11 CORFE CASTLE (9682)
(O.S. 6 ins. aSY 97 NW, bSY 97 NE, cSY 98 SW, dSY 98 SE, eSY 98 NE,
fSZ 08 NW)
The parish, covering some 10,400 acres, one of the
largest in Dorset, extends across the middle of the Isle
of Purbeck from Poole Harbour on the N. to the sea
on the S., midway between Wareham and Swanage.
From a narrow coastal strip on Kimmeridge Clay, the
land rises steeply to a broad tableland on Portland and
Purbeck Beds rising gently to the N. between 300 ft.
and 500 ft. above O.D. which is cut into by the deep
valleys of three small streams flowing S. The N. edge
of this limestone area is marked by a steep scarp below
which lies the broad valley of the East and West Corfe
Rivers cut into the soft Wealden Beds. Beyond is the
high hog's back of the E.-W. Chalk ridge of the Purbeck Hills, rising to over 600 ft., broken in the centre
by the narrow Corfe Gap through which the Corfe
Rivers flow N. to Poole Harbour. Between these two
rivers, in the centre of the Gap a steep-sided mound
is crowned dramatically by Corfe castle, in a position
of great strategic importance and tactical strength,
dominating the village to the S. and commanding the
great expanse of heathland which stretches N. to Poole
S. of the Purbeck Hills, the parish is typical of the
rest of Purbeck, with a multitude of small settlements,
many of which are recorded in Domesday Book,
associated severally with rectangular areas of land still
marked by continuous hedges and field walls. On the
N. side of the Corfe valley are Corfe Castle village and
the hamlets of Little Woolgarston, Woolgarston, and
Ailwood. On the S. side of the valley are Blashenwell
and Afflington, both with earthwork remains; between
these are Lynch and Scoles Farms, which were probably
in existence by the 13th century if not before. The
village of Kingston occupies the N. summit of the
limestone tableland to the S., while Encombe House,
further S., is on the site of another settlement first
recorded in the mid 13th century but probably much
older. At the N. foot of the Purbeck Hills, Rollington
and Brenscombe Farms are both on the sites of small
settlements recorded in Domesday Book. Though the
heathland beyond seems to have remained largely
empty of settlements, Ower on the shores of Poole
Harbour was already in existence as a small farm by
1086 and later developed a local importance as a point
whence much of the Purbeck marble was shipped.
Corfe Castle village is, and has for long been, the
major settlement in the parish. Its early growth was undoubtedly the result of the existence of the castle, which
was royal from the time of William the Conqueror,
passing finally out of the hands of the Crown by
sale in the late 16th century. The importance of the
village was enhanced by the development of the
Purbeck stone industry, for many of the 'marblers' or
quarry owners lived and had their yards at Corfe
(Dorset Procs. LXX (1948), 74–98). However, despite the
known magnitude of the export trade in Purbeck marble
and stone in the Middle Ages, suggesting local prosperity, in Corfe village one house only (Monument 80)
and some fragments of others are mediaeval. Many of
the houses are of the late 16th and early 17th centuries,
a time of growth marked at the outset by the attainment
of borough status by Corfe Castle in 1576. Among the
buildings of the hundred years following the Civil War
a few have some architectural pretensions but, as a
whole, they are not comparable in size and quality with
those of the preceding period. Thereafter, until 1850
new building was confined with few exceptions to
cottages or the smallest houses, while the division of
older houses into cottages went on apace.
The houses in Corfe village have a distinctive local
character, those of the 18th century and later showing
no real break with the vernacular tradition; they are
remarkably preserved, with the result that the village
remains the product of a particular and sustained
regional craftsmanship and thus possessed of exceptional
visual unity; moreover it possesses high picturesque
quality. For these reasons Corfe Castle village is of
architectural importance as a whole (Plate 89).
Kingston, in a prominent position on the edge of the
high limestone area, is the second largest settlement in
the parish, also apparently important as a centre for the
stone industry. It now includes the most remarkable
use of Purbeck marble in the district in the new church
of St. James, erected in 1880 from the designs of G. E.
Street, with lavish use of polished shafts in a notable
reproduction of the style of the 13th century. Kingston
itself was largely rebuilt in the 19th century, and the
inference from this is that few of the earlier buildings
can have been very substantial.
The principal farmhouses within the valley of the
Corfe Rivers, almost all on the sites of early settlements,
incorporate work of the late 16th or early 17th centuries.
S. of Kingston, Encombe, a 17th to 18th-century house
of much architectural interest, lies in a deep valley
opening to the sea. The heathland to the N. of the
Purbeck Hills is still sparsely populated; here the
buildings include a few farmhouses built or rebuilt
between the middle of the 17th and the middle of the
18th centuries and later cottages. The cottages on Norden Heath N.W. of Corfe Castle are associated with the
18th and 19th-century industry of working the white
clay within the Bagshot Beds used for pipe or china
Most of the houses in the parish are of two storeys and
built of limestone rubble with roofs of stone slate,
though those on the heathland are smaller than the rest
and generally of poorer construction, being of cob, the
inferior local carstone or brick, and with thatched roofs;
but brick is little used in the parish, most rarely in Kingston.
The most important prehistoric monuments are the
long barrow on Ailwood Down and its seventeen
adjacent round barrows. Some well preserved 'Celtic'
fields with two small prehistoric or Romano-British
settlements associated survive towards the E. of Kingston Down, and there are numerous Romano-British
industrial and occupation sites, often with evidence of
Corfe castle itself (Monument 10), although ruined
and decayed, remains one of the most important buildings in the country. The ring-motte and bailey near by,
now called the 'Rings' (176), is of interest; it was built
probably by Stephen when he besieged the castle in
1139. The other principal monuments in Corfe Castle
are the parish church (1), Encombe (11), Morton's
House (38), the mediaeval house in East Street (80) and
Scoles Farm (126).
d(1) The Parish Church of St. Edward, King and
Martyr, stands in Corfe Castle village. The walls are
of Purbeck stone with dressings of the same material
and Purbeck marble; the roofs are covered with slates.
With the exception of the W. tower the church was
rebuilt in 1860 to the designs of T. H. Wyatt. The West
Tower is of the mid 15th century.
Architectural Description—Some portions of the earlier
building are incorporated in the building of 1860. These
include, in the Chancel, in the E. wall, parts of the chamfered
jambs of the E. window; in the N. wall, a 14th-century
doorway with moulded two-centred head, moulded jambs
and segmental rear arch, a 13th-century lancet window above
the doorway, with chamfered jambs and segmental rear arch,
and some 13th-century voussoirs of two moulded orders
reused in two modern archways; in the S. wall, a narrow
13th-century archway, two-centred and of two chamfered
orders, the inner corbelled and the outer springing from
engaged shafts with moulded capitals and bases, and some
13th-century voussoirs reused in the same way as those in the
N. wall. The first pier of the S. arcade of the nave has a
reused 13th-century Portland stone capital carved with
The West Tower (13½ ft. square) is in three stages, with a
moulded plinth, an embattled parapet with large gargoyles
at the parapet-string, and crocketed pinnacles on the corners.
The octagonal stair turret projects from the N. wall, near the
E. angle, and is finished with plain weathering level with the
main parapet. The original, mid 15th-century tower arch is
two-centred and of two moulded orders, the inner springing
in part from semi-octagonal shafts with moulded capitals and
chamfered bases and in part continuous; the outer is continuous except where interrupted at springing-level by male and
female masks. The W. doorway (Plate 100) has moulded
jambs and a high triangular arch in a square moulded head with
traceried spandrels containing sub-cusped quatrefoils enclosing
blank shields, one set sideways, and a moulded label with
large stops. The N. stop is carved with the bust of a man
wearing a small cap and buttoned doublet with high collar,
the S. with that of a woman. Flanking the door-head are niches
with traceried two-sided canopies under flat cornices and with
chamfered sills supported on corbels carved with busts, a man
playing bagpipes, and a monkey. The W. window is of three
cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head with
moulded reveals and a label with male and female head-stops.
In the second stage the doorway to the stair has chamfered
jambs and a square head and the window in the W. wall is
of one light with chamfered reveals and a four-centred head.
The doorway in the third stage has a square head cut from a
13th-century coffin-lid; this stage has in each wall a window of
two trefoiled lights in a square chamfered head with sunk
Fittings—Bells: six; 1st by Robert Wells, 1790; 2nd by
Joshua Kipling of Portsmouth, 1739; 3rd by Robert and James
Wells of Aldbourne, Wiltshire, 1804; 4th by William Dobson
of Downham Market, Norfolk, 1828; 5th by Robert and
James Wells, 1795; 6th by William Dobson, 1828. Brass
Indents: In chancel, of shield and inscription-plate. In N. chapel,
of inscription-plate. Chest: In nave, small, 2 ft. 10½ ins. long, of
plank construction, 17th-century, with modern label saying
it was made by Harry Paulett, 1672, at a cost of 8s. Coffin and
Coffin-lids: In chancel, restored lid, with cross in low relief,
13th-century. In N. chapel, parts of two lids, of Purbeck
marble, with crosses carved in low relief, 13th-century. In
tower, fragments of two lids with hollow-chamfered edges
and slender cross-shafts on half-round Calvaries in low relief,
13th-century. In churchyard, broken rectangular lid with
moulded edge and two lobed crosses in low relief, much
worn, fragment of lid with traces of two cross-heads, small
shallow coffin with moulded under edge and shaped recess, all
of Purbeck marble and of the early 13th century. Font: of
Purbeck marble, straight-sided octagonal bowl with square
panels of four vesica-shaped quatrefoils in each face and
moulded under edge, on octagonal stem with two cinque-foiled arched panels in each face and hollow-chamfered base,
Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In N. chapel—
on N. wall, (1) of Robert Ry[n]ky[n] and Johanna his wife,
their children and relatives, an obit reminder recording also
their contribution to the fabric fund and foundation of an
annual mass, Purbeck marble slab, mid 15th-century; (2) of
Robert Ry[n]ky[n] and Johanna his wife, a record of a benefaction to the church and endowment of obits for themselves
and Robert's brothers and sisters, Purbeck marble slab, mid
15th-century; (3) reset as shelf in blocked doorway, of 'Robert
Abbot gent donor here . . .', , part of top slab of altar-tomb, now destroyed; (4) of Dr. Gibbon, 1686, white marble
wall-tablet with moulded frame. In N. aisle—on N. wall, (5)
of Margareta, wife of Johan Saintlo of Fontmell Parva, 1677,
erased inscription below, white marble wall-tablet with side
brackets, apron, cherub's head and broken pediment framing a
cartouche with the arms of Saintlo quartering (unidentified
2). In S. aisle—on S. wall, (6) of Edward Dampier, 1774,
Joan his wife, 1785, and daughters, 1817 and 1820, white
marble wall-tablet with shield-of-arms of Dampier. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) of James Parkyns, rector, Fellow of
Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 1702, Purbeck marble slab
with shield-of-arms of Parkyns impaling Baynard of Clyffe;
(2) of William Cutler, 1831, and Mary his wife, 1833. In N.
chapel—(3) of Sarah, 1783, and George Smith, 1796; (4) of
George Clark, 1716, George Clarke Butler, 1807, Mary his
wife, 1811, and five children, 1766–80; (5) of William Osmond,
1791, and Anne his wife, 1781; (6) of Richard Hordle, 1831,
Dorothy his wife, 1852, and Eliza their daughter, 1849; (7) of
James Uey, late 17th-century, broken; (8) of Br[own], 1676,
and Edward Collens, 1691; (9) of Anna Ingram, 1792, and W.
William Ingram, 1800; (10) of Sarah, 1775, and Thomas
Osmond, 1791, and William Havelland their grandson, 1796;
(11) of Edward, 1722, and John Webber, 1729; (12) of Mary,
1782, and Matthew Summers, 1808, and two children; (13) of
William and Eliza, children of George and Elinor Fry; (14) of
Agnes . . ., with later inscriptions, 18th-century; (15) of Mary,
wife of William Jenkins, 1757, and Mary their daughter, 1771,
other inscriptions later; (16) of Thomas Senneck, 1834; (17)
of Mary, 176(6?), and Matthew Benfield, 177(0?); (18) of
Ro[bert] Fifield, 162., with later inscription.
Niches: two, one on each side of W. door, see Architectural
Description above. Piscina: In N. chapel, sex-foiled projecting
Purbeck marble bowl with three-lobed underside and carved
flower boss in dish, 13th-century, reused. Plate: includes an
Elizabethan cup (Plate 23), maker's mark G.G., with shaped
bowl with engraved band of interlacement and similar engraving on foot, a cover-paten of 1591, by Lawrence Stratford, with
a band of stippling, a pair of flagons of 1649 (Plate 25) with
maker's mark T.G. and engraved achievement-of-arms of
Bankes, a cup and cover-paten of 1659 (Plate 26) with maker's
mark M.M. and the Bankes arms, and an alms-dish of 1841,
given in 1860. Royal Arms: over N. door, painted on wood, of
Charles II and dated 1660. Miscellanea: In chancel—reset on
cornice of roof, ten square roof-bosses of wood, four carved
with conventional foliage, three with foliage enclosing the
letters H, C, W, one with an estoile, one a crown and one four
fleurs-de-lys enclosing the letter O, early 16th-century.
Loose in N. aisle—capital, square abacus with chevron ornament, bell carved with conventional foliage and shaped to
round shaft, early 12th-century; moulded base of octagonal
shaft, reused as piscina, early 13th-century; small mortar of
uncertain date; half-round cone-shaped stone corbel carved
with oak leaves and acorns, 14th-century, unfinished. Loose
in tower—two Purbeck marble buttressed standards, triangular on plan and nearly 6 ft. long, of fine quality, carved on one
face with two ogee-headed niches with crocketed finials and
pedestal bases and continuous side-standards ending in octagonal shafts with moulded cappings, the other faces with traceried
panelling in two heights, late 15th-century, probably from a
reredos or canopied altar-tomb; in the back of the niches are
dowel-holes for lost figures.
b(2) The Old Church of St. James, of the former
chapelry of Kingston, stands to the E. of Kingston
village (958796). It became redundant with the building
of the new church of St. James in 1880 and is now used
as a village hall. The walls are of squared and regularly
coursed Purbeck stone rubble with dressings of the same
material and the roofs are covered with blue slates. It
was built in 1833, to replace a chapel partly of the 12th
century, at the charge of John (Scott), 1st Earl of Eldon,
to the designs of his son-in-law George Stanley Repton;
the drawings are in the R.I.B.A. Library (Guy Repton
Bequest, K1/24/1 and 2). The builder was John Tulloch
of Wimborne (D.C.C., 15 Aug. 1833). The Chancel,
Nave, South Transept and North Tower are all of the
date of the rebuilding and in the Gothic style. The
position of the E., N. and W. walls and the tower of
the old building is perpetuated in the new, and some
of the old material is reset.
The Old Church of St. James, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel and Nave (68½ ft.
by 17 ft.) are without structural division. The gabled E. end
has a moulded coping on stilted kneelers. The E. window is of
two ogee lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head;
above it is a square trefoiled vent framing a blank shield. The
N. and S. walls contain windows respectively of one and two
ogee lights with vertical tracery in square heads; those in the
S. wall are now blocked. In the N. wall, towards the E. end, is
a broad projecting bay with a string and moulded parapet
outside and forming a shallow recess inside with chamfered
jambs, square chamfered head and traceried spandrels supported on small shield-shaped corbels carved respectively with
the initials E. and S. The doorway to the N. tower has a
chamfered two-centred head, chamfered jambs with broach
stops and a moulded label with stops carved with ivy leaves.
The archway to the S. transept has chamfered jambs, a square
head and spandrels supported on plain shield-corbels. The
W. end contains a window of three ogee lights with vertical
tracery in a four-centred head; a panel above and the gableend are similar to those at the E. end.
The South Transept (14 ft. by 13¼ ft.) forms an entrance vestibule. The S. wall is gabled and contains a doorway with a
two-centred head of two continuous hollow-chamfered orders,
and a vent as in the gable of the E. end. In the E. wall is a two-light window similar to those in the S. wall of the nave; the
modern doorway further N. leads into a modern extension.
The three-light window in the W. wall is similar in detail to
The North Tower (7 ft. square) forms a N. porch. It is without division into stages outside and of three storeys inside
and has a chamfered plinth and an embattled parapet with a
moulded string and obelisk-finials on embattled pedestals at
the corners. The N. doorway is two-centred and of two
hollow-chamfered orders continued down the jambs to runout stops. Inside, over the doorway to the nave is a stone panel
inscribed 'The very ancient chapel which stood in this place
being much decayed This Chapel the building of which was
completed in the year 1833 was erected at the sole expense of
John Scott, first Earl of Eldon, also Viscount Encombe, and
Baron Eldon. The Revd. Edward Bankes, rector,' the names
of the churchwardens and 'G. S. Repton, architect'. The
lowest storey has an E. window of one rectangular light; the
window opposite and the E., N. and W. windows in the top
storey are of one ogee light in a square head.
Fittings (see also the new Church of St. James below)—Bell:
from the earlier chapel, one, 1602, with the initials I.W.
Gallery: in nave, at W. end, supported on iron column,
with panelled front of wood, with lower moulded and
embattled string, panels with cinque-foiled heads and moulded
cornice, stairs with stone treads, timber newel, balusters and
handrail, 1833. Glass: in E. window, two lights with geometrical patterns containing sacred emblems and with vine
tendrils in the borders, in yellow, white and blue, red roses
in the tracery, c. 1833; in window in N. recess, one light
with borders as before, painted quarries and roundel with
earl's coronet above and motto below containing a shield-of-arms of Scott impaling Surtees (Plate 61), in the traceryspandrels the initials E. and S., 1833. Miscellaneous: reset in W.
wall of nave, semicircular head of archway from earlier
chapel, the voussoirs with chip-carved diaper, 12th-century.
The new Church of St. James, consecrated 1880,
(see p. 53), contains from the old church the following:
Fittings—Monuments: (1) of Elizabeth (Surtees), Countess of
Eldon, 1831, and her sons, the Honble. John Scott, M.P., 1805,
and the Honble. William Henry John Scott, 1832, white
marble stele-shaped wall-monument with rectangular base on
corbels carved with palmette ornament; (2) of Sir John Scott,
Earl of Eldon, 1838, inscribed 'erected in 1839', wall-monument
similar to (1) but with shield-of-arms of Scott impaling
Surtees with coronet and lion supporters and flanking coroneted crests in low relief on the frieze and, on the base, a
profile portrait-head in a roundel (Plate 18), by Chantrey; an
illustration of the 'Monument of Lord Chancellor Eldon.
Designed by Sir Francis Chantrey, R.A., and erected in 1839 at
Kingston Chapel, Corfe Castle, Dorset' was 'engraved for the
Earl of Eldon in 1839 by I. T. Wedgwood from a drawing by
T. Sharp' (Soc. Ants., Misc. Portfolio 3, p. 2).
Plate: includes a parcel-gilt cup, without date-letter, with
rounded bowl, moulded stem and foot inscribed with the
name of the donor, John, 1st Earl of Eldon, and the date
1833, a flagon of 1832 (Plate 24) and a stand-paten of 1720,
both similarly inscribed.
d(3) Congregational Chapel (140 yds. S.E.) stands
on the W. side of East Street. The walls are of coursed
Purbeck stone rubble with dressings of the same
material and the roofs are covered with blue slates.
It was built in 1835, while the Rev. George Hubbard
(1780–1870) was minister.
The building is rectangular on plan, except for a small N.
porch, and without internal structural division; the small
vestry in the S.E. corner is formed by partitioning. The E. and
W. walls are gabled and have parapets with flat copings and
tall apex-finials. The W. window is of three tall graduated
lights with semicircular moulded heads, mullions consisting
of shafts with moulded and scalloped caps, shafted jambs and a
moulded label shaped to the heads of the lights. The N. and
S. walls have small chamfered eaves-cornices and contain
respectively two and three tall semicircular-headed windows
with plain rectangular reveals. The N. porch has a low-pitched
N. gable with flat coping and obelisk-shaped finial; the doorway has a semicircular head, and above in the gable is a stone
panel inscribed 'Independent Chapel 1835'.
Inside, the fittings are modern, but their disposition follows
that of the earlier fittings, the pulpit occupying the centre of
the E. wall and facing W. across a dais on which is the communion table. The pews face E. in three groups. Original
features include a semi-domed niche in the middle of the E.
wall, behind the pulpit, and the coved plaster ceiling.
d(4) Town Hall (5 yds. N.W.), on the E. side of
West Street (Plate 89), is a small building of two storeys
recessed into the steeply banked rise from the street
to the churchyard; the walls of the ground floor, where
visible, are of squared and coursed Purbeck stone
rubble, of the upper floor of brick in Flemish bond with
ashlar dressings; the roofs are covered with stone slates.
It was rebuilt shortly before 1774, with the re-use of
some 17th-century stone dressings, and contained the
Council Chamber on the first floor and a lock-up
below. Corfe Castle Corporation was abolished after
the passing of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1883,
and its property administered by a body of trustees.
The W. front has a stone plat-band crossing the heads of the
two doorways and a brick dentilled eaves cornice. The doorways have 17th-century chamfered jambs, one with shaped
stops; one of the ground-floor windows is stone-mullioned,
the other is a rectangular loop light with chamfered dressings.
The two W. windows on the upper floor have round heads,
flat stone architraves and plain key-blocks and imposts. The
gabled N. and S. ends are obscured below first-floor level; the
visible brickwork is much patched. The N. end contains a
window similar to those on the W. and, in the gable, a sunk
roundel with brick voussoirs. On the E. where the levels of the
ground outside and the first floor are the same, access from the
churchyard was directly into the Council Chamber through a
central doorway, now blocked, with flat gauged-brick head
and keystone. Inside, the ground floor has two exposed
ceiling beams of rectangular section; the stair at the N. end is
modern. The Council Chamber has a plaster ceiling with
enriched cornice and contains a table with turned legs, plain
rails, stretchers and braces, probably contemporary with the
building but for the modern top.
(Doorway to churchyard now reopened)
The Town House in the Parish of Corfe Castle
The Corporation Plate etc. is now held in trust at Kingston
Lacy. The Seal (Plate 35) consists of a round bronze matrix
23/8 ins. in diam. chiselled with the device of three ostrichfeathers issuing from the towers of a triple-towered castle all
against a cross-hatched field with fleurs-de-lys and martlets
alternately in the lozenges, with the legend 'Sigillu[m] maioris
et baronu[m] ville de corff castell'; the flange at the back is
pierced for a chain; 15th-century. The Mace (Plate 38), of
silver parcel-gilt on an iron core, 1 ft. 9½ ins. long, has a
slender rod-like shaft with four moulded knops, a flanged end
with seal terminal and a gadrooned semi-globular head 3½ ins.
in diam. The terminal is engraved with a chained portcullis
with three ostrich-feathers and the head with the royal arms
of William and Mary and an inscription 'This was nue made
when . . . (erased) was Mayor the Second time 1692. Mr. Jervice
Browne: Mr. Phillip Bayley: Mr. Rich: Haywrd: Mr. Jams
Frampton: Mr. Ro: Webber: Mr. James Summers: Barrons
of Corfe Castle'; the head is of this date but the rest at least a
century earlier in style.
d(5) Town House (20 yds. N.N.W.), adjoining the
churchyard, is of two storeys and attics and contains the
Mayor's Robing Room centrally on the first floor; a
rise in the ground level enables the robing room, which
has no communication with the rest of the house, to be
entered directly from the churchyard. The walls are of
Purbeck stone rubble and ashlar and the roofs are
covered with stone slates. It was built probably late in
the 18th century. The plan (opp.), providing for both
official and domestic use, and the design of the street
front are unusual (Plate 89).
The N. front is symmetrical. In the middle is a broad projecting bay with rounded angles; it is of two storeys, with a
half-hipped roof, and in it is the entrance doorway to the house,
with square head and keystone. The whole of the upper part
of the bay, above first-floor sill level, comprises a timber-framed window with three lights in a semicircular head on the
face and two square-headed curved lights on each side, all
containing leaded quarries. The windows to each side on each
floor have square heads, the lower with keystones, and are
fitted with three-light timber frames also retaining their leaded
quarries. The two dormers have casement windows and
hipped roofs. The E. and W. ends are gabled, and the S. side
has a single doorway to the robing room on the first floor,
with a square head and a flat stone hood on shaped timber
Inside, the robing-room suite on the first floor extends the
full depth of the building behind the great window and isolates
the flanking rooms; access to these last, from below, is by two
staircases symmetrically disposed. The Robing Room to the
N. has a window-seat round the bay and a coved plaster
ceiling; the S. wall contains three doorways, the middle one
opening into an entrance passage and the flanking ones into
closets and all containing doors of six fielded panels hung on
original hinges. Fastened to the window is a panel of late 16th-century heraldic glass, perhaps from Uvedale's House (Monument 32), with the crowned Tudor royal arms in a Garter
against a blue background. On the W. wall are eleven original
coat-pegs of wood. Inserted in the fireplace opening is a round-headed cast-iron grate of c. 1860. A much altered 18th-century house adjoins on the W.
