AN INVENTORY OF THE ANCIENT AND HISTORICAL MONUMENTS
IN WEST DORSET
Arranged by Parishes
(The dimensions given in the Inventory are internal, unless otherwise stated. Monuments with titles
printed in italics are covered by an introductory sentence to which reference should be made. The
key-plans of those churches not illustrated by hatched plans are drawn to a uniform scale of 48 ft.
to the inch. The change in the Commission's terms of reference when many of the blocks for the plans
in this volume had been made has resulted in some inconsistency in hatching. Where variations from
the accepted forms occur the dating sequences will appear if the plans are read in conjunction with the text.)
1 ABBOTSBURY (D.e.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XLVI, S.W. (b)XLVI, S.E. (c)LII,
Abbotsbury is a village and parish on the coast 8 m.
S.W. of Dorchester. The church, St. Catherine's
Chapel, the remains of the Abbey and Abbotsbury
Castle hill-fort are the principal monuments.
a(1) Parish Church of St. Nicholas (Plates 57, 58)
stands to the S. of the village. The walls are of local
rubble and ashlar with dressings of the same material;
the roofs are covered with lead and slates. The N. wall
of the North Aisle and the North Porch are mainly of
early 14th-century date. Early in the 15th century the
West Tower was built; the position of the tower may
imply that at this time the nave was aisleless. At some
later period in the same century a general rebuilding was
begun at the E. end of the Chancel, with the addition of
the North Chapel and a widening towards the S. This
seems not to have been proceeded with and early in
the 16th century the church was remodelled, the two
arcades of the Nave and the South Aisle being built
without regard to' the pre-existing E. window and
tower-arch. The plaster ceiling of the chancel was
inserted in 1638 and in 1751 the reredos was erected
blocking the E. window. The church was restored
in 1807–8 when the gallery was erected and again in
about 1885 and in 1930.
The church is of some architectural interest and the
fittings are noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Chancel and Nave
(76¼ ft. by 14¼ ft.) are structurally undivided. The 15th-century E. window is well to the S. of the axial line and
was blocked in the 18th century; it is of five cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred
head with moulded label and defaced stops. The
early 16th-century N. and S. arcades are of six bays
with two-centred and moulded arches springing from
hollow-chamfered piers, each with four attached shafts
with moulded bases and carved foliage-capitals, some
possibly modern; the first two capitals on the S. side
have also the initials I.P. (ascribed to John Portesham,
Abbot of Abbotsbury) and M.R.; there is also a beast
on the second capital; the responds have attached half-piers. The early 16th-century clearstorey has, on each
side, five windows, each of two four-centred lights in a
square head; on the S. side is a panel referring to the
restoration of 1807–8.
The North Chapel and Aisle (7¼ ft. wide) has a 15th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled ogee lights
with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with moulded
reveals and label and a head-stop. In the N. wall are
four windows, the easternmost similar to that just
described; the second and fourth windows are of the
14th century and of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square
head; the third window is of the 15th century and of
three cinque-foiled lights in a two-centred head with
moulded external reveals and label with returned stops;
between the first two windows is the rood-loft staircase; the doorway has a four-centred head;
immediately W. of the staircase is a blocked early 16th-century doorway with a four-centred head; it is set
high in the external face of the wall; the 15th-century
N. doorway has chamfered jambs and four-centred
head. The embattled parapet has pinnacles standing
on corbels carved with grotesque figures or heads of
men and beasts, the bust of a man with toothache, a
crouching man and a winged monster.
The South Aisle (8¾ ft. wide) is of early 16th-century
date and has an E. window of three trefoiled ogee
lights with vertical tracery in a three-centred head with
moulded reveals and label. In the S. wall are six
windows, similar to that in the E. wall; between the
two easternmost windows is a 17th-century doorway
with moulded jambs, three-centred head and label,
and the date 1636; the S. doorway, now blocked,
has chamfered jambs and a four-centred head. In the
W. wall is a window similar to those in the S. wall.
Abbotsbury, the Parish Church of St Nicholas
The West Tower (12 ft. square) is of c. 1400 and of
three stages with an embattled parapet and carved
bosses on the parapet string-course. The tower
arch is moulded and two-centred and the responds are
shafted; the reveals and soffit have two ranges of trefoil-headed panels; the N. respond is largely covered by
the N. arcade of the nave. The W. window is of three
cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with moulded reveals and label with head-stops; the W. doorway has moulded jambs and four-centred head; above the window, externally, is a niche
with side-buttresses and damaged head; it contains a
carving of the Trinity. In the S. wall of the second
stage is a square-headed window. The bell-chamber
has, in the E., N. and W. walls, a window of two
trefoiled lights in a two-centred head with a label and
The North Porch has a 14th-century outer archway,
with chamfered jambs and segmental-pointed arch of
two chamfered orders; the window above it is modern.
