The maintenance of Abbey Close is carried out by the Council's workforce. This includes keeping the grass cut, the paths tidy and the litter bins regularly emptied. The Council also looks after the abbey clock, the gates and the floodlights.
The Council has a number of allotment gardens with plots available to rent to enable tenants to grow their own fruit and vegetables. Rents are payable annually and an agreement is signed giving the terms and conditions which apply to ensure that the allotments are kept to a reasonable standard.
The allotments vary slightly in size but most are approximately 150 square yards and rents are around £17.50 per annum.
At present there are no vacant plots but if interested names will be kept on a waiting list until an allotment becomes free. The sites are situated as shown below and can be located on the map as indicated.
The Council maintains various bus shelters and seats around the Town. The bus shelters are located at Greenhill, Digby Road, Littlefields and Yeovil Road, opposite Barton Gardens.
Children's Play Areas
The Council is responsible for the maintenance of play areas for children. It currently looks after nine. All sites are regularly inspected to detect any maintenance problems that need to be addressed and to try to keep the sites clear of litter, broken glass and other potentially dangerous materials.
Situated on the Parade at the bottom of Cheap Street, the Conduit, an interesting early sixteenth century hexagonal structure, was originally a washing place for monks. The lavatorium, as it was known, was built by Abbot John Meere and formed part of the Abbey cloister, it was fed by fresh cold water from Newell water or Coombe stream.
It was moved from the cloister in or about 1554 so that the local people could benefit from its water supply. In the early 19th Century it was used as a reading room for about fifteen years and then as a Police Station. It was also used as a Penny Bank and a repository for articles for use of the sick and wounded in the war between France and Germany.
Today it houses a Nativity scene each Christmas, arranged by the Rotary Club of Sherborne, and over the years this has been a source of great pleasure to both young and old whilst raising many thousands of pounds for charity.
It was given to the town in 1933 by Sherborne School and by tradition boys from the school do not walk through the building.
It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, with its daily care in the control of the Town Council under the guidance of English Heritage.
The Digby Hall is situated next to the Library, in Hound Street, just off the historic and delightful town centre.
The hall offers a comprehensive and excellent range of facilities at very competitive prices. Built in 1972, with an extension added in 1990, the accommodation includes a large Main Hall with a modern sound and lighting system, the Small Hall, the Wingfield Room, toilets and cloakroom. a licensed bar, a large catering kitchen, and a patio area with enclosed lawn.
Adjoining the hall, is the car park with 50 spaces and directly opposite is a public car park (113 spaces). Exclusive use of all the facilities, a combination of some of them, or the hire of just one of the halls, can therefore meet the requirements of a large range of functions such as receptions, dances, concerts, stage performances, conferences, seminars, meetings, auctions, wedding receptions, specialist fairs or markets, local groups, adult education classes.
Grant Aid To Town Organisations
Twice a year, April and October, the Town Council consider grant aid, it has funds available to help local organisations with special projects and incentives. It must be proved that the town and/or the residents will benefit and full details for which the funds are required including quotations, together with a copy of the last set of audited accounts should be submitted to the Council for consideration.
Public Gardens and Public Open Space
The Town Council are responsible for the provision and upkeep of three Public Gardens within the town, The Pageant Gardens, Newland Gardens and The Paddock Garden and numerious areas of public open space.
The Council has two notice boards in Cheap Street located by the Post Office. One of these is for official notices; the other has just been replaced and spaces are available to rent by local voluntary organisations. It is divided into 16 sections, each measuring approximately 18" x 10" and the cost to rent is currently £26.00 per annum. The organisations are expected to keep their section up to date and tidy and are provided with their own key. If you know of an organisation which would be interested in renting a section please contact the Town Council on 01935 812807, or at The Manor House, Newland, Sherborne, DT9 3JL.
The Council also has notice boards in Pageant Gardens, Digby Hall and outside the Manor House and will try to display posters, wherever possible, for organisations not renting their own section.
