31 CHILCOMBE (C.e.)
(O.S. 6 in. XXXVIII, S.E.)
Chilcombe is a small parish 4 m. E. of Bridport.
The church and the hill-fort are the principal monuments.
(1) Parish Church (dedication unknown) stands
in the middle of the parish. The walls are of local
rubble, cement-rendered on the E. and S., with dressings
of the same material; the roofs are covered with slates
and stone slates. The S. wall of the Nave dates from
the 12th century and the Chancel is probably of the
same period. The chancel-arch was rebuilt late in
the 14th century and the N. and W. sides of the nave
were perhaps rebuilt in the 15th century. The South
Porch is of 18th-century or modern date. The church
has been restored in modern times.
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel (11¾ ft. by
11 ft.) has an early 15th-century E. window of two
cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with moulded reveals. In the N. wall
is a window of one trefoiled light entirely modern
externally. In the S. wall is an early 15th-century
window of two trefoiled lights with vertical tracery
in a two-centred head with a label. The late 14th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two continuous moulded orders.
The Nave (21¼ ft. by 14¾ ft.) has, in the N. wall, two
windows, the eastern of uncertain date and of one
trefoiled light with a modern head; the western
window is similar to the S. window in the chancel, but
has no label and no cusps to the heads of the lights,
which may have been cut away; further W. are the
jambs of a destroyed doorway. In the S. wall is a
modern window; the W. part of the wall is thicker
than the E. part and in it is the partly restored late
12th-century S. doorway; it has chamfered jambs and
a later round arch; above it is a plastered arch resting
on reset scalloped capitals. The late 14th-century W.
window is of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil
in a two-centred head with moulded external reveals.
On the W. gable is a stone bell-cote.
Fittings—Bell: dated 1636. Brasses: see Monuments (1), (5), (6), (7). Chair: In chancel—with
turned legs, shaped arms and back with the initials
and date R.B., 1642. Font: round bowl with chamfered edge, band of herring-bone cable decoration on
curved underside and band of conventional scallops
or gadroons enclosing flowers or leaves, late 12th-century, stem and base modern. Glass: In head of
E. window—yellow crown, 15th-century. In nave, in
S. wall, E. window, two memorial lights containing
figures of St. Peter and St. Paul under elaborate canopies,
with I.H.S. in the tracery, to Jane, daughter of John
and Elizabeth Strong, 1777, and John their son, 1787;
on St. Paul's sword is the signature and date J. Bell,
1852. Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In
chancel—on N. wall, (1) to Henry Michell, 1662,
freestone tablet, with brass plate signed John Bishop
and Richard Medway, with rusticated side-pilasters,
round arch and panel above with sword and banner,
one shield-of-arms. In nave—on E. wall, (2) to John
Bishop, 1682–3, freestone cartouche (Plate 20) with
scrolls and achievement-of-arms; on N. wall, (3) to
John Strong, 1819, and Elizabeth his wife, 1802, white
marble wall-tablet with cornice, urn and shield-of-arms,
by King, London; (4) to Robert Strong, 1844,
Elizabeth his wife, 1845, and Mary their daughter,
1850, white marble wall-tablet with shield-of-arms,
In churchyard—S. of the church, (5) to Robert Strong,
1844, table-tomb with brass plate; (6) to John Strong,
1819, and Elizabeth his wife, 1802, table-tomb with
brass plate; (7) to Henry Marsh, 1807, and John Marsh
his nephew, 1807, table-tomb with brass plate engraved
with shield-of-arms. Floor-slab: In chancel—to [E.
Waddon], 1692–3. Piscina: In chancel—recess with
moulded jambs and trefoiled head, round drain,
early 14th-century. Plate: includes a cup and paten,
the former with the engraved date 1673 and a shield-of-arms of Bishop. Reredos: In chancel—in panelled
wood with the Crucifixion in middle panel, Annunciation above, Flagellation and Resurrection at sides, in
poker-work and incised technique, foreign, perhaps
17th-century. Royal Arms: over S. door, wood
gilded, Hanoverian before 1801. Miscellanea: In nave—
tapering cylindrical stone (22 in. in diam.) with raised
rolls or bands and central drain-hole, possibly early
font with sides of bowl cut away, broad end roughly
cut but with remains of border where wall of bowl may
have been cut away.
(2) Manor House, immediately W. of the church,
is of two storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs
are thatched. It was largely rebuilt in 1578, but
incorporates earlier work. The N. and S. doorways
are perhaps mediæval and have chamfered jambs and
two-centred arches; above the S. doorway is a stone
inscribed "Anno Dni. 1578 John Bysshop, Elnor
Bysshop". Further W. is a 16th-century window of
four lights with a label. An addition to the late 18th-century farmhouse incorporates some 17th-century
windows. The old building was in course of
demolition in 1939.
(3) Hill Fort, on the top of Chilcombe Hill (650 ft.
above O.D.) at the N. end of the parish, has an internal
area of 19 acres and a total area of 23½ acres. The
work consists of an irregular pear-shaped enclosure
surrounded by a ditch with inner and outer ramparts.
Along the S.E. side the defence now consists of two
scarps with a small ledge between them, but presumably
the former defences along this side were the same as
those of the rest of the work. The defences are of
very slight character and there remain no traces of huts
in the enclosure. There appear to be three entrances,
one on the E. side, the second 70 yards S.S.W. of the
N.W. angle, the third (more doubtful) an oblique
passage to the E. of the S. corner. In the middle of
the W. side a sharp kink suggests a change of plan
Chilcombe Hill in the Parish of Chilcombe
Within the enclosure and nearly adjoining the N.
rampart is a mound (a), probably a barrow, 38 ft. in
diam. and 4½ ft. high. Outside the enclosure to the S.
are two further mounds, probably also the remains of
barrows; (b), about 80 yards away, is 39 to 44 ft. in
diam. and 2½ ft. high and has on the top a flat stone
about 5 ft. by 2¾ ft.; (c) is 100 yards S.W. of (b) and
about 38 ft. in diam. and 4 ft. high.