The Roof of the chancel has a plaster ceiling (Plate 59)
of barrel-form erected in 1638 by Sir John Strangways;
it is of three bays each divided into four panels by
moulded ribs; in the angles are conventional leaves,
leaves with human faces and tortoises; in the main
panels are seraphs with stars and angels holding scrolls
inscribed "Goodwill towards men and on earth peace";
in the lower panels are strapwork cartouches of the
alliances of the Strangways family—(a) Sir Gyles
Strangways and Joan Wadham; (b) Henry Strangways
and Margaret Manners; (c) Gyles Strangways and
Joan Mordant; (d) John Strangways and Dorothy
Thynne; (e) Sir John Strangways and Grace Trenchard
with the date 1638; (f) Gyles Strangways and Susanna
Edwards; on the W. face of this ceiling below the
higher ceiling of the nave, are six cartouches of Strangways alliances, with Trenchard, Stafford, Edwards,
Arundell, Orrel (?) and Talboys. The early 16th-century roofs of the aisles are of pent-type divided into
panels by moulded purlins and principals; the roof of
the S. aisle was restored in 1693.
Fittings—Bells: six; 1st, 2nd and 3rd by Thomas
Bilbie, 1773; 4th by William Knight, 1724; 5th by
Robert Austen, 1636; 6th by T. Purdue, 1666.
Brackets: On N.E. respond of arcade, hollow-chamfered shelf, early 16th-century. In N. aisle—on E.
wall, moulded semi-octagonal, with half-angel holding
shield, 15th-century. In S. aisle—E. end of S. wall,
semi-octagonal, moulded and carved with paterae,
early 16th-century. Brasses: In S. aisle—on S. wall,
(1) to Elizabeth Maurice, daughter of Rev. James
Harris, 1796; (2) to Rev. James Harris, 1773, with
winged hour-glasses and skulls; (3) to Grace Harris,
window of Rev. James Harris, 1811, shield-shaped.
Candelabrum (Plate 11): In nave—of brass with two
tiers of eight branches, 18th-century. Chest: of cast
iron with names of churchwardens and overseers, dated
1835. Churchyard Cross: S.W. of S. aisle, square
to octagonal base with socket, mediaeval. Coffins:
In churchyard—parts of three stone coffins with shaped
heads; also small lid with plain raised cross. Font:
Octagonal bowl, each face with two trefoiled ogee-headed panels, moulded under edge, plain stem, 15th-century, base modern. Glass: In N. chapel—in E. and
N. windows, in the tracery heads, symbols and shields
of-arms in ruby, brown, yellow and white, 18th-century.
In N. aisle—in second window, in the tracery IHS,
foliage and the Last Supper, 18th-century. In S. aisle—
in second window, upper part of a female saint
(Plate 16), probably the Virgin, fragments of borders
and quarries with grisaille work, late 15th and early
16th-century; in the sixth window, a double fleur-delis, 15th-century; the S. windows also contain miscellaneous pieces of 18th-century glass mostly in the
tracery; in W. window, Christ with a banner with half-length figure below, much faded, 18th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs.Monuments: In N. aisle—on N.
wall, (1) to Maria, Countess Dowager of Ilchester,
daughter of William Digby, Dean of Durham, and
widow of Henry Thomas, Earl of Ilchester, 1842, stone
wall-monument with inscription panel in elaborate
frame of 15th-century style with crested top, flanking
pinnacles and achievement-of-arms below. In S. aisle
—on S. wall, (2) to Hon. Giles Digby Robert FoxStrangways, third son of Henry Thomas, Earl of
Ilchester, 1827, white marble wall-tablet by Reeves and
Son of Bath; (3) to John Jennings, 1836, and later
inscription to Anne his wife, I860, white marble walltablet by Hellyer of Weymouth. In porch—(4) Purbeck marble slab (Plate 176) carved in relief with figure
of abbot with chasuble and maniple, crozier in right
hand, book in left, c.1200, lower part modern repair.