Reading Room, see Monument (21).
d(6) St. Edward's Bridge, over Corfe River (430 yds.
N.N.W.), is of one span. It was built late in the 18th century, of
Purbeck stone ashlar; the parapets have been rebuilt in modern
brick. In Hutchins' time the bridge here was dated 1564. The
single semicircular arch has rusticated voussoirs and is flanked
by plain strip-pilasters; a stone plat-band at road level returns
round the pilasters.
d(7) Bridge, over Corfe River (390 yds. N.W.), of coursed
Purbeck stone rubble with ashlar dressings of the same
material, was built in the 18th century. It is of a single span
with a round to segmental arch with keystones; the parapets
curve outwards at each end.
d(8) Bridge, over the mill-stream, the Byle Brook (130 yds.
N.), is of two small spans and of local coursed stone rubble with
dressings of the same material. It is of the 17th or 18th century
and has a modern cut-water on the N. The arches are semicircular with a regular band of wide shallow voussoirs. The
parapet is turned outwards at each end and, in the S.W.
corner, carried on a segmental squinch.
d(9) Bridge, over Corfe River (700 yds. S.W.), of one span,
was built of local stone rubble in the 17th century and extensively repaired in brick in the 18th century. It has a semicircular
arch with roughly shaped stone voussoirs; the parapets are of
brick and about 6 ft. apart at the narrowest point.
d(10) Corfe Castle, ruins and earthworks, stands on a
great natural mound immediately N. of the village
(Frontis., Plates 80, 81, 90). The walls are of Purbeck
stone ashlar and rubble, generally with flint in the
Diagrammatic Plans Showing Defensive Development
The pre-Conquest use of the site, naturally of such
strength, is uncertain. Vestiges of an early building have
been disclosed by excavation in the West Bailey of the
castle (fn. 1) , and the possibility that they represent the
remains of the royal house (domus) at which King
Edward the Martyr was assassinated by the thegns
(ministri) of his half-brother Aethelred on 18 March
978 cannot be entirely discounted. (fn. 2) At the Norman
Conquest the site of the castle formed part of the great
manor of Kingston, held by the Abbey of St. Mary
(and St. Edward) at Shaftesbury. It was to this abbey
that the body of the royal martyr had been translated
after a hasty burial at Wareham. A reference in the
Domesday Survey to the building by the king, William
the Conqueror, of Wareham castle (fn. 3) must certainly be
taken to apply to Corfe (fn. 4) : and the configuration of the
ground would obviously lend itself to the Norman
concept of a stronghold, the natural slopes requiring
artificial levelling or steepening only to a limited extent.
Today the site, roughly an elongated triangle, is in three
parts determined more or less by levels (plan in pocket;
Plate 81): a broad area to the S., the Outer Bailey,
nearly flat from E. to W. and rising gently by slope and
terracing to the N.; N.W. of the foregoing and at a
higher level, the West Bailey; N. of the first and E. of
the second and high above both, the stronghold of the
Inner Ward. A deep artificial ditch divides the Outer
Bailey from both the West Bailey and the Inner Ward
except at the eastern end where a high, narrow stopridge is left and carries the remains of a wall down from
the Inner Ward to the Outer Bailey. This does not
perpetuate the 11th-century lay-out of the castle for
the ditch is a secondary development.
To the earliest period of the castle structure belong
the remains of a great enclosure wall to the Inner Ward
and the surviving 'herring-bone' wall of a long rectangular building by the S. scarp of the West Bailey;
both are probably the Conqueror's work, doubtless
facilitated by the rock available on the site. The first,
of rubble, encircles the whole Inner Ward except at the
entry, the Inner Gate, on the N.W. The second is of a
quality of masonry that, for the 11th century, indicates
a building of importance; this and the plan suggest a
hall, and the reference in 1215 to aula nostra in ballio
castri may well be to it (see pp. 61–2); in the following
account it is called the Old Hall. During the 13th
century it was rebuilt larger. (fn. 5) The Constable's quarters
are referred to in the later documents and here, in the
West Bailey, would be the normal place for the
constabulary (cf. the royal castles of Windsor and
Conway, for the aula in an outer bailey separate from
the domus regis). The 11th-century hall has no vestiges
of flanking stone walls, which implies contemporary
palisaded defences of the bailey.
Whether a contemporary great tower stood in the
Inner Ward, though unlikely, is not now determinable,
for the present Keep is later. (fn. 6) The latter is in part
superimposed on the 11th-century enclosure wall and
has a stair forebuilding on the W. and a S. annexe
containing a guardroom, a chapel, etc. Both are adjuncts,
and though structural provision seems to have been
made from the beginning for the forebuilding, the S.
annexe appears to have been a modification; they are
only marginally later than the Keep itself. The Keep
has been assigned to c. 1130, but the ashlar with which
it is faced is not fine-jointed, and it would seem most
unlikely that any important royal castle would exhibit
the older technique once ashlar building of 'monolithic'
character had been introduced by Bishop Roger. (fn. 7) On this
ground alone the Keep can scarcely be later than c. 1120:
indeed William of Malmesbury writing in c. 1125
states ubi . . . Corf castellum pelago prominet. (fn. 8) Moreover
Duke Robert was long confined at Corfe from 1106/7. (fn. 9)
It is unlikely that he would have been kept in a castle on
a coast opposite Normandy if there were not a secure
lodging therein, withal it was a stately and comfortable
one. (fn. 10) This then might imply that the stone Keep was
standing in 1106. The architectural evidence accords
with this earlier dating; the external arcading is very
similar to the internal arcading at the end of the late
11th-century hall at Chepstow castle, and the elaboration of the doorways in the king's apartments, which
as noted below may be secondary, can be paralleled at
Winchester cathedral c. 1100. Again it is unlikely that
royal work would be stylistically retarded. More or less
contemporary with the Keep is the wall on the E.
stop-ridge of the great ditch; this originally returned
W. at its southern end and doubtless continued round,
the destroyed N. to S. wall across the West Bailey
(see pp. 60–1, 69) being a part of it, to provide a forward
defence to the Inner Ward except on the precipitous
N. and E. periphery (cf. the wall built about the Tower
(of London) in 1097, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. D.
Whitelock (1961), 175). The area so enclosed is called
in the following account the South-west Bailey. (fn. 11) Thus
before the Anarchy this royal castle was already an
impressive fortress; indeed the Gesta Stephani says of
Corfe  uno omnium Anglorum castello tutissimo. (fn. 12)
Further it withstood a siege in 1139 by Stephen which,
if the 12th-century earthen siegework known as the
'Rings' (see Monument 176) be a survival of that
investment, was a determined one. No alterations or
additions appear to have been made under Henry II,
and during the reign of Richard I an expenditure of
under £25 upon the castle is recorded, suggesting no
more than care and maintenance.
The castle has within the Inner Ward a large area E.
of the Keep. Whatever may have stood here in the 11th
and 12th centuries must have been largely destroyed
to make way for the courtyard building of which extensive though fragmentary ruins still stand. The name
'Gloriette' used for it in the following account was already the usage in 1340 (T. Bond, History of Corfe
Castle (1883), 80) and for a chamber probably in the
same building in 1280 (P.R.O., E. 101/460/27). The few
datable features it retains equate with work, for example
in Wells Cathedral, of the last years of the 12th and the
earliest years of the 13th centuries: and being a royal
building Corfe might well have been stylistically in the
van of work in the West Country. While the remnants
show it to have been a comparatively small and essentially
domestic building they also show it to have been of the
highest architectural quality and workmanship, the
whole representing a sophisticated and elegant mode of
life. During the reign of John the Pipe Roll for the
Exchequer year 1201–1202 records some £275 spent
in operatione domorum R [egis] de Corf, and no doubt the
work was the 'Gloriette' (Pipe Roll 4 John, Pipe Roll
Soc., New Ser. xv (1937), 85).
After the inception of the stronghold and the great
masonry additions of the early 12th century, the
13th century was the third most formative period in the
development of the castle. Tables showing the pattern of
expenditure in John's reign have been published. (fn. 13)
Allocation of the 1201–2 expenditure is suggested above.
In 1202 to 1204 some £477 was spent in operatione
castelli de Corf, no doubt upon replacing the earlier
defences of the West Bailey with the present stone
enceinte with its three towers, including the polygonal
Butavant at the extremity. (fn. 14) The new wall on the N.
scarp was continued eastward as far as the Inner Ward
in replacement, it would seem, of the return of the South-west Bailey wall consequent upon a change in the
position of the Inner Gate. The new wall on the S.
scarp continued eastward only as far as the N. to S.
section of the South-west Bailey wall, subsequently
demolished, that stood some 15 yds. E. of the N. and S.
towers. The new enceinte thus formed a triangular
enclosure: the grounds for so supposing are complicated
and depend upon the subsequent as well as earlier
developments. Structural evidence separates and isolates
the two great undertakings of enclosing the West and
the Outer Baileys with the stone walls that still survive,
the extent of the two being defined particularly by the
use of two different forms of plinth (Plate 76): the more
complex embraces the three towers, including the Butavant Tower, and the curtain walls of the West Bailey;
the other embraces the South-west Gatehouse and nearly
all to the S.E. That strengthening the defences of the
West Bailey had the precedence emerges from the fact
of the digging of the great ditch three years later, for
this shows that the strongly fortified (i.e. the walled)
area lay to the N. and N.W.
Corfe Castle Plinths, Comparative Profiles Showing Coursing
The foregoing and the developments of 1207 and
1235 considered below leave little doubt that in c. 1205
the castle comprised the Inner Ward, the West Bailey,
a South-west Bailey adjacent to the Inner Ward, and the
Outer Bailey, and four gates (one to each bailey and the
Inner Ward), and that the Inner Ward, the West Bailey
and the South-west Bailey had stone walls (the South-west Bailey wall as described above being more or less
concentric with the Inner Ward enclosure wall and
extending from the stop-ridge on the E., where it
survives, round to the scarp before the Inner Gate on the
N.W.). The character of the defences of the Outer
Bailey is uncertain, but evidence survives, though somewhat equivocal, that the Outer Gate was already
protected by a gatehouse of stone (see pp. 64–5).
On 19 February 1207 a writ was issued to send miners
to Corfe (fn. 15) and a fortnight later eleven miners probably
with local help began a work that lasted nearly seven
months, (fn. 16) doubtless digging the great Ditch before the
Inner Ward. This involved destruction of the commensurate length of the front defence of the South-west
Bailey and, as will be shown, its reconstruction across
the Outer Bailey in the form of a palisade, but further
forward to clear the ditch. Seven years later, in 1214, a
writ was issued to send further miners and quarrymen
to work on the bank of the ditch; (fn. 17) this may account
for the angular continuation of the ditch out to the
hillside on the S.W., but the reference could as well be
to the approach to the Outer Gate where a shallow crossditch has been greatly deepened (see Fig. on p. 65 and
Earthworks p. 78). Be that as it may, a wall was built
across the angular continuation contemporaneously with
the work of c. 1215 next described.
It would appear that just as the strengthening of the
defences of the West Bailey coincided with our reverses
in France and the loss of Normandy in 1204, so the
strengthening of the rest of the defences reflects the
mounting political crisis of John's reign. The great ditch
was dug and thereafter walling-in the Outer Bailey was
undertaken. (fn. 18) From 1212 to 1214 an expenditure of some
£513 is recorded in the Misae and Close Rolls but the
Pipe Roll of 15 John (1212–13), which may well have
given further expenditure, is missing and that for 17
John ends at Easter 1215 (fn. 19) when work is known to have
been continuing. Nevertheless the comparison so far as
it goes with the expenditure ten years before of £477
assigned above to the mural defences of the West
Bailey is suggestive, if, as will be postulated, the work of
this phase was limited on the W. side of the Outer
Bailey to the walls and towers N. of the First Tower and
on the E. side to the wall N. of the Horseshoe Tower
and excluding the Plukenet Tower. (fn. 20) It seems that the
progress of walling-in this Bailey was prolonged, and,
though the exact sequence is now difficult to determine,
the developments next described give a terminus ante
quem of 1235 for these walls on the E. and W. perimeter,
since the inference therefrom is that a stone wall would
be built between stone walls and not between palisades.
In 1235 'two good walls' were built in the place of the
palisades between the 'old bailey' and the 'middle
bailey' on the W. and between the turris and the 'outer
bailey' on the S. (fn. 21) Interpretation of this Pipe Roll entry
depends upon the mediaeval usage of baillium; such
generally precludes application of baillium to the area
on a castle 'motte'. Thus at Corfe identification of the
two walls is clear despite our lack of certain knowledge
of whether the vetus and the medium baileys were
respectively the South-west and West Baileys or vice
versa: the wall on the W. is that still standing on the
steep scarp between the Keep and the South-west
Gatehouse; the wall on the S., now destroyed, is that
shown by Treswell (Plate 74) athwart the Outer Bailey,
that is, inter turrim et forinsecum baillium versus austrum (fn. 22)
(cf. the wall, in part surviving, athwart the Lower Bailey
at Windsor, see W. H. St. J. Hope, Windsor Castle etc.
(London, 1913), I, pl. III). Both replaced the palisades
put up to cover the approach to the West Bailey when
the South-west Bailey front wall was destroyed by
digging the ditch in 1207, the second (the S.) palisade
having been put in a more forward position as described
above. (fn. 23) The same usage of baillium also clarifies the
instruction in 1215 to the constable to entertain Robert
of Dreux in aula nostra in ballio castri et si placuerit ei
in turrim intrare: illam et alia ei exponatis; (fn. 24) in the absence
of the king he was to be made welcome by the constable
in the hall in the bailey, that is, in the Old Hall, and, if
he so wished, to be allowed to go into the apartments
in the Inner Ward, namely the Royal apartments
(see also p. 59).
The 1235 wall on the W. included a contemporary
gateway of which dressings survive incorporated in the
present South-west Gatehouse. A fragment also of walling similar to the foregoing in technique survives on the
edge of the scarp to the W. of the Gatehouse, indicating
that in 1235 a return wall was built along the S. side of
the hill-spur to link Gatehouse and West Bailey and in
replacement of the section of the 12th-century 'concentric' wall that stood in this area; presumably this
was done for reasons of improved alignment and reinforcement.
The expenditure upon Corfe in Henry III's reign was
£1,000 or more; between 1230 and 1270 nearly 800
oaks, 800 boards, 27,000 nails among other building
materials were ordered, and expenditure and consumption continued heavy until the last decade of the
century. But the appointment of 'keepers' to supervise
the works over the busiest years renders the sheriff's
accounts for those periods uninformative, and this and
the loss of the 'keepers' accounts make it impossible
except on occasion to apportion the expenditure. (fn. 25)
Apart from 1235–36 when the great sum of £362 was
spent on the Keep and the two walls mentioned above,
the heaviest expenditures recorded were in 1244–46 and
1251–54. Of these the former seems again to have been
largely upon the Keep, upon repairing and whitening
the outside, but the latter falls within the period 1247 to
1254 when the order was made to reconstruct the 'great
gate with a good chamber over' and when the 'new
gate' is mentioned. (fn. 26) The South-west Gatehouse is built
against the wall of 1235 and gateway of the same date,
giving a terminus post quem: and the date c. 1250 may
reasonably be assigned to it. Identity of masonry detail
in the plinths as already described associates with this
Gatehouse the walls and six Towers of the Outer Bailey,
including the Horseshoe and Plukenet Towers, and the
Outer Gatehouse. Precedence within this Outer Bailey
development has however been given above to the
W. defences and the E. wall because the N. tower of the
former has been cut back on the N., at an early date, to
allow of approach to a wall-walk to the South-west
Gatehouse and because the E. wall shows a technique
of masonry that equates very closely with that of the
1202–4 West Bailey walling; for the reason given earlier
(see p. 61) a date prior to 1235 has been assigned to them.
The First Tower and the South-west Gatehouse are alone
in having cross-loops and thus may be contemporary;
the Plukenet Tower is closely dated to 1269–70 (fn. 27) and is
different in size and plan from the western towers; the
Horseshoe Tower meets the adjoining earlier curtain to
the N. in a straight joint and is structurally one with the
Outer Gatehouse, which, with the bridge before it, on
documentary evidence is of 1280–85. (fn. 28) Thus it appears
that the building of the great South-west Gatehouse
c. 1250 and the building or remodelling of the great
Outer Gatehouse and the entrance front in ashlar c. 1280
were the latest works in this main development of the
castle. In 10 Edward I (1281–2) locks were bought for
the four gates of the castle, that is, for the Outer Gate,
the gate to the South-west Bailey, now gone, the South-west Gate and the Inner Gate.
The latter part of the 13th century also saw some
extensive works of remodelling in the 'Gloriette', the
courtyard building in the Inner Ward. Inconsistency in
nomenclature makes identification difficult but the
consensus of evidence suggests that the hall in the E.
range was the King's Hall or Great Chamber and the
King's Camera or Presence Chamber (fn. 29) adjoined it on the
N.; the S. range contained the Long Chamber, or Long
Hall; the King's Chapel (fn. 30) was by the external angle
formed by the foregoing. The Queen's Chamber, which
had a porch, and Parlour were in the W. range. The works
included the building, possibly rebuilding, of two towers,
'Cockayne' and 'Plenty', that must have adjoined or
been close by. 'Plenty' may have stood in the S.E.
corner of the Inner Ward (fn. 31) by, or possibly containing,
the King's Chapel, and been superseded by a new tower
called 'la Gloriette' built in 1377–78 (see below). Contemporaneously (1280–82) work was also in hand on the
Butavant tower of the West Bailey; this was perhaps
a heightening and reroofing, but the tower is almost
completely destroyed and nothing of the upper part
remains to prove the point, though the masonry evidence in the plinth already referred to is conclusive
proof that it was not then new; the payment in 1281
for cleaning out the tower (P.R.O., E.101/460/27) has
little dating significance.
For more than a century the Keep remained a building of two storeys with basement and attics, but either
in 1236 or in 1292–94 the attics were converted into a
full storey; work of such a kind might be inferred from
the accounts of either period though the later seem the
more circumstantial. In the first some £300 was spent
on laying down joists and floors and for leading-in the
tower. In the second all the lead, amounting to 34
chares (2,100 lbs.) was taken off and made up with new
lead to 46½ chares, the middle party wall built higher,
new corbels were cut and the main wallhead was rebuilt,
the sum in 1293–4 upon repair and improvement amounting to £140 (ibid., E. 101/460/29). (fn. 32) The structural evidence is that a lead flat replaced a double-pitched roof.
Thenceforward little work other than of minor importance seems to have been done in the castle until the
middle of the following century, though in the meantime in 1326 and 1340 commissions of enquiry were
appointed, the first reporting dilapidations amounting
to more than £500 (Cal. Inqn. Misc. II, 894). In 1356
extensive refitting took place in anticipation of a
visit by Edward III, particularly, and understandably,
in the 'Gloriette' (P.R.O., E. 101/460/30). During the
following decade the old Kitchen, which stood probably
between the Keep and the 'Gloriette', was reconstructed
and in 1367 extensive general repairs to the castle to a
cost of £134 were again in hand (ibid., E. 101/461/5).
In September 1376 a Commission was issued to
enquire into 'the dangerous state of things' at Corfe,
and in November the payment of up to £100 for works
was authorised (Cal. Pat. Rolls 1374–77, 409, 390);
that pulling down older work and preparing for the
building of the 'Gloriette' tower, next described, were
mainly involved is clear from the accounts (P.R.O.,
E.101/461/6). (fn. 33)
In 1377–8 the tower called 'la Gloriette', containing
five chambers, was built and £269 expended; timber
for it came from Gillingham and stone from the
Purbeck quarries (ibid. E.101/461/9). (fn. 34) Shattered remnants of a building of fine ashlar that may well be
fragments of it stand at the S.E. corner of the Inner
Ward (Plate 76). In this context it may be noted that the
curtain wall flanking the Outer Gatehouse on the W.
is largely patched, if not rebuilt, and shows a quality and
technique of masonry that equates closely with that of
the putative 'Gloriette' tower. (fn. 35) To the 14th century too
may perhaps be assigned the tower projecting E. from
the Inner Ward enclosure wall some 70 ft. N. of the
'Gloriette' tower, though heavy destruction and concealment of the plinth prevent firm dating. (fn. 36)
The foregoing late 14th-century rebuilding was the
last structural glorification here. In 1407 the castle and
lordship were granted in fee to John Beaufort, Earl of
Somerset, (fn. 37) from whose family they were confiscated on
the accession of Edward IV and given to Richard, Duke
of Gloucester. (fn. 38) In 1487 Corfe castle was included among
the large grants made to the Lady Margaret by Henry
VII. (fn. 39) After her death it reverted to the Crown. In 1525
it was granted, for life, to Henry, Duke of Richmond, (fn. 40)
and in 1547 to Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset. (fn. 41)
In 1572 Elizabeth I sold it to Christopher Hatton for
£4,761. (fn. 42) Vestiges only of new windows and doorways
in the Keep survive to indicate that extensive work of
improving the amenities of the castle was undertaken
during the reigns of the Tudors. From 1585 and 1586
survive the first graphic records of the castle as it then
was (Plates 74, 90), prepared by Ralph Treswell,
steward to Hatton, and now at Kingston Lacy, to which
reference has already been made. The most informative
is the large-scale plan which, so far as it may be checked
by the existing buildings, is remarkably accurate; apart
from confirming the form of structures in situ now
confused by the chaos of fallen masonry in the Inner
Ward, it shows that the New Bulwark forming the
western end of the Inner Ward then existed whereas the
enigmatic 'bastion' projecting so conspicuously from
the south side of the Inner Ward, though largely of
mediaeval ashlar, presumably reused, did not; the latter
wnote idr uilt by 1635. (fn. 43) The New Bulwark consisted of a platform formed by filling in with earth the
space behind the 11th-century curtain wall, formerly
freestanding, and a new containing wall built diagonally
from 7 yds. to 11 yds. further back to the N.; the early
wall has been destroyed, the infilling has slid and weathered to form an almost continuous slope with the scarp
below, and the N. wall is so damaged that little evidence
of date remains, but the platform was seemingly for
cannon, which would have commanded the whole
village and its approaches. Such emplacements are not
generally earlier than the reign of Henry VIII.
By 1635 the castle was in the possession of Sir John
Bankes, Lord Chief Justice, ancestor of the present
owner: (fn. 44) whether he made any extensive alterations
before the outbreak of the Civil War is unknown. Final
glory, in history, came to Corfe Castle when it was held
for the king by Lady Bankes from 1643 to 1646 against
sporadic sieges and assaults. Upon its fall, by treachery,
Parliament on 5th March 1645/6 ordered its demolition,
and thorough destruction by mining and explosion
followed; (fn. 45) according to G. Bankes a county rate was
levied to defray the cost of demolitions. (fn. 46) No reconstruction has been undertaken since, and the ruins are both
too fragmentary and too extensive for any comprehensive scheme of repairs to have been undertaken by a
private owner. Thus the fabric has long been deteriorating, but now the Ministry of Public Building and Works
and the owner have entered upon a joint scheme to meet
the cost of reparation; work was begun in 1958.
Corfe castle visually and historically is one of the
most notable castles in England. The surviving ruins
retain evidence enough to show that it was also of outstanding architectural importance. The fragments of the
Old Hall in the West Bailey and the wall surrounding
the Inner Ward are of the later 11th century. The Keep
of c. 1105 is an early ashlar-built great tower of a kind
that becomes familiar later in the 12th century. The
'Gloriette', a courtyard mansion built to supplement
or replace the more restricted accommodation in the
Keep in the earliest years of the 13th century, is an
example of the most sophisticated and elegant architecture, in the lead of fashion. The enceinte retains a
defensive system of walls and mural towers, mainly of
the early and later 13th century, as extensive and, despite
slighting, as complete as any surviving in England.
Architectural Description (see Plan, in pocket)—Corfe castle
is approached from the town over an outer Bridge (Plate 90)
crossing a deep ditch cut through the narrow N. to S. land
isthmus leading to the Outer Gatehouse and the higher ground
on which the castle stands. The bridge, of squared and
coursed rubble and ashlar, is of four spans, which vary in
width, the greatest, 18 ft., being the second from the S.
crossing the deepest part of the ditch. The semicircular arches
are of one plain order and spring from plain rectangular piers
extending laterally as great buttresses of one lofty weathered
stage, strip-like on the W. and of greater projection on the E.
owing to the eccentricity of the arches. The parapets, if they
existed, have been destroyed. The enrolled accounts for the
castle include many entries of repairs or alterations to bridges;
the particular bridge concerned is often in doubt but the
entries of 1280–5 and 1377 almost certainly refer to this one.
