The White Hart is the only Inn, of many, in Yetminster to have survived until today. Eight pubs were listed in the Ale House Recognisances held at Sherborne on the 5th September 1753 (the equivalent of our current licensing process); The 5 Bells, Half Moon, Flower Deluce, New Inn, Bell, Swan and Blackimores Head. It stands opposite an ancient thoroughfare, formerly known as Church Lane, at the lower end of which was a public well. Beside that, it is believed, stood the stocks. The Court house only being a couple of houses up.
The settlement of Yetminster was noted in the Doomsday Book. The remains of a Saxon Cross were found in the churchyard in 1938 which would indicate 10th century. Water was essential to early settlements assisted by both the large number of natural springs and of course the nearly River Wriggle.
It is thought that the name of the village came from ‘Minster’ which is a mother church of the area and ‘Yet’ which may be a corruption of ‘Eata’ who might have been the man who built the original church.
Although owned by the Bishop of Salisbury until about 1560, Yetminster never had a head of the Manor in the normal understanding. The village was divided into four districts or ‘prebends’ each run by a member of the clergy, one of whom as the Bishop himself. After the reformation the village became part of the Digby Estate (Sherborne Castle).
It is understood that in the 18th century there were no less than eight public houses or hostelries of which the White Hart is now the only survivor. The railway was built in 1853 which made local farming much more prosperous, being able to get produce quickly to the biggest local market towns of Yeovil and Sherborne. The boom of farming held good for only about 40 years when many of the farmers left the land in the 1890’s depression. Yetminster station does however survive with a direct line service that links Yeovil to Dorchester and Weymouth.