27 PORTESHAM (6085)
(O.S. 6 ins. aSY 58 NE, bSY 68 SW, cSY 68 NW)
Portesham, a parish covering 4,511 acres, lies 6 m.
N.W. of Weymouth and occupies a roughly rectangular
area of land, with a narrow projection to the S. The N.
boundary of the parish follows the crest of the chalk
hills of the S. Dorset Ridgeway, here over 500 ft. above
O.D. and rising to a maximum of 776 ft. at the Hardy
Monument on Black Down, where the chalk is overlaid
by gravel. To the S. the land falls steeply, but, except
on the W., where Portesham village occupies the
mouth of one of two valleys, rises again to a sharp
E.–W. ridge of Portland and Purbeck Stone at a height
of between 400 and 500 ft. above O.D. Beyond there is
a gentle slope on Kimmeridge Clay to the valley of a
small E.-flowing brook which is succeeded by another
much lower E.–W. ridge of Corallian Limestone at
250 ft. above O.D. The narrow projection of the parish
to the S. continues across small E.-flowing streams, cut
into the soft Oxford and Cornbrash Beds, with the
harder Forest Marble rising between them. On the N.
uplands, prehistoric monuments include the Hell Stone,
a Neolithic chambered long barrow and a number of
Bronze Age barrows along the Ridgeway.
The W. third of the parish is occupied by the present
nucleated village with extensive remains of its former
open field system. The E. part was originally divided
into four small rectangular blocks of land, the boundaries
of which are still marked by continuous field walls,
associated with the four small settlements of Waddon
(now Waddon Manor), Little Waddon, Corton
(now Corton Farm) and Friar Waddon. The S. projection
of the parish was divided between two other tiny
settlements, E. and W. Shilvinghampton. Portesham,
Corton, two Waddons and three Shilvinghamptons are
listed in Domesday Book.
Most of these small settlements have standing monuments of some interest, including the remains of the
13th-century chapel at Corton and houses of the 16th
and 17th centuries. Portesham Church and Waddon
Manor, a fine house of c. 1700, are the principal monuments.
Portesham, the Parish Church of Saint Peter
c(1) The Parish Church of St. Peter stands in the
middle of the village. The walls are of Portland rubble
with dressings of the same stone. The chancel roof is
covered with slates; the nave and aisle roofs are covered
with lead. The Nave was built in the late 12th century
and probably had N. and S. aisles; part of the N. arcade
remains, now blocked. The existing narrow N. and
S. aisles are probably built to the width of the original
ones. In the 13th century the Chancel was built, the
nave was extended to the W. and the West Tower was
added; the extension to the nave opened on the N. into
an extension of the N. aisle which has been destroyed.
The chancel arch was rebuilt c. 1500 and at the same
time new two-bay arcades were built to the eastern
part of the nave opening into new North and South
Aisles and the top stage and the vice were added to the
tower. Later in the same century the South Porch was
built, with 12th-century material reused in the outer
archway. The Roofs are modern.
The church has suffered less from restoration than
many others in this district, and the arcades and the W.
tower are of some distinction.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (23 ft. by 12½ ft.)
has in the E. wall a late 15th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head. In the
N. wall is an early 13th-century doorway with roll-moulded
jambs and continuous trefoiled head. Further W. is an early
14th-century window of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil
in a two-centred head. In the S. wall is a window similar to
that in the N. but taller. The chancel arch, of c. 1500, is two-centred and has moulded and panelled reveals and soffit, the
mouldings of the reveals having engaged shafts with moulded
bases and capitals. To each side is a plain squint. Above the
haunches of the chancel arch and evident only from the outside
are two small blocked windows with rounded heads of the late
The Nave (60 ft. by 16 ft.) has a N. arcade of two four-centred
arches springing from a rectangular central pier and responds
and with mouldings and panelling uniform with those of
the chancel arch. Further W. are the remains of one bay of a
12th-century arcade, now blocked, which originally extended
further E. The arch is two-centred, springing from a circular
pier with scalloped capital and a plain respond with moulded
impost; under the arch is a blocked doorway. Still further W.
