12 CORFE MULLEN (9798)
(O.S. 6 ins. aSY 99 SE, bSY 99 NE)
The parish, covering just over 3,000 acres, is roughly
triangular and stretches from the river Stour in the N.
to an apex on Upton Heath 3½ m. to the S. The extreme
N. part of the parish is occupied by the flood plain of the
river. To the S. is a small area of rather broken country,
on Reading Beds and London Clay, with isolated low
hills rising to 275 ft. above O.D., cut into by small
streams flowing N. to the Stour. Further S. this landscape gives way to a rather flatter area of heathland on
The parish was formerly a chapelry of Sturminster
Marshall and is of interest because it exhibits the typical
settlement pattern associated with the Dorset heathland.
The original village lay around the church on a flat
dry river terrace in the N.W. corner of the parish.
Later settlements were established to the S. and E.
on the Reading Beds and London Clay, e.g. Knoll and
Sleight, which were both in existence by 1327 (Fägersten,
111). Sleight formed the focus for a scatter of 18th and
19th-century farmhouses round about, and the foundation of Lockyer's School (Monument 3) in 1706 near
by and not in Corfe Mullen village is indicative of the
decline of the old nucleus and the growth of population
to the S.E. at this time. The heathland in the E. and S.
of the parish has been a source of brick-earth and pipe
clay; it is now extensively occupied by haphazard
modern housing development, especially at Newton and
Hill View, with no building earlier than the early 19th
The parish boundary with Poole on the E. coincides
largely with the Roman road from Hamworthy (Poole
parish) to Badbury Rings (Shapwick). Roman finds
near the road, including a pottery kiln and a cremation
burial, both of the mid 1st century, may be connected
with early military activity.
The Court House (Monument 2), a fragment of a
larger house, is the principal monument, and two
dwellings at Sleight (Monuments 7 and 8) are vernacular
buildings of interest, Hart's Cottage of c. 1600 being of
cob and with original timber joinery and therefore of
b(1) The Parish Church of St. Hubert stands to the
S.E. of the village. The older walls are of carstone and
local limestone roughly squared and coursed, in part
rendered, with dressings of the same materials. The roofs
are covered with stone slates and tiles. The Chancel and
Nave are of mid 13th-century origin and the West
Tower was added early in the 14th century. The North
Chapel of c. 1400, originally the N. porch, was altered
to its present form in the 19th century. The South
Transept, of brick, was added in 1841, the date on one
of the roof bosses. The church was repaired or restored
in 1850, 1865 and 1930, and the South Vestry and South
Lobby are of the second half of the 19th century.
The size and position of the 1841 addition to the
church are interesting expressions of Anglican worship
at the time, the chancel thus becoming subservient to
the 'preaching' nave.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (20 ft. by 18 ft.)
has a much restored and partly rebuilt mid 13th-century E.
window of three graduated lancet lights; the rear arches are
modern and spring from modern timber shafts. In the N. wall
are two 13th-century windows each of a single trefoiled light
with a label. In the opposite wall are two windows, that to the
E. now blocked, similar to the foregoing but much restored
and a 13th-century doorway, now opening into the vestry, with
a two-centred head and continuous chamfered jambs. The
only demarcation between chancel and nave is a step and a
19th-century chancel arch of timber plastered.
The Nave (44 ft. by 18 ft.) has in the N. wall two repaired
15th-century windows, each of two cinque-foiled lights in a
square head, flanking a large rectangular opening, probably of
1865, to the N. chapel. The opening is spanned by a 19th-century timber arch. Rather more than the middle third of the
S. wall has been removed to form the opening to the S.
transept, but the flanking lengths of old walling each contain a
13th-century window of one trefoiled light; that to the E. is
The North Chapel (10¼ ft. square) was originally the N.
porch and of c. 1400 but has since been largely rebuilt. The
original E. window of one light with a two-centred head and
chamfered reveals has been repaired. The N. window is of the
19th-century though in the style of c. 1400.
Corfe Mullen, the Parish Church of Saint Hubert
The South Transept (18½ ft. by 30 ft.) is a building of 1841,
though the E. and W. walls were refaced in brick later in the
century. In the E. wall are two trefoiled single-light windows
and, between them, a recess with a pointed head. Above the
S. doorway is a window of two trefoiled lights with a quatre-foiled spandrel in a two-centred head. The window and recess
in the W. wall are similar to those in the E. wall.