On tower—on exterior of S. wall, (5) to Stephen Lock,
1774, and Elizabeth his wife, 1767, stone tablet. Floor-slabs: In tower—(1) to William Chilcot, 1691, and
[Mary, his wife, 1669–70]. In churchyard—N.W. of
church, (2) to Henry Bever (?), 1670; (3) fragment with
the name German, 16..; S. of S. aisle, (4) to ...
Richards, 1673. Piscina: In S. aisle—in E. wall,
rectangular recess with round and perhaps quatre-foiled
drains cut back, mediaeval. Plate: Includes a silver-gilt set of a cup and two patens by Daniel Piers, and a
flagon by Paul Lamerie, all of 1748, given by Mrs.
Strangways-Horner and engraved with her arms, and
a bread-knife with blade marked Gillo in embossed
sheath given by her in 1755. Pulpit (Plate 123): of
oak, octagonal, with enriched pilasters and brackets
at angles, enriched base-panels and frieze, two ranges
of enriched arched panels in each face; sounding-board with enriched entablature and brackets at angles,
on soffit, painted shield-of-arms of Egioke (?) impaling
Denham; standard with three ranges of enriched
arched panels, early 17th-century, with modern work.
Recess: In N. aisle—in N. wall, small rectangular
recess with stepped shelf. Reredos (Plate 66): of
painted wood and plaster, with panelled centre-piece
and Corinthian side-columns supporting an enriched
entablature and pediment, given by Susannah Strangways-Horner in 1751. Royal Arms: on front of W.
gallery, Hanoverian 1714–1800, carved in wood and
coloured, mounted on panel with scroll border. Miscellanea: In tower—over W. window, formerly above
the tower-arch, large plaster panel moulded in relief
with achievement of quartered arms of Sir John
Strangways, c. 1638 (Plate 56). In N. porch—panelled
oak post, 15th-century; over N. doorway, panel with
weathered carving of the Crucifixion, 15th-century. In
churchyard—numerous architectural fragments from
the abbey, 12th to 14th-century.
a(2) St. Catherine's Chapel (Plate 60) stands on a
hill about 700 yards S.W. of the church. The walls are
of local rubble and ashlar with dressings of the same
material; the roof is covered with stone slabs. It was
built by the Abbey of Abbotsbury late in the 14th
century and is substantially unaltered. It was repaired
in 1742 and again late in the last century; it is now in
the charge of the Ministry of Works.
The chapel, now disused, is of much architectural
interest and is noteworthy also as exemplifying the cult
of St. Catherine.
Architectural Description—The Chapel (41¾ ft. by
14½ ft.) is a heavily buttressed building with a projecting stair-turret on the N.W. angle and N. and S.
porches. The buttresses are of three stages and
finished with square embattled pedestals; the high
parapet is pierced by three segmental-headed openings
in each bay of the side walls through which the roof is
continued on to the moulded eaves-cornice. The E.
window is of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical
tracery in a two-centred head with a label with returned
stops. In the second bay of the N. wall is a window
similar to but smaller than the E. window and of two
lights, but the mullion and much of the tracery is
missing; the internal recess is carried down to the
floor and the rear-arch is moulded; the corresponding
window in the S. wall was probably similar but now has
much modern repair. The N. and S. doorways both
have jambs and two-centred arch of two chamfered
orders. In the W. wall is a window similar to those
in the side walls and lacking its mullion and tracery.
The stair-turret rising above the main parapet is
octagonal externally and finished with a projecting
parapet; it gave access to the roof but most of the
steps have been destroyed. The chapel has a pointed
barrel-vault (Plate 61) of stone, springing from moulded
cornices and divided into eight main bays by moulded
ribs; each bay has two ranges of three panels with
cinque-foiled heads; the bosses are carved with foliage,
two figure-subjects, a beast and a man's head.
The North Porch has a trefoiled apex-stone to the
gable. The two-centred outer archway is of two
continuous orders, the outer chamfered and the inner
moulded. The pointed barrel-vault of stone has
The South Porch is generally similar but the archway
has been much rebuilt. The barrel-vault has lost
most of its ribs.
