|The name Handley derives from the first
recorded entry in an Anglo Saxon chronicle as Hanlee, and in 877 it
became Hanlege which meant High Wood clearing, Old English for hean+leah.
Sixpenny is Olde English Sexpene, meaning hill of the Saxons fro
This is a fairly big village and lies 4 miles from the Wiltshire border and 5 northwest of Cranborne, The church is dedicated to St Mary and is of mainly Gothic architecture with a square embattled tower.
Sixpenny Handley were once two separate Hundreds and the revenues each year made Sixpenny the more import of th two, it and the chapel of St Andrew were owned by the Abbess of Shaftesbury and in 1332 Sixpenny itself was wiped off of the records but it reappears in the 16th century along with Handley.
It was bought by the Glyn family and the Ley family known as Alye have a memorial plate in the church that dates from 1625
There is one long street with the church at the top and the infamous Isaac Watts the Dorset smuggler lived here when married to the daughter of the innkeeper and he made the inn on of his headquarters. Albeit the village was about 30 miles from the sea and it seemed a long way to have to haul the smuggled goods, he had a like for spirits and lace and he chose this place mainly to hunt the deer.
There was a fir in the village in 1892 which made over 200 people homeless but the general public rallied around and helped to compensate the villagers.
And as there was quite a tidy sum left over after all the compensation had been paid it was put into a trust where it still remains today.