19 CASTLETON (E.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)V, S.E. (b)VI, S.W. (c)XI, N.E.
Castleton is a parish surrounding that of Sherborne.
Oborne old chapel, the old castle, Sherborne Castle and
Wyke are the principal monuments.
b(1) Remains of buildings on either side of Pinford
Lane ½ m. E.N.E. of the old castle, at and near the point
marked on the O.S. The earlier discoveries were made
by the late Mr. E. A. Rawlence, F.S.A., but there is no
record of their character. In recent years Mr. C. E.
Bean, F.S.A., has found traces of structures, including
rough foundations, floors and an oven or drying kiln.
These excavations were made in the Long Plantation,
S. of the lane, and also near the site marked on the
O.S. Among the finds in the Long Plantation were
a British coin ascribed to the Durotriges and others
of Gallienus, Carausius, Constantine II, etc., also a
fragment of early 2nd-century figured Samian. On
the other side of the lane were found coins of Nero
and Salonina, pottery including an early to mid 2nd-century fragment, large quantities of painted wall-plaster, lias roofing-slabs, beads, and three 1st or early
a(2) Remains of buildings on the E. side of Sandford
Road, about ¼ m. N. of the house called Dymor and
nearly 1½ m. N.N.W. of Sherborne Abbey, were found
by Mr. C. E. Bean in recent years. They included
fragments of stone floors and part of a rough stone wall.
The finds include coins of Tetricus and Victorinus and
a 2nd-century brooch.
b(3) Old Parish Church of St. Cuthbert,
Oborne, stands on the S. side of the road on the N.E.
edge of the parish. The walls are of rubble with dressings of the same material, and the roof is slate-covered.
The church was formerly a chapel of ease to Sherborne.
The Chancel was rebuilt by John Myer, abbot, and John
Dunster, sacrist, of Sherborne in 1533. At some uncertain date subsequent to 1802 the nave and N. porch
were destroyed; the W. Tower, if there was one, was
destroyed earlier. A new church was built in Oborne
village in 1862 and in recent years the chancel of the
old building has been restored.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (20½ ft. by
14 ft.) was rebuilt early in the 16th century. The E.
window is of four four-centred lights in a square head
with the following inscription on the lintel "Orate
pro bono statu do[m]pni Johis. M. abbatis de Schirborn
ano. Domini MCCCCCXXXIII"; flanking the head
are shields bearing a crozier between the initials I.M.
and the arms of the abbey; above the head of the
window is a shield of the royal Tudor arms with a
crown. The gable has a cross with a weathered figure
of Christ. In the N. wall is a window similar to the
E. window but now blocked; on the lintel is the
inscription "Orate pro bono statu dompni Johis.
Dunster sacriste de Schirborn qui hoc opus fieri fecit
ano. Domini"; flanking it are shields bearing a device,
perhaps the initials I.D., and the arms of Horsey. In
the S. wall is a window similar to the E. window but
without inscription or shields; the doorway has
chamfered jambs and four-centred head. In the W.
wall are the moulded responds of the chancel-arch;
in place of the arch is an early 16th-century moulded
beam with mortices for the rood-loft and a modern
gable-wall above; in the blocking of the opening is a
reset 15th-century doorway with chamfered jambs and
two-centred head. Reset in the gable are two 15th-century window-heads each of two trefoiled lights with
tracery in a two-centred head. The bell-cote is modern.
The Church, Plan
The Nave is represented by portions of foundations
extending some 35 ft. to the W. of the chancel. The
remains at the W. end seem to indicate some form of
The Roof of the chancel is of barrel-form, plastered
on the soffit; it retains its original moulded wall-plates and some of the ribs.
Fittings—Altar: Reset under communion table,
large slab, probably altar. Bell: inaccessible, uninscribed, probably old. Communion Rails: with
turned balusters and moulded rail with enrichment,
17th-century. Communion Table: with turned legs
and enriched top-rails, 17th-century. Monument and
Floor-slabs. Monument: In churchyard—N.E. of
chancel, to Richard Ferkes, 1601, table-tomb. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to John Shuttleworth, 1686.
On site of nave—(2) slab with incised cross and calvary, mediæval. Plate: includes a stand-paten of 1723
and a paten of 1724. Pulpit (Plate 27): four-sided with
moulded styles and rails, three ranges of panels, two
lower with lozenge enrichments, upper with conventional designs with fleurs-de-lis, enriched cornice
and scrolled brackets to bookshelf, with date 1639.
