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Family and estate archives

A short guide to the family and estate archives held at Dorset History Centre

Dorset History Centre houses more than 50 estate records for Dorset. Examples include the Cooper Dean estate archive, which contains many documents relating to the development of Bournemouth; and the Bankes family of Kingston Lacy and Corfe Castle archive, which tells the stories of the family, buildings, landscapes and thousands of people who lived and worked on the estate over hundreds of years.

Family and estate collections often include the records of local manors. Please see our guide to manorial records (pdf, 25kb) (opens in a new window) to help you make the most of these fascinating documents.

Manorial records often include:

  • judicial and legislative issues for the manor
  • conveyances of the land
  • list of jurors and officers of the court
  • rentals
  • maps of the manor
  • accounts
  • customs and traditions

Our online catalogue holds details of all our collections, including estate archives. Please note that some collections are not catalogued, and some others are only partly catalogued. If you are unable to find what you are looking for, please contact us with your enquiry.

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