Fifehead Magdalene, like neighbors Fifehead Neville and Fifehead St. Quinton is named after its Domesday assessment of five hides, (a hide was the amount of land that could be tilled by one plough in a year). The second part of its name coming from the patron saint of its parish church.

The 14th century church of St. Mary Magdalen is situated on the limestone ridge which overlooks the river Stour. The north chapel was built in 1730 to house a monument to the Newman family, one of whom, Richard, was a leading member of the Dorset Clubmen.

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