The structure is largely featureless. The N. abutment, which
retains a chamfered plinth and is probably in part of the 12th
or early 13th century, before alteration may have formed the
prop to a lifting or sliding bridge to the Outer Gatehouse. The
piers have any plinths concealed by silting but appear to be
largely mediaeval, probably 1280–5, (fn. 47) though the upper parts
and weatherings have been reset to take the later arches. These
last and all above and all the S. abutment are of the late 16th
century or later; this and documentary evidence suggest that
the superstructure was formerly of timber and at springing
level, for the road level is now clearly much raised.
The following description of the castle is arranged under
three headings, the Outer Bailey, the West Bailey, the Inner
Ward, in conformity with the order of physical approach from
the castle entrance up to the final stronghold at the top. The
castle earthworks are described under a separate heading at the
'Outer Bailey' is the modern name hereinafter used for the
total enclosed area S. of the Inner Ward and formerly divided
by the cross wall shown on Treswell's plan of 1586 (Plate 74),
that is, the Outer Bailey then obtaining (Treswell's 'firste
Warde') plus the bailey defined by the two 1235 walls.
The Outer Gatehouse was under construction in 1280; minor
features difficult to equate with this date suggest the work may
have been a reconstruction. It is of flint and limestone rubble
with finely jointed and coursed ashlar facing. The arched gateway (Plate 77) is deeply recessed behind a defended entrance
passage (13½ ft. wide average) flanked by round-fronted
towers (8 ft. ext. radius), small for their date; the continuation
of the passage N. from the gateway was originally between
guardrooms but these are mostly demolished. The defended
entrance has a segmental ashlar vault, now largely destroyed,
springing directly from the side walls and interrupted first by a
machicolation-slot extending up to the first floor, secondly
by a portcullis-opening with grooves extending down the side
walls, the grooves being three-quarter circles in section as if
for counterbalance weights, and thirdly by another, wider,
slot, as before. Next is the gateway itself with continuously
chamfered jambs and segmental head, now largely destroyed,
a broad rear arch with two rings of voussoirs, much patched,
and responds pierced with large holes for drawbars. The
flanking towers have smooth battered plinths returned from
short vertical bases (Fig. p. 60) and are solid the full height of
the ground storey. At first-floor level in each tower and over
the main entrance archway survive the lower dressings of three
loops, those in the former covering respectively the S. approach, the entrance and the flanking curtain walls. The whole
of the upper part of the Gatehouse has been demolished but
the first floor was evidently the 'fighting deck' where the
loops, machicolations and portcullis described above were
manned; whether a second, residential, floor existed above is
no longer ascertainable though Treswell's bird's-eye view of
the castle in 1585 (Plate 90) suggests not. Treswell's plan of
1586 shows three guardrooms N. of the gateway, and of two
of these fragments remain. The butt ends of the two larger
rooms adjoining the N. side of the towers show them to have
had plain rounded vaults springing from chamfered strings;
the character of the vaults and strings suggests a 12th-century
origin but no clear demarcation between 12th and 13th-century masonry appears. The E. room (9 ft. wide) retains
part of the S. jamb of the doorway from the passage and, in the
broken E. wall, the flue of a destroyed fireplace and a single-light ground-floor window with a square chamfered head; the
vault runs E. to W. The W. room (12 ft. wide) similarly retains
the S. jamb of the doorway from the passage and, in the S.
wall, a square-headed recess and the remains of a fireplace
with a stone hood; the vault runs N. to S. Grass-grown
debris fills the latter room to a height of some 4½ ft. Against
the curtain wall westward and rising to the present top of the
Gatehouse are the remains of a mediaeval external stone stair;
recognition of these derives from Treswell's survey.
Corfe Castle Outer Bridge
The curtain wall that linked the Outer Gatehouse with the
first tower eastward, formerly called the Horseshoe Tower,
is largely demolished, the masonry lying fallen to the S. A
few feet of the ashlar base and battered plinth remain in situ at
the W. end showing the wall to have been of the same build
as the Gatehouse.
The Horseshoe Tower, on the S.E. of the Outer Bailey, is also
contemporary with the foregoing, of c. 1280, being of
similar build. It is semicircular on plan (6 ft. int. 15½ ft. ext.
radius) with the southern side prolonged W. within the bailey
originally to form the N. wall of a small room (6¾ ft. wide)
partly within the adjoining curtain. The back is open. The
outer face of the walling is of fine ashlar like that of the Outer
Gatehouse and with the squared rubble footings exposed in
places; the inner face is of rough coursed ashlar. In the tower
are three loops, 1½ ins. wide and 7¼ ft. high, with plain square
rear arches in deep embrasures with depressed segmental
heads. The building was at least two storeys high; it retains
the housings for the first-floor beams and some 9 ft. of walling
above with chamfered corbelling, presumably for a wall-walk,
high up on the N. return, but the rest is demolished. In the S.
wall is a narrow square-headed window to the room mentioned
above. The little that is left of this last shows it to have had a
roof of stone slabs supported on four oversailing courses of
The curtain wall of c. 1215 leading N. from the Horseshoe
Tower is bonded with the latter only in the upper part; it is of
rubble with vertical bonding courses of ashlar and a smooth
battered plinth, largely refaced, deepening as it goes N. The
inner wall-face is much broken away. In Treswell's plan a
'Stable' is shown in a rectangular projection of the curtain
some 70 ft. from the tower but this and the adjacent walling
were blown up in 1646 and masonry from it lies tumbled on
the hillside below; the articulation of the wall depicted, though
seemingly unnecessary for a stable, is too slight for a mural
tower. The curtain wall begins again 170 ft. from the Horseshoe Tower where are some indications of a wall-stair; thence
to the Plukenet Tower a further 114 ft. N. the wall contains
three loops with the remains of their embrasures and the remains of a postern, now blocked, comprising the lower
dressings of the S. external jamb and of the N. internal splay
and the relieving arch. The whole length of the curtain described above is thickly covered with ivy, which may conceal other
features. The wall of 1235 shown by Treswell in 1586 across the
full width of the Outer Bailey, and fronting a battery, probably branched off some 15 ft. S. of the postern; it has been
The Plukenet Tower (Plate 78) of c. 1270 stands on the stopridge at the E. end of the early 13th-century ditch before the
Inner Ward and because of the height and narrowness of the
ridge is slighter than the mural towers on the W. circuit of
the Outer Bailey. Of squared and coursed limestone rubble
and ashlar, it is a half-cylindrical tower (5½ ft. int. 9½ ft. ext.
radius) projecting E. from the curtain and open at the back;
the inward ends of the semicircular wall have fallen away and
the whole of the wall-head has been demolished. The lower
part, which has the remains of a smooth battered ashlar plinth
and vertical base, is solid and access to the space above is from
a wall-walk on the S. Facing E. is a loop, 2 ins. wide and
52/3 ft. high, with a square rear arch in an embrasure with segmental head and a square locker in the S. side wall; remains
of similar defences face N. and S., the former also with a
locker to the right-hand side and with the loop extending
down into the plinth; the W., or right hand, side of the S.
embrasure does not survive. Outside, in the wall above the
E. loop, is a stone shield-of-arms of Alan de Plukenet, constable of the castle 1269–70, held by two hands (Plate 78), all
carved in high relief. Adjoining the tower on the N. are fragmentary remains of an ashlar-lined newel stair that led presumably to the wall-walk continuing N.W.; projection of the
containing walls was necessary to house it, but ashlar quoins on
the N. perimeter of the tower are the only surviving evidence
of the outer projection, and chamfered corbelling of the inner
The 12th-century curtain wall leading N.W. from the
Plukenet Tower, the E. wall of the former South-west Bailey,
is of carefully squared and coursed limestone blocks; typologically the masonry is more or less contemporary with that of
the Keep. It now extends horizontally for some 40 ft. before
dying out into the side of the hill on which the Inner Ward
stands. The loftiest part retains a length of chamfered corbeltabling contemporary with the Plukenet Tower, the corbels
having rounded ends, presumably for a wall-walk approached
by the stair last described. Nothing remains of the continuation
of the curtain higher up the slope to meet the enclosure of the
Inner Ward. At the S.E. end is the stub of the wall that returned
westward, formerly the front wall of the South-west Bailey,
cut back and faced; but most of the facing has fallen away
The defences of the S.W. periphery of the Outer Bailey
(Plate 80) are considerably stronger than those opposite: the
towers are more numerous and the walls thicker. The defence
of a less precipitous approach is probably sufficient explanation
of the differences, though piecemeal development now difficult exactly to determine may have contributed to them. The
curtain wall between the Outer Gatehouse and the first Tower
has been in part rebuilt; the later fine ashlar facing (Plate 76)
has a short vertical base and a smooth battered plinth which,
although different in size, is closely akin to that of the
'Gloriette' tower of 1377–8 where the angled turn from base to
batter comes in mid-course, the arris being worked in the stone;
elsewhere in the Outer Bailey and South-west Gatehouse the
turn is contrived at the joint between courses (Fig. p. 60). The
inner face of the wall is of squared and coursed stone. Base and
plinth are stepped at intervals to follow the slope of the ground
but about 10 ft. from the Outer Gatehouse is a cavernous
undermining containing some slight evidence of a drain.
The first Tower, of c. 1250, which masked an obtuse turn
in the enceinte, has moved several feet down the hill in two
masses as a result of undermining at the slighting. Again it
was of rounded form, though angular within, and solid in the
lower part and open at the back. The main standing piece,
now at a considerable tilt, retains some fine ashlar facing inside
and out but with wider jointing than that of the Outer Gate-house. In it is an embrasure with a segmental-pointed head to a
cross-loop with eccentric splays and a flat rear arch commanding
the approach to the Outer Bridge; only the W. side of the
axial loop and embrasure survives. The battered plinth and
short vertical base (cf. Plate 76) again are similar to those of
the Outer Gatehouse towers and the Horseshoe and Plukenet
Towers, though slight chiselling of the stones to smooth away
any lodgement on the slope of the batter creates a resemblance,
superficial only, to the chamfered battered plinths described
below under the West Bailey defences. Treswell's plan shows
a latrine close N. of the tower but this and the curtain wall of
c. 1215 nearly as far as the next tower are destroyed, though
tumbled fragments show the curtain to have had random ashlar
facing outside and rougher ashlar inside, the core being of
large rubble. The only standing piece at the N.W. end retains
the remains of a small postern consisting of the N. chamfered
jamb and reveal and the S. reveal.
The Tower next the well, of c. 1215, undermined and now
leaning (Plate 76), is generally similar to the first Tower except
for the galleted rubble masonry of the inner face and for the
loops. These last, three in all, with their embrasures in part
survive, one on the axis and two on the flanks close beside the
curtains. They are plain, 1½ ins. wide and 11⅓ ft. long, and the
axial embrasure retains part of the segmental relieving arch
overhead; their great length is due to a prolonged downward
splay that would enable a bowman standing in the embrasure
high on the solid basis of the tower to cover the approach all
the way up the steep scarp in front. (fn. 48) The position and length
of the loops on the flanks provided ready points of fracture
whence, in the slighting, the tower broke away entirely from
the curtain. Part of the c. 1215 curtain wall between this second
and the third Tower remains standing in situ and part remains
vertical after slipping some feet downhill. It has a smooth
batter and good ashlar in the lower courses and, for the rest,
rough ashlar and rubble facing outside and in, with some
The third Tower (9 ft. av. by 13 ft. inside; 15 ft. ext. radius),
of c. 1215, stands in position and is structurally similar to the
Tower by the well just described though the embrasures are
in better preservation and retain their rough segmental heads
(Plate 87, and p. 68). Much of the contemporary curtain wall
hence to the fourth Tower is standing in position; a part of the
battered plinth survives at the S. end; for the rest the outer
facing is of rubble with some reused stone. The setting of the
rubble to either side of the tower has been disturbed.
The fourth Tower (Plates 80, 87), next the bridge to the
South-west Gatehouse, is again similar to the two Towers
last described and part of the same defensive building project,
but the N.W. embrasure has been largely removed and the
inward end of the wall thus shortened refaced; the straight
joint with the original masonry and the springer of the
embrasure arch are visible. The alteration has every indication
of being a very early one, and it may well have been to give
ease of access to a wall-walk across to the South-west Gate-house. The other two embrasures retain parts of their segmental arches and complete loops; the axial loop is transomed and
the embrasure to it has a square-headed recess in the right-hand reveal.
The curtain wall between the foregoing and the South-west
Gatehouse is post-mediaeval, but low down and on a different
alignment is a short length of the early 13th-century curtain
wall bonded with the Tower last described though without a
plinth; no visible evidence remains to show how far it continued. The later wall is of rough uncoursed rubble butting
against the fourth Tower at the S.E. end; the N.W. end is
broken away, but when complete must have only butted
against the S.W. tower of the South-west Gatehouse for the
latter shows no scar of broken bonding. It contains three
roughly-formed loops and the S.E. splay of a fourth at the
The Outer Bailey enclosed by the stone walls and towers
described above contains four earthen Terraces (Plate 75)
running E. and W. for some two-thirds of its width, becoming
more distinct as they rise to the N.; the remaining W. third is
occupied by a steadily rising approach to the bridge before the
South-west Gatehouse. No evidence remains above ground
to prove the former existence of retaining walls to the terraces.
The formation is artificial and, though worked in the spoil
from the 13th-century ditch, is probably post-mediaeval unless
the top terrace was retained by the 1235 wall described in the
historical introduction, but this only excavation might prove;
the rather different alignment could be due to gardenterracing of the Tudor or Stuart period (cf. Raglan castle).
(See also Earthworks below, p. 78.)
The great Ditch of 1207 between the Outer Bailey and the
Inner Ward runs E. and W. from the Plukenet Tower towards the bridge at the South-west Gatehouse. It is cut out of
the rock and the N. face is very steep, rising in an unbroken
scarp to the foot of the massive wall round the Inner Ward.
The cutting takes an abrupt turn by the bridge and continues
down the hill to die out in the slope beyond the W. side of the
castle precinct. (See also Earthworks below, p. 78.)
The Bridge in two spans across the Ditch has a rubble core
that may be in part mediaeval, but the structure has undergone
successive repairs, part rebuilding and patching up to very
recent times. The N.W. end breaks into a great battered apron
below the gateway in the South-west Gatehouse which is
thereby much damaged. Thus the last span at least originally
had a sliding or rising timber bridge; the two round arches
are post-mediaeval. The S.E. abutment is also a later rebuild.
The South-west Gatehouse (Frontis., Plate 81) stands athwart
the approach from the Outer Bailey to the West Bailey,
overlooking the great Ditch. Of c. 1250, as explained in the
historical introduction, it is associated stylistically with the
later phase of development of the Outer Bailey defences and
seems to have been built when strengthening the whole
entrance-front was about to be begun. It faces S.E. and has
rounded towers containing guardrooms etc. flanking a central
passage, the greater part being of fine ashlar. The S.W. tower
was undermined at the slighting and the whole has slipped
about 8 ft. southward though remaining upright and very
largely intact in itself; but it was built some 1¼ ft. in advance of
the N.E. tower. The main entrance (Plate 77) has a segmental
archway, angled at the springing, through a wall 12 ft. thick;
at the front are two chamfered orders dying out against the
side wall on the S.W. and the drum of the tower on the N.E.;
further back are finely dressed rounded portcullis grooves
continued up into the slot overhead; 1¾ ft. behind this last
is another transverse slot divided into four lengths by vertical
ashlar partitions; all these slots continue up to a 'fighting-deck'
at second-floor level; the reverse of the archway is of two
orders forming a door-check, the first chamfered and continuous, the second (outer) plain, continuous on the S.W. side
wall and dying out against the N.E. side wall where are holes
for drawbars below. The whole ashlar-faced wall above
having fractured at the apex of the arch, the S.W. half has
moved forward with the tower as described above. The passage behind, now open to the sky, has ashlar-faced side walls
to a height of some 14 ft. and random ashlar above. The N.W.
end wall has been demolished; this was of earlier date, of
1235, containing a contemporary gateway, some of the lowest
courses of which survive. Thus the gatehouse block providing
garrison quarters was a defensive development, being added
against the plain portal; the rearward ends of the walls show
the flattened surfaces where they abutted the earlier masonry
face. In the side walls of the passage are doorways to the rooms
in the flanking towers; that to the N.E. (Plate 77) has a
shouldered head and continuously chamfered lintel and
jambs, a secondary Purbeck marble lintel, much weathered,
and a wrought semicircular relieving arch. As a result of the
gatehouse block being built in the confined space between the
earlier wall already mentioned and the brink of John's ditch,
much ingenuity appears in the masonry jointing in the cramped
length of walling between this doorway, the portcullis groove
described below and the inner end of the building. On the
opposite side of the passage only the upper part of the S.W.
doorway now shows above ground; it has a plain square head
and chamfered jambs, the S.E. jamb being rebated, the N.W.
with no rebate and a large chamfer. Again 3 ft. inward along
the passage from these doorways is a second pair of rounded
portcullis grooves. Against the flat end of the N.E. wall and
with only occasional bonding-stones into it are the lower chamfered dressings of the 1235 gateway. North-eastward from the
last and contrived in the wall of 1235, and now as a result of
destruction seen on plan rather than in elevation, are the ashlar
containing walls of a circular stair that gave access to the upper
part of the Gatehouse and to an outside stair that led along the
early wall up to the S.W. corner of the Keep.
The N.E. tower of the South-west Gatehouse was of at least
three storeys. The rounded front is of fine ashlar but the straight
N.E. wall is of uncoursed roughly dressed rubble; protruding
from the ashlar some 4½ ft. from the present ruined wall-head
are three widely spaced rounded corbels. The rooms within
are rectangular. In the guardroom is a deep embrasure
(Plate 87; Fig. p. 68) with a segmental head and a cross-loop
commanding the approach to the bridge; the horizontal arms
of the loop are rebated to allow for manoeuvring a cross-bow.
In the opposite wall are the remains of the entrance to the
stair just described. The side walls of the first floor are thinner
than those below, leaving an offset 1 ft. wide for the floor joists,
now gone. In the N.E. wall is a ragged hole where was probably a loop; the opposite wall retains traces of a fireplace
and the flue survives above. The walls of the second floor are
much ruined but the form of the 'fighting-top' is clearly
indicated by radiating chases which housed the cantilever
beams supporting timber hoards. The form of the roof is
The S.W. tower (Plate 77), three-quarter-round and also
of three storeys at least, has corbels similar to those on the N.E.
tower, except on the outward-facing sector; here at a slightly
lower level are three large closely-set moulded corbels resembling machicolations. Inside, the tower is filled to a height
of 6 ft. or more with fallen debris. Access to the ground-floor guardroom is by a short passage on the N.E. with an
entrance largely robbed of dressings. The three embrasures
and loops are generally similar to those described in the tower
opposite but the loops are blocked. The three joists carrying the
floor above were housed in the S.E. wall and supported on a
10 in. setback on the N.W.; access to the first floor must have
been by ladder for no openings occur in the walls. Access to
the second floor was from across the gate, or from the top of
the earlier wall now demolished that abutted on the N.W.,
and past a garderobe. This last is contemporary with the tower,
of ashlar and corbelled out from the straight return-wall.
The wall of 1235 (Plate 82) that carried the steeply pitched
stair mentioned above from the South-west Gatehouse to the
Keep is of rough rubble and broken away where it meets the
Gatehouse. Near the top of the rise it turns to run parallel with
the earlier S. annexe of the Keep and butts against the enclosure
wall of the Inner Ward (Plate 83); on top of the latter is a
small landing, formerly roofed, at the entrance to the passage
through the aforesaid annexe. The 1235 wall has buttressed
the 11th-century wall of the Inner Ward, the rest of which
for some 30 yds. westward fell away in the 19th century; the
ragged exposed end of the latter has since been faced in rubble,
the battered lower part in a great rounded splay, the upper
part flush with the W. face of the 1235 wall.
The West Bailey (Plate 81) occupies the triangular top of a
narrow salient projecting due W. from the base of the mound
carrying the Inner Ward, with precipitous slopes on the two
free sides. A steep and narrow ascent, confined on the left by
the curtain wall when complete, and on the right by the steep
slope of the mound, leads up from the South-west Gatehouse
to a plateau partly levelled and partly made up lying between
the N. and S. curtain walls which converge more or less
symmetrically upon the Butavant Tower at the W. extremity
of the Bailey. The E. limit of this plateau is marked by vestigial
remnants of a wall from N. to S. which was the western
enclosure wall of the early South-west Bailey. Thus the
indications are that the 1202–4 defences of this West Bailey
completed a self-contained stone-walled enclosure (cf. the
Outer Bailey at Château Gaillard and the spur-work at Dover
Castle). On the plateau stands the earliest building in the
castle, the Old Hall.
The Old Hall (72 ft. by 17 ft.) of c. 1080 was built E. and
W. close to the S. scarp of the hill. Only the S. wall, entirely
of 'herring-bone' masonry with ashlar dressings, 3¼ ft. thick
and standing to a height of from 9 ft. to 14 ft., survives
(Plate 79), but excavations have revealed the plan dimensions. (fn. 49) It seems originally to have been freestanding but the
early 13th-century stone wall of the bailey is built up against
the S. side, resulting in a total wall thickness here of 10¾ ft.
The three original windows, blocked by the later wall, are
6 ins. wide with square heads, semicircular rear arches and
continuous splays all of dressed stone; each is about 1 ft. lower
than that to the E. of it, the angle of fall following the slope
of the rough floor-surface of the building disclosed by excavation. Low down towards the W. end is a 13th-century ashlar
drain (Plate 79) extending through the two walls and replacing
an earlier, probably 12th-century, soakaway beneath; the
latter was uncovered in 1952. This end of the building
may thus have been a Buttery from an early date, for the
base of a cross wall occurs off-centre between the second
and third windows described above, and although this is not
bonded into the 11th-century S. wall it is overlaid at a slightly
different angle by a 13th-century wall. The surviving base of
the original W. end wall of the building, now buried, retains
traces of ashlar strip-buttresses; it appears to be built upon a
still earlier retaining wall of large rubble. (fn. 50) The E. and N. walls
were destroyed when the building was extended in the 13th
century. No evidence remains to show the form or material
of the original upper storey, which presumably contained the
11th-century Hall. The 13th-century building itself has been
almost entirely demolished but excavation shows it to have
been 58 ft. by 34 ft., possibly with buttresses to the N. wall.
The stone enceinte of the West Bailey has suffered considerable destruction. The 12th-century E. wall has been demolished
but the footings show in places at the edge of the plateau
through worn turf; the N. wall linking it with the Inner
Ward is of one build with the 1202–4 curtain but is now much
ruined; the fragmentary S. wall linking it to the South-west
Gatehouse is probably of 1235; both link-walls are described
The North Tower of the early 13th-century enceinte, semi-circular outside (14 ft. radius), polygonal inside (12¼ ft. across)
and open at the back, appears to stand almost to its original
height above a deep battered chamfered plinth of ashlar
(Plate 76; Fig. p. 60); the walling is of coursed rubble with
vertical ashlar bonding strips. It is solid up to the ground level
of the bailey, above which the walls now rise another 20½ ft. In
each side is a loop-hole embrasure with a segmental-pointed
head, but the E. loop has been blocked and the upper parts of
the other three loops have been converted into windows, possibly in the 16th century though loss of the dressings makes
dating conjectural. On the inner wall-faces above are the
stone weatherings of a ridge-roof sloping N. and S. below the
wall-head, drainage from the V-shaped pocket on the N.
being through a small opening in the wall with a projecting
box-like outlet. An enclosing wall across the back of the tower
is shown on the plan by Treswell and footings on the chord
survive below ground; it may perhaps be associated with the
formation of windows already described to suggest conversion of the tower into a domestic dwelling, before 1586.
Proceeding westward, the curtain wall though now reft
of much of the facing extends almost to the Butavant Tower
and retains sufficient of the plinth returned from the North
Tower to show that the two are contemporary. Late blocking
occurring some 24 ft. along is the only confirmatory evidence
of the postern shown by Treswell; further on again is a modern
concrete prop outside. Near the junction with the Butavant
Tower Treswell shows a garderobe recess entered from the E.
through a doorway at right angles to the curtain, and parts of
this survive including the E. chamfered impost and springing
of the segmental-pointed head of the recess, one of the slotted
corbels for the plate of the lean-to roof above and the start of
the plain square head of the doorway.
The Butavant Tower of 1202–04 as the name implies stands
at the acute western extremity of the West Bailey, the ground
falling steeply away from the free sides. For this reason it
suffered severely when undermined in the slighting, and since
then the exposure of its position is such that wind, rain and
frost have almost completed the ruin; a heavy fall of masonry
occurred in 1866. It appears to have been octagonal (approx.
18 ft. across between walls 9 ft. thick) but part only of the two
E. walls stands. Access to the lowest storey, below the ground
level of the bailey, seems to have been solely from above, by
ladder; the walls, seen from inside, are of rubble with ashlar
angles. The ground floor has in the surviving S.E. wall a short
wall-passage roofed with slabs supported on chamfered strings
leading to a vice rising to the floors above. Access to the
passage from the bailey was through two doorways at a right
angle to one another; of these two jambs alone remain. The
upper walling of the vice has broken away exposing a doorway
with a flat lintel on chamfered imposts opening to a wall-passage, again with a slab roof on chamfered strings, leading to
the first-floor room through a second doorway of which one
jamb survives. The stairs appear to have continued up, but
nothing remains of another storey. All the masonry tophamper here described is supported on a square modern pillar.
