Taken from the DorsetForYou website
The name Broadwindsor, implying chief or whole, is variously spelled in ancient documents. Windesor, Windlesore and Wynedesore are the principal forms. The Winde is the winding boundary and the Ora means bank – probably of the hills. When the Romans set up their tents on Waddon Hill around A.D.43 there was no village to be seen to the north only a few scattered farms. A thousand years later the Anglo- Saxon owner, Bondi held Windesore, and in the Domesday Survey of 1085 it is recorded that the manor was held by Hunger son of Odin. In the 13th and 14th centuries many inhabitants were freemen and names prevalent at that time are still current in the village today such as Studley, Paul and Hallett. There can be few parishes where the same families are still living after 600 years.
Even in Anglo-Saxon times there was a church at Broadwindsor. There is a very ancient yew tree in the churchyard. Six bells are housed in the tower, three of them dating from pre-Reformation days, and with the names of the early 14th century clergymen know,n it is likely their descendants still live locally.
When Henry VIII came to power he raised a local militia to deal with emergencies and it can be read that “In the Dorset lists, thirty-eight able-bodied men are noted at Broadwindsor.” The parish itself was expected to provide” a suit of armour, a bow and a sheaf of arrows to serve the King”.
Probably Broadwindsor’s most noted claim to fame is its connection with Charles II. After his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651 he realised he must flee the country and under a false names stayed the night at the Castle Inn which later became The George Inn where he was given rooms at the top of the house. Then a constable arrived at the inn with 40 soldiers in search of the King, but when a camp follower went into labour in the kitchen the ensuing hullabaloo allowed him to escape disguised as a serving wench.
At the beginning of the 19th century Broadwindsor was a thriving place. but gradually sank into its present day calm. Today the centre of Broadwindsor is a Conservation Area surrounded by beautiful countryside and remains an ideal refuge from the noisy modern towns which now surround it.