Abbotsbury, St Catherine's Chapel
Fittings—Brackets: On E. wall, two square moulded
brackets; higher up are two more moulded brackets,
that on the S. coupled. Locker: In S. wall, small
square recess, probably a locker. Piscina: In S. wall,
recess with defaced trefoiled ogee head and cinque-foiled drain in the form of a leaf.
a(3) Abbotsbury Abbey, remains of church, out-buildings, gatehouses, barn, pigeonhouse, etc., stood
mostly to the S. of the church (1). The surviving walls
are of local rubble with ashlar and dressings of the
same materials. The Abbey was founded by Orc in
the time of Edward the Confessor for Benedictine
monks. No remains seem to have survived of any
building of this period, but there are remains of late
12th-century carved decoration and of architectural
features of the 13th century built into walls on the site.
The N.E. outbuilding is partly of early 14th-century
date and the E. outbuilding was built later in the same
century. The Gatehouses are also of the 14th century
and the Great Barn of c. 1400. The surviving remains
of the church appear to be part of a 15th-century
reconstruction of the N. aisle of the nave. The
Abbey was dissolved in 1539 and the site was bought
by Sir Giles Strangways in 1543, who built or adapted
a house out of part of the monastic buildings. This was
besieged and largely destroyed in 1644 by the Parliamentary party. Some excavations were made in 1871
and subsequently on part of the site of the church which
at that time lay immediately to the S. of the parish
churchyard; the churchyard has now been extended
over most of the site of the nave.
Architectural Description—The Abbey Church stood
to the S. of the parish church. The surviving fragment,
parallel to and 22 ft. to the S. of the parish church,
stands a few inches above ground-level and consists
of one bay of the N. wall (probably of the N. nave
aisle) with moulded and shafted responds and internal
wall or window-recesses; it appears to date from the
15th century and is only 10½ ft. wide from centre to
centre of the responds. The wall was traced a considerable distance to the W. in 1871 and the line is marked
by a row of loose architectural fragments in the existing
churchyard. It has been supposed that the site of the
transept was a short distance to the E. of the surviving
fragment and the best evidence of this was the discovery
of a thick wall running N. and S. on the supposed line
of the E. wall of the S. transept. Remains of the S.
wall of the nave were also found, giving an internal
width of the W. arm of some 54 ft.; within the area
of the nave several patches of tile pavement and two
or more stone coffins have been found from time to
time. Remains, considered to be those of the
presbytery, were found extending to the E. of the
supposed site of the crossing, but the presbytery cannot
have been of any great length owing to the existence
of the N.E. outbuilding which stands some 60 ft. to
the E. of the supposed S. transept. The line of the S.
and W. walls of the nave may be indicated by
pronounced drops in the level of the modern churchyard.
(The date reference applies to the large-scale plans).
The Cloister must have stood on the nearly level
platform to the S. of the church, but no traces survive
of it and its surrounding buildings except for the E.
gable of a building a few feet to the E. of the supposed
line of the E. range. This gable, called the Pynion
End, is of c. 1400 and is ashlar-faced; it formed the E.
end of a narrow building and has diagonal buttresses
and a small central buttress. On the inside face is a
fireplace-recess with a moulded segmental head. In
the stump of the S. wall are remains of a doorway,
perhaps to an undercroft. The gable was restored in
1846. It is now in the charge of the Ministry of
To the E. of the site of the main block of buildings
are two subsidiary buildings of uncertain attribution.
The N.E. Building, already mentioned, now consists of a
rectangular block with a square projecting bay on the
N. part of the E. end. The whole of the N. wall
appears to be of the 14th century together with the
N.E. angle. In this N. wall are a doorway and two
windows; the doorway, near the E. end, has a two-centred head rising only about 2 ft. above the external
ground-level; the eastern window is of two trefoiled
ogee lights in a square head; the western window
rises the full height of the wall and is of two trefoiled
ogee lights with a cusped circle in a two-centred head
with a label; further W. is a small rectangular light of
much later date. On the internal face of the wall,
flanking the eastern window, are remains of two
moulded corbels indicating that this part of the building
was of two storeys; the intermediate floor, however,
could not have continued W. owing to the presence
of the tall western window. The E. wall of the square
projecting bay has a 15th-century window of four
trefoiled and transomed lights in a square head; it is
perhaps reset; at the E. end of the bay are two stone
brackets and in the S. wall is a 14th-century piscina
with trefoiled ogee head and foiled drain. In the upper
floor of the bay there is a second 14th-century piscina
with a round drain and moulded reveals. The main
E. wall of the building, S. of the bay, has a 14th-century
window of one trefoiled ogee light in a square head
and a head-corbel of the same period. The S. and W.
walls of the building have been rebuilt, the former
incorporates a late 16th or early 17th-century window.