The curtain between the Butavant and the South Tower
stands almost complete to the level of the wall-walk and
retains at the E. extremity bonded into the South Tower part
of the parapet wall, which retains one chamfered coping-stone.
The outer face has a chamfered battered plinth of ashlar and
walling of roughly coursed dressed rubble with occasional
vertical ashlar bonding strips. The greater part is built up
against the 11th-century building as described above, but
westward in the clear the inner side has a recess, low down,
5½ ft. wide and with a two-centred head springing from
chamfered imposts; it may have been for a garderobe. Further
W. again is a large open crack through the wall.
The South Tower of 1202–04 (approx. 13 ft. ext. radius) is
badly ruined and the projecting sector has moved forward.
It overlapped the 11th-century building so that the back was
partly sealed on the chord by the early S. wall of the latter;
but with little doubt the rest was originally left open. The
adjoining E. curtain continues through unbroken to the inner
E. side of the tower where the exposed end is fair faced; it has
no bond with the wall returning N. Of like design, material
and construction to the N. Tower, the S. Tower also had four
loops and embrasures and the N. reveals of the flanking two
survive, the embrasures having pointed segmental heads
springing from chamfered corbelling. The main upper walling
of the tower overlaps the flanking curtains as far as the inner
face, curving on the radius of the projecting sector. Probably
in the 13th century, as part of the considerable extension of the
Old Hall already described, closure of the back of the tower
was completed, a doorway with plain rebated jambs and a
segmental head being incorporated in the E. extension to the
11th-century wall (Plate 79). This is the plan recorded by
Treswell, but even here the 13th-century building appears
fragmentary, only the E. wall extending rather further N. than
it now does. The remains of this same wall contain close by
the junction with the curtain a small contemporary loop-light
and, further N., a rough late 16th or 17th-century niche.
Late in the 17th century the standing back part of the ruined
tower was enclosed and a fireplace inserted.
The curtain E. of the South Tower is largely demolished.
The wall represented by the western stub is one with the Tower
and of similar character and doubtless continued originally as
far E. as the enclosure of the South-west Bailey. The only
other standing fragment of walling further S.E., some 30 ft.
long, rubble-built and without any plinth, is out of alignment
and 1 ft. thinner than the foregoing; it is a part of a link-wall
between the S.W. Gateway and the West Bailey and of a
masonry technique similar to that of the wall of 1235 between
the Keep and the S.W. Gateway. The complementary and
opposite link-wall on the N. side of the spur is heavily robbed
but enough of the plinth survives to show it was one with the
1202–04 curtain further W., that is, of the West Bailey; it
stands in a position of such defensive significance that it must
supersede the N.W. return wall of the old South-west
Bailey. This supersession seems to have been caused by a
change in the position of the Inner Gate (to the Inner Ward),
requiring a more northerly run. The standing length now has
an angular turn some 30 ft. from the Inner Ward enclosure and
then continues W. some 14 ft. to end in the E. reveal of an
embrasure. W. from the embrasure only footings survive
for some 45 ft.; then the wall shows late patching and contains
a damaged recess with a 17th-century segmental brick head;
close W. again is the N. Tower described above.
The great 11th-century surrounding Wall to the Inner Ward
encloses an area pear-shaped on plan of just under ¾ acre,
the narrow end projecting as a salient commanding the
approach round from the South-west Gatehouse to the Inner
Gate close under the N. scarp. The wall is generally of large
roughly-squared and coursed rubble with some sea-worn
boulders and varies from 7½ ft. to 9½ ft. in thickness. The
length on the N.W. is much ruined and thrown down but the
formation of the ground and structure and the evidence of
Treswell's plan (Plate 74) give within close limits the position
of the Inner Gate. The surviving evidence, fragmentary and
only partly revealed by superficial clearance, suggests that the
gateway was close against the return of the early enclosure
wall on the S. certainly in the 12th century, and that at the
beginning of the 13th century it was moved some feet to the
N., the new N. dressings forming the E. termination of the
1202–04 link-wall just described. The former N. abutment was
demolished down to the chamfered plinth, which was buried
beneath the new threshold but is now partly visible again.
The whole northern perimeter of the 11th-century wall is
fragmentary; on the N.E. turn is a curved piece some 60 ft.
long by 8¾ ft. thick standing to a height of 28 ft. outside, 14 ft.
inside and retaining large rectangular housings for floor joists.
Next is a ragged breach formed by the destruction of a
projecting bay, possibly a wall-tower, of which fragments of a
chamfered base and smooth battered plinth remaining in situ
are enough to show it was three-sided, with the sides splayed.
The whole may well have been of the 14th century. The S.
splayed reveal of an opening into it survives in a section of the
enclosure wall rebuilt at the same time. The 11th-century wall
continues thence some 25 ft., bordering a large sinking named
by Treswell a well. The next 30 ft. is destroyed. The S.E.
corner (Plates 75, 76) was rebuilt or refaced in finest ashlar in
the late 14th century as an integral part of the 'Gloriette'
Tower (see p. 77); it has a short vertical base returning at midcourse to a smooth battered plinth and stands some 20 ft.
high though now at a considerable outward tilt. Proceeding
W., the S. side of the wall has fallen away but the recess so
formed has in modern times been roughly faced and fitted
with benches to provide a vantage-point; close W., on top
of the wall, is a small chamber that is an adjunct of the Long
Chamber in the 'Gloriette' (see p. 77). Thence to the Keep the
wall, here of rough uncoursed rubble with two offsets outside,
is breached near the middle for access to a 17th-century
Bastion (see p. 77). The wall is just overlaid by the S.E. angle
of the Keep and continues under the S. annexe of this last,
the top being exposed in, and forming part of, the floor of
the through passage (Plates 82, 83). As already described, it
is then broken off flush with the W. face of the 1235 wall
up from the South-west Gatehouse, to recommence some
85 ft. further W. whence a lofty fragment returns sharply
N.E. to rejoin the Inner Gate.
Immediately through the Inner Gate Treswell's survey
shows a small enclosed area W. of the Keep entitled the 'Thirde
Warde' and another N.E. from it the 'Fourth Warde' but no
clear demarcation of these inner stands survives and, for clarity,
the whole area enclosed by the great 11th-century wall is in
this account named the Inner Ward. Here, commanding the
castle, is the Keep (Frontis., Plate 75) of c. 1105, a great rectangular tower (43 ft. by 48 ft.) of wide-jointed, well wrought
ashlar masonry. A W. forebuilding (16 ft. square) and a S.
annexe project from it; damage complicates reading of the
structural evidence, but both may be accepted as being of
separate, though not appreciably later, construction. The
whole of the N. side and much of the E. and W. sides of the
Keep have been destroyed, the rest stands almost to full
height; the forebuilding is demolished down to the principal
floor level of the Keep; the S. annexe stands to the top of the
first floor, having been reduced some 8 ft. in height in the
late 16th century. The Keep contained a basement and
principal and first floors until the 13th century when a second
floor was contrived, still below the original wall-head. Late
16th-century plans of the three upper floors are at Kingston
Lacy; these and the surviving structural evidence show
that the whole had a party wall running E. to W. with a
great room to the S. and smaller rooms to the N. on the
two main floors and several small rooms on the 13th-century
floor, these last and the parapets being reached from
the first floor by a vice in the S.E. corner of the Keep. The
principal floor was some 23 ft. high, the first originally 24 ft.
subsequently 18ft. The W. forebuilding, approached by an
external flight of steps, now gone, contained a grand stair,
also now gone, from the principal floor to the first floor. The
S. annexe contained a through passage on the level of the
principal floor with a guardroom and a garderobe beside it and,
on the first floor, probably a chapel, another garderobe and a
stair upwards in the W. wall. Apparently no part of the Keep
contained wall-chambers, nor do stairs occur in the lower
parts of the walls; therefore internal access from the principal
floor to the basement was presumably originally by ladder. By
analogy, the accommodation probably comprised storage etc.
in the basement, semi-public audience rooms on the principal
floor, where were the Great Hall, Great Chamber, etc., and the
Royal apartments on the first floor including the King's
Chamber, the Chapel already mentioned opening from the
last, and two inner private chambers.
Outside, the Keep is divided into three stages by continuous
chamfered offsets; rising the full height of the walls are the
remains of weathered strip-buttresses similarly divided, originally five on the E. and W., four on the N. and S. The recessed bays have smooth battered plinths bringing the walling
out flush with the base of the buttresses and, in the third stage,
blind arcading consisting of semicircular arches of one plain
square order springing from square pilasters and responds with
chamfered imposts; those recesses that remain unblocked have
steeply weathered sills. Three bays of arcading occurred originally between the buttresses on the N. and S. walls, two on the
E. and W. (Plate 86). On the E. the whole second bay, with the
tusking, responds and springers of the flanking bays, and much
of the S. angle buttress remain, but the lower part of the N.
surviving pilaster has been underpinned and rebuilt with a
rough stepped plinth, probably in connection with the stair
shown by Treswell returning past the 'Gloriette' kitchen. The
S. side (Frontis.) is more or less complete, only the upper
part of the E. bay being broken away on the diagonal, though
much is masked by the S. annexe and its low eastward extension, once with a lean-to roof but now roofless, that contained
a flight of steps. The N. side lies fallen in jumbled fragments
northward across the Ward. The W. side (Plate 83) retains
only the S. bay and part of the adjoining bay standing, both
masked low down by the W. forebuilding; the surviving lower
part of the other two bays has been forced N., twisted and
tilted over W. by explosion. The W. buttresses in situ have
been much cut into and damaged presumably first for the
bonding of the forebuilding and subsequently by its demolition;
in the wall between them are the great round-headed archways
to the principal and first floors and over the upper is the
crease in the wall for the gabled roof of the forebuilding.
The basement of the Keep followed the plan of the upper
floors already described, as surviving structural walling inside
proves, though without openings in the outside walls; but
subsequently a second E. to W. rubble wall was inserted across
the main S. compartment and a doorway broken through the
W. outer wall to the space under the steps up to the W.
forebuilding; the S. stop-chamfered jamb of this doorway
remains in situ. In the S.E. corner of this storey are traces of a
small barrel vault that possibly formed a platform for a timber
stair or ladder from the floor above.
The principal floor is marked by a setback of 2 ft. in the E.
and W. walls. In the S. stub of the E. wall is the S. jamb of an
original opening with a plain rectangular reveal; opposite in
the S. stub of the standing bay is the N. reveal of a large window of c. 1500 with a stone bench against the splay and, in the
N. stub of the same, the haunch of the splayed curving reveal
of an inserted opening. This last probably opened on the
stair-addition shown by Treswell, now entirely gone, for
which as already described the walling below was botched.
The S. wall has a small doorway at either end both with plain
square heads; they open to the through passage on the S.
described below with the S. annexe, that to the E. having
steps down in the thickness of the wall. The ten housings
for the floor joists are carefully cut and 1½ ft. wide by 1 ft.
10 ins. high; above them are smaller housings presumably for
a timber wall-bench. Centrally and high up in the wall is a slot
cut diagonally back as though to take the springer of a transverse arch. In the standing S. bay of the W. wall is the damaged
entrance from the forebuilding; the fragments of the original
semicircular head and N. jamb suggest that the archway was
of two plain orders; the S. side is cut away and the tympanum
filled for the insertion of a square-headed doorway of c. 1500
of which the S. jamb survives. In the ruined bay next N. are
traces of a window. Of the internal E. to W. cross wall only
the stubs in the E. and W. walls remain; the former retains the
plain rectangular E. jamb and springer to a round-headed
doorway into the N.E. room; the latter is on a displaced
fragment of walling.
The first floor of the Keep was reached from the stair in the
W. forebuilding. At this level is a setback of 1½ ft. in the walls.
Visible in the thickness of the wall in the S.E. corner, being
sectioned by masonry collapse, is an ashlar vice leading upwards from this floor and, in the adjacent stub of the E. wall,
the square S. jamb of the small doorway to the same. Further
N. the standing bay, as on the floor below, retains in the
flanking stubs evidences of the N. and S. reveals of openings,
here both windows and probably original. The S. wall has
in the E. bay a large square-headed window opening of c. 1500
with a depressed four-centred rear arch and now without
mullions or tracery. In the next bay is a doorway which gave
access presumably from the King's Chamber to his Chapel on
the first floor of the S. annexe; on the N. it is small and with
plain jambs and a semicircular head, but the S. side, which is
now extremely difficult of access and not normally seen, has a
larger surround (Plate 86), of greater decorative elaboration
than occurs generally elsewhere in the castle, imposed on the
smaller feature behind. The moulded semicircular head is
enriched with billet ornament and springs from chip-carved
chamfered imposts returned as abaci over three-quarter jambshafts with voluted capitals, cable-moulded neckings and
moulded bases. The solid tympanum is plain and rests on plain
square responds, the former masking the lower arch behind,
the latter continued back without rebate as the actual reveals
of the doorway. The assumption must be that the doorway and
elaboration are contemporary with the annexe and represent an
early remodelling of an opening in the Keep. In the third
bay and also contemporary with the annexe is a large doorway
facing N. with a plain semicircular head and similar rear arch
opening to the W. part of the annexe; the W. wall of this last
butts against the W. jamb of the doorway in a straight joint.
The W. wall has at the entry from the W. forebuilding a wide
round-headed archway, with one surviving chip-carved
impost, which was partly blocked in c. 1500 for the insertion
of a narrower archway with a four-centred head; steps rise
within the opening, the archway cutting straight through the
wall with only a rebate on the inner side. The chip-carving
of the earlier archway suggests a history similar to that of the
elaborate doorway described above and thus contemporaneity
between annexe and forebuilding, though whether the archway was an innovation or a remodelling of an original opening
is not determinable. Further N. are traces of a window-splay.
Of the internal E. to W. cross wall again only the E. stub
remains in situ, but this retains the E. half of a doorway (Plate
86) which too has elaboration matching that of the doorway
to the chapel described above, being of the same disparate
dates. It has to the S., in the presumed King's Chamber, a
three-quarter attached jamb-shaft with capital carved with
elementary foliage and volutes, a chip-carved abacus, remains
of a moulded semicircular arch enriched with billet ornament
and also of a solid tympanum which masks the lower semi-circular rear arch behind and which rests on a square respond,
which forms the door-check.
At the head of the foregoing storey the E. and W. walls have
the offsets and the S. wall the creases for the original roof, which
was of double-ridge form with a central valley running N. and
S. On the E. wall is a fragment of the chamfered weathering
to the parapet gutter. As mentioned above, the storey was
lowered and the roof rebuilt as a flat at a higher level for the
insertion of a second floor in the 13th century; the six housings
in the S. wall are for the inserted floor joists. The second floor
was again remodelled in the late 16th century and to this date
belong the fireplace with a depressed four-centred head and
the small rectangular window initially of two lights close W.
of it, both in the S. wall, the latter breaking into the original
blind arcading outside seen over the top of the S. annexe. (fn. 51)
The small light high up further W. is probably to be associated
with the original ridge-roof. In the W. wall is a much damaged
window formerly of two lights similar to, and at the level of,
that just described and also broken through the filled original
The West Fore-building (Plate 83) is an addition to the Keep,
though very little later in date. It is solid up to the principal
floor-level of the Keep, and retains in situ before the N. entrance the S. half of a landing which was probably approached
by a straight external flight of steps of timber against the W.
wall of the Keep. The landing was carried on a semicircular-arched span 10 ft. wide from N. to S. with two plain ribs
springing from rectangular piers with chamfered cappings;
the W. side was closed by a wall rising to a parapet and this
in part survives. The N. doorway into the forebuilding has a
semicircular head of one plain order springing on the E. from
a buttress of the Keep. W. of the foregoing is the E. reveal and
part of the round head of a window. Abutment on the S. to
the solid basis of the forebuilding was provided by the 11th-century enclosure wall of the Inner Ward, but this having
fallen away the flat rubble and mortar face of the infilling is
exposed. The S. wall, which was superimposed on the earlier
wall, has been destroyed except against the angle buttress
of the Keep where are traces of a doorway that opened to the
early wall-top which itself was evidently protected by a
pentice (see S. Annexe below); higher again is the E. reveal of
a window. On the W. the ashlar external wall survives only
to a height of some 2 ft. above the solid basis. Inside the
building all the wall-faces are much damaged and robbed but
a wall-bench evidently originally with a chamfered stone
capping in part survives against the N. and W. walls and some
indications of the great square stair are distinguishable. As
mentioned earlier the crease for the original ridged roof shows
in the Keep wall over the archway to the King's apartments
on the first floor.
The South Annexe of the Keep (Frontis., Plate 82), again a
slightly later addition, rises from the steep side of the mound
on which the Inner Ward stands, though the scarping of the
latter for the 13th-century ditch and subsequent undermining
have left the footings exposed. It abuts the 11th-century
enclosure wall which it bridges to abut the Keep above, without extensive bonding. Except for two garderobe-chutes
the whole lower part nearly up to the level of the top of the
early wall is solid; above are two storeys but as mentioned
earlier the top was lowered some 8 ft. in the late 16th century.
To that extent it still stands, without floors and roofs, despite
the huge undercutting for sapping. The E. and W. walls
rise flush, the first from a shallow plinth, the second (Plate 83)
masked in the lower part by the 1235 wall described above
carrying the stair up to the Keep from the South-west Gate-house. The S. wall is in two stages divided by a large weathered
offset; it has a battered plinth bringing the face out flush with
the face of three continuous strip-buttresses; the two of these
last on the extremities narrow some 6 ft. below the present
wall-head. Below the exposed footings is a modern underpinning; in the plinth are the two rectangular garderobe outlets and, high above, is the fenestration described below.
Inside the S. annexe the lowest floor (coinciding with the
principal floor in the Keep) has on the N. a through passage
(Plate 83), the 11th-century wall-top forming the floor, with
lofty plain semicircular-arched entrances at either end and a
transverse arch across the middle; in between is barrel vaulting.
At an uncertain date a low doorway, since removed, was
inserted midway, and another in the W. archway probably
c. 1235; of the latter the plain N. jamb remains, the S. jamb
being formed by the E. jamb of a contemporary doorway, now
otherwise destroyed, that opened S. from the pentice previously
mentioned to the stair on the wall-top down to the South-west Gatehouse. Cut into the passage floors are gutters running N. to S. and continued as drains through the annexe to
discharge into the ditch. S. of the passage are two rooms, that
to the W. being a garderobe entered through a 12th-century
doorway with a plain square head and round relieving arch,
that to the E. a guardroom now open to the passage. The upper
part of the N. wall of the guardroom is supported on a plain
round arch springing from the side walls; the opening appears
however to have been filled in with a slighter wall, for against
the E. abutment is the plain E. jamb of a 12th-century doorway.
In the garderobe are housings for floor joists in the E. and
W. walls and an offset at floor-board level in the N. wall;
another offset occurs in the S. wall about 2 ft. above. Rising
from floor-level and 1¼ ft. from the E. wall are the springers
of a semicircular arch of one plain order spanning N. to S.
The arch was substantial, some 1¾ ft. thick, but no vestige of
superstructure survives; abutting the arch on the W. was a
timber seat, for which the rectangular grooves remain in the
S. wall. In this same wall is a large window opening of the
16th or 17th century with a square head but with the dressings
all robbed. In the guardroom are original housings for floor
joists in the E. and W. walls and later housings 2 ft. higher in
the S. wall. High in the E. wall is an original window of one
rectangular light with a semicircular rear arch; similarly in the
S. wall is another, now blocked, above a large square-headed
16th or 17th-century window now reft of dressings.
The upper storey is no longer easily accessible and the floor
has gone, though the upper surface of the vault to the through
passage below forms a lodgement on the N. No evidence
survives to show how this storey was divided; a wall-stair to
the parapets at the W. end was presumably partitioned off
from it. In the N. wall are the two doorways already described,
that to the E. being the one of much elaboration. The presence
of the latter and the square aumbry or locker close N. of the
large square-headed 16th or 17th-century window in the E.
wall suggest that the room was the Chapel of St. Mary in the
Tower, opening off the King's Chamber: the chapel of St.
Mary the Virgin is described in 1285 as in superiori dungeon.
In the S. wall are two large square-headed windows similar
to that just described and, like it, reft of most of the dressings;
they appear to have been of two lights with chamfered reveals.
At the lowered wall-head is evidence of at least two successive
forms of roof, one flat, the other double ridged with a central
valley; both impinge on the decorative surround of the doorway to the Chapel.
Adjoining the S. annexe on the E. are the remains of a pentice (Frontis., Plate 82) consisting of the S. wall 10 ft. high
and the creases in the Keep and annexe walls of the former
lean-to roof. It covered a long flight of steps, imposed on the
11th-century enclosure wall, and now much broken, rising
easily up to the passage through the S. annexe. This S. wall
also stands on the early wall and retains traces of the S. jamb
of the E. entrance, a large window now devoid of dressings
and a small rectangular window, possibly original but now
blocked, near the W. end. This pentice was similar to and
more or less symmetrical with that, mentioned above, formerly
to the W. of the annexe and fronting the W. forebuilding;
both were additions, of 1235 or later.
The 'Gloriette' (Plate 85) to the E. of the Keep was ranged
round a court but the greater part is demolished and the rest
much ruined. The ruins however include those of the Royal
state rooms that were the work of John in the first decade of
the 13th century. These consisted of a Hall or Great Chamber
in the E. range with a small but elaborate Presence Chamber
adjoining it on the N., both being entered from a towered
porch on the N.W. itself approached by a W. to E. covered
stair on the N. side of the court. Adjoining the Hall on the S.
was the solar, the 'Long Chamber' or 'Long Hall', extending
westward along the S. side of the court. All were on vaulted
undercrofts. W. of the court was a building, now represented
by mounds of overgrown rubble, shown as the 'kitchen' by
R. Treswell in 1586 (Plate 74); but traces of a N. to S. wall
further E. suggest that before his time a narrow range stood
between kitchen and courtyard, extending between the porch
shown by Treswell N.E. of the kitchen and the end of the
Long Chamber. Documentary evidence of 1291 shows that
the Parlour and the Queen's Chamber with a porch before it
were on the W. side of the 'Gloriette' block; the aforesaid
range, with direct access from the Long Chamber, would
have been the logical place for them. The great stair shown
N.W. of the kitchen by Treswell might suggest that the
Queen's apartments were over the latter, but expenditure
accounts in the mid 14th century suggest that the kitchen was a
building discrete in such a way that it could be demolished and
new built; further, the structural alteration to the N. bay of the
E. wall of the Keep already described leaves little doubt that
this stair was for access to that building (Treswell's plan being
taken at basement level, the stair is shown cut short; compare
the way the stair to the Keep forebuilding is shown).
Corfe Castle, The 'Gloriette', Plan at Basement Level
The approach stair to the Hall range, now a rough ramp,
is carried on a half-barrel vault, the space below being entered
from the barrel-vaulted undercroft of the Hall porch on the
E.; the S. springer only of the segmental-headed archway
between the two survives and only the S. half of the undercroft is intact. The stair retains parts of the containing walls
standing high enough to show that this building was ultimately at least of two storeys; evidence of early remodelling or
heightening occurs in the N. wall where a coping-stone,
presumably to a parapet-wall, survives in situ though now
built up, and the superimposed wall abuts the upper part,
formerly free, of a N.W. angle buttress to the Hall porch.
In the N. wall is the E. splay and part of the segmental rear
arch of a window and, above, traces of a small first-floor
window. In the S. wall are considerable remains of two single-light square-headed windows with chamfered reveals, the
easternmost with a chamfered segmental rear arch; diagonally
above the westernmost, outside, is a flat squinch arch supporting the skewed upper part of the southward return of this same
wall. The skewed wall contains parts of a fireplace and flue;
these were on the first floor of the kitchen porch shown by
Treswell. The broken cross wall at the head of the stairs is the
front wall of the Hall porch.
The Hall porch was of at least three and possibly more
storeys, including the undercroft. The front wall is fragmentary but has the chamfered springers of an archway with
segmental rear arch in the N. stub and opposite in the S. stub
a single springer set some 2 ft. lower to accommodate the
stair next described which passes overhead. In the wall above
is the N. chamfered and rebated jamb of a first-floor doorway,
which, when complete, was flanked on the S. by an internal
wall-stair of which some broken steps survive. In the fragmentary N. wall, which is in continuation of the N. containing
wall of the stair described above and shares with it a continuous chamfered external string at landing level, is the W. side
of a large original window to the principal landing that had a
two-centred head, chamfered jambs, a roll-moulded label with
carved stops, a chamfered segmental rear arch and a window
seat. The surviving foliate stop is much weathered. Below are
the chamfered jambs of a doorway to the undercroft and above,
on the upper floor, the W. side of a smaller window with
chamfered reveal and wide splay and, hard against the W.
cross wall, a complete narrow single-light window with
chamfered reveals and a square chamfered rear arch. W.
again, seen from outside, is the weathered profile of the N.W.
angle buttress to the porch showing as a straight joint in the
masonry. The S. wall is destroyed but the tusking for it
extends from the ground to the full height of the standing
fragment of the E. wall. This last, which is party with the Hall
range in the lower part where it contains the principal doorway
to the Hall and the S. side of an adjoining doorway to a room
conjecturally the King's Presence Chamber, rises free above
the adjoining range, indicating a towered porch.