Recess: In chancel—in S. wall, plain rectangular recess.
Tiles: In chancel—ornamental slip-tiles, set in modern
panels, with shields-of-arms (a) a griffin, (b) checky,
(c) Edward the Confessor, also crossed keys and a
sword, birds, etc.; others in nave, late 14th or 15th-century. Miscellanea: In chancel and in churchyard—
various architectural fragments.
b(4) Sherborne Old Castle, ruins and moat,
stands in the E. part of the parish. The walls are of local
rubble with ashlar and dressings of freestone. The
castle was built by Roger, Bishop of Salisbury, between
1107 and 1135. To this period belongs the whole of
the main lay-out of the castle, including the curtainwall with its towers and gates and the central block.
This central block differs from nearly every other
contemporary castle in that the keep formed a part
only of a block of buildings surrounding a central
courtyard which was itself provided with alleys like a
cloister; recent excavation has revealed the 12th-century plinth of the alley walls on all four sides. In
the light of this it is probable that such an arrangement
existed in the castle at Old Sarum, also built by Bishop
Roger, where there is a space of considerable size in
the centre of the so-called "great tower". At Sherborne the keep occupies the S.W. angle of the block
and though it has a forebuilding on the W. this forebuilding never formed a part of the entrance to the
keep, which seems always to have been by a staircase
in the adjoining range on the N. An addition made on
the S. side of the keep is of later date.
After the fall of Roger the castle passed into the hands
of the Crown with whom it remained till 1337 and it was
returned shortly after to the bishops of Salisbury.
The foundations of various buildings have been uncovered recently and date from various periods not
always determinable. The 12th-century N. gateway
seems originally to have had a long barbican descending
the slope on the outer side of the moat. Probably
in the 13th century the moat at this point was filled in
and the gate and barbican joined up by two buildings
with a wing-work on either side. The property passed
into the hands of Sir Walter Raleigh in 1592 and he
began to restore the castle, inserting windows and
adding a staircase and terrace on the W. side of the
keep. These works were soon abandoned, and the
castle fell into disrepair. It was, however, held for the
king in 1642 and was again besieged three years later;
on this occasion it held out against Fairfax for sixteen
days and surrendered on August 15th, 1645; the castle
was then partly demolished and rendered untenable.
Extensive excavations have been undertaken in recent
years and are being continued.
The ruins are of high interest as one of the most
important examples of semi-military and semi-domestic
architecture of the 12th century.
The Site of about 3½ acres occupies the flat top of a
rise, the ground falling away on each side. The
earthworks have been considerably damaged; they
consist of a deep ditch with an outer rampart for most
of its length. The defences on the E. have been largely
destroyed; on the N. the ditch has been turned outwards on each side of the extended entrance; on the
N.W. the bank has been widened. An outer defencework on the W., semi-hexagonal on plan and with a
triangular extension at a slightly lower level to the N.,
may date from the Civil War. The S.W. gateway is
approached by a causeway. The ditch on the S. side
is partly rock-cut and is from 26 ft. to 32 ft. in depth
below the base of the curtain-wall, the outer rampart
has been made up to carry a later pathway.
The S. W. Gatehouse (Plate 90) is a square structure of
the 12th century, ashlar-faced and of four storeys with
a battered plinth and clasping buttresses. The N.W.
angle stands to its full height but the S. side is more
ruined. On the W. face, the facing of the outer archway
has gone and only the segmental rear-arch remains; at
the springing-level is the socket for a cross-beam above
the gates. On the floor above is a round-headed window
stripped of its dressings but retaining its moulded
label. On the second floor is a late 16th-century
window of three square-headed lights; there is a
similar window in the top floor. At the N.W. angle
is a chimney-stack probably a late 16th-century addition
built of 12th-century masonry; at the base of the stack
are three vent-holes and at the top is a pyramidal
capping and three round-headed openings. On the
E. face, the inner archway has a segmental head of one
plain order with moulded labels. On the first floor is
an original window similar to that in the W. face and
much robbed. On the second floor is a three-light
late 16th-century window and there are remains of a
similar window on the floor above. The side walls
have each an original round-headed window, with a
label, on the first floor, outside the curtain; on the N.