are the imposts and haunches of a blocked 13th-century arch;
the crown of the arch has been removed for the insertion of a
15th-century window of three cinque-foiled ogee lights with
vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a label finished to
head-stops of a king and a bishop. The S. arcade is of two bays,
uniform with the later N. arcade. The S. doorway is of the
16th century and has a cambered timber lintel. Further W.
are a restored late 15th-century window of two cinque-foiled
lights in a square head with a label and depressed two-centred
rear arch and a 17th-century window of two transomed lights
in a square head with a label. The North Aisle (28 ft. by 7 ft.)
has high up in the S.E. corner a doorway with four-centred
head and the remains of a stone staircase to a former rood loft.
In the N. wall are two windows each of three cinque-foiled
ogee lights in a square head with a label ending with head-stops.
In the W. wall is a blocked 17th-century window of two
lights with a square head and a label. The South Aisle (28 ft.
by 5½ ft.) has in the E. wall an internal recess with segmental
head and in the S. wall two windows uniform with those in
the N. wall of the N. aisle.
The West Tower (9½ ft. square) is of three stages with two-stage angle buttresses to the lower part. The lower, 13th-century, stages are divided by a plain offset. The top stage of
c. 1500 rises from a weathered string-course and is surmounted
by a string-course and embattled parapet with crocketed
pinnacles at the corners (mostly restored) and in the middle of
each side (now missing). The tower arch is two-centred and of
two chamfered orders, the inner order springing from the
reveals, the outer carried down. In the S. wall is a doorway of
c. 1500 to the vice, with chamfered four-centred head. Higher
up is a small 13th-century single-light window with roll-moulded jambs and head. The W. doorway is of the 17th
century and has a chamfered four-centred head with an elliptical-headed window of the same date above it; behind the
window is a chamfered 13th-century rear arch. In each face
of the second stage is a small single-light window, that to the
E. now blocked. The top stage has in each face a window of
two trefoiled lights with sunk spandrels in a square head. The
E. and W. windows only have labels. The stair turret, which
rises higher than the main tower, has a moulded plinth and is
divided into three stages by weathered strings; at the top is a
parapet string with gargoyles at the corners, and a plain low
parapet formerly embattled. The South Porch (9 ft. by 8 ft.) has
been partly heightened to give a level parapet. The entrance
archway is two-centred and of one chamfered order with
moulded imposts and a roll-moulded label.
Fittings—Bells: three; 1st by GP 1607; 2nd by R. Austen,
1623; 3rd by R. Austen, 1635. (fn. 1) Bell-frame: probably 17th-century. Brackets: seventeen, all of stone; in chancel, on E.
wall, (1) moulded and carved with stiff-leaf foliage, late
12th-century, (2) with carved head, mediaeval; in nave, on E.
respond of N. arcade and E. respond and pier of S. arcade,
(3–5) with half-angels holding shields; in N. aisle, on E. and
N. walls, (6–8) with carved angels' heads, c. 1500, over arcade,
(9–12) two plain and two with masks, mediaeval; in S. aisle,
over arcade, (13–15) plain, mediaeval, in S. wall, (16) small
with defaced carving, possibly a head, c. 1500, and (outside)
on E. wall, (17) with carved grotesque, 12th-century. Coffin
Stools: pair, with turned legs and moulded rails, marked with
nails BG 91, 17th-century. Communion Tables: in chancel, (1)
made up with moulded framing and top, now enlarged, of the
18th century; in N. aisle, (2) with turned legs and moulded
rails, 17th-century much altered and restored. Doors: in S.
doorway, (1) of double boarding with nail-studded battens,
hinged in the middle, 16th-century; in W. doorway, (2) of
double boarding, nail-studded and with original furniture,
17th-century; in vice doorway, (3) with moulded battens
and studded with nails, c. 1500. Font: square, slightly tapered
bowl with chamfered angles, on circular stem and chamfered
base, probably 13th-century. Hatchment: in N. aisle, of Sir
Andrew Riccard, 1672 (see Hutchins II, 758, where his monument at St. Olave's, Hart Street, is described; R.C.H.M.