The E. Outbuilding, about 60 ft. S.E. of that just
described, formed an L-shaped block of which the range
running E. and W. is still roofed and in use. It was
of two storeys, dates from the second half of the 14th
century and formerly extended further to the W. The
E. wall is ashlar-faced and has two square-headed lights
to the lower floor; the upper floor has a single late
14th-century window of two trefoiled lights in a square
head with a transom. The N. wall has no old features
except a stone lintel in the wall above the later inserted
doorway. The S. wall, W. of the S. wing, is ashlar-faced and has, on the lower floor, a skewed loop-light
and a large 14th-century doorway with a two-centred
head of two moulded orders and now blocked; further
W. are some altered windows. The E. part of this
wall was formerly covered by the S. wing and contains
a large hatch or opening not carried down to the ground,
with a square head of three chamfered orders; further
W. is a doorway with a two-centred head. Inside the
building there is an offset at the upper floor level and
vertical chases in the S. wall probably for the wall-posts of the original roof. In the rebuilt W. wall is
a small fireplace. The S. wing was of the same date
but only the toothing of the E. wall remains. The W.
wall is still standing to about 14 ft. high and is ashlar-faced. The ground floor has at the N. end a single
square-headed light and S. of it a window of two
trefoiled lights in a square head; further S. again is a
doorway with a segmental-pointed head; beyond this
are three ranges each of two single-light windows, set
above one another; all have square heads except the
southern on the ground floor, which has a trefoiled
The Great Barn (272 ft. by 31 ft.) stands on the N.
slope of a hill on the S. side of the site about 200 yards
S. of the parish church. It is faced with rough ashlar
and originally had a roof of stone slates; the S.W. part,
still in use, is now thatched; the N.E. part is ruined.
The building (Plates 63, 64) is of twenty-three bays, with
two projecting entrances on the southern and probably
two porches, of which one survives, on the northern
face. It was built probably c. 1400. The buttresses of
the side-walls are of two stages and probably finished
with square embattled pedestals above the parapet, but
of these only the pedestals at the W. end survive. The
moulded parapet has mostly gone but the mouldings
are continued across the W. gable-end and there is a
series of water-spouts. Alternate bays of the S. wall
have narrow loop-lights and there are two loop-lights
in each end wall. The projecting entrances on the S.
side had formerly four-centred and chamfered openings
but the eastern has been blocked and the western partly
destroyed and altered. The N. face had presumably
two porches and three intermediate doorways, but the
wall of the sixth to the eleventh bay has been destroyed;
the middle doorway retains its four-centred head but
the other two have been blocked and altered; the
surviving porch has diagonal buttresses and an outer
archway with jambs and four-centred arch of two
chamfered orders; above it the parapet-mouldings are
carried across and in the gable is a window with a two-centred head and label but lacking its mullion; the
gable has a gable-cross. In the W. wall is a doorway
of which one jamb is original. The porch had a stone
vault of which the chamfered wall-ribs, springers and
moulded corbels remain; the upper floor was
approached by a turret-staircase in the eastern angle.
The W. gable-end of the barn has four small loop-lights above the parapet-moulding and the central
buttress is carried up and finished with a triangular
pinnacle with a shallow trefoil-headed niche in each
face. The eastern gable has been destroyed. The
existing roof of the western part of the barn is probably
of the 17th century and is of trussed-rafter type with
small hammer-beams at the plate-level; the roof of the
upper storey of the porch is of trussed-rafter type with
curved braces. Within a modern outbuilding, N. of
the barn, is a stretch of walling with a deep plinth,
Abbotsbury, Abbey Barn
The Pigeon House, E. of the barn, is a gabled
rectangular building of uncertain date and in any case
much altered in the 17th or 18th century. The interior
is divided by a cross-wall and is fitted with nests.
The Precinct of the abbey was entered by an Outer
and Inner Gatehouse, the former to the W. of the site
of the abbey-church and the latter some 80 yards further
S. The Outer Gatehouse stood across the road but is now
reduced to fragments on both sides (Plate 62). It is
perhaps of the 14th century. Of the outer archway
the W. jamb and springing of the main segmental arch
survive; within it is the springer of the arch of the
small side doorway, the head of which was two-centred; the foundation of the opposite respond of the
main arch survives on the E. side of the roadway.