side there is a second window, robbed of its dressings,
within the curtain. On the second floor on each face
is a round-headed doorway opening on to the wallwalk of the curtain; both have been robbed. Inside
the building the gate-hall had a central doorway of
which parts of the nibs remain; in the S.E. angle is a
staircase now having no entrance on the ground floor
owing to modern repair; in the N.E. angle is a small
chamber with a barrel-vault springing from moulded
string-courses. The upper floors have each the
remains of a fireplace, probably all inserted late in the
16th century. The tower was originally roofed with a
pent-roof within the walls; the higher end on the W.
was at the later roof-level and the lower end on the E.
at the level of the second floor; the rake of the roof is
preserved on the internal S. wall and two pieces of
raking weathering on the returns of the clasping buttresses at the lower level seem to imply that the E. wall
above this point was an afterthought; this early roof
was subsequently replaced by the two upper storeys.
The present approach to the gate is comparatively
modern, but recent excavations have revealed part of
the inner and outer abutments and part of a central
pier: the inner span probably had a drawbridge and
the outer span a masonry arch.
The Curtain enclosed an area about 470 ft. by 330 ft.
with diagonal walls across the angles forming an
octagon. Except for the first 15 yards, the curtain N.
of the S.W. gate has been destroyed to the ground-level. Excavation has uncovered the base of a 12th-century rectangular tower astride the curtain where the
wall turns N.E.; one stone of the S. jamb of the doorway remains; at the outer end is a garderobe pit;
adjoining the S.E. angle is the foundation perhaps of a
staircase to the wall-walk. The curtain on the N.W.
and on most of the N. faces has been destroyed to the
ground-level. Near the middle of the N. face excavation has uncovered the base of a 12th-century gateway;
in this period there was probably a drawbridge across
the moat connecting this gateway with a long passage
or barbican descending the hill; this gap seems to
have been replaced, in the 13th century, by an extension
of the gateway and by a chamber to the N.; the
extension has a battered plinth and a portcullis-groove
and had two flights of steps within the passage; the
chamber to the N. (30 ft. by 14 ft.) had a sloping floor
and a series of external offsets. Under the N.E.
angle is the base of the 12th-century buttress of the
barbican; flanking the 13th-century buildings are the
remains of wing-works, also probably of the 13th century, with circular turrets at the outer angles; the ashlar-faced base of the N.W. turret remains. Beyond the
13th-century work to the N. is a long descending
corridor of 12th-century date and formerly roofed
with a descending barrel-vault. The E. wall has
remains of one and the W. wall of two small windows
with round heads. At the N. end the walls have a
battered buttress and diagonal wing-walls supporting
the thrust of the raking vault; there are no remains
of any original gate or doorway at the N. end; between the buttressed ends is an inserted doorway of
which the rebated jambs remain. The W. wing-wall
has a late continuation in rubble and probably of the
17th century; within the entrance is a well, probably
of the same date. The greater part of this unusual
entrance has been recovered in the recent excavations.
The E. end of the N. curtain and part of the N.E.
curtain is standing to a height of about 25 ft. At the
junction with the E. curtain excavation has uncovered
the base of a gateway and tower, with a chamfered
plinth and probably of the 12th century. There are
remains of the central passage-way and 8 yards outward
in the moat is the base of a 12th-century pier of a former
bridge or drawbridge; the rubble core of a second pier
survives further to the E. The E. curtain is standing
in one fragment to a height of about 20 ft. Against
its northern end the foundations of an adjoining building
with two doorways have been uncovered; within it
is a block of 12th-century masonry perhaps supporting
a staircase to the wall-walk. The S.E. curtain has been
destroyed above ground; at its N. end there appears
to have been a 12th-century tower astride the curtain,
and traces of the junction of its N. wall with the curtain
have been uncovered. The S. curtain has been largely
destroyed, but three fragments of it are still standing.
The S.W. curtain is standing for its whole length to the
height of the wall-walk.
The main block (Plate 91) of the castle-building
stands in the middle of the bailey and consists of the
keep to the S.W., with three ranges forming a courtyard
to the E. Foundations of various subsidiary buildings
have also been found.
