At one time, Spetisbury had an abundance of woodpeckers because it takes its name from speht - woodpecker, and byrig - a fort. Spetisbury is home to the Iron Age fortifications known as Spetisbury Rings or Crawford Castle (but not related to Crawford Castle in Scotland), destroyed by Roman advances in the first century A.D. The earthworks, known as Spetisbury Rings, was a stronghold of Ionia before the Romans came, and Roman and Briton lie side by side in graves.
The recent history of the village originates from the 18th century St Monica's Priory, which was both a home for several different religious orders and regional aristocrats. Although most of the original building was destroyed, some still remains and forms part of the village hall. ANother important building is Spetisbury Manor. The building, many years previously, that of a local squire is now a large retirement home.
The centre of the linear settlement is crossed by the B3075, which traverses the Stour at Crawford Bridge, one of the river's most famous arch bridges. Built in the 15th century, it has nine arches. Other notable transport structures include a disused railway station on the former Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway. Spetisbury station was one of four stations on the Dorset section of the line closed as an economy measure in 1956; the whole railway closed in 1966 as part of the Beeching Axe.
1. John Hutchins, The history and antiquities of the County of Dorset, 3rd ed., edited by William Shipp and James Whitworth Hodson, Westminster: J.B. Nichols and Sons, 1861-1873.
2. John Newman and Nikolaus Pevsner, The buildings of England: Dorset. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972, pp. 394-395