and layout of which has remained relatively unchanged over the last century. It is renowned for its Romanesque ‘Cathedral of Purbeck’, designed by G. E. Street, which remained a private family chapel for over 40 years. Originally a chapelry of Corfe Castle, Kingston became an ecclesiastical parish in its own right in 1877, but still forms part of Corfe Castle parish for local government purposes. Almost all buildings are built from stone quarried locally and most are now listed. Kingston is of particular interest to me being home to my ancestral family for more than a century.
The cottages where my 4 x great grandfather was living in 1845
Movers and shapers:
Key: 1. William Morton Pitt 2. John Scott, First Earl of Eldon 3. John Scott, Third Earl of Eldon 4. Rev. Spencer-
William Morton Pitt M.P. (1754-
When philanthropist Pitt  became lord of the manor towards the end of the 18th century the villagers were in considerable poverty and were reliant on smuggling and wrecking (deliberately causing ships to run aground in nearby Chapman’s Pool). He put an end to this by rebuilding the village just west of its former location and providing employment for men, women and children in a new sailcloth and rope manufactory. He established a school (supported by subscription), a Sunday school and a poor house (without any windows overlooking the street!). Unfortunately his investment in the village almost made him bankrupt and he was forced to sell the Estate in 1807.
John Scott, First Earl of Eldon (1751-
The next owner was John Scott , the son of a Newcastle coal-
In 1833 he replaced the decaying chapel-
John Scott, Third Earl of Eldon (1845-
The Third Earl  was great-
The villagers led a hard but happy life. There would be concerts in the winter and open-
Although busy, the village always looked lovely. The Third Earl supplied rose-
There was a new school  and master’s house, erected in 1856 in memory of the Third Earl’s parents. There were two communal bake-
Key: 5. Old Church built 1833 6. Old Vicarage 7. New Vicarage 8. New Church built 1880
Unfortunately, the Third Earl became infatuated with the wife of a minister, constantly visiting her at the vicarage  or inviting the minister and his wife to Encombe. He then built a very substantial new vicarage  on the edge of the village so that he could visit more often away from the prying eyes of villagers. However, word of this reached the Bishop who arranged for the Earl to be disbarred from the House of Lords. The Earl petitioned Queen Victoria who instructed that he should be readmitted. The Bishop then did the sensible thing and moved the minister to another living. Not only this, he persuaded the Earl that he should build a very ornate private chapel as a public show of remorse.
Cathedral of Purbeck
The architect for both the new vicarage and new chapel  was George Edmund Street, with work on the latter starting in 1874. When the new church was completed in 1880, the Earl gave the Estate employees a holiday on Good Friday, on the strict understanding they attended the morning service! The new church remained a private family chapel for over 40 years and the estate workers spring-
Rev. Spencer Compton Spencer-
The Third Earl was a keen sportsman and a good shot. A small pack of hounds was kept and the local gentry brought their horses and grooms to Encombe two or three times a week during the hunting season. The Earl had one cricket team and the Rev. Spencer-
While on the subject of sport, the Vicar of Kingston from 1932 to 1938 was Revd. F. S. Horan, known to his family and friends as Seymour. While studying for his theological degree at Cambridge in 1895, his name hit the world headlines. He had taken up running, and he was “by far the best runner at all distances that ever went up to the ‘Varsity games. Indeed, no Oxford or Cambridge man ever ran the three miles inside of 15:00, yet Mr. Horan had on half a dozen different occasions beaten those figures, as well as reeling off the mile well inside 4:23.” Picture  below shows him winning the three mile race in 1895 and setting the then world record. Seymour was a man of charming character, earnest and highly esteemed, especially in Royal circles having taught two future Kings at Osborne: Edward VIII (who abdicated) and George VI.
A new beginning
The turn of the century brought new hopes and new-
When war came in August 1914 the Third Earl gave orders that every man entering the services would have their job back when they returned from service. Sadly thirteen men connected with the village did not return and they are commemorated on a memorial plaque in the new church.
After the war an ex-
In 1921 the Third Earl finally conveyed the new church to the Church Commissioners – it had remained as a private chapel for over 40 years. The Third Earl died in 1926 and the Estate passed to his son, Sir Ernest Scott.
In the mid 1930’s Rev. Horan persuaded Sir Ernest to allow a Church Fête and Flower Show to be held at Encombe House. It was a great success and repeated for many years. Rev. Horan also secured permission to turn the old church into a village hall and a number of plays were broadcast on BBC radio from there. Rev. Horan and his wife also started up Scouts, Cubs and Brownie groups and a Women’s Institute which flourished for many years.
In 1939, 94 children and their teachers were evacuated from London to Kingston and 25 children were evacuated from Southampton the following year. One evacuee is still in contact today. Twenty men from Kingston formed the Home Guard armed initially only with sticks. All iron work and railings were removed from the estate to help the war effort. Three men connected with Kingston were killed.
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