London City (1929), 182, 183). Image: in W. wall of N. aisle,
outside, reset in a niche with defaced trefoiled triangular head,
stone figure of Virgin and Child, 1½ ft. high, early 15th-century.
Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: in chancel, on S.
wall, (1) to John Callard Manfield, Attorney at Law, 1808,
of black and white marble with urn, signed L. Wood, Chelsea
Middx.; in N. aisle, on E. wall, (2) to Harry Chafin, 1726,
Anna (Coker) his first wife, 1701, and Mary (Pley) his second
wife, 1721, marble wall-monument with tablet with arched
head and cherubs' heads in the spandrels between pilasters,
with moulded base and entablature and cartouche with arms
now defaced; in S. aisle, (3) to John Thresher, 1829, and
Elizabeth his wife, 1841, marble sarcophagus-shaped tablet
signed Lester, Dorchester; (4) to Mary, wife of Robert Weare,
1675, stone tablet; in porch, (5) to Joan, wife of Thom.
Deering the elder, 1682, and Willm., son of Thom. and Mary
Deering, 1695, arcaded stone tablet in moulded frame with
pulvinated frieze and cornice; (6) to Thomas Dearing the
elder, 1668, stone tablet set in W. seat; (7) to ... Deering,
c. 1700, wall-tablet reset in W. jamb of outer archway. In
churchyard—6 yds. S. of chancel, (8) tapered table-tomb, no
inscription, 17th-century; 20 yds. S. of chancel, (9) to John
Curtise, 1665/6, and Barbara his wife, 1657, table-tomb with
arcaded sides; S. of S. aisle, (10) to Mary Warer (?), 1661,
headstone; against S. wall of S. aisle, (11) to William Weare,
1670, table-tomb with panelled side, ends carved with blank
shields and scroll-work, under a wall-tablet between engaged
columns carrying an entablature; S. of porch, (12) to John
Coward, c. 1700, table-tomb; S.W. of last, (13) to Ralph
Thorne, 1709, table-tomb; S. of tower, (14) table-tomb, c. 1700;
(15) table-tomb, slightly tapered and with broken chamfered
top, probably late 16th-century; (16) to Mary wife of Henry
..., c. 1700, table-tomb; (17) to Richard son of John and
Elizabeth Thresher, 1634, headstone; (18) to Jone wife of
Osmond .. ckar, 1689, headstone. Floor-slab: in nave, to
Walte[r] Riccard, 1644.
Niche: see Image. Piscina: in S. aisle, with chamfered two-centred head, 13th-century. Plate: includes a cup and cover-paten dated 1573, by Lawrence Stratford of Dorchester, and
paten and flagon both by Lias, 1825. Pulpit: six sides of an
octagon panelled in three heights with moulded and enriched
framing, arcaded and patterned panels, 17th-century on modern
base. Royal Arms: in nave, over tower arch, of George II,
painted on canvas and signed Thomas Ironside pinxit 1754.
Screen: in chancel arch, of timber, divided into three main
bays, the centre bay containing a pair of doors with traceried
panels below and plain openings above under a four-centred
head with carved spandrels, each of the side bays divided into
four with restored traceried panels below and traceried openings above, under a moulded top rail, c. 1500, restored.
Miscellanea: in N. aisle, fragment of moulded and enriched
arcaded wooden panelling with terminal figures, late 16th-century, perhaps from an overmantel or bedhead.
c(2) The Chapel of St. Bartholomew, at Corton
(63608548), a former free chapel, has walls of coursed
rubble with ashlar dressings and roofs covered with
slate. It consists of an early 13th-century chancel and a
nave rebuilt probably in the 16th century. After a
period of desecration it was restored and reconsecrated
in 1897, and the W. part of the nave was then again
The Chapel of St. Bartholomew, Corton
The Chancel (11 ft. by 10 ft.) has a chamfered plinth and a
chamfered offset in the E. wall below the window. The E.
window is of the late 14th century and has two trefoiled lights
with a tracery light between vertical bars in a two-centred
head. In the S. wall is a single-light window, rebated externally
and widely splayed internally and with a modern two-centred
head. There is no chancel arch. The Nave (24½ ft. by 13 ft.) has
no plinth; in the N. wall is a blocked doorway with chamfered
depressed two-centred head and continuous jambs; the S.
wall has a modern three-light window and a doorway with
chamfered polygonal arched head, of reused voussoirs, and
with two-centred rear arch. The W. wall is rebuilt and has a
modern window with a two-centred rear arch of old stone
used. The bell-cote surmounting the W. wall is modern.
