Maiden Newton at the junction of two rivers, where the Hooke meets the Frome is either a small town or a very large village, which although not picturesque mixes pleasant older buildings with the new. The centre of the village is still marked by the big base of a medieval market cross, although it has recently been moved a few yards taking it out of the middle of the road. In spite of its old rambling streets and somnolent air, Maiden Newton has known excitement and the rare distinction of having a church which bears bullet holes from two conflicts, hundreds of years apart.
The church of St. Mary is basically medieval. Externally the small 12th century north doorway has good zigzag decoration, and beneath the tower the chancel arch has scalloped capitals of the same date, (the arch itself has been restored). Much of the rest of the church is 15th century, including the porch with its attractive wooden door of about 1600. A much decayed simpler wooden door surviving in the blocked north doorway and is claimed to be one of the oldest doors in England. Made in 1450, it locks with a wooden bar placed in stone grooves in the wall. It hangs on the original hinges. The keystone of the arch over it has a high quality medallion enclosing a seated figure. A similar medallion with a horseman is reset over the south doorway.
The Civil War scars are bullet holes from the guns of Cromwell's men, in the ancient north door. Hundreds of years later, a bullet fired from a German aircraft during the Second World War penetrated the window above the altar.
During the Civil War, King Charles I stayed at the Rectory, and Maiden Newton had another royal visitor in 1952, when Queen Elizabeth II spent the night in the royal train, parked there prior to a visit to the West Country. Although the stop was supposed to be a secret, the Parish Council obtained permission to present the Queen with an Address of Welcome.
It is a pity that the village could not have saved the famous White Hart Inn, long since demolished. Tourists flocked to this 17th century hostelry. It had two stories with dormers in the thatched roof. The window had stone mullions and a gateway led under the house to the stable yard.
A Roman pavement, unearthed many years ago, portrayed amongst other things - Neptune in conflict with a sea monster.
A carpet factory operating in the Old Mill closed down in the 1970's.