Bothenhampton, in Dorset, lies to the south-east of the town of
Bridport and one mile from the sea at West Bay. Bothenhampton was
a settlement in Saxon times and in the Domesday Book of 1086, it
was part of the manor of Loders, it was then called
The village has been referred to by a succession of names,
Bolem'tona (1107), Bothenamtone(1285), Bothehampton and
Bawmpton(1535) and Bauton(1610). The name probably derives from
botm (bottom or valley) and ham-tun (home enclosure).
The layout of the village dates from medieval times. Hollow Way
with its unusual high pavement and Green Lane which leaves the
meadows of the river Asker and leads more or less directly to the
old church are certainly medieval.
Mixed farming has been the main activity since the earliest times
and the crops included sheep, cattle, cereals and apples. Flax
and hemp were grown for the twine, rope and netmaking industry of
Bridport. There was quarrying, brick and tile making and
occupations associated with the sea have also been important.
In 1801 the population was 334 and in 1901 this was still only
423. New houses were built between the 1st and 2nd world wars and
there was a lot of building in the 1960's. By 1980 the population
had grown to approx 1200 and by 2001 it had become 2186 which is
2% of the population of West Dorset.
By 2001 11% of Bothenhampton's population were aged under 16, 42%
were aged between 16 and 59 and 47% were aged 60 and over.
For much more information buy the book 'Bothenhampton and its
Churches' by Cyril Kay, available in the church for £2.