In 1268 Henry II granted a charter to Martinstown, (also known as Winterborne St. Martin which allowed the village to hold an annual fair within five days of St. Martins Day. The fair, which in times past was a leading horse market and amusement fair, has been revived but the old-time custom of roasting a ram was replaced with a 'badger roast', during an event in the 1960s. The 80lb badger was caught in a snare and many villagers thought they were eating goose.

After a hundred years silence, bells in the church rang out in 1947. Five new bells were hung as a village memorial to those who died in the war. An earlier peal had been sold to defray debts.

The village fights to retain its rural charm. In 1980, the villagers were 'up in arms' because the vicarage was built in brick. Despite opposition, housing estates have now been built too.

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