The N. wall extends W. of this opening for about 17ft.
and terminates in a diagonal buttress. The inner
archway of the gatehouse is represented by the lower
part of its E. chamfered jamb, the interval between
the two arches being about 8½ ft.
The Inner Gatehouse (Plate 62) stands on the W. side of
the roadway and is now adapted as a house and a 17th
century wing now blocks the W. archway. It appears
to be of the 14th century and is a rectangular building
gabled to the N. and S. The gatehouse itself occupied
the S. part with the porter's lodge to the N. The S.
wall has three buttresses, the angle ones of two stages
and the middle buttress carried up higher. The W.
face was formerly divided into two bays by buttresses;
in the S. bay is a wide archway with the springers of a
chamfered segmental arch; it is now blocked and
covered by the added wing. The E. face has a main
and subsidiary doorway both with chamfered jambs
and four-centred head and the larger one now blocked;
further N. are remains of a mediæval doorway, enlarged
and altered. On the first floor are two windows, one
original and of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square
head with a label; the other has a four-centred head
and is now blocked. The position of this gatehouse
is unusual, the face with the main and subsidiary
entrances being towards the abbey-buildings. The Precinct Wall of the abbey is perhaps represented by two
stretches on the E. and W. sides of the site. The former
runs N. and S. about 80 yards E. of the E. outbuilding;
it is partly built of ashlar. The western stretch is
represented by a substantial rubble wall on the E. side
of Chapel Lane and Rope Walk; this wall returns
eastwards at the N. end of the large meadow (Broad
Garden) forming the W. part of the site. Within this
meadow is a berm perhaps representing a former road
or trackway. The S. boundary of the precinct is no
doubt represented by a bank and ditch extending S.
from the E. wall mentioned above and returning W. to
the S. of the great barn. Across the S.W. angle of the
site is a bank probably representing a former dam.
Various other banks to the E. and S.E. of the village
and site no doubt represent monastic enclosures, and
there are fishponds in Odden's Wood.
Fragments of mediæval carved and moulded stones
are to be found in the churchyard, the abbey-house
and in various buildings in the village. The late 12th-century carved stones (Plate 8) in the abbey-house
include a corbel carved with a zodiacal crab, a small
seated figure, conventionalised flowers and a capital
with a man's head, all carved with considerable delicacy;
the elaborate shafted base in the N. wall of the churchyard should also be noted. Remains of the slab with
indents of the de Luda brass, probably formerly in the
abbey, are now in the churches at Askerswell and
Abbotsbury, Earthworks in the Immediate Vicinity of the Village
The Swannery, dating from the Middle Ages (first
mentioned in 1393), is an enclosed area adjacent to the
brackish lagoon ¾ m. S. of the village. In it are a
roughly square pond at any rate partly artificial and a
duck-decoy, now with three pipes, first mentioned in
Immediately N. of the Swannery are a number of
parallel banks about 48 ft. from centre to centre with
cross-banks forming a series of long rectangular basins,
probably irrigation works of late 18th-century date.
a(4) The Abbey House, 50 yards S.S.E. of the church
is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of rubble
and ashlar and the roofs are of stone slates and slates.
It was built in the 17th century but has 18th-century
additions on the E. and W. Two original windows
remain in the N. wall. (See Monument (3) for the
carved stones.) About 80 yards W. of the house is a
17th-century archway across the roadway; it has
chamfered jambs and segmental arch.
The Old Manor House, Abbotsbury
a(5) The Old Manor House, 50 yards N.W. of
the church, is of two storeys with cellars and attics;
the walls are of rubble and ashlar and the roofs are
covered with stone slates and slates. The front
block and the N.W. wing were built late in the 16th
century; the middle part of the house was built a
little later and the S.W. wing was added in the 17th
century. The house retains a number of 16th and
17th-century stone-mullioned windows of one to five
lights. The front (Plate 39) has a two-storeyed gabled
porch with the original doorway replaced by a window.
The S.W. wing retains two 17th-century doorways.
Inside the building there are two 18th-century staircases
and some panelling of the same period. There are three
original stone fireplaces with four-centred heads. The
S.W. wing has a roof of collar-beam type, ceiled below
the collars. The external staircase leading to the garden
is of stone and of mid 17th-century date; the landing
is semi-circular and has panelled pedestals and balusters;
the pedestals have draped festoons and the balusters
have foliage swags; the staircase was formerly at
Kingston Russell. The S. wall of the adjoining house,
the vicarage, is mediæval and contains a 14th-century
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys.
