There is good archaeological evidence of a Roman manor at Preston, and also the remains of a Roman temple can still be seen on Jordan Hill, between Preston and Weymouth Bay [see for example Proceedings of the Natural History & Archaeological Society of Dorset, Vol 54 (1933) pp 21-34].

It is a reasonable surmise, based on what is known from other Roman sites in Britain, that the lands attached to this manor would have consisted essentially of what is now the parish of Preston cum Sutton Poyntz. The centre of economic wealth at that time, therefore, was beside the River Jordan, just south of the road through Preston, just a little south-west of where the village church now stands.

Roman archaeological finds have been found in Sutton Poyntz, not least in digs at and near Wyndings, up Plaisters Lane, which have found significant quatities of pottery [PDNHAS Vol 79 (1958) pp 112-113]. Roman-age structures have also been found in and around the waterworks in Sutton Poyntz (which used to be the site of the upper mill) [see "By a Crystal Brook" published by Wessex Water]. At present, however, no clear evidence has emerged of any pattern of Roman habitation or occupation in Sutton Poyntz.

The first written record that we have found relating to Sutton dates from 891 AD. In the 450 years or so between the end of Roman occupation and this date, nothing is known. However, the net effect over those years was a transfer of theeconomic  'centre' of the manor from Preston to Sutton. In Roman times, the manor was unambiguously at Preston, beside the River Jordan. By late Saxon times, a division had been effected somehow between the economic and ecclesiastical centres - the manor was located at Sutton Poyntz, and the chuch at Preston ("Priest's Town").

It is not known how or why this happened.