The Keep consists of a main block, a forebuilding on
the S.W. and an extension on the S. The main
block (54 ft. by 41 ft. without the buttresses) is a building
of c. 1130 and of at least three stages; the walls are of
rubble, and the dressings are of freestone. The main
block has on the ground floor a dividing wall running
N. and S. and supporting two barrel-vaults; the S.
end of this building was removed perhaps in Raleigh's
restoration and an addition made; the foundations of
the earlier S. wall have been uncovered; the barrelvaults are run on into groined vaults supported by a
cylindrical column with a scalloped capital brought
from elsewhere in the building; much of the vaulting
has been rebuilt. There are three rough openings at
the N. end of this stage, one, in the W. wall, has been
blocked. On the E. wall are the junctions of the side
walls of the former S. range and a string-course, formerly internal, with cheveron-ornament. The S. wall
of the extension has a central buttress of segmental
form, of which the ashlar-faced base remains; it is
flanked by gaps probably representing windows, and
there is a gap in the W. wall; much of the masonry
is modern repair. The S.W. angle of the keep with
the adjoining S. wall of the forebuilding is standing
to the top of the third stage and adjoining it is the
stump of the wall of the later addition; this has the
N. jambs of two late 16th-century windows; the
upper part of the main buttress retains its ashlar-facing.
The forebuilding has clasping buttresses at the W.
angles; the N.W. buttress has a door-check on its W.
face. The W. wall of the main block is standing
at least to the first-floor level; it has an intermediate
and a N.W. clasping buttress. Against the N. wall
of the forebuilding and returning on the W. wall of
the main block is a late 16th-century stone staircase
and terrace; the S. flight is complete and the lowest
steps of the return flight; stone balusters from the
balustrade have been found on the spot. The second
stage of the main block has fireplaces of uncertain
date in the N. and W. walls; the latter would seem to
be later than the passage with steps in the thickness
of the wall to the N.; this passage is entered by a round-headed opening and has an original communication with
the second stage of the forebuilding. The ground
stage of the forebuilding has no apparent means of
access. Against the N. wall of the keep are the remains
of the original staircase giving access to the first floor;
it forms part of the adjoining range and had a barrel-vaulted roof ramped round at the W. end where it
The 12th-century W. Range running N. from the
keep has the W. wall standing to a considerable height
except for a large gap in the middle; it has pilasterbuttresses and a moulded string-course. There are
remains of windows, that on the first floor with the
base of an internal jamb-shaft and an adjoining internal
string-course; at the N. end is a small chamber in the
thickness of the wall. The E. wall of this range has
been largely destroyed except where it adjoins the
N. range; at the point of junction are the remains
of a doorway and a window. The range had a rubble
barrel-vault of which the springing remains on the E.
wall against the N. range. The N. Range forms the
N. side of a small courtyard. It is a two-storeyed
building of the 12th century and possibly contained the
chapel on the first floor. It is of four bays with clasping
and pilaster buttresses on the N. side. Much of the S.
wall stands to nearly its full height and the E. wall and
the E. bay of the N. wall stand to about the same level;
the rest of the N. wall is much more ruined. The
ground-floor had a groined rubble vault over the three
E. bays and a barrel-vault over the W. bay, now all fallen
in. In the E. wall are remains of a doorway. In
the N. wall are remains of former windows and openings; in the S. wall is a large gap representing a
former doorway or window and, further W., a round-headed doorway. The apartment on the first floor is
approached by a long flight of steps in the N. end of the
E. range and ramped round at the top; this had a
barrel-vault. In the E. wall are the remains of a round-headed window with cheveron-ornament; below it,
internally, are remains of an intersecting wall-arcade
of which the scalloped capital of the S.E. angle-shaft
remains in situ with a fragment of the billeted string-course above. In the E. bay of the N. wall is a window
(Plate 210) of one round-headed light; the head is of
two orders with cheveron-ornament and a label with
billet-ornament; the inner order is continuous, but the
outer order springs from shafts with crocketed or
scalloped capitals; the E. shaft is missing. Both
this and the S. wall had an internal wall-arcade of intersecting arches of which traces remain in places. In
the S. wall are the moulded and fluted jambs and head
of one round-headed window and the gaps of two
others; these were included under an external wall-arcade of intersecting arches, of which two lengths
survive, they spring from scalloped or enriched
capitals, but the shafts are missing though some of the
bases survive. On the internal face of the wall are
remains of a later staircase and the segmental ashlarbacking of a recess. Much of this wall has been
repaired and refaced in modern times. The E. Range
running S. from the chapel-block has been much ruined.