The walls are of rubble and the roofs are thatched or
covered with modern materials. Some of the buildings
have exposed ceiling-beams and original fireplaces.
a(6) Middle Farm, house on the W. side of the road
100 yards N.W. of the church, has been refronted in
the 18th century.
a(7) House, on the W. side of the street 130 yards
N.N.W. of the church, includes some reused ashlar in
the walls. The windows have stone dressings. Inside
there are heavy stop-chamfered beams.
a(8) Ilcbester Arms Hotel, 40 yards N.W. of (6), has
modern additions on the N.W.
a(9) Cottage, on the S. side of Market Street 70 yards
W.N.W. of (8), retains some original stone-mullioned
windows and a doorway with a four-centred head.
a(10) Cottage, on the N. side of Western Town 300
yards N.W. of the church, was built probably early in
the 18th century.
a(11) Cottage, 180 yards W. of (10).
a(12) Cottage, two tenements, 40 yards W. of (11),
incorporating reused ashlar in the walls, retains some
windows with two-light wood frames.
a(13) Cottage, 150 yards W. of (11).
a(14) House, two tenements, on the corner 90 yards
W. of (13), is L-shape in plan with gabled S.E. wing.
It retains some original three-light wood-framed
a(15) House, on the corner 190 yards N.N.W. of the
church, incorporates reused ashlar in the walls. Inside
there are stop-chamfered ceiling beams.
a(16) House, on the N. side of the road 200 yards N.
of the church.
a(17) House, two tenements, immediately E. of (16).
a(18) and a(19) Cottages, 45 yards and 75 yards E. of
(16), incorporate reused ashlar in the walls.
a(20) House, 140 yards E. of (16), has modern brick
segmental heads to the ground floor windows. Inside
there are stop-chamfered beams.
a(21) House, on the N.E. corner 80 yards N.N.W. of
the church, was built late in the 17th century, with
a(22) House, three tenements, on the N. side of
Rodden Row 80 yards N. of the church, was built
probably early in the 18th century.
a(23) Range of seven tenements, on the N. side of
the street 90 yards N.N.E. of the church, were built at
different times late in the 17th century. The third
tenement has had the openings renewed and the front
a(24) Cottage, two tenements, on the W. side of the
lane 180 yards N.E. of the church, has walls patched
a(25) East Farm, house 150 yards N.E. of the church,
has been heightened and added to on the N.
a(26) West Elworth Farm, house over 1¼ m. E. of
the church, retains an original stone window of three
b(27) Cottage, 60 yards N.W. of (26).
b(28) East Elworth Farm, house 380 yards E. of (26),
was originally two buildings. The S. and E. fronts
have original stone-mullioned windows and doorways
with four-centred heads. Inside the N. building is a
muntin and plank partition. The outbuilding, N.E.
of the house, is probably of the same period.
b(29) House, on the W. side of the road at Rodden,
1,120 yards, E.S.E. of (28), retains two original stone
windows of three lights with labels.
b(30) New Barn Farm, house nearly 1¾ m. S.E. of the
church, was built in the 18th century, except the portion
at the N.W. angle which was probably a cottage.
a(31) Abbotsbury Castle, hill-fort on Wears Hill
(700 ft. above O.D.) 1½ m. N.W. of the church and
partly in Puncknowle parish, has an internal area of 4½
acres and a total area of about 10 acres. The work
occupies part of the top of a ridge, the enclosure being
roughly triangular. The N., S. and E. sides, on which
there is a steep scarp to the hill-side, are defended by
two ramparts with a medial ditch following the natural
contours. A certain amount of the inner scarp of the
outer rampart has disappeared leaving merely a ledge
in place of the ditch; this may be due to either a slip or
an enlargement of the inner rampart. The inner scarp
of the inner rampart is slight for much of its length.
At the S.E. end the defences consist of four ramparts,
of which the innermost, now of slight elevation,
appears to mark the original end of a single-ditched
camp of the type associated especially with Iron Age A.
This early rampart was superseded by a new bank,
raised outside and largely obliterating the early ditch,
and supplemented by two new and formidable ditches
with outer marginal mounds. The addition forms a
complex characteristic of Iron Age B, although whether
these added features are themselves all of the same date
can only be proved by excavation. They are associated apparently with a recutting of the main ditch of
the camp, the addition or emphasis of its outer bank,
and its extension into the new works at the S.E. end.