The West Tower (12¼ ft. square) is of three stepped stages
divided by weathered strings and has a plain parapet. It is of
the early 14th century. Inside, the old first floor has been
destroyed in a modern subdivision of the storeys to provide
a ringing-chamber. The two-centred tower arch is of two
chamfered orders with pyramidal stops springing from
responds with moulded impost-caps. The partly restored W.
doorway has a two-centred head and continuous chamfered
jambs. The early 16th-century W. window is of two cinque-foiled lights with blind tracery enclosing blank shields in a
square head. Reset below the sill is a plain cross head. In the
second stage are single rectangular loop lights in the N. and S.
walls. The bell-chamber above is lit by a window in each of the
four walls of the third stage, each of a single light under a blind
tympanum in a depressed two-centred head.
The South Lobby (6½ ft. by 2¾ ft.) is of the 19th century but
has a reset entrance archway of the 13th or 14th century with a
two-centred head and continuous chamfered jambs.
The Roofs of the chancel and nave are of c. 1480, of plastered
barrel form with moulded ribs with carved bosses at the
intersections; in the chancel the carvings are all of stylised
foliation with some interlace; in the nave they include a trinity
of coneys, the Crown of Thorns and the Five Wounds, the
crowned initials ER, a red rose, IHS and foliation, etc. The S.
transept roof of 1841 matches the foregoing; the bosses are
either carved or painted with the cross of St. George, the date
1841, a fleur-de-lys, a crest and an unidentified shield-of-arms,
and an open book newly painted with the date of restoration,
Fittings—Bells: six; three by John Wallis, 1602–5, recast;
three post 1850. Brass and Indent. Brass: in chancel, reset on N.
wall, to Richard Birt, 1437, and Alice his wife, small figure of
man in civil dress, long gown with full sleeves and high collar,
broken inscription-plate. Indent: in nave, in Purbeck marble
slab, of foregoing. Churchyard Cross: N.W. of church, square to
octagonal and moulded base on two steps, 14th-century, with
modern shafted cross. Communion Table: with turned legs and
stretchers, plain top, late 17th-century. Font: octagonal Purbeck
marble bowl with straight sides, trefoiled panels in each face,
moulded underside, plain stem and moulded base, 15th-century.
Galleries: In nave, across W. end, (1) organ gallery supported
on cast-iron columns, front with canted ends, plain and
fielded panels and moulded rails, mid 19th-century. In S.
transept, across S. half, (2) front plainly panelled and with
moulded upper and lower rails, mid 19th-century.
Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In churchyard—E.
of chancel, of Thomas Pheilepps, 1668, inscription tablet reset
in later table-tomb carved with achievement-of-arms of
Phelips; S. of chancel, two late 18th-century table-tombs
with fluted frames to inscription panels. Floor-slab: In S.
porch, of Thomas, son of William and Elizabeth Doggett,
date illegible. Plate: includes a buckle comprising a silver
plaque embossed with a barbaric figure adoring a cross in the
clouds, possibly from a peasant's girdle, late 18th-century,
Maltese. Royal Arms: in nave, on N. wall, painted on panel,
George III. Seating: in W. tower, bench with simply moulded
seat and ends, dated 1664. Table: in W. tower, small, of oak,
with moulded top, drawer, turned legs and plain stretchers,
early 18th-century. Miscellaneous: In tower, stone gable-cross
head, plain, mediaeval.
b(2) Court House (250 yds. N.) is of two storeys with
attics (Plate 92). The walls are of carstone and local
limestone ashlar in differing depths of courses; the roofs
are covered with stone slates and tiles. The building is a
fragment, perhaps a wing, of a larger house built in the
latter part of the 16th century, probably by the Phelips
family who had owned the property since earlier in the
century. The bulk of the house was demolished in the
middle of the 19th century. The part left standing was
then made into a house by enclosing the N. end with a
new wall with a small single-storey extension beyond,
the insertion of some new windows and the installation
of an old staircase.
Court House is of note for the elaborate late Tudor
plaster ceilings it contains.
The house is a short rectangle on plan, gabled to the N. and
S. and with end chimneystacks. The E. side has a moulded
string at first-floor level returned from the S. and W. faces of
the house but stopping about a quarter of the way along; the
wall further N. has patching and the last 6 ft., to the full height,
is rebuilt. Below the string is an ovolo-moulded stone-mullioned and transomed window of four lights and above,
on the first floor, a three-sided oriel window on original
chamfered stone corbelling but for the rest largely reconstructed. The other transomed window on the ground floor,
of two lights, is old but reset, the doorway is an insertion and
the two two-light windows above are of the mid 19th century.
The W. side has some walling in alternate bands of brown and
grey stone and a string-course as described above; again, the
N. 6 ft. is rebuilt. On the ground floor are transomed windows
similar to those to the E. and on the first floor are two three-light windows, also ovolo-moulded, under moulded labels.