The E. wall has pilaster-buttresses and in each of the
three bays is an original window one of which retains
its external round head. In the surviving part of the
W. wall is one original window with external jambs
of two splayed orders, with a square inner and a round
outer head. The ground-floor, formerly divided by a
cross-wall, had a rubble barrel-vault of which the
springing remains on the E. wall. Part of the S. wall
has been uncovered by excavation and in it is the W.
jamb of a doorway. Adjoining the range on the S.E.
the foundations of a later building have been uncovered,
including a pit about 10 ft. by 9 ft. and a second pit to
The S. Range which probably contained the Great
Hall on the first floor has been almost entirely destroyed,
but it certainly existed as foundations of the N. and S.
walls have been found and the indications on the E.
face of the keep can be most reasonably explained by
the former existence of a high building of the same age
of which the butt-ends of the side-walls remain;
furthermore the string-course with cheveron-ornament
is not represented on any other face of the keep. This
string-course, formerly internal, and of some decorative
importance, is at a considerable height above the ground
and in order to be a reasonable height above the dais
the hall itself must have been on the first floor; well
below the string-course are sockets in the wall.
The recent excavations have uncovered the remains
of various other buildings including some of a fragmentary character on the N. side of the site and others,
more important, to the S.E. of the site and to the W.
of the keep. Those to the S.E. adjoin the S. range of
the courtyard and include a kitchen containing three
stone bases for timber posts and a large fireplace at the
N. end. Those by the keep include a building extending W. from the forebuilding and provided with
pilaster and clasping buttresses, presumably of the end
of the 12th century. A much later building adjoins
it on the S. and there are traces of a N. wing. These
and other foundations are indicated on the plan. The
roughly circular building to the N.E. of the main block
is probably a 17th-century structure and overlies an
On a knoll to the N.E. of the moat are the foundations of a small building of indeterminate date and
b(5) Sherborne Castle, house 400 yards S. of the
old castle, is of three storeys with cellars and attics;
the walls are of rubble with freestone dressings and the
roofs are lead-covered. The property was acquired
by Sir Walter Raleigh from the See of Salisbury in
1592, and he began at first the restoration of the mediæval
castle. This scheme was shortly abandoned in favour
of building a new house to the S. on the site of an earlier
building. This house forms the rectangular central
block of the existing building with its four angleturrets; an early 17th-century plan of it by Simon Basil
is at Hatfield House. The property passed in 1617 to
Sir John Digby, later Earl of Bristol, who in 1625
enlarged the house by the addition of the four wings of
two storeys with cellars, and hexagonal towers carried
up an additional storey. Some alterations seem to have
been made to the building late in the 17th century and
this no doubt included the remodelling of the wingwindows on the E. front, though these are ascribed
by Pope to the first Earl of Bristol. Alterations in
the 18th century included the fitting of the Library in
Strawberry Hill Gothic. The house was drastically
restored in 1859–60 by G. D. Wingfield-Digby who
added a range along the whole of the W. side and
rebuilt the main staircase.
The House is of considerable interest for its unusual
planning and for many of its internal fittings.
Sherborne Castle, Plan of Ground Floor
The fronts generally are symmetrically designed.
The S. Front (Plate 92) of the main block is of four
storeys with restored mullioned and transomed windows
of three and four lights; the central bay is carried up
higher than the rest of the front and has curvilinear supports and a balustraded parapet; the restored doorway
has a round arch and plain imposts and is flanked by
Doric columns supporting an entablature and an
achievement-of-arms of Digby, Earl of Bristol; in
Basil's plan the entrance is shown in the E. face of the
S.W. angle-turret. The flanking hexagonal turrets have
restored two-light windows with one, two or no transoms and are finished with plain parapets and heraldic
beasts or chimney-stacks. The side-wings are of two
storeys with a string-course, cornice and balustraded
parapet surmounted by restored heraldic beasts; the
restored three-light windows have one or two transoms.
The hexagonal angle-turrets are carried up to three
storeys; they have similar two-light windows and are
finished with plain parapets with heraldic beasts and
chimney-stacks at the angles. Between the wings is a
much restored stone screen with a balustraded parapet
and a central entrance; the entrance has a round arch
with imposts and is flanked by square piers with shell-headed niches, cartouche-panels and a continuous entablature; over the arch is an open cresting with the Digby
arms, a coronet and the crest of an ostrich holding a
horse-shoe in its beak; the piers have ogee cappings
supporting heraldic beasts. The restored N. Front
is generally similar to the S. front, but the restored
doorway has an enriched entablature with a four-light
window above it in place of the achievement-of-arms.