The Hall range (Plates 84, 85), of five bays, exclusive of the
solar to the S. and inclusive of the Presence Chamber in the
N. bay, retains, in addition to the party wall just mentioned
and the stub of the bay adjacent to it on the S., the following:
the E. wall of the second hall bay nearly complete, the adjoining stub of the first bay and the adjoining stub of the
third bay, all standing in part to the wall-head (Fig. p. 76),
with the lower walling in the third and fourth bays standing
as high as the undercroft; the S. end wall broken away diagonally from the Hall floor level on the E. to near the wall-head on the W., and the stub of the returning W. wall. The
whole is of the earliest years of the 13th century. The original
entrance doorways to the Hall and the Presence Chamber are
set in a zone of very fine ashlar facing between landing level
and a roll-moulded string just over the apex of the arches, the
wall above being of squared and coursed rubble. The Hall
doorway (Plate 84) has a two-centred head; it is of two uninterrupted orders, the inner chamfered above scroll stops,
the outer continuously roll moulded, and has a moulded label
with defaced carved stops and a segmental-pointed rear arch.
The adjoining doorway was similar to the foregoing but with
one or two steps down in the thickness of the wall. The S.W.
corner of the Presence Chamber is adjacent to the S. reveal
of the latter doorway and to an ashlar wall-recess in the S.
return wall thus presenting a symmetrical angle, the whole
being wrought and moulded; it contained a freestanding
angle vaulting-shaft for a stone vault probably originally of
two bays from E. to W., but only the eroded Purbeck marble
base and cap and the springer of the moulded diagonal rib
survive. The wall stands to some 6 ft. above, and on the first
floor is a fragment of ashlar facing possibly to an upper
chamber, above the vault, that backed on the N. gabled end
wall of the Hall. The rest of the W. and S. walls and the whole
of the E. and N. walls of the Chamber are demolished and no
features of the undercroft other than the W. stub of the wall
between it and the Hall undercroft to the S. survive above
Corfe Castle, The 'Gloriette'
The standing bay of the E. wall retains the undercroft and
Hall windows and the two flanking strip-buttresses (Plate 84);
it is in two stages outside, divided by continuous chamfered
and roll-moulded strings at Hall floor level and sill level
respectively, the buttresses being weathered back between the
two from a projection of 1¼ ft. below to 4 ins. above. The
whole of the buttresses and the wall zone above sill level are
of fine ashlar, below the sill of rubble, presumably originally
harled. The windows are described below with the rooms they
lit. The stub of the flanking bay to the N. retains the S.
reveals of the windows and two moulded corbels of the
original corbel-table at the wall-head. The bay to the S.
retains much of the undercroft window and the N. reveal of
the Hall window in the stub above; the baying hence is
irregular externally, at least in the lower stage where no
buttress occurs, and instead the wall of a tower abuts some way
further S.; the last bay may well have been blind to the Hall
as it is to the undercroft. The two stubs of the W. wall retain
strings or evidence of strings similar to those outside the E.
wall, and the N. stub, which contains the N. reveal of the
Hall window next the porch, also retains one stone of the
The East Wall of the King's Hall and Undercroft
The Hall undercroft (Plate 85) was covered with a ribless
two-centred vault, quadripartite in each bay, consisting of a
single great span from E. to W. and four narrower spans from
N. to S. The surviving parts of the side and end walls retain
much of the ashlar-dressed facing which, standing proud of the
rubble, presents the matrix of the vaulting; the carefully
chamfered ashlar extrados of the two-centred arches so formed
suggests that the vaulting also was ashlar dressed, but the latter
is entirely destroyed. The first, second and third bays on the
E. each contained a lancet light with chamfered and rebated
reveals and deep splays inside with a rear arch nearly semi-circular in form, the rear arch and flat impost bands being in
ashlar; the S. side only of the first window survives, the second
remains more or less complete, the third has been converted
into a rough doorway and robbed of most of the dressings.
The first bay on the W. contained a doorway through to the
porch undercroft, but only part of the S. rebated jamb now
remains in a great ragged hole; the wall in the adjoining bay
is a modern underpinning.
The Hall (21 ft. by 46 ft.), of four bays, was lit by windows
of two chamfered orders with two-centred heads under roll-moulded labels with foliate stops (Plate 84), segmental-pointed
rear arches of two chamfered orders dying out against the
splayed reveals, and moulded window seats in the embrasures,
all being of very fine ashlar. The openings are very large and,
though the indicative dressings are damaged or missing, it
seems most probable that the windows were of two lights,
conjecturally with rudimentary plate tracery. As indicated
above, one window alone, the second on the E., remains
sufficiently complete to show the general form, but even here
only fragments of the inner order survive; they suggest that
shutters occupied the lower part of the openings, glass above.
For the rest, similar windows were demonstrably also in the
first and third bays on the E. and the second and possibly the
fourth bays on the W. Just above the level of the apices of the
windows in both walls are shaped corbels for the timber roof.
In the S. end wall, near the middle, is the lowest W. dressing
of the jamb of a doorway from the hall dais to the solar, the
The Long Chamber (very approx. 50 (or 40) ft. by 14 ft.) is on
a barrel-vaulted undercroft (10½ ft. wide); they both stand
against the S. end of the Hall range (Plate 85) and extend
26½ ft. beyond to the W. Adjoining them on the E. stood
'la Gloriette' tower, which formed the S.E. corner of the
Inner Ward and which, built late in the 14th century, possibly
in replacement of the tower called 'Plenty', involved some
remodelling of this end of the 13th-century building. The whole
is now so ruined and broken that the plan is difficult to recover
and analyse. The walling S.E. of the Hall is thickened in the
lower part presumably for support to the tower; W. of the
projection the undercroft extends some 28 ft. to a rubble
cross arch of which the rough S. springing alone survives;
6 ft. W. again is the S. spring of another cross arch, of ashlar,
some 3½ ft. wide. Treswell shows this narrow compartment
between the arches to have been a garderobe, and the enclosure
wall where now concealed is said to contain the outlet, but the
arches suggest a superstructure, possibly a staircase partitioned
off at the W. end of the Long Chamber. Entry to the solar
undercroft from the courtyard was through a doorway with
chamfered jambs and a segmental rear arch of two orders but
only the E. jamb and part of the head survive since the whole
of the N.W. angle of the building has been destroyed. The
N. wall of the Long Chamber, being party with the Hall,
and the fragmentary doorway in it have been described;
the S. wall is only just distinguishable towards the E. but
towards the W., where it stands three or four courses higher
than the addorsed 11th-century wall, is the W. jamb of a
former doorway to a small room built upon the early wall.
This wall-chamber is at a slightly lower level than the Long
Chamber and presumably the staircase mentioned above
gave access down to it as well as up to other chambers; though
largely destroyed, it retains traces of a window to the S. and
the lower dressings of a doorway leading W. to the wall-walk
and thence to an external stair, of which fragments survive,
down to the garderobe.
Little remains of 'la Gloriette' Tower; all above the undercroft is gone and the latter is now open to the sky; nothing
of the Chapel, in all probability formerly in this area, survives.
The outer wall (Plate 76), which being part of the Inner
Ward enclosure wall has been described with that circuit, is
displaced and leaning, with the result that all the internal
walling is disrupted or destroyed. It is probably the tower
containing five chambers built in 1377–8 for some £269. A
small square N. room, now devoid of the N. wall except for
the stub against the Hall range, had over the S. part a deep
semicircular arch springing from chamfered imposts addorsed
against its S. wall. The S. room, forming the S.E. corner of
the Ward, led W. under a rough two-centred arch to the
solar undercroft already described; about the middle of the N.
wall is the chamfered impost to a cross arch now gone.
The 'Bastion' (45 ft. by 26 ft.) projecting S. from the Inner
Ward between the 'Gloriette' and the Keep (Plate 75) is reached
through an opening in the 11th-century Inner Ward enclosure
wall with roughly-dressed jambs containing a wrought barhole on the E. Shaped as shown on the plan, it is built up from
the hill-side in rubble on a battered plinth of squared and
coursed stone and has ashlar dressings to the forward angles.
The whole is an addition made between 1586 and 1635, in
part with re-use of old materials.
The 'New Bulwark' (Plate 74) occupying the narrow W.
extremity of the Inner Ward westward from the forebuilding
of the Keep consisted of a solid earth platform retained round
the greater part of the perimeter by the 11th-century enclosure
wall of the Ward and by a thinner wall on the N. This last
and the earth filling are not earlier than the late 14th century.
The ruin of the feature is described under the historical
introduction above and the account of the early walling is
included with the description of that circuit. The later N.
wall has two broken buttresses and, between them, the stub of
a wall that ran N.; at the W. end where it meets the early
wall, some 32 ft. from the Keep forebuilding, are fragments
suggestive of a vice leading up to the platform and entered
through a doorway with a rounded chase in the jamb for a
pin-hung door, but they may not be in situ. The platform
could also be reached from the forebuilding by way of the
early wall top.
Very fragmentary ruins of a number of apparently Subsidiary Buildings stand in the N. part of the Inner Ward bordering an open site, named by Treswell 'The Garden', in the N.E.
sector. To the N. beside the 11th-century enclosure wall was
a small rectangular building, most of which was destroyed
by the fall of the Keep, entered from an alley on the S. through
a doorway of which only the lowest dressings of the E.
jamb survive. The part of the E. wall still standing shows it
to have been lofty, of at least three storeys, the topmost
overlooking the early wall. This fragment, of coursed rubble
with ashlar dressings where the wall breaks forward, retains
two 16th-century windows with square heads, one at ground-floor the other at mid-floor level, and appears to have turned
askew to join the early wall. The skewed part contained an
archway of one segmental chamfered order and, on the first
floor, a small square-headed opening; of these only the N.E.
springer and the S.W. reveal respectively survive. The
walling of the second floor has traces of a window. The
enclosed alley some 6 ft. wide led due S. then turned almost at a
right angle to give access through a rectangular lobby to the
'Gloriette', to the stair to the Hall and to the kitchen. Even in
Treswell's time only one wall of this alley stood and the same
is now fragmentary; but rough footings of the opposite wall
remain distinguishable including traces in the S. wall of the
opening to the lobby. The footings of the lobby walls also
The castle stands on a great natural mound (Plate 81) rising
over 150 ft. above the foot of the narrow valleys that divide
it from the ridge of the Purbeck Hills to E. and W. The Inner
Ward and West Bailey are on Upper Chalk. Crossing the
present Outer Bailey successively southward are narrow
bands first of Middle Chalk, next of Lower Chalk and last,
in the area of the Outer Gatehouse, of Upper Greensand.
The formidable slopes outside the castle walls are very largely
the natural formation, minor scarping and smoothing being
the only artifices; a section on the N. shows a rise of 20°
increasing after 16 yds. to 32°, elsewhere to 45°. Within the
walls the S. side of the gigantic natural 'motte' carrying the
Inner Ward has however been very considerably steepened
from an easy southward slope as a part of the excavation
of the great Ditch in 1207 (Plate 82); it now rises at 42½°
from the foot of the ditch, slackening to 40° above. The E.
stop-ridge, never cut by the ditch, shows the earlier slope. The
outer face of the ditch is some 12 ft. deep and so nearly vertical
that the rock face has never become overgrown. The W.
length of the ditch turns sharply S.W. due S. of the Keep and
continues beyond the stone enceinte of the castle down the
hill-slope outside, the width being some 60 ft. and the depth
decreasing from 11 ft. at the wall to 4 ft. at 26 yds. beyond,
where a prominent step marks either accumulated rubbish
or quarrying; its line is traceable thence nearly to the foot of
the hill though the original end is lost. The advantages of this
part of the ditch seen in relation to the ultimate development
of the defences are so obscure that a natural origin might
well be claimed for it, but its form indicates the work of man
though nothing about it suggests a prehistoric earthwork. It
may well however have been formed when the approach to
the W. Bailey, and thence to the Inner Ward, was only protected by a palisade (i.e. before this last was replaced by a
stone wall in 1235); a ditch and a palisade had an ancient tradition of efficacy.
In the West Bailey the stepped plateaux are the product of
levelling for occupation. Within the Outer Bailey (Plate 75)
the spoil from the great ditch forms a platform 12 yds. wide
maximum; thence S. are three terraces, the first two flat and
5 yds. and 6 yds. wide maximum respectively; the third terrace, 4 yds. wide maximum, rises towards the middle and
follows an irregular course to the W. curtain. With this last
exception, these earthworks are in strong contrast to the
natural slope left on the W. for passage from the Outer Gate-house to the South-west Gatehouse; they all butt against the
E. curtain. Their date is uncertain, but none appears on
Treswell's plan of 1586, though his battery suggests the existence of the N. platform, which may be in the main of 1235
(see above pp. 61, 67). The ground in the southern area of the
Outer Bailey shows signs of levelling and disturbance, presumably for structures.
The saddle-backed land isthmus at the approach to the
Outer Gatehouse is cut by a cross ditch, which was at first
shallow, whether natural or artificial, and subsequently greatly
deepened artificially, possibly in 1214; the change from the
early slope to the later and steeper slope occurs on the centreline of the N. span of the Outer Bridge and at the end of the
gardens on the S.
Miscellanea: Reused in many of the houses in Corfe Castle
village are worked stones, some probably from the castle:
see Monuments 15, 18, 20, 30, 49, 76, 80, 112, 161, and the
stone sill of a two-light window of the 17th century in the
garden of 'Westaway', a modern house opposite Monument
98. See also Morden (3).
a(11) Encombe, house (Plate 88), park, stables, rustic
bridge, etc. (944785), near the coast 23/8 m. S.S.W. of
Corfe Castle parish church and close to Golden Bowl,
stands in a valley opening out to the sea. The House
is of two storeys with attics. The walls are of finely
tooled Purbeck stone ashlar and the roofs are covered
with slates. The property belonged to the Cullifords and
in April 1734 was sold to George Pitt of Stratfieldsaye
who settled it on his younger son, John Pitt, and who
died the same year. According to Hutchins the house
was then demolished, but in fact part at least seems to
have been retained to form the nucleus of the present
building on the evidence of the plan (see p. lix) and of
the highly unusual blind tympana to the windows and
blind panels over the entrance doorways, which suggest
the restrictive control of an earlier lower first floor. The
house, in the main as it now is, was completed by c. 1770,
for the full length of the present S. front appears in an
engraving in the first edition of Hutchins' Dorset,
1774, after a sketch by William Tomkins, whose work
elsewhere in the History is dated 1770. Probably the
earlier house, represented by the square central block
demarcated by the thick walls E. and W. of the Drawing
Room, was extended laterally before about 1740, being
refaced in the process. The extension containing the
Morning Room was at first without any impinging
building on the S.E., thus presenting a complete and
symmetrical façade to the E. Soon afterwards the pavilion-like wings orientated N. and S. on the S.E. and
S.W. were built; though their connection to the main
block was envisaged in their design, the linking wall
on the E. and both colonnades were still later additions.
Subsequently and still before c. 1770 the E. and W. outward extensions of the 'pavilions' were added. They are
shown in 18th-century architectural designs preserved
at Encombe, which include a plan (Fig. opp., inset)
and N. and S. elevations for the house; these also show
N.W. and N.E. wings which were never built. The
composition of the whole S. front seems to represent
an improvisation, and a highly successful and characterful one, over a long period, from 1734 to 1770. The
likely explanation is that the owner-occupier, John Pitt,
was himself an amateur architect, for probably it was
he who designed some of the buildings in the park at
Hagley, Worcestershire, in 1748–9. (fn. 52) In 1807 William
Morton Pitt, son and heir of John, sold the house to
John (Scott), later 1st Earl of Eldon. Much refitting of
the interior was done in 1811 to 1813 after a fire, the
contractor being William Bushrod of Weymouth. The
accounts are preserved in the house and include entries
for buying and fixing marble chimneypieces, for new
sashes, shutters, ceilings, cornices, etc.
Encombe in the parish of Corfe Castle in the county of Dorset
A new design for the N. front, which had never been
completed with the wings shown in the 18th-century
drawings, was made by G. S. Repton, Lord Eldon's
son-in-law; his elevational drawing of 1841 is preserved
in the house. The design was never executed though
photographs of the N. front taken before subsequent
alterations do demonstrate that it needed architectural
improvement. Since 1870, under John, 3rd Earl of
Eldon, very extensive alterations have been made inside,
less extensive outside. The main entrance has been moved
from S. to N. and the old entrance hall and adjoining
library thrown into one to form the present Drawing
Room; the old Dining Room has, with extension,
become the present Entrance Hall. The E. wing has
been replanned and rooms built or rebuilt behind the
flanking S. front. The W. wing has been shortened on
the N. and doubled in thickness and a great Kitchen
block added on the N.W. Other alterations will be
evident from the accompanying plans. Outside, the
highly individual S. front is little altered except by the
removal of dormer windows, but the character of the
N. front has been given distinction by the addition of
large pedimented dormer windows flanked by scrolls
and of a great arched chimney-stack near the axis, all of
stone. The Tuscan entrance doorway is probably reset
from the service courtyard on the W. (see 19th-century
photographs by Pouncy of Dorchester, in R.C.H.M.
records). The N. end of the W. wing is an entire
innovation. In 1959 a small Tuscan garden shelter was
taken down and re-erected as a porch to the main
The Stables to the N.W., though in general matching
the house in style, are of the early 19th century. John,
2nd Earl of Eldon (1838–54), improved the Park,
extending the lake lying to the S. of the house; it may
have been he who built the Rock Bridge.
Encombe is of considerable architectural interest.
Considered in relation to the main architectural influences of its time it shows traces both of the VanbrughHawksmoor style and of Palladianism, but there is no
decisive obligation to either. The design shows much
original thought, for instance in the highly unusual
E. elevation, and must be accepted as the work of an
accomplished amateur architect, John Pitt, the owner.
The ashlar facing throughout is of the finest quality. The
19th-century Rock Bridge in the park is an interesting
expression of the 'picturesque' movement.
Architectural Description—On plan the building consists
of a rectangular main block flanked by L-shaped wings
projecting southward and returning outwards to E. and W.
The original elevations, that is, of the Pitt rebuilding, have a
continuous square plinth, a plat-band at first-floor sill level, a
robust Tuscan cornice and a high panelled parapet wall, the
last with chamfered base, moulded capping and ball finials on
the corners. The ground-floor windows have blind semicircular heads with moulded archivolts springing from moulded
imposts continued across the fronts as strings; the window
openings, excepting those in the dormers of the N. front, have
plain square openings without architraves. The added E. and
W. returns to the wings are generally simpler than the foregoing in elevational treatment, being without the accentuation
of impost strings, panels in the parapet walls and finials, but
the parapet walls are additions subsequent to c. 1770; the
cornices too are slighter but immediately under them runs an
architrave of two fascia bands.
The N. front of the main block is symmetrical, in nine
bays, and stands forward from the end walls of the two wings.
The doorway in the middle has a blind stone panel in the head
and half-round Tuscan columns at the sides supporting an
entablature now in part obscured by the porch; it is in a group
of five closely-set bays with a central dormer window rising
from the cornice in advance of the parapet wall and with a
full pedimented entablature and side scrolls set vertically on the
abutting parapet walls. The penultimate bays are more widely
spaced and the two end bays project slightly and are each
completed with a pedimented dormer window, smaller than
that in the centre, again rising from the main cornice and with
horizontal side scrolls flanked by ball finials standing on the
parapets. The lofty central chimney-stack on the ridge has
paired pilasters flanking a pierced round-headed archway with
moulded architrave and imposts. The wings have plain rectangular windows, except those lighting the library vestibule
which have round heads.
The S. front (Plate 88), originally the entrance front, is
symmetrical from end to end. The deeply recessed main block
has the three middle bays in advance of the two flanking bays
on each side, which are set well back and masked on the
ground floor by colonnades, now glazed. A narrow centrepiece with a doorway, now a window, similar to that in the
N. front, continues up to a pedimented dormer window.
This last is recessed and has a round head, moulded archivolt
and imposts and a sill stopping against the sides of the recess
but visually in continuation of the capping of the main parapet
wall; against the dormer are ramped flanking pieces on the
parapets. The colonnades each have four freestanding Tuscan
columns and two attached columnar responds supporting
entablatures; the order here compared with that elsewhere in
the house shows a greater refinement. The free return-walls of
the wings, facing inwards E. and W., are designed as symmetrical compositions within themselves, each with a centrepiece containing a window on the ground floor in a surround
similar to that of the doorways described above, a rectangular
window on the first floor and a pedimented dormer containing
a window, nearly square. The S. fronts of the wings have the
ends of the 'pavilions' indicated by slight projection, ball
finials on the extremities of their parapets and one window
respectively on each floor; the fronts of the later E. and W.
extensions are again self-contained symmetrical compositions,
of simpler detail and flatter effect than the foregoing, with
centrepieces of only shallow projection which contain plain
round-headed doorways set in rectangular wall-recesses and
which are without dormer windows; the engraving of
c. 1770 shows these centrepieces with embattled parapets.
The E. front of the main block has three round-headed
windows on both ground and first floors and an embracing
pediment over the whole, the horizontal base members of the
pediment being returned only so far along the wall, on a level
with the impost moulding of the upper windows. These last
have moulded sills and balustrading in recessed panels below.
For the rest, southward, the ground floor is concealed by rising
ground. The W. front is now largely post-1870.
The Interior has been considerably altered since 1870, as
described above, and a new main staircase inserted in a new
position. The only plaster ceiling which may be original to the
Pitt rebuilding, being stylistically of c. 1735, is in the Morning
Room and consists of rectangular panels and a central oval
divided by wide moulded and modillioned framing with
continuous guilloche ornament on the soffit. The white marble
fireplace-surround (Plate 54) is of the late 18th or early 19th
century; it has a wide inner frame enriched with guilloche
ornament, foliated pendants on the side-pieces and an entablature with an enriched frieze and frieze-panels carved with a
Classical figure subject, a priest attended by women pouring a
libation on an altar, and urns on tripods. The Dining Room is
two storeys high and had until recently in the W. wall an
early 19th-century white marble fireplace-surround with
fluted Corinthian columns at the sides supporting an entablature carved with masks and figures derived from the Choragic
monument of Lysicrates, Dionysos with a panther and satyrs;
this has now been reset in the Entrance Hall. The Drawing
Room contains a delicately carved white marble fireplacesurround of c. 1800 with running acanthus and flower ornament in the frieze and on the flanking pilaster-strips where it
sprouts from ovals containing naked female figures. The
Library contains two early 19th-century white marble
fireplace-surrounds with mannered Ionic side pilasters tapering
to the base supporting an entablature with enriched frieze
and frieze-panels carved with urns; they contain contemporary
The Temple, 70 yds. S.W. of the house, has stucco-faced
walls and dressings of Portland stone ashlar. It was built in
the 19th century. The front to the open S.E. half has two
freestanding and two attached Tuscan columns supporting a
simplified entablature with lofty gable-like pediment, the
whole deriving from the classical distyle in antis arrangement.
The N.W. half is enclosed, the gable end being supported on
three Ionic attached half-columns. Laterally on a line with the
dividing wall are short external wing-walls with moulded
copings curving down to ashlar piers with moulded cappings
and ball finials.
The Stables comprise a long rectangular block with cottages
forming return wings at each end and are 100 yds. S.W. of the
house. The walls are of fine ashlar, rubble and brick and the
roofs are slate-covered. They were built early in the 19th
century. In the centre of the S.E. front is a projecting porticolike feature with four Tuscan columns, the outer being set
against the ends of the side walls, supporting a pedimented
entablature with a semicircular window in the tympanum. On
the ridge behind the pediment is a timber clock turret, octagonal with shorter sides on the diagonals and in two stages
above a square to octagonal base; the lower stage with the
clock dial facing S.E. has a cornice with curved pediments
over the longer sides; over the latter the upper stage contains
round-headed openings with moulded imposts, which are
continued round the solid shorter sides; it has a crowning
dentil-cornice and copper-covered dome surmounted by a
weather-vane. The walls flanking the centrepiece have plain
plinths, small modillion-cornices and plain square-headed
doorways and windows. The loft openings and the upper
windows in the cottages are under open-pedimental gablets.
Encombe in the parish of Corfe Castle in the County of Dorset
The Rock Bridge, 450 yds. S. of the house, carrying a farm
track over a shallow defile, is a 'rustic' work of the first half
of the 19th century. It is built of cyclopean blocks of stone
laid randomly, with great monolithic blocks set vertically to
create a 'picturesque' silhouette. The plan includes two labyrinthine passages flanking an alcove containing a stone bench
from which a prospect across a fish pond was commanded; but
the whole is now overgrown and almost concealed by saplings.