The N. end wall, including the stack with diagonal shafts, is
a building or rebuilding of the mid 19th century. The S. end
has the first-floor string continued round the projecting stack.
This last, which is of stone as high as the line of the eaves and
rebuilt in brick above, has 19th-century or modern buttressing. The gable has a plain coping. The windows flanking the
stack are of one and two lights with labels.
Inside, the S. ground-floor room has an original plaster
ceiling (Plate 92) divided into four by plastered intersecting
beams with running vine scrolls on the soffits and a foliated
pendant at the intersection. In each quarter is a geometrical
pattern of moulded ribs with leaf and flower ornament in low
relief and a central pendant. Round the wall-head is a deep
frieze of scrolling briar. On the window soffits are geometrical
arabesques. The fireplace has moulded stone jambs to a four-centred arch in a square head with sunk spandrels. The 17th-century staircase reset from elsewhere has turned balusters,
a moulded handrail and square newels with turned finials. The
S. room on the first floor has an original plaster ceiling with a
geometrical pattern over all, of moulded ribs with bosses at
some intersections and enclosing daisies, thistles, fig branches,
stylised strawberry tendrils, and slipped Tudor roses under
closed crowns. The soffit of the oriel window is enriched
with a simple arabesque pattern and has a foliate frieze. The
panelling in this room is of the 18th century, restored.
b(3) Lockyer's School (988977) was founded by Richard
Lockyer in 1706. The Report of the Charity Commissioners
(vol. 30 (1836), 79) says that the 'school-room was rebuilt about
twelve years ago at a cost of £260', but the work seems to have
consisted of enlargement and remodelling, to form a part of
Corfe Mullen school now on the site, rather than rebuilding.
The old part of the Schoolhouse with plastered walls and
tiled roofs consists of two rooms, one above the other, remodelled in c. 1824 to harmonise with the Gothic style of the
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of two storeys with brick walls and tilecovered roofs.
b(4) 'Coventry Arms' (350 yds. W.N.W.), public house,
with rendered walls, was built in the late 18th century and
perhaps incorporates an earlier structure.
b(5) House, 20 yds. W. of (4), was built in the early 18th
century and has lean-to additions at the back. The S. front is
symmetrical, the doorway being flanked by single windows
with cambered rubbed brick heads. The first floor is marked
by a plat-band of two projecting brick courses; a similar band
on the W. gable is at the level of the attic floor. Both gables
have brick chimneys and parapets with plain brick copings
b(6) Mill House and Water Mill, 60 yds. W. of (4), are
respectively of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The house
front was originally symmetrical with a central doorway
flanked by single casement windows with segmental-arched
heads. The doorway and the W. window were opened out and
three-sided projecting window bays added c. 1830. The Mill
stands at a right angle to the house. Earlier masonry, including
an arch with keystone inscribed AC 1714, remains in the
lower part of the W. wall. The machinery has been removed.
b(7) House (984981), of one storey with attics, with
timber-framed walls and thatched roofs, was built late
in the 16th century. The framing of the N. gabled wall
is exposed and largely complete, with some original
wattle-and-daub panels surviving intact.
The ground-floor plan comprised two rooms divided by a
studded partition. Only the larger room, the hall, had a
fireplace. This arrangement survives together with an original
doorway in the middle of the W. wall of the hall and another
in the partition, both now blocked. The position of the original
principal entrance is not certain; presumably it was beside the
chimney-stack, in the position of the present entrance (cf.
Monument 13). Early in the 17th century a timber-framed
addition was made on the S. to provide a third room, and then
or later in the same century the E. front of the house was
heightened in timber-framing to two storeys; the heightening
was removed c. 1950. In the 18th century a W. wing was added
and the S. gabled wall refaced in brick; at the same time the
wattle-and-daub panels were largely replaced by brick.
b(8) Hart's Cottage, house (984983), of one storey
and attics, has cob walls and thatched roofs (Plate 93).
It was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century
and remains remarkably intact. An open pentice has
been added on the N., the W. end refaced in brick and a
store added on the E., all in the early to mid 19th century. Alterations inside are described below. Exceptionally in Dorset, the original timber door and window-frames survive unaltered in the N. wall.