The screen-wall is similar but less elaborate; there are
no cartouche-panels and no arms or coronet. The
E. Front of the central block is of three storeys with
attics and has restored transomed windows similar to
those on the S. front; it is finished with a shaped gable
with two round-headed windows in it. The flanking
turrets have each a square-headed doorway, that in
the N. turret being blocked. The added wings are
each of three bays with the angle-tower; the wings
are finished with a balustraded parapet with heraldic
beasts. The windows of the wings are probably late
17th-century insertions; they are square-headed with
eared architraves, console-brackets, entablatures, and
pediments. The W. Front is largely covered by the
added modern range; it was generally similar to the
Interior—The Entrance Hall has a panelled plaster
ceiling of 1780; in the W. wall is a partly original
window of three transomed lights converted into a
doorway; in the S. wall, W. of the entrance, is the
splay of an earlier opening; there are two original
doorways with moulded jambs; one has a square
head and one has a four-centred arch in a square head.
The Room to the N. is entered by a similar doorway and
has a fireplace with moulded jambs and four-centred
arch in a square head; there is an original window in
the W. wall similar to that in the Hall, but unaltered.
The Drawing Room has 19th-century fittings. The Red
Drawing Room, in the N.E. wing, has a 17th-century
plaster ceiling of geometrical design with broad bands
enriched with running ornament; the panels have
various devices including roses, fleurs-de-lis, griffons,
lions, thistles, three fishes, dolphins, a collared bull's
head, ostrich and a shield-of-arms of Walcot; the fireplace (Plate 94), presumably of the 17th century, has
moulded jambs and square head with a frieze of intersecting circles above; it is flanked by fluted Corinthian
columns supporting an entablature; the overmantel
has a central gadrooned panel with an achievement of
the quartered arms of Digby, Earl of Bristol; it is
flanked by Composite columns supporting an entablature. The Lobby in the outer N.E. tower has a
plaster ceiling of geometrical form with moulded
ribs and devices including a crowned Tudor rose,
fleur-de-lis, lion, sprays of hops and pinks, etc. The
Library (Plate 95), in the S.E. wing is lined with 18th-century Gothic fittings; the bookcases have ogee trefoil-headed arcading on clustered columns, with circular
niches in the spandrels containing busts; the cornice is
coved and arcaded; there is 17th-century panelling at
the back of the cases. The passage, between the library
and the inner tower, is lined with early 17th-century
panelling. The office in the outer tower is lined with
panelling of the same period. The Oak Room, in the
N.W. wing, is lined, for two-thirds of its height, with
early 17th-century panelling; covering the two doorways, at the S. end, are panelled enclosures or lobbies
(Plate 93); they have fluted Doric pilasters at the
angles supporting a high enriched and bracketed frieze
or attic with a cornice, elaborate cresting and heraldic
beasts at the angles; the panelled doors have enriched
mouldings and carved upper panels; in the N. wall is a
moulded semi-circular archway, with moulded imposts
and enriched key-stone. The room in the outer tower is
lined with restored early 17th-century panelling; the
fireplace has moulded jambs and four-centred arch
and the fire-back bears the initials and date E. and G. H.
1709. In the modern Servants' Hall is an entablature
and pediment of late 17th or early 18th-century woodwork, with a cartouche of the Digby crest, over the
fireplace; carved scrolls of the same period flank a
modern mirror. On the first floor, Lady Bristol's Room
in the main block has a plaster geometrical ceiling with
moulded ribs, conventional enrichments and crests
of a stag; the late 17th-century panelled door in the
W. wall has a brass lock with a figure of a man, numerals
and the inscription "If I had ye gift of tongue, I
would declare and do no wrong, who ye are ye come
by stealth, to impare my master's welth. Johannes
Wilkes de Birmingham fecit"; the scutcheon-plate
is in the form of an achievement of the Digby arms.
