Manston (with its estimated population of about 180) lies 2 miles east of the nearest larger market town of Sturminster Newton. Hammoon (with an estimated population of 40) is an adjacent settlement to the south of Manston. Although divided by the River Stour, the two villages have close ties and are administered by a common group Parish Council. Together, the two villages comprise around 90 dwellings - several of which are farmhouses. The settlements are surrounded by open agricultural land.
Although there is a concentration of dwellings around the junction of its two main roads, Manston's homes are spread across its 556 hectares, while the dwellings in Hammoon’s 280 hectares are more centralised. Both villages have their own church - and Manston also has a public house (The Plough), a Village Hall and recreation field (all of which are used by the surrounding smaller village all services (such as schools, doctors, dentists, shops, garages, etc.) must be obtained from larger settlements such as Sturminster Newton, Child Okeford, Gillingham and Shaftesbury.