Quarr Community Woodland
The Quarr is Sherborne’s own Local Nature Reserve, designated by Dorset County Council and English Nature in 2004. Once a quarry, providing stone for local builders, and later a Fair Ground and landfill site, its 2½ hectares of woodland and grassland is owned and maintained by Sherborne Town Council, with support from the Friends of the Quarr, a group of local volunteers.
It is registered as a Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI) with Dorset Wildlife Trust. Its exposed Jurassic cliff faces, revealing millions of years of history, make it a Dorset Important Geological Site (DIGS).
The Quarr acts as a buffer between the town and surrounding farmland, an area of green space in which to walk and enjoy the fine views to the south west. One of the official Sherborne Town Walks passes through the reserve (see Walks Series No. 4 obtainable from Sherborne Town Council and Sherborne Tourist Information Centre).
Habitat improvement is a priority over the winter, brambles have been cleared, a hedge of native species has been planted, and much of the woodland has been coppiced. It is hoped to see the return of the Marbled White butterfly to the newly created meadow area, and for the local speciality, Meadow Cranesbill, to flourish once again. The woodland area, much of which was planted as a community woodland about 10 years ago, provides an important habitat for nesting birds.
The Quarr can be accessed from Bristol Road and Blackberry Lane by the Carpenters Public House, and is open permanently all year round.
The old Sherborne Cemetery is situated in Lenthay Road, it extends
to some 6.5 acres and the record books and maps go back almost one hundred and
fifty years to its consecration in1856.
This old cemetery is now closed to new burials, but use of existing
family plots will continue for interment of ashes.
The new cemetery extension was constructed in 2015 adjacent to the existing cemetery, with access onto Ridgeway. The new cemetery was opened in April 2016 and it should provide burial plots for many years to come.
The Town Council liaise with undertakers and relatives to provide a sympathetic and considerate service for the interment of bodies or cremated remains. Relatives have the option to exclusive rights of burial in a grave space should they wish, and to obtain permits to erect memorials. Staff are able to search the records to identify relatives and grave spaces, in some cases a fee is charged for this service. The existing Cemetery includes a Garden of Remembrance and a section devoted exclusively to War Graves.
Terrace Playing Fields
The Terrace Playing Fields are situated on the southern edge of Sherborne at Dancing Hill. They are home to Sherborne Rugby Football Club, Sherborne Town Football Club, Sherborne Cricket Club and Sherborne Tennis Club. The Sherborne Town Band also has its Practice Hall on this site.
There are currently 2 senior rugby pitches; 3 senior football pitches, 2 junior football pitches and 1 mini football pitch; 8 tennis courts which are let to the tennis club who manage public use. In summer the football and rugby pitches are converted to 2 senior cricket pitches.
There is a new 8 changing room facility with 2 referees rooms and toilet facilities. This building, the Gainsborough Pavilion, was erected in 1999 with the help of funding from Sport England, West Dorset District Council, the Football Association and the Simon Digby (Sherborne) Memorial Trust. There is also a smaller changing facility, together with a clubhouse managed by the Terrace Club.
The Sherborne Town Football Club has its own full size pitch and clubhouse at the Terraces.
Matches and training take place evenings and week-ends and it is a very popular venue.
The playing fields are also used for cross country running competitions and there is a designated dog walking area, together with a large car park for users of the facilities.
The Sherborne War Memorial situated in the Abbey Close was unveiled on 11 November 1921. Each year in November, with the help of the Abbey, the Town Council organises the annual Remembrance Day Service.
The Digby Memorial can also be found in Abbey Close, this was unveiled on 1 July 1885 and was built in memory of George Digby Wingfield Digby. The monument was restored in 1989 and has four bronze statuettes, St Aldhelm with his harp, Bishop Roger holding a Norman church, Abbot Bradford displaying the Almhouse charter and Sir Walter Raleigh.
The Almhouse of St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist are also located in the Abbey Close and are a fine example of mediaeval architecture with a Foundation Deed dating back to 1437.
The Westbury Hall was once hired to the public for small events and a childrens playgroup it is now used as a studio for a local artist.