At the W. end there also appears to have been an
enlargement of the defences, but here the most notable
addition is that of a small internal squarish enclosure
of slight elevation, with a ditch cutting through the
main ramparts of the camp. It has been conjectured
to represent a Roman signal-post, but there is no
evidence. Immediately N. of this point a modern pathway enters the camp, but the opening near the middle
of the N.W. rampart may be an original postern.
There would appear to have been only one original
main entrance, along the N.E. side at the S.E. end,
where the (extended) main rampart forms an elbow to
flank the approach.
Within the enclosure is a mound of 40 ft. diam. and
5 ft. high, and with traces of a surrounding ditch. There
has been some disturbance at the top. To the E. and
N.E. of this mound are traces of a number of huthollows, which are, with one exception, all about
20 ft. in diam. and surrounded by slight banks. The
exception is about 15 ft. in diam. Loose stones on the
surface may indicate former walling.
a and b(32) Barrows, on or near the ridgeway running along Wears Hill and White Hill on the N. side
of the parish, form three groups. The first group
consists of seven barrows with a possible outlier to the
S. The most westerly (a), bowl barrow, ¼ m. E.S.E. of
Abbotsbury Castle, is 31 ft. in diam. and 4 ft. high with
traces of a ditch; (b), 40 yards to the N.W., is shown on
the O.S. but is not now visible; (c), 27 yards S.E. of
(a), is 15 ft. in diam. and 1 ft. high; (d), bowl barrow,
120 yards E. of (a), is 42 ft. in diam. and 5 ft. high; the
middle has been disturbed; (e), 10 yards N. of (d), is
12 ft. in diam. and 1 ft. high; the middle has been disturbed; (f), 43 yards E. of (d), is 12 ft. in diam. and 1 ft.
high; (g), 17 yards N.E. of (f), is nearly obliterated but
was about 30 to 40 ft. in diam. The outlier (h) is
280 yards S.S.W. of (a) and is marked on the O.S. but
is perhaps a natural mound; it is 86 ft. in diam. and
4 ft. high. The second group consists of three barrows
with an outlier to the W. The outlier (a), bowl barrow,
1,020 yards E. of Abbotsbury Castle, is 42 ft. in diam.
and 4½ ft. high and has been disturbed in the middle;
(b), bowl barrow, 3 2 5 yards E. of (a), is 49 ft. in diam.
and 4 ft. high; (c), bowl barrow, 40 yards E. of (b), is
39 ft. in diam. and 2½ ft. high and has been much disturbed; (d), bowl barrow, 50 yards E.N.E. of (c), is
44 ft. in diam. and 4½ ft. high with traces of a ditch.
The third group consists of six barrows; (a), nearly
1¼ m. E. of Abbotsbury Castle, is 45 ft. in diam. and
7 ft. high; (b), probably a barrow, 22 yards E. of (a), is
20 ft. in diam. and 1½ ft. high; (c), bowl barrow, 150
yards N.E. of (b), is 42 ft. in diam. and 3 ft. high;
(d), 65 yards N.N.E. of (c), is 27 ft. in diam. and 1 ft.
high; (e), 220 yards N. of (a), is 25 ft. in diam. and
6 in. high; (f), 60 yards W. of (e), is 38 ft. in diam. and
1 ft. high.
a(33) Dyke on Wears Hill, ¾ m. N.N.W. of the
church, is nearly 300 yards long, aligned approximately
N. and S., cutting across the ridge. The bank is about
2 ft. high with a ditch on the W. 1½ ft. deep, overall
width 23 ft. The S. end curves slightly to the E., the
rest is straight.
a(34) Barrow, 1,050 yards S.S.W. of the church, is
about 16 ft. in diam. and 1½ ft. high.
b(35) Barrow, 1½m. S.E. of the church, is 27ft. in
diam. and ¾ ft. high.
a(36) Lynchets on Chapel Hill, 700 yards S.W. of
the church, almost entirely surround the hill. The
width of the terraces varies from 6 to 25 yards.
a(37) Lynchets, on the S. slope, S. of Stavordale
Wood and ¾ m. W.S.W. of the church, extend for about
600 yards, with terraces from 4 to 17 yards wide.
b(38) Lynchets, in two systems, E. of Rodden and
towards the E. end of the parish. The strips are from
8 to 32 yards wide and 120 to 140 yards long.
a(39) Lynchets, on the S. slope of White Hill, N.
of the village, form no regular system and may be in