Eldon Seat, on a small hill nearly 5/8 mile S.W. of the house,
consists of an ashlar block 8 ft. by 4 ft. with a second slab set
up on edge in the centre to form a backrest, all on a stone
podium. An inscription records that the first stone was laid
by Lady E. Repton, elder daughter of the 1st Earl of Eldon,
on 15th October, 1835. Beside it is a memorial stone to Lord
Chancellor Eldon's dog Pincher, 1840.
The Obelisk on the hill-top nearly 3/8 m. N.N.E. of the house
is of Seacombe limestone. A square podium supports a square
pedestal-base to a square 'needle' of ashlar blocks tapering to an
obtuse point; it is approx. 40 ft. high. Two inscriptions in
Roman capitals record that it was put up 'in honour of Sir
William Scott, created Baron Stowell', by his brothers in
1835, and that the first stone was laid by Lady F. I. Bankes,
younger daughter of the 1st Earl of Eldon, on 28th May of that
d(12) School and Schoolhouse, on the W. side of
East Street, has walls of squared and coursed Purbeck
stone rubble and slate-covered roofs. It was built in
1834, the main two-storey block at right angles to the
road containing one large schoolroom on each floor
and a narrower prolongation on the W. containing the
main staircase and the schoolhouse beyond. A.S. wing
was added to the main block and the house extended
W. before 1850. In modern times the original ground-floor schoolroom has been sub-divided. (The last has
now been reopened to provide a school dining-room.)
The outside is severely plain, only the gabled end to the
street being elaborated with flush stone dressings to the
openings, a square stone inscribed panel and fretted timber
bargeboards set close against the wall-face. The date 1834 is
over the main entrance. The roofs are of low pitch, with
only slight projection at the eaves. Inside, only the collar-beam roof trusses of the upper schoolroom, now the parish
hall, are ornamented; these have large trefoils between the
upper and lower collars.
d(13) Almshouses, on the E. side of East Street,
comprise a single range of two storeys with four single-room dwellings on the ground floor, two above. The
walls are of coursed Purbeck stone rubble with large
quoin-stones; the roofs are covered with stone slates.
Almshouses in East Street are mentioned in an indenture
of feoffment by Robert Abbott of 1610/11 and in the
will of Sir Edmund Uvedale proved in 1621 (Report
of Charity Commissioners XXX (1836), 20–1), but the
present building is not earlier than the 18th century. To
it have been added the lean-to annexes on the E. and the
cart-shed on the N.
The original front is symmetrical, with paired doorways to
each side flanked by casement windows, one to each dwelling.
The most distinctive feature is the external stone stair in the
middle leading straight up to a doorway on the first floor; the
door-head breaks through the eaves and has a hipped roof.
The three chimneystacks at the ridge are of brick. Inside, the
lower dwellings are divided by original timber partitions with
beaded stiles. The dwellings above are entered from a common
lobby beside the central chimney-stack. A smaller lobby occurs
also on the E. side of the stack, again approached by a straight
stair, but here under cover.
Encombe in Dorset
East Street Almshouses
d(14) Glebe House, formerly the rectory (952817), is
of two storeys with attics and has a slated roof. The
stucco covering the walls conceals blocked windows
and other features of a building remodelled and enlarged
to form the present house in the early 19th century. The
earlier house was of the late 17th century, its predecessor
having been destroyed in the Civil War. It was 'greatly
improved' by the Rev. Sir Thos. Bankes I'Anson, Bt.,
about the middle of the 18th century (Hutchins I, 542),
but the only fittings of this or a somewhat earlier date
now visible are two fireplaces with simply moulded
surrounds on the first floor of the N.W. and S.W.
wings. It had a plan of half-H shape and was described
as 'a small and mean structure'. Though said to have been
'taken down and entirely rebuilt during the incumbency
of the Rev. William Bond' (1800–20), in fact much was
retained, the ground-floor rooms incorporated in the
new house simply being heightened. The change is most
evident in the present S.E. room on the first floor, where
the sill of the early 19th-century N.E. window, at
normal height, is in contrast with the sill of the earlier
S.E. window only 1½ ft. above the floor. At the same
time a staircase was added on the S.W. and a semi-octagonal window bay on the N.E. Conjecturally the
present entrance lobby to the S.E. replaces an entrance
and staircase hall destroyed when the octagonal-fronted
room was formed.
The S.E. and N.E. fronts are symmetrical; on the S.E. the
central entrance doorway has a semicircular fanlight with
interlacing glazing bars and a timber door-case with panelled
reveals and soffit and fluted side pilasters supporting entablatureblocks to a pedimented dentil-cornice. All the window openings
are plain and contain double-hung sashes with thin glazing
bars. The N.E. front has a semi-octagonal projecting bay in the
centre which contains french windows on the ground floor.
The interior has been renovated recently; there remain early
19th-century doors with six moulded and fielded panels,
panelled window shutters, some enriched plaster cornices and
a fireplace with a moulded surround with square blocks at the
angles carved with roses in high relief.
d(15) Greyhound Hotel (Plate 89), on the E. corner, of
two storeys and attics, occupies two 17th-century houses and a
series of later outbuildings. The walls are of local rubble and
brick colour-washed and the roofs are covered with stone slates.
The S. front has two porches, originally similar and both added,
one near the W. and the other at the E. end. The W. porch,
which spans the public pathway, has three stone columns with
square moulded caps and bases reminiscent of the Tuscan order
supporting an upper storey of brickwork in Flemish bond with
ashlar quoins; in it is a stone incised with the initials and date
I.C. 1733. The E. porch, of about the same date, also had three
columns of which only one can now be seen, the ground floor
having been enclosed in brickwork in the 19th century and the
pathway diverted round the front. The W. half of the main
range and at least part of the wing behind it form an L-shaped
plan and comprise the earliest part of the building, probably of
the early 17th century; the N. end of the wing, for about 18 ft.,
contains much reused mediaeval ashlar and may be a later addition. Inside the foregoing no old features survive other than two
chamfered ceiling beams with die-out stops near the middle of
the wing. The E. half of the main range retains its 17th-century
front wall but without surviving original openings; the thinner
back wall was presumably rebuilt in the 18th or 19th century.
Inside, a wide fireplace at the E. end has the remains of a bread
The N.E. wing where it abuts on a modern block is of one
storey with an attic; it is of the 18th century. The remainder, of
one storey, is of the late 18th or early 19th century. A Sun
Insurance Co. mark, 19420, is attached to the W. porch. In the
stables are some reused worked stones, including a gable finial
wrought with gablets, a coping-stone similar to one in situ
in the castle, 13th-century, and a window lintel, perhaps 17th-century.
d(16) Cottage, of one storey with half-attics, was inserted
in the 18th century to fill the small plot between the Greyhound
Hotel and Monument (17).
d(17) House, on the corner of the road to the castle, of two
storeys and attics, is perhaps of 17th-century origin. It was
extensively remodelled in the early 19th century and at other
times and now contains a shop with a late 19th-century window.
d(18) House, now the 'Castle Café', off the N.W. corner of the
Market Place, of two storeys and attics, was built towards the
middle of the 18th century. The front has been much altered, but
the segmental-headed doorway is original and so are the three
(originally four) first-floor windows, which comprise two-light
casements each with a slender wood mullion. Two hipped
dormer windows light the attics. Each gable wall has a chimney.
The plan comprised two heated ground-floor rooms, one being
entered directly from the street. At the back a narrow room or
rooms extending the full length of the house probably contained
the original staircase; above are attics with a pent roof. Loose in
the garden is a monolithic loop-light with a round head, singlesplay reveals and decorative channelling round the opening,
d(19) House, at the N. end, now two shops, is of one storey
with semi-attics and a cellar. It was built in the early 17th
century. Over the northernmost window on the E. are two
modern stones inscribed 1616. The plan appears to have been
of the type comprising three rooms and a through passage. The
S. end room had in the back wall a fireplace with moulded four-centred head and continuous jambs finished with carved stops,
but it has been rebuilt as a doorway. The middle chimney-stack,
of 18th-century brick, has two diagonal flues which probably
follow the pattern of the 17th-century originals. The stack at the
N. end is of ashlar and a rubble patching beside it on the E.
may represent a blocked loop-light flanking the fireplace. The
roof has exposed collar-beam trusses. Three wings and other
buildings have been added on the W. side of the house at
various times between the 17th and 19th centuries and the whole
interior has been remodelled.
d(20) House, 'Tudor Cottage', of one storey and attics, was
built in the 17th century; the quality and size of the ashlar facing
of the walls suggest the material was reused from the castle,
presumably after the slighting. The house is aligned E. and W.
The ground-floor plan comprised two rooms each with a fireplace in the gable wall; the original ashlar chimneys remain. A
corbel above the E. fireplace carries a transverse ceiling beam.
The front doorway, which has a three-centred head and chamfered jambs, stands immediately N. of the fireplace of the more
important, the E., room; it is protected by a later porch, entered
on the W., which has a high plinth with three chamfered offsets
and, in the gable, a shield with the initials and date EB 1677.
The back doorway, now blocked, has a cambered and chamfered
lintel, and is in the second room. An 18th-century outhouse
adjoining on the W. was heightened and converted into a
cottage in c. 1900. Reset at the N.E. corner of the house is a
stone carved with a portcullis, early 16th-century, and several
other worked fragments occur including a stone in the converted
outhouse inscribed GEC .635. Loose in the garden are three
worked stones: a voussoir with double chevron ornament,
12th-century; the base of a niche on a foliated corbel, 15th-century; a cusped ogee arch with sunk spandrels and the springing of a gablet, 15th-century.
d(21) House, now a Reading Room, built in the middle of the
18th century, may incorporate part of an earlier structure
represented by large squared rubble in the lower part of the
front wall. The street front is symmetrical, with a central doorway flanked by windows, and three windows above, the lower
openings having segmental arches. The timber window-frames have square heads and contain paired double-hung sashes.
The ground-floor plan formerly comprised two heated rooms.
On the first floor a S. doorway, now blocked, gave access to the
higher ground of the churchyard. (Now put to commercial use)
W. side (N. of the Market Place; for S. of the same, see
Monument (55) et seq. below):
d(22) House, now in part a shop, next N.E. of Monument
(15), has a front of squared rubble up to ground-floor sill level
and of brickwork in Flemish bond above; the back wall is of
squared rubble. The symmetrical front originally had a central
doorway flanked by single windows and three windows on the
first floor, all with square-headed timber frames, those on the
ground floor in segmental-arched openings; two of the windows
are now altered or blocked. The whole building is probably of
the late 18th century.
Corfe Castle, Plan Showing the Position of the Monuments in the Village
d(23) House, adjoining (22), was built probably in the 17th
century; the S.W. part was rebuilt in the 18th century, and the
whole subsequently converted into two cottages.
d(24) House, of two storeys and attics, was built in the late
18th century and reduced in length when the S. gable was rebuilt in brick in modern times.
d(25) Cottage, now a store, is of one storey. It was built in
the 18th or 19th century.
d(26) House, of one storey and attics, was built in the early
17th century and divided into two cottages in the late 18th
century. The walls are of regular coursed rubble, thin in the
course. The window openings and casements are of the 18th
century and the dormer windows have hipped roofs. The
middle chimney-stack is of ashlar, heightened in brick, and the
N. and S. stacks are of rubble. The plan (p. 87) comprises a
main range of three rooms and a through passage, with a later
back wing. N. of the middle chimney-stack the floor level drops
1 ft. The symmetrical position of the ceiling beam in the N.
room suggests that a partition always stood between passage
and room. The doorway flanking the stairs is of timber and
has chamfered jambs. The S. doorway in the E. wall was
inserted when the house was divided.
d(27) Mill, some 30 yds. back from the road, though standing
where a mill is shown on Treswell's map of 1585 (Plate 90)
retains no buildings of that period. The earliest structure is the
mill building itself, of two storeys and of coursed rubble; it is
of the 18th century. The mill was originally driven by an overshot water-wheel housed in a single-storey annexe on the E. The
N. gable was rebuilt in brick in Flemish bond and the interior
reconstructed early in the present century when the mill was
converted to turbine-drive. It is now disused. Adjacent on the
W. is the slightly later miller's house, also of two storeys, with
timber lintels to all the openings; the doorways to it from the
ground and first floors of the mill have been blocked. W. again
is the bakehouse, a rather lower two-storey building with a tiled
roof and segmental-arched brick heads to the central doorway
and two ground-floor windows; it was built c. 1830–40. Projecting from the E. end of the N. wall is a large oven. A store-house to the W. and various lean-to buildings on the N. side
are still later additions. In the mill, the driving wheels and shaft
have been removed from the ground floor and only two pairs
of grinding stones remain on the first floor. On the second floor
are corn bins flanking a narrow walk to the trap-doors of the
hoist. The hoist wheel, of the late 18th or early 19th century, has
iron spokes and a moulded wood flange. The iron key to the
mill is unusual in having three barrels.
d(28) Cottage was built in the late 18th or early 19th century.
The ground-floor openings have segmental-arched heads of
rubble. The roofs are slated.
d(29) House, on the corner of Sandy Hill Lane, of two storeys
and attics, has walls of brick and rubble, in part faced with
stucco, and tiled roofs. It was built in the early 19th century. The
S.W. front is symmetrical, with a central doorway and square
d(30) Brook Cottage and Bridge Cottage, opposite Monument (29), together form a single range, with rubble plinths and
walls of brick in Flemish bond, which was built in the first half
of the 18th century; the upper floor of Bridge Cottage was
rebuilt in the early 19th century and has lines of vitrified headers
in the S.W. gable-end parallel to the pitch of the roof. At the
N.E. end is a massive brick chimney-stack with three offsets.
Loose in the garden are the volute of an Ionic cap and part of a
base, probably 18th-century, and part of the base of an attached
d(31) Store, of one storey with basement, was built in the
18th century and has been drastically altered for its present use
as a shop and garage.
d(32) Uvedale's House, now divided into six separate
tenements, was built in the late 16th century at a date formerly
indicated by painted glass that bore the arms of Uvedale and
the inscription 'Henry Uvedale; I.V. John Uvedale, 1575'
(Hutchins I, 509). Though it has deteriorated, it was a house of
architectural pretensions befitting a family important in the
life of the borough under Elizabeth and James I; John Uvedale
was mayor in 1582.
The building consists of a main range facing W. to the road
and an E. wing. The W. range, originally of two storeys throughout, was reduced in its N. half to one storey and attics in the
18th century; the E. wing is of three storeys. The plan of the
W. range comprised a hall lit by a long window; opposite the
window was a large fireplace. The hall was probably entered
at the N. end from a through passage of which the two opposed
doorways remain though rebuilt. N. of the passage was an unheated room. The staircase, since removed, may have flanked the
hall fireplace on the N. side; the cupboard now occupying this
space is entered by a timber doorway with a four-centred head.
The E. wing comprised, on the ground floor, a W. room which
was no doubt the kitchen, since it has a large fireplace, and an E.
room which was unheated. A small room added to the S. of the
kitchen is entered from the hall.
Few original features are visible. The hall window, partly
blocked, is of six lights under a rubble relieving arch and has
hollow-chamfered mullions; the label stops bear the initials
I.V. A window of the same size on the first floor has the initials
H.V. on the stops. Inside, in the kitchen the outline of the fireplace-head is traceable and N. beside the stack is a stone doorway
with a triangular head. The roof trusses of the E. wing comprise
principal rafters and collar beams.
d(33) Houses, two, and shop, on the S. corner of Station
Road, form a single composition (Plate 89). The larger house
is of the early 18th century and has two ground-floor casement
windows with segmental-arched heads and a plat-band at the
level of the first floor. Before the doorway to East Street a porch
was added, on the analogy of the similar porch to the Greyhound Inn (Monument 15), in c. 1735; it has two monolithic
columns supporting an upper floor of brick with a hipped roof.
The plan is of L-shape comprising a lobby and parlour with a
kitchen in the back wing. The adjacent house on the N.W. is
of the late 18th century though the lower floor is a modern
rebuilding incorporating a shop-front; the original wall above
is of brickwork in Flemish bond with vitrified headers.
d(34) Cottages (Plate 89), range of three, adjoining Monument (33), of one storey and attics, may have been built as one
house in the 17th century. The two cottages at the N. end are
certainly of that date and together comprised a house having
two rooms with a chimney-stack between them flanked by a
staircase on the W. Several windows retain their stone frames:
the front window of the S. room, formerly of three lights; the
two gabled dormer windows N. and S. of the stack, formerly
of two lights, and the two blocked loops that lit the staircase. The
wooden frames and lintels of the doorways are not original. The
S. cottage, comprising a living room and a through passage at the
S. end, has no 17th-century features and is perhaps later, although
it may have been the third room of the foregoing house. Outbuildings have been added at the back of the cottages.
d(35) Cottages, two, adjoining Monument (34), of two
storeys and attics, were originally entered through a central
doorway; above this last is a square panel set diagonally and
incised with the date 1781. The symmetrical front had four
windows to each floor and two dormer windows with hipped
roofs; all the ground-floor openings have flat arched heads with
projecting keystones. The plan (p. 92) comprised a common
through passage with two ground-floor rooms on each side, the
original arrangements being best preserved in the S. cottage.
The N. cottage has been enlarged at the back and one of the
windows in the S. front has been made into a doorway.
d(36) Cottage, built in the early 19th century, has flat-arched
heads to the ground-floor openings and a gabled dormer
d(37) Cottages, two, with slated roofs, were built in the early
19th century. Both have rectangular early Victorian shopfronts.
d(38) Morton's House, with outbuildings, is of two
storeys with attics; the walls are of squared and coursed
Purbeck stone rubble with ashlar dressings of the same
material; the roofs are covered with blue slates and stone
slates. The original house, consisting of a central block one
room thick, two W. wings and a porch, the whole E.-shaped
on plan, was built apparently all at one period, c. 1600. In
1635 Edward Dackham bequeathed it to his younger son Bruen,
whose grandson Henry sold it after 1682 and before 1723 to
John Morton. During the 17th century the central block was
extended E. to form a 'double pile'. In the 19th century the
house was divided into three tenements, and on being converted into a single dwelling again early in the present century
the interior was almost entirely remodelled.
Morton's House in the Parish of Corfe Castle
The house is of some architectural pretension and of a kind
found more often on an unrestricted country site than in a
The W. front with gabled central porch and two boldly
projecting flanking wings spaced only 24¼ ft. apart has a chamfered plinth and a moulded string at the level of the first floor
forming a label over the ground-floor windows; most of the
lower openings have conspicuous relieving arches, and the
upper windows have moulded labels with returned stops. The
two-storey porch has a restored outer arch with a moulded semi-circular head springing from moulded imposts and moulded
jambs with pedestal-stops; the upper floor contains a square-headed two-light window. The entrance doorway has a flat
triangular moulded head with sunk spandrels, the mouldings
continuing down the jambs to stops decorated with scale pattern.
Flanking the porch are single windows, similar to that already
described, on each floor, the upper in gabled dormers. The
two wings have parapeted gables with flat copings and gabled
apex finials and single two-light windows to each main floor;
a one-light attic window occurs only in the N. gable end. The
inward-facing sides of the wings have two, three and four-light
stone-mullioned windows, those on the upper floor each in a
The E. side of the 17th-century addition is in two gabled bays,
each containing modern mullioned and transomed windows
on the ground floor and 17th-century three-light windows on the
first. The wall of the central block S. of the addition contains an
original doorway, reset, with a flat triangular head, continuous
chamfered jambs and a moulded label. The E. ends of the W.
wings finish against the central block in half-gables; one end, the
N., contains a doorway with a flat triangular head and stop-chamfered jambs, and each end has a two-light window on the
The N. side of the house is much altered, but retains some 17th-century windows and a doorway. A gabled projection from the
N.W. wing formerly contained a large chimney and a staircase.
The S. side retains original three and four-light windows. All
the chimneystacks are of ashlar and probably restored.
The interior is almost entirely modern. The W. half of the
projection from the N.W. wing contains the remains of a
staircase. On the first floor of the S.W. wing is a reset late 16th-century stone fireplace surround with Tuscan side-pilasters on
pedestals with moulded bases and cappings and plain dies; the
pilasters support an entablature with a frieze decorated with
interlacement. Two exposed chamfered ceiling beams remain.
The Boundary walls to the garden were built for the most part
in the present century but contain reset 17th and 18th-century
material, including two stone doorways with four-centred
heads and stop-chamfered jambs and a pair of brick gate piers
with moulded stone cappings and gadrooned finials.
d(39–40) Cottages, in the grounds of Morton's House, have
been altered and restored; all the openings are modern. (39)
is of the 17th century and retains an original ashlar chimney-stack with moulded and crenellated capping, much restored.
(40) is perhaps of the 18th century; over the doorway is a plain
Parish of Corfe Castle Late 16th and Early 17th-Century Houses
d(41) Cottage, adjoining the boundary wall of Morton's
House on the S., perhaps of the 17th century, has been gutted
to form a garage to Morton's House.
d(42) Morton's Cottage, next S. of Monument (41), of one
storey and attics, was built in the 17th century on a plan comprising three rooms and a through passage (p. 87). The original
staircase, no doubt with winding treads, must have adjoined the
middle chimney-stack; it was destroyed presumably in the early
18th century when a new staircase wing was added immediately
to the E. At the same time in the 18th century the great fireplace,
which has a cambered and chamfered lintel, was reconstructed,
with the addition of a timber bolection-moulded surround.
In the early 19th century the N. room was incorporated in the
next house and the remainder given a symmetrical appearance
to the street by the addition of three-sided bay windows equidistant from the entrance doorway, a flat hood on brackets
being added over the last. The extent to which the house has
been altered at various times is shown by the four blocked
openings in the front.
d(43) House, next S. of the foregoing, of the early 19th
century, has a symmetrical street front; the ground-floor
windows have segmental-arched heads of alternate red and black
d(44) Cottage, of one storey and attics, is T-shaped on plan,
the long back wing being thatched. The whole may be of one
date, of the first half of the 18th century. The W. front has a
central doorway flanked by two windows, all with segmental-arched heads of squared rubble; the two dormer windows have
hipped roofs. A wide projecting stack at the S. end, capped by a
brick chimney, contains the only fireplace in the front block. The
wing comprises a lobby, in which is the staircase, and a kitchen.
d(45) Castle Inn, of two storeys and attics, built in the early
19th century, has a symmetrical front with a gabled porch in the
middle, all stucco-faced.
d(46) Cottage, of the late 18th century, has a rectangular plan
comprising a through passage, more or less central and entered
from a later porch, flanked on the S. by a room having a staircase
on the W. side of the fireplace, on the N. by two rooms, one
with a fireplace, the other smaller and unheated.
d(47) Cottages, two, of one storey and attics with thatched
roofs, may be of 17th-century origin. The plan of the S. cottage
comprises a more or less central through passage, one room to the
S. containing a fireplace flanked by a staircase, and two unheated
rooms to the N. Upstairs, the feet of the principal rafters appear
below the inserted ceiling. The N. cottage has a plan of L-shape,
the chimney-stack being at the S. end. A rectangular projection
W. of the stack probably contained an oven.
d(48) House, of the early 19th century, has a symmetrical
front and a modern tiled roof.
d(49) Cottages, two, of the early 19th century, have a symmetrical W. front, the ground floor having three two-light casement windows and two doorways set alternately. The plan of
each cottage comprises one heated room, the staircases being
placed between the two tenements. In the garden is the stone sill
of a 17th-century mullioned window.
d(50) Cottage, of the late 18th century, has a plan generally
similar to that of Monument (46) except that the staircase is in the
place of the unheated back room on the N. side of the through
passage. A wing and outbuildings have been added on the E.
d(51) Cottages, two, with low-pitched slated roofs, are early
d(52) The Pound, barn, of two storeys with half-hipped
gables to the E. and W., has an external stone stair on the W.
to a doorway on the upper floor. It was built probably in the
18th century. The pound proper, a rubble-walled enclosure, is
adjacent on the N.
d(53) House, modern, incorporates, reset in the porch, a
14th-century Doorway from the early 17th-century house
previously on the site, in which also it had been reset. It is of two
continuous chamfered orders, with a two-centred head.
d(54) House, of one storey and attics, was built probably in the
17th or early 18th century on a plan comprising two rooms. At
the S. end is an original stone chimney-stack; the brick stack at the
N. end is later.
W. side (S. of the Market Place):
d(55–57) Cottages, three, at Town's End (964811), of one
storey and attics, were built in the early 18th century; (55) and
(57) (Plate 49) are thatched. Each has one living room with a
chimney on the gable end.
d(58) House (96368133), of one storey and attics, now a
cottage, was built in the late 16th century. The only visible work
of this period is a chamfered stone doorway with a two-centred
head flanked on the N. by a blocked loop-light; these are in the
W. wall. The S. end of the house has been demolished and
replaced by a small late 18th-century house of two storeys with
a symmetrical E. front. A bakehouse was added on the N. in the
18th or early 19th century.
d(59) Dollings Cottage (96368141) incorporates much reused material probably of the 17th century. It was built in the
18th century, extensively restored in the following century and
re-roofed in 1930. An annexe on the N. contains in the E. wall
three reset ashlar blocks, two with the scratched name and date
'Dennis Dollings 1699' and the third, in the lowest course, with
'George Dollings' (George Dollings was mayor of Corfe in 1654
and 1656; Dennis was a churchwarden in 1705 and several times
mayor between 1711 and 1734). (Reconstructed)
d(60) Houses, two, incorporating a shop, with stucco-faced
walls and slated roofs of low pitch, are early Victorian. The shop
may have been a part of the plan from the first; it has large display windows symmetrically disposed beside a central doorway
and all under a continuous cornice. The W. wall incorporates
part of an earlier building with segmental-headed windows.
d(61) Cottage was built early in the 18th century on a rectangular plan comprising two rooms, the one to the E. having a
fireplace in the E. gable wall; the staircase flanks this fireplace on
the S. The S. wall has two windows, one to each room, and an
original doorway close to the staircase; the doorway is now
masked by a single-storey S. wing.
d(62) 'Newbery', house, of two storeys and attics, was built
in the 18th century and extensively altered in the present century.