Fittings—Altar: of stone with chamfered Purbeck marble
base and similar top carried on two stone cross walls, early
13th-century. Brackets: in chancel, flanking E. window, two
moulded stone corbels, 15th-century. Piscina: with chamfered
jambs and ill-fitting two-centred head and label; moulded
corbelled shelf much restored; 13th-century. Plate: includes a
pewter plate by George Lester of Dorchester, 1690–1700,
inscribed 'In usum Ecclesiae S: Petris par: Portsham'. Tiles:
in chancel, reset in floor, eighteen mediaeval tiles, red with
c(3) Hardy Monument (613876), a prominent landmark on the highest part of the Ridgeway, is of ashlar
and was built in 1844 to the design of Arthur Dyke
Troyte, Esq. (Hutchins II, 760), in memory of Admiral
Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, who died in 1839. The
foundation stone was laid on October 21st 1844, Henry
Goddard of Bridport being the contractor (The Builder,
II (1844), 553). The monument was restored in 1908.
It is an octagonal tower, some 70 ft. high, with battered
base and heavy cornice and parapet, containing a spiral
staircase lit through small slits.
c(4) School and Schoolhouse, at Coryates (628852), have
walls of squared rubble and slated roofs. The school is dated
1845 and the buildings are in the Tudor style, with arched
door and window openings; the school building consists of a
single schoolroom and porch.
Coryates School & Schoolhouse in Portesham Parish
c(5) Portesham Manor (90 yds. W.) is of two storeys and
attics with walls of squared coursed rubble and roof covered
with slate with stone slates at the verges. The house is of the
early 17th century; it has been heightened and additions have
been made to the back. The original building consists of a long
straight range with stone-mullioned windows with a continuous string-course over the ground-floor windows and eared
labels over those on the first floor. The entrance doorway, near
the middle of the front elevation, has moulded jambs and a
four-centred head and is flanked by niches of the same shape.
The interior has been rearranged but contains some original
The Old Vicarage
c(6) The Old Vicarage (50 yds. N.) is of two storeys with
walls of squared rubble and thatched roof. Over the entrance
doorway is the date 1711 with initials; the front has hollow-chamfered stone-mullioned windows and a doorway with
moulded four-centred head all under a continuous string-course in 17th-century style, but the unusual height and regular
spacing of the windows suggests that 1711 is the correct date
of erection. The plan follows the 17th-century type with three
rooms and a through passage, but in place of the passage there
is an entrance hall with a staircase. (Demolished)
c(7) Portesham House (160 yds. S.S.W.), of two storeys
and attics with rubble walls, partly rendered in stucco, and
stone-slated roofs, is an 18th-century rectangular double-pile
building with the symmetrical front remodelled in the early
19th century. Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy lived
here till his marriage in 1807.
c(8) Waddon Manor (620857) is U-shaped on plan,
with a courtyard open to the S. (plan p. 244; Plate 141).
The N. and E. ranges are of one storey and attics, with
walls of squared Portland rubble and slate-covered roofs;
the W. range is of two storeys and attics, partly with a
basement, and has Portland ashlar walls and stone-slated
roof. The manor came to Colonel Bullen Reymes as
part of his wife's inheritance in 1651 (Dorset Worthies
No. 9. D.N.H.A.S. (1964)); he enlarged and improved
a pre-existing house and the E. and N. ranges are of
this date; further work was carried out c. 1700 by
Henry Chafin, who gave the W. range its present form.
Part of the house which extended further W. was
burnt down in 1704; its position is shown by a plastered
section of the present W. wall.
