The parish church of St Mary Magdalen

The Parish Church, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene after whom the village is named, dates mostly from the 14th century. However its most striking feature is the small "Newman chapel" built onto the north side of the nave in 1693. The chapel was built by Sir Richard Newman of Fifehead, Preston Hall and Evercreech (1676 - 1721), a member of the Newman family which held the Fifehead manorial estates for almost 250 years from c.1530 until 1775. The chapel contains three memorials:

A small plaque mounted on the west wall, dedicated to Richard Newman (1651 - 1683), father of Sir Richard;

A large plaque mounted on the east wall, dedicated to Sir Richard's great grandfather, Thomas Newman of Fifehead (c.1560 – 1649) and to his grandfather Richard Newman of Fifehead (1584 – 1664);

  • A large funerary monument mounted on the north wall, dedicated to Sir Richard, his wife Frances and his son, Sir Samwell Newman and three daughters, Frances, Barbara and Elizabeth. This magnificent monument was created by the famous Westminster sculptor Sir Henry Cheere sometime after Sir Samwell Newman's death in 1747.
In the churchyard, nearby the entrance gate, is the tombstone of Thomas Newman who died in April 1668, believed to be the great-uncle of Sir Richard Newman.          

Percy Buckman (1865 - 1948) a noted  landscape and portrait painter (in oil and watercolour), miniaturist, etcher and author on art miniatures. He was born in Bradford Abbas, Dorset 31 Oct. 1865, son of James B., Professor of Geology and Botany, and Julia Sophia Savory, who died shortly thereafter; he studied art at the Royal Academy schools and exhibited there from 1886-1937; he was elected to RMS 1920; during 1892-3 he joined Newberry and Carter as an artist at Beni Hasan and other sites; he was employed as an art master at the Goldsmiths Institute which from 1904 became Goldsmiths College of the University of London until Dec. 1930; his work was published in Beni Hasan IV, 1900 and several of his watercolours are preserved in The Egypt Exploration Society. Exhibited from 1894, 31 works at the Royal Academy, 21 at the Royal Institute, and 72 at the MRM. Lived in London from 1894.   He designed a series of stamps in 1918. Author & illustrator of ‘Arcadian Life,’ 1891.
Co-author & illustrator for ‘The Art of the Miniature Painter’1926. 
He died at Tonbridge, Kent 4 June 1948.
Buckman's link to our church is his beautifully crafted stained glass window that may be viewed in the wall adjacent to the organ.
Views in and around the church.
For further infromation see the website for the Church of England in the Stour Vale Benefice - 8 villages in the Blackmore Vale in Dorset, in Salisbury Diocese.

A number of fund raising activities take place through the year to support the church:
Harvest Festival flower arrangements.

Fund raising Garden Party.

Click on the picture below to see more storm damage photographs