Reset at the apex of the W. gable wall of the W. wing is a small
plain niche with pointed head, cut in one stone, supported on a
12th-century voussoir with double chevron-ornament on a roll-moulding; lower down is a tooled stone incised with the initials
and date 'I.N. 1742'.
d(63) Cottage, of one storey and attics with a thatched roof,
was built in the 18th century.
d(64) Cottage, of one storey and attics, has a symmetrical
elevation. It was built in the 18th century. Two small wings
have been added at the back. The plan of the original part
comprised two rooms flanking a through passage; the S. room
has the larger fireplace with a staircase beside it.
d(65) House, of two storeys and attics and consisting of three
tenements, was built in the late 18th century. Above the doorway
to the N. tenement is a date stone, now obscured, very similar
to those on Monuments (35) and (87). The front of the other pair
of tenements was rebuilt in the 19th century.
d(66) Cottage, built in the 18th century, has been re-roofed
d(67) Cottages, range of four, were built in the late 19th
century. The two at the S. end each contain a reset 17th-century
window of three lights with hollow-chamfered mullions.
d(68) Cottages, two, of one storey and attics with a thatched
roof, were built in the 17th century. The feet of the principal
rafters show below an inserted ceiling.
d(69) Cottage, of one storey and attics, is of the early 18th
century. The symmetrical front has a central doorway flanked
by single windows with flat arches of rubble, a plat-band at the
level of the upper floor, and two dormer windows with pent
roofs. The original single fireplace is at the S. end, where is a
d(70) Cottage, of one storey and attics with a thatched roof,
was built in the 18th century.
d(71) House, of one storey and attics, was built in the 17th
century and has, to the street, a timber doorway of the early 18th
century enriched with egg-and-dart ornament and two rows of
d(72) House, of two storeys and attics, was built in the 18th
century. It has a symmetrical front with a doorway between two
windows, all with segmental stone heads, and two first-floor
windows. The plan comprises two heated rooms, in one of which
is the entrance lobby, and an outhouse at the back.
d(73) House, of one storey and attics with a thatched roof
was built in the late 16th or early 17th century on a plan (p. 87)
comprising three rooms. The opposed doorways behind the
main chimney-stack show that the N. end of the S. room served
from the first as a through passage although it was not divided
off structurally until later: there is no head-beam for a partition
and the present passage wall is of the 18th century. The E. doorway has a four-centred head and a continuous chamfer. The S.
chimney-stack is placed to one side to allow for a staircase E. of
it; the N. staircase is of the 18th century and was built probably
when the house was divided into two cottages.
d(74) House, of two storeys and attics, was built in the early
18th century. The plan (p. 92) comprised two ground-floor
rooms, each with a fireplace in the gable wall, and a small
unheated room containing a staircase between them. The N.
room was a kitchen, the S. room a parlour. Later in the 18th
century a porch of two storeys was added, the ground floor
being of ashlar and the first floor of brickwork in Flemish bond.
The upper room of the porch has an original fireplace in the
S.E. corner. In the 19th century an extension of one storey and
attics was added on the S., the porch doorway blocked, and the
house divided into two cottages.
d(75) House, now two cottages, has a reset 17th-century
stone-mullioned window in the W. wall.
d(76) Cottage, of one storey and attics, was rebuilt in the
present century with the material from a mid 18th-century
house previously on the site. Reset in the E. wall are two dressed
stones of the 16th or 17th century.
d(77) Cottage, between Monuments (3) and (76), is of the
early 19th century.
d(78) House, adjoining the foregoing on the N.E., built in the
late 18th or early 19th century, has a symmetrical W. front. The
plan comprises two rooms separated by a through passage leading to a back wing.
d(79) Cottages, two, were built early in the 18th century;
the openings have been renewed and the interior has been remodelled.
d(80) House, built in the late 15th century, was initially of
a single storey throughout comprising either a three-bay hall
and a smaller room or a two-bay hall and two smaller rooms;
probably in the late 16th or early 17th century a floor was
inserted to provide an attic storey, the ground floor being
divided into three rooms, two with large fireplaces added.
Externally the only distinctive feature is the pronounced
batter of the E. and W. walls, particularly towards the S. end.
All the openings have timber frames of the late 18th century.
Inside, two of the mediaeval roof trusses survive. The open truss
(below, section a–b), of cruck form, is raised some 5 ft. from the
floor, the E. blade or principal being supported by a reused
moulded corbel of the 14th century; no corbel can be seen on the
W. side. The cambered collar is mostly concealed by a modern
ceiling; it has arch braces which, like the principals, have a
slightly hollowed chamfer. A second truss, 8 ft. to the S., was
perhaps a partition truss at the lower end of the hall, but details of
it are concealed by plaster.
The N. room was converted into a smithy in the 19th century,
necessitating the removal of the first floor; its S. wall of stone no
doubt replaces one of wood. The middle room, which has a wide
fireplace flanked on the W. by an early 19th-century staircase,
has two longitudinal ceiling beams, the one to the W. being
contemporary with the staircase but probably replacing an
earlier beam. It is the arrangement of this room that suggests a
conversion of the mediaeval house in the late 16th or early 17th
century, though no datable detail earlier than c. 1800 remains.
The S. room has a large fireplace, probably of the late 16th or
17th century, and intersecting ceiling beams of small scantling
typical of the early 19th century. There are no signs of opposed
doorways for a through passage. At the back are later additions.
d(81) Cottages, range of three, of one storey and attics and
with thatched roofs, were built in the early 18th century and
have been greatly altered.
d(82) House, of two storeys and basement, was built about the
middle of the 18th century on an L-shaped plan. The E. front
has three ground-floor windows and a fourth that was formerly
a doorway, all with flat arched heads and double-hung sashes, and
four first-floor windows. The plan of the E. block seems to have
comprised two rooms; the N. room has on its W. side, set
within the back wing, a staircase that rises to a landing in one
flight and returns above in two flights. In the early 19th century
a square block of two storeys with a hipped roof was added on
the N. side of the existing wing. The whole house has been
extensively remodelled in the present century.
d(83) Cottage, adjoining Monument (81) on the N.W., is
probably of 17th-century origin but has been drastically altered.
d(84) Post Office, house, largely of the 18th century, incorporates remains of earlier buildings. Some of the walling in the
S. part of the front block is probably of the late 16th or early 17th
century, although the only feature that can definitely be ascribed
to the period is a blocked doorway with chamfered four-centred
head and jambs at the S. end of the E. wall. A cupboard N. of it
may well occupy the site of a window. The house of which these
fragments formed part once extended further S. About 20 ft. E.
is a small building of one storey and attics, originally freestanding, which may be contemporary with the early house. It was
probably an outside kitchen with a pantry or spence; the
original doorway is in the W. gable wall with a window above it
and the plan comprises two small rooms, the S. wall of the W.
room being largely filled by a wide fireplace which has a
chamfered and cambered timber lintel. The E. room has now
no trace of original windows and the present N. doorway is a
Towards the middle of the 18th century the original house
was divided and the N. part enlarged to form the front block of
the present house, which is of two storeys and attics and has a
symmetrical elevation. The four ground-floor windows and the
central doorway have flat arched heads of rubble, and the contemporary outhouse to the N. has a similar head above a wider
modern doorway. The present kitchen, linking the original
one to the house, was built probably later in the 18th century.
d(85) House, adjoining the foregoing on the S., originally
perhaps two tenements and now including a shop, forming a
range of three storeys, has stucco-faced walls and slated roofs of
low pitch hipped at both ends. It was built probably in the second
quarter of the 19th century. The W. front is flanked and divided
into two unequal parts, respectively two and three bays wide, by
attenuated colossal pilasters with moulded caps. The N. part
has a central doorway with a reeded timber surround. The S.
part has projecting shop-windows symmetrically disposed on
either side of a doorway centrally between the two N. bays; the
whole is probably a rather later addition.
d(86) Cottages, two, of the 18th century, retain only the
original walls as high as the heads of the ground-floor openings.
d(87) House, incorporating a passage at the N. end and probably a stable at the S. end, was built in 1779, the date being
incised in a square stone with chamfered edges set diagonally
above the front doorway. The blank upper half of this stone
was no doubt intended for a name or initials. The living part
of the house has a symmetrical front with single windows
flanking the doorway and two first-floor windows. The plan
(p. 92) comprised two rooms, of which the larger, to the S.,
was the kitchen; the smaller room, now a parlour, may originally
have been a scullery. The ceiling of the latter room shows that
the original staircase was of a different form from the present one
and had a small room beneath, which was probably a larder.
d(88) House, now two cottages, of one storey and attics, has an
obscure architectural history. Despite the apparent uniformity
of the masonry of the street front, the plan shows that the main
range is of two builds. The thick walls of the S.W. room suggest
a first build, earlier perhaps than the contained 17th-century
fireplace; this last has a depressed four-centred chamfered head of
wood with die-out stops on plain stone jambs. The sinuous
ceiling beam and the S.E. wall may represent an 18th-century
reconstruction. In the S.E. wing, the N.W. room and S.E. room,
which is now gutted, were added in the 17th and 18th centuries
respectively. The N. part of the street range has the main
through passage passing immediately behind the fireplace
already described, a wide featureless fireplace at the N. end and a
plastered ceiling beam of the 17th century. Probably an unheated
room originally adjoined the through passage on the N., for the
corner fireplace is an insertion of the 18th century. Thus the
arrangement of the whole front range may well have approximated to the type of plan having two heated rooms with a
through passage and buttery or storeroom between them. The
present partitions in the N. cottage are modern, but the position
of the older passage is perpetuated.
d(89) House, of two storeys and attics, was built in the late
16th or early 17th century on a plan (p. 87) comprising three
rooms and a through passage. It was considerably altered in the
18th century, and a cottage was added on the S.W. in matching
style in the early 19th century. The only original feature of the
street front is a doorway with a four-centred head and chamfered
jambs and a rubble relieving arch. The central chimney-stack
of ashlar is also original. The middle room, the hall, was the most
important room, having a wide fireplace with chamfered and
cambered timber lintel and a winding stone staircase opening
off the S. corner. The existence of a smaller unheated room beyond the hall is inferred from the remains of a two-light window
with hollow-chamfered jambs and mullion at the N.E. end of the
back wall, though no trace of the original partition remains.
Whether the large third room, S.W. of the through passage, had
an original fireplace is uncertain; the position of the 18th-century
window overlooking the street, if original, suggests that it had,
and that the present brick stack is a rebuilding of the original
though on a smaller scale.
d(90) Range, adjoining the foregoing on the S.W., comprising
a shop and shippon respectively tiled and thatched, probably
provided outhouses for Monument (89); it is perhaps of the
18th century, much altered.
d(91) Cottage, of one storey and attics, was built in the early
18th century. Later in the century it was partly rebuilt, extended
and heightened to form two cottages.
d(92) House, with a thatched roof, was built in the late 16th
or early 17th century. It was heightened in the 18th century
and divided into two. The present openings in the street front
are all of the 18th or 19th century. A blocked loop, which
probably lit a staircase, flanks the almost central chimney-stack,
and two blocked windows on the first floor, with chamfered
jambs, are below the level of the present attic windows. The
original plan may have comprised a hall N. of the stack and
probably a small unheated room N. again; S. of the stack was a
through passage and a large room of unknown purpose. The
roof has upper-cruck trusses largely concealed by plaster and a
d(93) House, of two storeys and attics, was built in the second
half of the 18th century. The central doorway has a segmentally
arched head of rubble and the two flanking windows have
timber lintels. The plan comprises a through passage between
two rooms with fireplaces in the gable walls. On the E. side of
the N. room is a staircase, entered from the passage.
d(94) Cottage, of one storey and attic, with a thatched roof,
has a central chimney-stack of cob. The N. half of the cottage is a
ruin. The building may be of the 18th century.
d(95) Cottages, two, of one storey and attics with thatched
roofs, are probably of the late 17th century.
d(96) House (Plate 47) was built in the early 17th century.
Original features in the W. front include the following: a doorway with flat triangular head and continuous moulded jambs
with high plain stops; two windows of three lights with hollow-chamfered mullions and moulded labels with square stops,
those of the S. window incised with the recut initials W.G.,
and two similar windows, but without labels, on the first floor.
Towards the S. end are two blocked windows, one in each
storey, while a third window on the ground floor towards the
N. end has been reduced to the size of a loop. In the E. wall a
second original doorway stands opposite the first.
The house has retained most of its original plan (p. 87),
comprising a through passage and three rooms. The principal
room, the hall, was no doubt S. of the passage. Here the fireplace has a flat triangular moulded head, the mouldings continuing down the jambs and terminating in vase-shaped stops. The
original doorway from the passage, immediately E. of this
fireplace, and the staircase which stood E. again have both been
renewed in the 18th century. The original oak panelled partition
on the S. side of the hall has framing of chamfered muntins
and rails and contains a doorway with a flat triangular head.
Whether the S. end fireplace is original or a later insertion is not
clear: the visible part of the stack is of brick, whereas the other
stacks are of ashlar. The part of the house N. of the through
passage has been more extensively altered. The size of it and the
presence of two windows suggest that it may have contained two
ground-floor rooms originally, but there is no sign of a headbeam for a partition. The wide fireplace is original, though
mutilated. Upstairs are two oak partitions incorporating doorways with flat triangular heads. The feet of the upper-cruck
roof trusses show below the inserted ceiling.
d(97) House, of one storey and attics with a thatched roof,
was built probably in the 17th century. The plan comprises a
range of three rooms, each with a fireplace; only the two stacks
at the S. end are old; the N. stack is of modern brick.
d(98) House, built c. 1700, has an original ashlar chimney-stack
at the W. end flanked by a blocked doorway with timber lintel.
d(99) House (Plate 48), of one storey and attics with a thatched
roof, was built probably early in the 18th century. The main
part of the plan (Fig. p. 92) comprised two rooms separated
by a chimney, flanked by a lobby entrance and a staircase, and a
small unheated room at the S. end. From N. to S. these rooms
were probably parlour, kitchen and larder respectively. The
house has been much altered inside and extended at the back;
the original staircase has been removed and the S. room remodelled.
d(100) Range, two cottages and shippon, was built in the
W. side (Plate 89):
d(101) Cottage is of the 18th century.
d(102) Cottage, of one storey and attics, the latter lit by
dormer windows with pent roofs, has a tooled stone over the
doorway inscribed EHN 1741 and a wall-anchor of mill-rind
d(103) Cottages, range of five, of one storey and attics,
were built in the 18th century; all but the N. cottage were heightened and remodelled in the 19th century.
d(104) Cottage was built in the late 18th century.
d(105) House, of one storey and attics, was built in the late
17th or early 18th century. The S. chimney-stack of ashlar has a
weathering about 2½ ft. above the present roof, suggesting that
the upper storey has been reduced in height.
d(106) Cottage (Plate 49), of one storey and attics, has over
the central doorway a square stone panel inscribed WHA 1757.
The two ground-floor windows originally had flat arches of
rubble; the dormer windows have pent roofs. The plan (p. 92)
comprised two rooms, the kitchen or living room being to the
S. with a staircase beside the fireplace. A new central staircase
was built in recent years.
Parish of Corfe Castle, Late 17th and 18th-century Houses
d(107) House, of one storey and attics, was built in the early
18th century. The original openings have flat arched rubble
heads and the dormer windows have pent roofs. It is now three
d(108) House, was built in the 18th century; the walling of the
ground floor of the adjacent shop is of the same date. The upper
floor of the shop was rebuilt and the house remodelled presumably in 1832; this date is cut in the woodwork of the
back door of the house.
d(109) Cottages, a pair, of two storeys and attics, have adjacent doorways and are of the 18th century.
d(110) House, of one storey and attics with a thatched roof,
was built in the early 17th century.
d(111) Cottage, of the 18th century, has been heightened to
two storeys in the present century.
d(112) House, on the corner, of one storey and semi-attics with
a bakehouse at the back, is in part converted into a small shop.
Surviving evidence is insufficient to enable the building development to be analysed. The earliest part of the E. front wall of
rubble is dated by the late 17th-century doorway it contains,
which has a flat triangular head and chamfered jambs; reset
above the doorway is part of a 15th-century moulded panel. The
S. part of the same wall was rebuilt in the 19th century. The main
feature of the house plan is the central chimney-stack, which so
far as can be seen is of brick and which is flanked by a lobby
entrance. The ground-floor S. fireplace is of the 15th century and
of note. It has a continuously moulded rectangular surround
flanked by attached rounded shafts with damaged bases and semi-octagonal moulded caps which support elbows below a horizontal frieze of alternate trefoil-headed panels and quatrefoils with
sunk spandrels; the trefoil-headed panels at each end of the
frieze, above the elbows, are taller than the rest and similar
panels are returned on the sides. Above the frieze is a moulded
cornice of Purbeck marble. It has been assumed, perhaps rightly,
that this fireplace came from the castle (Dorset Procs., XLVIII
(1927), lviii); yet the exceptional thickness, 3½ ft., of the N. part
of the W. wall suggests that the house incorporates a fragment
of a mediaeval building of some size in which such a fireplace
might have been appropriate. The S. part of the W. wall is
timber-framed, the sill-beam standing on a low wall, and with a
cambered lintel of a doorway or window occurring between the
two exposed studs; this is the only example of timber framing
noted in the Isle of Purbeck. It is presumably of the 16th century.
The late 17th-century house thus incorporates work of three
periods to provide a normal plan of central-chimney type with a
range of three rooms and a lobby entrance. The S. room and the
adjacent shop were formed into one cottage recently. The Bake-house, formerly malthouse, is of the 18th century.
d(113–114) Cottages, both adjoining the foregoing on the N.,
of one storey and attics, of the 18th century, have pent roofs to
the dormer windows. No. (113) contains an early 19th-century
fireplace with a fluted frieze and moulded cornice-shelf.
d(115) House, adjoining Monument (113) on the N., containing a shop, has reset over the E. doorway an elaborate stone
tracery panel with a network of quatrefoils enclosing a shield
inscribed with the date 1601 and traces of initials below, much
d(116) House, of two storeys and attics, now divided into
two tenements, was built in the 17th century and probably originally extended further to the N. It has a two-storey porch with
hipped roof at the S. end of the E. wall and a rectangular projecting staircase bay at the N. end of the W. wall, both original.
The E. front has a chamfered plinth and retains original stone-mullioned windows of two and three lights with turning pins
for shutters and bolt-holes in the mullions and, towards the N.
end, a small rectangular light with chamfered head, jambs and
sill, now blocked. A doorway to the porch has a very flat
triangular head and continuous chamfered jambs and is fitted
with an early 18th-century panelled oak half-door with the head
cut out in a semicircle. The interior has been remodelled and a
central passage and staircase have been inserted. A room on the
first floor has 18th-century panelling on the chimneybreast.
d(117) Cottage, adjoining the foregoing on the N., and (118)
Studio, on the W. side of a courtyard behind, were once
probably part of (116). The E. and N. walls of the cottage are of
the 17th century and probably represent the N. extension of
(116). In the E. wall a reset 17th-century doorway with a flat
triangular head and continuous chamfered jambs opens into a
through passage; on the first floor are two two-light stone-mullioned windows. The W. wall and the W. wing are of the
18th century. The Studio, built in the late 18th or early 19th
century, reputedly as a Methodist chapel, has in the E. wall
two lofty windows with round brick heads; the interior has
d(119) House, of one storey and attics, was built in the 17th
century. The doorway and the N. window to the street have
relieving arches of rubble.
d(120) Cottages, two, and shop, of one storey and attics,
comprise a range of buildings of the 17th century, later in part
remodelled for the shop. The early 19th-century shop-front
has two bow windows of unequal size flanking a doorway;
the original glazing survives. A W. wing added to the N.
cottage was formerly a bakery.
d(121) Fox Inn, opposite the church, has a narrow frontage
to the street. It was built in the 18th century and extended
westward at least three times, late in the 18th and early in the
19th centuries. The street front has been rebuilt and the roof
renewed in modern times.
d(122) Cottage, of one storey and attics, is probably of the
late 17th or early 18th century. It has a blocked door with a
timber lintel at the N. end of the street front and, further S., two
timber casement windows of three and two lights respectively,
with original lintels and sills. The dormer windows have hipped
roofs. The plan seems to have comprised originally two rooms,
the larger, at the N. end, having a fireplace in the end wall flanked
by the street doorway. A through passage from the street to the
back of the house is probably not original.
d(123) Barn (964820), at Challow Farm, was built in the 18th
century and has a modern porch and roof.
Monuments (124–134) are in the village of Kingston and
b(124) Cottages, two (956796), of one storey and attics, are
probably of 18th-century origin but have been considerably
altered and faced with stucco. (Demolished)
b(125) Cottages, range of three (956796), are of the late 18th
b(126) Scoles Farm, house (963799), of one storey and semiattics, was built in the early 17th century to supersede the small
mediaeval hall-house of which parts survive incorporated in
two Outbuildings. In the Assize Rolls for Dorset, a William
de Scovill occurs under this hundred in 1244 (Fägersten,
Scoles Farm in the Parish of Corfe Castle
The E. front of the farmhouse has a porch of two storeys;
the entrance archway has a semicircular symmetrically-moulded
head with a chamfered keystone and chamfered imposts to
stop-moulded jambs; above it is a two-light stone-mullioned
window and above that a square stone carved with a rope circle
in relief. S. of the porch are two original ground-floor windows
each of three lights with hollow-chamfered stone mullions; two
similar and probably contemporary dormer windows have
hipped roofs of the 18th century. The entrance doorway has a
semicircular chamfered head and jambs. The plan comprises
three rooms and a through passage. The middle room is the
most important and entrance to it from the passage lies between
the central fireplace and a stone staircase; this last and
the rear doorway of the passage are bounded by a shallow
projection of the W. wall-face. The S. room is unheated. The N.
room has a large fireplace, which is part of an 18th-century
rebuilding of nearly all of this end of the house. Presupposing
an original fireplace here, the plan of the house conforms to that
of several others in the parish (see plans, p. 87). Two raking
buttresses were added on the E. in the 18th century.