The two rooms to the N. both have original fireplaces;
one of these rooms, the corridor on the N. of this
block and the lobby between it and Lady Bristol's
Room have geometrical ceilings with moulded ribs,
pendants and devices including Tudor roses. The
Green Drawing Room, on the E. of the main block, has
a geometrical plaster ceiling with moulded ribs and
acorn-pendants; in the panels are fleurs-de-lis and
cartouches of the arms of Raleigh; the main fireplace
has a moulded architrave surrounded by a band of
intersecting circles; it is flanked by coupled Corinthian
columns supporting an entablature with lions' heads
and masks on the frieze; the overmantel has a central
achievement of the Digby arms backed by an elaborate
strapwork panel; flanking it are coupled Composite
columns supporting a bracketed entablature. In
each of the hexagonal bays is a smaller fireplace, with
Corinthian side-columns supporting an entablature;
the overmantel has a gadrooned panel with an achievement of the arms of Digby; flanking it are Composite
columns supporting an entablature. The Boudoir in the
outer S.E. tower has a geometrical plaster ceiling which
may be of the 17th century and has enriched bands and
hop-sprigs. On the W. side of this floor are remains
of windows blocked by the modern addition. On the
second floor, the Essex Room has an original fireplace
with moulded jambs and square head. The Oak
Turret in the inner N.E. tower is lined with early
17th-century panelling; the 17th-century fireplace is
flanked by diminishing Ionic pilasters supporting a
high entablature; the geometrical ceiling has small bosses
and arabesques. The adjoining passage has also a
geometrical ceiling. At the S. end of the S.E. wing is
a stone staircase, part of which has a stone balustrade.
On the third floor are several original fireplaces and
doorways. The original staircase (Plate 52) to the roof
has plain strings, moulded rails and simple turned
balusters in the form of columns; the lower newel is
carried up as a tapering column; the upper newel has
been cut down. In the basement the central wall running E. and W. belongs to an early 16th-century building
on the site and has a blocked window of three four-centred lights and a doorway with a four-centred head.
The N.W. room of the main block has a large fireplace
with a flat four-centred head. The old beer-cellar,
now the billiard-room, has two 17th-century doorways
with four-centred heads. In the S.E. wing is a 17th-century fireplace with a four-centred head.
On the S. side of the house is a balustraded enclosure
to the forecourt, probably of the 17th century.
Adjoining the house on the W. and now forming the
vestibule to a modern museum building is a late 18th-century Gothic Dairy with arcaded N. front with
clustered columns and embattled and pinnacled parapet.
Inside there are counters and shelves of late 18th-century date painted green and white and reset in the
floor is part of the Roman pavement (Plate 127) from
Lenthay Common (see Monument (2) in Sherborne).
Facing the dairy is a Greenhouse (Plate 96) with the
S. front built of finely finished ashlar and the others of
brick faced with stucco with ashlar quoins. In the
museum are designs for this "greenhouse" dated 1779.
The classical S. front is symmetrically designed and has
five lofty semicircular headed windows rising from
ground level and arranged in three bays. The middle
bay containing three windows has an entablature with
dentil-cornice and ornamental frieze; the end bays are
set forward and have each the same arrangement consisting of Roman Doric pilasters flanking the large
single window and supporting a full pedimented
entablature enriched with triglyphs and finely carved
garlanded ox-skulls in the metopes. Apart from a
moulded cornice the interior is plain.
The Museum contains a number of pieces of 18th-century wallpaper from the house with a design in
black, sepia and yellow of Corinthian columns superimposed one upon another against a background strewn
with pineapples and sea-shells (Plate 128); the paper
bears an excise stamp. In addition to the designs for
buildings in the park referred to, the museum contains
a drawing for an elaborate late 18th-century Gothic
entrance gateway flanked by lodges. There is too the
greater part of the pedestal of a late 15th-century cross
(Plate 12) found built into a house at Bishop's Down,
Folke; it is octagonal with angular projections carved
with the symbols of the Evangelists bringing it out to
the square, the surviving free faces of the octagon are
carved with the Entombment and Resurrection, there
are fragments of a plinth with black-letter inscription
and two corbels carved as angels.