(Modernised since survey)
The plan comprises a through passage slightly W. of centre
with the main room, the hall, to the E. and smaller, service,
rooms to the W.; the original partitions survive, in part retaining their wattle-and-daub panels, except between the service
rooms where the head-beam and sill alone remain. The N.
doorway to the passage retains the original timber frame with
a cambered head and continuous chamfered jambs; the doorway to the hall is similar, but the doorways to the service
rooms have been destroyed though the housings for the
destroyed heads show above the modern doorways. In the
hall, the N. window is original, consisting of two lights with a
chamfered timber frame and mullion and a vertical iron bar
set diagonally in each light. Against the end wall is a large
fireplace with a rough lintel, an oven on the N. and a copper
on the S., all in early 19th-century brickwork. Originally the
staircase was S. of the fireplace and lit by a small window,
which survives though with a renewed frame; the present
staircase was inserted in the 18th century. The hall has exposed
chamfered ceiling beams without stops. The N. service room
is lit by an original window similar to that already described;
the S. service room was converted in the mid 19th century
into a small parlour by the insertion of a fireplace.
Upstairs, the original division into two rooms has been
preserved and changes are minor. The doorway with a cambered head in the partition is original. In the 17th century a
ceiling supported by a chamfered joist with moulded stops
was inserted in the E. room; similarly the ceiling in the W.
room is inserted, probably under a collar beam, the principal
rafters being exposed below.
b(9) Highfield Cottage (984980), with painted walls and a
thatched roof, was built in the first half of the 18th century.
b(10) Barn (988978) at the Violet Farm, of brick with
tiled roofs, was built in the second half of the 18th century.
It has stepped buttresses and a S. porch. The roof, half hipped
at both ends, is of five bays, the trusses consisting of tie beams,
principal rafters and two raking struts. The porch roof is
b(11) Cottages, two (983977), were built in the late 18th
century (S.) and early 19th century (N.).
b(12) Cottages, a pair (994984), of one storey and attics,
with cob walls and thatched roofs, are of the late 18th century.
Monuments (13–15) are at or near Lambs' Green.
b(13) House, 'Joy Cottage' (998985), of one storey and
attics and timber-framed, was built in the late 16th century
(Plate 48). A timber-framed S.E. extension is of the 17th
century and some later rebuilding is in brick. The original
plan was very similar to that of Monument (7). On the N.E.
an original entrance doorway with a chamfered four-centred
head faces the side of the chimney-stack.
b(14) House (996986), E. of crossroads, with a thatched roof,
is of the early to mid 18th century though possibly an earlier
timber-framed building similar in plan to Monument (7)
is incorporated in the present structure. Few details are earlier
than the 19th century, the period of the additions on the N.
The plan comprises a lobby entrance beside a central chimney-stack, with the hall and an unheated room to the W. and a
third room with a fireplace in the gable wall to the E. The
staircase, on the N. side of the stack, has been turned round
so that entrance to it is now from the E.
b(15) House, 40 yds. W. of (14), of three storeys, with
stucco-faced brick walls and low pitched roofs covered with
modern green tiles, was built in the second quarter of the
19th century. The entrance doorway has a fanlight in a plain
semicircular head and the double-hung sashes of the windows
are in frames set almost flush with the wall-face. The eaves
b(16) Cottage (991979), at Cogdean Elms, of cob with a
thatched roof, was built in the 18th century and has been
enlarged and altered.
b(17) Apple Tree Cottage, 30 yds. E. of (16), with walls
of cob and thatched roofs, was built in the early 19th century
as a pair of cottages presenting a unified design with a central
chimney-stack and a roof hipped at each end. The N. front too
is exactly symmetrical with a doorway towards each end flanking a group of windows, two on the ground floor and two
b(18) Knoll Farm (979974) is a house superficially of c. 1700
extended and greatly altered in the 19th century, but the plan,
originally of two rooms with a chimney-stack dividing them,
suggests a rather earlier building and thus only refacing and
refenestration, etc., in c. 1700. Inside, the exposed ceiling
beams, roughly adzed, have slight chamfers with shaped stops.
b(19) House (975974), on the E. side of Knoll Lane, of cob
and with a thatched roof, was built in the 18th century; the S.
wall was refaced in brick in the 19th century. The plan comprises a range of three rooms, two of them divided one from
another by a chimney-stack flanked by an entrance lobby.
b(20) Cottage (979967), of cob and with a thatched roof,
is early Victorian.
b(21) Cottage, 20 yds. S.E. of (20), of one storey with
attics, of cob and with a thatched roof, was built in the early
19th century. The plan comprises a living room and scullery,
entrance being directly into the former.
b(22) Beacon Cottage (975952), on the parish boundary,
with a slate-covered roof, is probably early Victorian. The
front is symmetrical.
(23) Mound, p. 481.
Roman Road, p. 530.
(24–25) Roman Pottery Kiln, Burial, etc., p. 600.