The farmhouse is joined by a later pent-roofed annexe to an
Outbuilding standing 4 yds. away on the N.W. incorporating the
remains of a single-storey mediaeval hall. In the S. wall is a late
13th or early 14th-century window of two lights with two-centred heads, continuously moulded reveals and a moulded label
following the outline of the heads; it is now blocked. A buttress
to the E. is of two stages. The E., N. and W. walls have been
rebuilt, and the last contains a series of bee-boles set under
relieving arches of rubble. A second Outbuilding, 2 yds. S.W.
again, contains in the N. wall an altered chamfered stone doorway, now blocked, with a distorted segmental-pointed head
and a relieving arch. Some 2½ ft. W. of the doorway is a
rectangular chamfered stone feature reminiscent of a butteryhatch, but now also blocked. Both the foregoing features are
d(127) Afflington Farm (970800), house, next a destroyed
hamlet (Monument 180), is of two storeys with walls of coursed
Purbeck stone rubble and stone-slated roofs. The present W.
wing is the only surviving part of the house built probably
c. 1620 by Giles Green (Hutchins, I, 527) and is much altered; the
remainder is a building or rebuilding of the 19th century in the
local 17th-century style. The 19th-century E. front is symmetrical, with a small central gable, a single-storey porch and two and
three-light stone-mullioned windows. The N. front, which
includes to the W. the wall-face of the original wing altered and
heightened in the 19th century to match the remainder, is gabled
at each end and has two lofty gabled dormers; the stone-mullioned windows are of two and three lights. The S. front of the
original wing, now almost enclosed by later buildings, is least
altered; it retains an original doorway with chamfered jambs
and four-centred head and a two-light stone-mullioned window
under a label with return-stops. The interior has been remodelled.
d(128) Lynch Farm, house (959800) with rubble walls in part
plaster-faced, is so much altered that the building development
is not fully determinable. The house was built probably in the
early 17th century, a N. wing was added in the same century,
and some rebuilding and extension to the W. took place in the
early 19th century. The S. front has on the ground floor one
three-light window with hollow-chamfered mullions and, further E., a blocked window. The staircase bay projecting on the
S. has been largely rebuilt, with the re-use of some moulded string-course dressings in the S. and E. sides; the gable has flat copings,
rounded kneelers and a gabled apex-stone with a sundial with
iron gnomon on the S. face. The N. wall of the house has two
three-light windows, the one to the W. having a label without
stops. The original plan (p. 87) seems to have comprised three
rooms, a through passage, and a staircase wing. The E. room was
unheated until the early 19th century, the chimney-stack of the
original middle room has been reduced in size, and the original
W. room probably had a fireplace in the W. wall which was
destroyed when the house was extended W. The N. wing has no
fireplaces and presumably has always been used as a pantry or
store. The drastic changes of the early 19th century included
rebuilding the staircase and separating it from the living rooms
by a passage. An Outbuilding to the N., of one storey and attics,
was built in the 18th century. It was probably a brewhouse and
d(129) Cottage, 50 yds. W. of the foregoing, is of 17th-century origin but has been extensively rebuilt and heightened
to two storeys.
d(130) House (954801), at West Lynch, was built in the 17th
century and subsequently heightened. It retains on the N. an
original stone two-light window with hollow-chamfered
d(131) Blashenwell Farm, house (951802), was built late
in the 18th century and extended westward at a slightly later
date. The original N. front is symmetrical. Many of the windows,
formerly casements, now contain broad double-hung sashes
in flush frames. A cottage in continuation of the S. wing has
walls in part of cob. The large Barn W. of the house has entrance
porches on the E. and W. sides; a stone in the E. wall is inscribed
'G.P. 1760', probably the date of the building. Beside the barn
is a 19th-century iron water-wheel; head of water is obtained
by means of a high battered wall of squared and coursed rubble,
the full width of the S. side of the farmyard, which dams a
small stream. (For Settlement Remains, see Monument 175.)
b(132) Westhill Farm, house (953783), of two storeys and
attics, is early Victorian, having a symmetrical S. front with a
single-storey porch in the middle. In the N. wing is a 17th-century stop-chamfered beam, reused.
b(133–4) Cottages (961777, 961778), at Hill Bottom, were
built in the 18th century; (133) incorporates the stepped chimney-stack of an earlier house.
Monuments (135–143) stand to the E. of Corfe Castle village
and S. of the Purbeck Hills; (136–9) are in the Woolgarston
hamlets, (141–3) in the hamlet of Ailwood.
d(135) Hillview Cottages, two (972819), are contained in
the former Sandy Hill Farmhouse, which was built in the late
18th century and is generally similar to Puddle Mill Farm,
in Church Knowle (23). It has a porch with a lean-to roof
and chimneystacks of rough ashlar. The windows have recently
d(136) Cottage (976815), built in the early 19th century,
resembles Monument (135), but has brick chimneystacks, a
rendered front wall, and sliding sash windows on the upper
d(137) Cottage (976813), of one storey and attics with a
thatched roof, is probably of the 18th century; it has been considerably altered.
d(138) Cottage (98198162), of two storeys and attics, is of the
early 19th century.
d(139) House (98298150), of two storeys and attics, was built
in the late 17th or early 18th century. The main external feature
is a large projecting chimney-stack which occupies about half
the width of the N. gable wall and is flanked by the doorway.
The plan originally comprised two heated rooms, the staircase
being on the W. side of the S. chimney-stack.
d(140) Westwood Farm, house (987808), was built in the
early 17th century (Plate 47). The walls are of coursed and
squared rubble and the three chimneystacks are faced with
ashlar. The N. front is remarkably well preserved. The doorway
and three ground-floor windows have triangular relieving arches
of rubble: the doorway has a continuously chamfered four-centred head and jambs; the two W. windows are of four
lights with hollow-chamfered mullions, of which each middle
mullion is larger than the others, and labels with return-stops.
On the first floor are five mullioned windows of two and three
lights. The plan of the house (p. 87) comprised a main block
gabled to E. and W., in which were three rooms and a through
passage, and a S. wing now demolished. The former existence
of the wing is indicated by joints in the external masonry and by
the eccentric placing of a two-light window in the middle
room, relative to the middle chimney-stack. The thatched
Barn E. of the house, with a porch on the E., is of the late 18th
or early 19th century.
d(141) House (993812), with walls of rubble laid in thin regular courses and a slated roof, was built in the second half of the
17th century. The S. front is nearly symmetrical; the doorway,
which has a modern timber frame, is slightly off-centre and
flanked by single three-light windows with chamfered mullions
and labels with square stops. The two first-floor windows are
of two lights and without labels. The house originally had two
rooms, the hall being to the W. with an original fireplace
in the end wall. The fireplace in the E. room may be a later
addition, contemporary with the added pent-roofed scullery
at the back. The Barn, adjoining on the W., has a stone-slated
roof and is of somewhat later date than the house.
d(142) Rickett's Farm, house (995811), of one storey and
attics, was largely rebuilt in the 19th century. Part of the
original building, of one storey and attics, with a thatched roof,
remains at the E. end.
d(143) Hillside, cottage, 12 yds. N.E. of the foregoing, of
one storey and attics, of the late 18th century, has a brick
chimney-stack at the W. end.
Monuments (144–160) stand E. and N.E. of Corfe Castle
village and N. of the Purbeck Hills.
d(144) Rollington Farm, house (968826), was built in the
second half of the 17th century and extended W. and E. in
the early and late 18th century respectively. The plan of the
original house probably comprised a hall with a fireplace
in the E. end wall and a room to the W., which may have been
unheated; a staircase wing was added on the N. later in the 17th
century. The wide hall fireplace of stone has hollow-chamfered
jambs and a flat lintel; a similar fireplace remains on the first
floor. Extensive alterations were made in the 19th and 20th
centuries, including the rebuilding in brick of the staircase wing.
The late 17th-century staircase, reset, is of oak with close strings,
turned balusters, moulded handrails and square newels with
moulded caps. A Barn and a Granary N. of the farmhouse were
built early in the 19th century.
d(145) Brenscombe Farm, house (977824), of one storey and
attics with a modern slated roof, was built in the late 16th
century. All the original window openings now contain timber
casements of the early 19th century. The two original chimney-stacks were rebuilt and a third added at the S. end in the early
18th century, all in brick with simply moulded cappings; the
middle stack has a recessed round-headed panel in the E. face.
Despite these superficial changes the house has retained much of
the original plan (p. 87), which conforms to the type having
three rooms and a through passage, and to a lesser extent the
original structure. The doorways at the ends of the through
passage have chamfered two-centred heads. In the hall, N. of the
passage, is a wide fireplace with a four-centred timber lintel;
the way it is placed to one side suggests that the present 18th-century staircase beside it is a replacement of the original and not
an innovation. The chamfered ceiling beam has straight splayed
stops. The N. room, the parlour, has a fireplace, similar in form
to that just described but with chamfered stone jambs, which is
flanked on the W. by a late 16th-century doorway to the staircase
and an 18th-century door to the cupboard under the stairs. The
three wide windows in these two rooms have 18th-century
seats with moulded edges, suggesting perhaps an intermediate
alteration between the original and the present fenestration. S.
of the passage, two rooms have been formed in the space originally perhaps of one, and a fireplace has been inserted in the
larger room. This end of the house no doubt contained the service
d(146) Rempstone, house (990823), comprises a range of
buildings aligned E. and W., all of two storeys and attics, built
of stone and brick with roofs covered with stone slates and tiles.
The earliest part, a small 17th-century stone house towards the
W., has been greatly altered and had two bay windows added
on the S. A wing of brick was built at the back of the foregoing in the early 18th century and another on the E. later in the
same century; the latter is in brickwork of English garden-wall
bond and has segmental-headed windows. E. again is a Stable
Range of L-shaped plan also of the mid 18th century, or slightly
d(147–149) Rempstone Farm, house (988830), Farmbuildings
(988828) and Cottage (988827), are of the late 18th or early 19th
century, much altered and repaired. The house (147) is of brick
faced with stucco and has modern extensions. The buildings
(148), with roofs covered with stone slates and tiles, surround a
square yard; the barn on the W. has two porches on the E.
linked by a modern addition; the cart-shed on the S. is partly of
brickwork in English bond; the byres on the N. show eastward
d(150) Higher Bushey Farm, house (976831), has a tiled roof
and a symmetrical front. It was built in the late 18th century.
d(151) Cottages (972833), at Lower Bushey Farm, with tiled
roofs, were built in the late 18th century and have been largely
rebuilt in recent years. A Granary and Cart-shed adjoining are of
the 19th century.
d(152) Thrasher's Cottage (969834), of cob with a thatched
roof, was built in the late 18th or early 19th century and has
been heightened in brick.
d(153) Cottage (979833), at Bushey, has a stone in the E. gable
inscribed 'J S 1805'. It has rubble walls faced with stucco, slated
roofs and brick chimneystacks.
d(154–156) Cottages, one (991835) near Sargent's Plantation,
two (982838 and 982839) near Batrick's Plantation, are of the
late 18th or early 19th century. Nos. (155) and (156) are built in
part of cob, and thatched.
e(157) Ower Farm, house (998855), of one storey and attics,
is of two builds, the earlier to the E. being probably of the late
17th or early 18th century. This part has a central chimney-stack
and two ground-floor rooms, one a kitchen and the other an
unheated store. The residential part to the W., of the 19th century, may stand on earlier foundations; it incorporates a reused
three-light window with hollow-chamfered mullions in the
e(158) Fitzworth Farm, house (989865), of one storey and
attics and of brickwork in English bond with a thatched roof,
was built probably in the first half of the 18th century. The plan
(p. 92) comprises a central chimney-stack and two heated rooms,
but without the usual lobby entrance flanking the stack; the
doorway, which is on the S. side, opens directly into the kitchen.
The staircase has been rebuilt and the window openings have
19th-century segmental-arched heads. Late 19th-century buildings have been added on the N. and W.
e(159) Wytch Farm, house (979854), of one storey with attics
and of carstone rubble with thatched roofs, was built in the
17th century. The plan probably comprised two rooms, with a
chimney-stack in the W. end wall. In the 18th century a larger
and lower range, again with a stack at the W. end, was added on
the E. The Barn to the W., of carstone rubble and with a thatched
roof half-hipped at both ends, may be of the late 17th century.
e(160) Wytch Cottage (976857), of carstone rubble with a
thatched roof, has brick chimneystacks at both ends and was
built in the late 18th century.
Monuments (161–171) stand N. and N.W. of Corfe Castle
village on or near New Mills Heath and Norden Heath.
d(161) Scotland Farm, house (961840), of one storey and
attics, has walls almost entirely of large ashlar, probably reused
from the castle; the roofs are covered with stone slates. It is of
interest as a very small dated house retaining much of its original
character (Plate 45; plan on p. 92). The E. front has a central
gabled porch entered through an opening with chamfered
jambs stopped below a flat lintel. Above the lintel are two stones
crudely inscribed 'Peter Whefen' and '16 PW 65'. A stone on the
N. side of the porch is inscribed 'William Whefen'. The house
doorway has a four-centred head and chamfered jambs, the N.
jamb being stopped just above a stone seat against the N. wall
of the porch, proving this last to be original. Flanking the porch
are two three-light stone-mullioned windows, the window to the
N. having plain chamfers and that to the S. hollow chamfers.
The attics are lit by two three-light windows with plain chamfers
under pent roofs. At the apex of each gable is an ashlar chimney-stack. The W. wall has a stepped plinth. The plan comprised
two rooms of equal size, the hall being to the N.; the S. room
has been enlarged by the rebuilding and reduction in size of the
chimneybreast. Both rooms contain 19th-century staircases, and
an oven has been inserted W. of the N. fireplace. An original
staircase may perhaps have stood W. of the S. fireplace, which
is eccentric. A store was added on the S. end of the house in the
d(162) House (959835), at the N. edge of Norden Common,
of one storey and attics and of cob with a thatched roof, was
built in the early 19th century. The plan comprises two rooms,
each with a fireplace in an end wall. Two ceiling beams are
exposed, one rough-hewn and the other an untrimmed log.
c,d(163–168) Cottages (950838 and 951835 to 946834), in a
widely-spaced group, were all built in the first half of the 19th
century. Nos. (164) and (165) are of rubble and are early Victorian; the others are of cob and rather earlier. No. (165) has a
slated and (166) a tiled roof; the others are thatched.
c(169) Cottage (945834), 'Gallowsgate', of rubble with a
thatched roof, was built in the 18th century and has been greatly
altered. Both the ground-floor rooms have fireplaces in the end
c(170) House (944834), on the parish boundary, of one storey
and attics and of cob with a thatched roof, was built in the 18th
century. The original plan probably comprised a range of three
rooms, the middle one being unheated. It was divided into two
cottages in the 19th century.
c(171) Cottage (942832), of one storey and attics and of cob
with a thatched roof, was built in the early 19th century. It has a
Monuments (172–174) stand not far from the outer perimeter of the castle.
d(172) North Castle Farm, house (957825), of one storey and
attics, is probably of the 17th century although a building is
marked approximately in the same position in Treswell's map of
1585 (Plate 90); it has been much altered. The roofs are thatched
and the original ashlar chimney-stack in the centre has been
heightened in brick.
d(173) West Mill, water-mill (¼ m. N.W.), at the foot of the
castle hill, was built in the 18th century; it is now ruined. A mill
is marked in this position in Treswell's map of 1585 (Plate 90).
The ruins comprise the E. gable wall of a rectangular building
containing parts of the jamb of a doorway and the reveal of a
window and, adjoining on the S.E., an annexe of one storey
with a doorway with a segmental brick head in the N. wall;
inside the annexe is a segmental barrel-vault of brick. To the E.
are remains of sluice-gates.
d(174) The Vineyard, house, close S.W. of the castle hill,
was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century; it has since
been extended to the W. in cob. The main roofs are thatched.
The Earthworks to the N. are the remains of mill-ponds (see
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
d(175) Settlement Remains at Blashenwell (950804; plan
p. 99) cover some 3 acres of a pasture immediately W. of
Blashenwell Farm (Monument 131). The S. half of this field
is on Upper Purbeck limestone and the N. half on Wealden
Beds. The ground falls gently N. from Little Willwood
Plantation to an almost flat shelf opposite the farm and then
more steeply to a feeder stream of Corfe River. Local resources
include calcareous tufa still exposed in a quarry 250 yds. N.
of the farm and abundant water power. The first known
reference to 'Blechenhamwelle' or a variation of this was in
A.D. 955. The name might be derived from a word meaning
'to bleach', and be linked with the possible use of tufa from the
'well' (Fägersten, 118).
No house foundations can be seen; the only area likely to
have been built upon is within two scarped closes of about
1 acre and ½ acre, due W. of the farm. A marshy hollow-way,
E. of these, leading N., seems to have shaved a small mound
(Monument 220 at 95058035), about 24 ft. in diam. and 2 ft.
high. There are faint traces of strip fields to the S.W. near
946801. (R.A.F. V.A.P. CPE/UK 1821: 5410.)
d(176) The 'Rings' (956820; Plate 91), earthwork
remains of a 'ring-and-bailey' castle, lie some 320 yds.
S.S.W. of the nearest point, the Butavant Tower, of
Corfe castle (Monument 10). Their position commanding the town, the castle and a main approach route
supports the view that they are remains of a siege castle
thrown up by King Stephen in 1139 when he unsuccessfully besieged Corfe. (fn. 53) They stand apart from the town
and were apparently never integral with it. Traditionally
a battery was sited here in the 17th-century Civil War
(Dorset Procs. XLVIII (1927), xlix), and the Tithe Map
(1844) calls the 'Rings' 'Cromwell's Battery'. A rampartwalk inside the bank could belong to this phase (cf. the
ramps, though different in form, inside Maumbury Rings,
Dorchester, Monument 228).
Corfe Castle. Mediaeval and other earthworks in and near the village.
The earthwork is set at the E. end of a low chalk ridge
running parallel to the much higher West Hill to the N. and
sloping S.; the ground falls away from it on all sides but the
N.W., giving an excellent field of view, particularly from the
'ring'. This last, alternative to a motte, consists of a massive
rampart still up to 13 ft. high above the bottom of the surrounding ditch with a platform just inside it; the platform,
up to 10 ft. wide and about 2½ ft. below the crest, is best
preserved on the S.W. and gives the impression of a rampartwalk (section A-B below). The rest of the interior, about 40 yds.
across and ¼ acre in area, slopes gently S.E. Two gaps occur in
the rampart: that to the E. is modern, while the other, to the
S., which is very narrow and cuts the bank diagonally, seems
unlikely to be original. The bank and ditch of the bailey (see
section C-D) seem to have been of similar proportions to those
of the 'ring', but the interior, of about ½ acre, slopes more
steeply and to the S. as if deliberately tilted away from Corfe
The 'ring' is covered with bent grass, bramble and bracken;
the present road runs virtually in the ditch on the N.W.
and has encroached on the rampart which, with the rampartwalk, has been eroded on the N.E. The bailey has long been
ploughed as part of the surrounding field, after destruction of
the rampart on the W. (R.A.F. V.A.P. CPE/UK 1821: 2407–8.)
d(177) Strip Plots, remains (map on p. 97; Plate 90),
in Corfe Castle village, extend S. of the church and
behind the houses in an area bounded on the W. by
Corfe River, on the S. by Corfe Common and on the
E. by East Street. In 'West Hawes' (957816) the ground
is flat, rising to the extreme S., and in 'Middle Hawes'
(961816) there are moderate changes of slope. All are
now in pasture but were once arable. In addition, the
present pattern of hedgerows encloses strips E. of East
Street. By the 16th century (ref. Treswell's map of 1585)
these plots were called 'hawes', a term normally applied
to urban closes. Their arable use may be connected with
the small area available for an open-field system. There
are no clear remains of open-field strips anywhere else
around the village, though the pattern made by modern
fields S. of Challow Farm (964821) suggests the enclosure
of former furlongs.
The ridges in 'West Hawes', butting on the river, are 11 yds.
to 14 yds. across and mostly between 100 yds. and 150 yds.
long. A number are marked with mere-stones, often set opposite the E. ends of the ridge crests, which are inscribed with
initials (Plate 64), including 'RB', 'NB', and 'CCC'. In two
modern fields which edge Corfe Common S. of this area are
remains of strip fields with risers 1 ft. to 2 ft. high, markedly
curved on plan to a shallow C shape. The remains in 'Middle
Hawes' are predominantly ridges, but include three well-marked lyncheted plots, a little over 100 yds. long and from
7 yds. to 12 yds. wide. (R.A.F. V.A.P. CPE/UK 1821: 2407–8.).
d(178) Ponds and Channels (958822; plan p. 97; Plate 90)
N. of The Vineyard, are now dry and turf-covered. Two long
parallel-sided depressions, each about 50 yds. long, 8 yds. wide
and 3 ft. deep, are linked by a narrow channel. A third depression to the W., though much damaged, was probably another
in a chain of ponds. The whole area was 'Mill Close' in 1585
(Treswell's map), and 'Drye Close' S.W. of it was surely so
named in contrast; West Mill (Monument 173) lies just
downstream. The form of the ponds, however, is reminiscent
of fish-breeding ponds. Wooden sluices have been dug up
recently and a channel can be traced leading upstream to
large stone sluices about ¼ mile to the S. on Corfe River.
(R.A.F. V.A.P. CPE/UK 1821: 2407–8.).
b,d(179) Strip Fields, around Kingston (957796;
map p. 99), stretch from Willwood and Lynch Farm in
the N. to points some ½ mile S. of the village. Strip
cultivation was at times clearly carried further S. still
to intrude upon 'Celtic' fields E. of Westhill Farm
(see Ancient Field Group 23). The Purbeck limestone,
on which all the remains lie, is approximately flat S.
of the village, but it falls in a prominent escarpment to
the N. The strip fields cover about 130 acres but
formerly extended much further. Though now under
pasture, most are covered by relatively recent narrow
Corfe Castle. (175), (179) Mediaeval settlement and fields in Kingston.
In most places strips are bounded by low, narrow banks or
baulks rarely more than 1 ft. high. They run up and down when
on a slope, often at an angle of about 7°, and slight lynchets
are formed on the secondary slopes. Thus there are no contour
strip lynchets of normal form, and risers only reach a height of
3 ft. where the fields edge a steep gully with a hollow-way
(a) deep-cut by long use along the bottom, ¼ mile E. of the
old church of St. James. The wastage of land caused by deep
contour risers was, it seems, deliberately avoided; this is
illustrated by the fact that the furlongs, into which all the
strips are grouped, are on the N. slope set end-to-end but
elsewhere butt against each other at right angles. The only
sizable risers on the N. slope flank the downhill edge of the
The ends of strips, wherever traceable, run on to the nearest
strip of an adjacent furlong or to a headland or to a slightly
sunk terminal area. There are traces of slightly hollowed
occupation tracks. Strips range in length, where complete,
from some 250 yds. to 290 yds. and in width from 10 yds. to
30 yds. In the 'reversed-S' furlong ((b) below) they vary in
width from 15 yds. to 30 yds., giving an area of from 4/5 acre
to 1½ acres.
The fields cannot be precisely dated. The road from Langton
Matravers to Kingston cuts across two furlongs of which
(b) preserves the only reversed-S pattern. If this was an early
form, most of the other strips have been straightened. The
widespread narrow rig, not cut by the road, supports this view,
which may be confirmed by the existence of a low bank (c)
with a reversed-S curve in marked contrast to the near-by
strips. The whole area had already been enclosed by 1844
The divisions into large open fields cannot be reconstructed,
nor is it clear where the Kingston-Blashenwell boundary lay.
The deep hollow-way (a) bounding the fields on the E. also
separates them from the land around Scoles Farm (Monument
126), which is mediaeval in origin. No significant earthworks
are connected with the fields or village. One or two badly
mutilated earth platforms, extending N.E. from the present
village, have been broken up by the quarrying which also
caused an apparent modification in the furlong arrangement
immediately N. of (b). An almost square enclosure of about
¼ acre defined by an unbroken slight bank with external ditch,
which lies over part of a strip, formerly surrounded a small
tree-clump shown as a 'plantation' on the Tithe Map
(95847918). A ditched causeway 20 ft. wide runs from a point
near Lynch Farm S.W. across strip fields, past the N.W. edge
of The Plantation. It cuts through risers and is clearly later
than the fields. (R.A.F. V.A.P. CPE/UK 1821: 5408–11.)
d(180) Settlement Remains at Afflington (971802)
cover almost 10 acres of pasture immediately E. of
Afflington Farm (Monument 127). Afflington appears
in Domesday Book as 'Alvronetone' and variations.
Aelfrun held it under Edward the Confessor (Hutchins
I, 527–9; Fägersten, 117). There is evidence for a twofield system in the mediaeval period (H. L. Gray,
English Field Systems (1915), App. II, 461): some possible
traces also show on air photographs.
The remains lie in a field which slopes gently N. to a partly
embanked stream that forms the N. boundary and is fed
by a small and boggy water channel draining S.-N. through
the field by way of a pond near its centre. A hollow-way
flanked by scarps 1½ ft. high enters the field from the lane to
Afflington Farm and crosses it at right angles. The way varies in
width, narrowing from 12 yds. at the W. to about 4 yds. and
then opening out to 8 yds. after a run of 100 yds. Two platforms immediately N. of it are the only likely house sites;
their level surface contrasts markedly with the slope of the
other closes. The larger platform is almost square, about ¾ acre
and with traces of subdivision; its N. scarp falls 4½ ft. into a
long hollow 6 yds. wide, possibly an approach way. A second,
smaller, platform of about 1/5 acre adjoins the first on the E.; it
contains in the S.W. angle two subsidiary platforms, 4 yds.
by 8 yds. and 5 yds. by 10 yds., which might once have
The hollow-way continues E. until blocked by a low bank
some 40 yds. W. of the E. hedge of the field; beyond this
blocking only a faintly defined hollow-way can be seen.
Much disturbed banks and scarps lie N. and S. In the S.W.
quarter of the field are two scarped and banked closes, each
over ½ acre. For 70 yds. or so N. of the S.E. angle of the
field the E. hedge seems to run on a lynchet, which possibly
bounded part of the open fields. (R.A.F. V.A.P. CPE/UK
Other Earthworks and Allied Monuments
(181) Long Barrow, p. 432.
(182–219) Round Barrows, p. 442.
(220) Mound, see (175) above.
(221–222) Settlements, p. 510.
(223) Rempstone Stone Circle, p. 513.
(224–240) Roman Pottery Kiln, Villa and other
Remains, p. 597.
Ancient Field Groups (21–23), (25–27), pp. 629, 630.