The Stables (Plate 143), 300 yards W.S.W. of the
house, are of two storeys; the walls to the courtyard
are of ashlar, the others of coursed stone with ashlar
quoins, the roofs are slate-covered. The buildings
form three sides of a square, the fourth being bounded
by wrought-iron railings and a central gateway with
wrought-iron piers crowned with ostriches. The N.
range and approximately 15 yards return of the side
ranges are dated 1759, the latter were extended to the S.
probably early in the 19th century. The original building has a central doorway with two stone-mullioned
lights over and a pedimented label, flanking doorways,
two-light stone-mullioned and transomed windows with
strip-labels to the ground floor and two-light stonemullioned windows to the first floor; the original
leaded-lights survive. Inside there is an original staircase with continuous string, turned balusters and
moulded handrail. The stable fittings have cast-iron
columns supporting semicircular arcading with roundels
in the soffits containing ostriches. Immediately to the
W. is another range of stables of one storey, with two-storey coach-houses at either end with flat roofs and
ball finials on the parapets, built probably in 1806.
The Bridge (Plate 113) in the park 7/8 m. E. of the
house, at Pinford, is built of ashlar, in three spans divided
by broad projecting piers. The segmental arches have
moulded archivolts; there is a balustraded parapet and
a continuous band of key-pattern ornament at roadlevel. It is said to have been built to the design of
Robert Mylne in 1790; in the museum is a design for a
bridge in the park by Robert Adam, 1767, and another
by the Hon. Capt. Digby "architectus", of the late
18th century and somewhat similar to the existing
About 330 yards N.W. of the house is a bridge dating
from at least as early as the 17th century. It is a rubble
structure, the original part of two spans with a later
extension on the N.E. and an 18th-century extension
of one span on the S.W.
c(6) Wyke, house, barns and moat in the S.W. corner
of the parish. The House is of two storeys with attics;
the walls are of rubble and the roofs are covered with
slates. It was built in 1650 by Eliab Harvey and there
is a later 17th-century addition on the W. The N.
Front has a doorway with moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with the date 1650 in
the spandrels. The windows are of two and three
square-headed lights and above each range is a moulded
string-course. The S. Front (Plate 99) is similarly
treated and has a doorway of similar character; set
between the storeys is a four-light window lighting the
staircase. The E. and W. sides retain some original
windows and the doorway in the E. wall has moulded
jambs and four-centred arch in a square head; above it
is a two-light window. The late 17th-century addition
retains two, three, and four-light windows with moulded
oak frames and mullions. Inside the addition are some
exposed ceiling-beams. The Garden Walls, N. of the
house, are of mid 17th-century date and retain two
doorways with four-centred heads.
The Barns (Plates 50, 63), N.N.E. of the house, are two
in number and are probably both of the 16th century.
They form one continuous range (about 230 ft. long) of
one storey with rubble walls and slate-covered roofs.
The N.W. barn is of seven bays with two porches
opposite one another; the S.E. barn is of twelve bays
with two part bays and two porches on the N.E. side.
The walls have two-stage buttresses. The roofs of
both barns are of collar-beam type with curved braces
under the collar-beams and curved wind-braces.
The Moat surrounds the house and is partly revetted
b(7) Pinford, house about 1 m. N.E. of the Castle (5),
has been entirely rebuilt but incorporates one 17th-century two-light window from the earlier house.
There are indications of former buildings S.W. of the
house. There was formerly a chapel of St. James
b(8) Castle Farm, house 750 yards N.N.W. of the
Castle (5), is of two storeys with cellars and attics;
the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered.
It was built probably in the 17th century and has later
additions on the S. Some original ceiling-beams are
exposed and there is part of a muntin and plank
b(9) Cottage, 80 yards S. of (8), is of two storeys;
the walls are of rubble and the roofs are thatched. It
was built probably in the 17th century.
d(10) Limekiln Farm, house 1,500 yards S.W. of
the Castle, is of two storeys; the walls are of rubble
and the roofs are slate-covered. It was built probably
early in the 18th century.
The Barn, E. of the house, is of the early 18th century.
The walls are of rubble and the roofs tiled; the N.W.
and S.E. ends have hipped gables and on the S.W. side
are two gabled porches.
a(11) House, nearly 1½ m. N.W. of the Castle was
built probably in the 17th century. The walls are of
rubble and the roofs are thatched; there is a central
chimney. It retains its original windows of three lights
with heavy wood frames. The interior has stop-chamfered ceiling beams and exposed timber-framing.
a(12) Lynchets, on a W. and N. slope, to the S. of
Ambrose Hill, about 2 m. N.W. of the Castle (5).