The W. range of Waddon Manor is an accomplished
and elegant work of the period c. 1700, containing good
contemporary panelling of considered architectural
The W. range has rusticated quoins, a first-floor plat-band
and a timber eaves cornice with modillions; the windows
generally have double-hung sashes set within moulded stone
architraves with keystones, but towards the N. end are some
windows uniform with those in the N. and E. ranges. These
lower ranges have a coved plaster eaves cornice and windows
with stone architraves, mullions and transoms. Towards the
S. end of the E. range is an arched carriage doorway. Inside,
the 'White Parlour' (Plate 142) at the S. end of the W. range
is lined with bolection-moulded panelling; the dining room
and three of the bedrooms have ovolo-moulded and fielded
panelling. The principal doorways have moulded and
shouldered architraves with pediments. The staircase of c. 1710
(Plate 57) has a cut string, turned newels, turned and octagonal
balusters, and a dog-gate.
The gateway to the courtyard has square stone piers with
ball finials; a gateway to the garden, W. of the house, has
rusticated stone piers with entablatures and ball finials.
Garden House, E. of house, of stone with a tiled roof, is of
the early 18th century; it is rectangular and has a pyramidal
roof with a ball finial at the apex. Barn, S. of the house, has
stone walls and a thatched roof; it is dated 1702, is L-shaped
and partly of two storeys. Barn, S.E. of house, has stone walls
and a modern iron roof. It is of the 17th century and has
doorways with moulded jambs and lintels and stone-mullioned
Waddon Manor in the Parish of Portesham
c(9) Corton Farm, house (636854), is of two storeys
partly with attics and has walls of squared rubble and
roofs covered with slate with stone slates at the verges.
The house was built in the 16th century, probably as a
straight range running N. and S., on a three-room and
through-passage plan. In the 17th century it was much
enlarged; a wing was added to the E. at the N. end, the
S. end room was replaced by a cross wing projecting to
E. and W., and a small wing was built out from the
middle of the E. side; later the spaces between this last
and the N.E. and S. wings were filled in. The partition
between hall and parlour in the N. part of the original
house has been removed and linenfold panelling from it
has been reset against another wall.
The two original hall windows in the W. elevation each
have three round-headed lights, moulded stone mullions and
moulded jambs and heads, all under a common label; the
jambs are finished with elaborate moulded stops. Above,
on the first floor, is a similar window of five lights. Further S.,
over the passage, and reset in the S. wing are other 16th-century windows of three and two round-headed lights, with
simpler mouldings. The other windows, excepting those which
have been modernised, are of the 17th century, with square-headed lights and stone mullions. The interior fittings are
largely of the early 19th century.
The following monuments unless otherwise described are of two storeys with rubble walls and
thatched roofs and are of the 17th century. They retain
some stone-mullioned windows, and several also have
original doorways with shaped stone heads.
c(10) House (70 yds. S.), of two storeys, with rendered rubble
walls and thatched roof, has a stone over the doorway inscribed J J C 1771. The house is symmetrically planned with a
central entrance and stairhall, a small room behind the staircase, and a room at each end of the house with gable fireplace.
In the early 19th century a cottage was added at the E. end.
c(11) The Knapp (100 yds. S.W.), of one storey and attics,
is an L-shaped cottage, of which the main range, running
E.–W., has an entrance doorway in the E. gable wall alongside
the original fireplace; the S. wing, of slightly later date, has an
original doorway and a chimney in the gable wall. The walls
have been partly rebuilt and the interior modernised.
c(12) Tudor House (120 yds. W.S.W.) has a modern tiled
roof. The house may be of 16th-century origin and was
enlarged in the 18th century. It was damaged by fire c. 1944
and has been reconstructed with a full upper storey replacing
the original semi-attics. The central front door (now blocked)
has a moulded four-centred head; one original window remains, of three square-headed lights with stone mullions and a
label. The original plan comprised two rooms with gable
c(13) Cottage, 40 yds. W.N.W. of (5), built in the early
19th century on a two-room plan, has a symmetrical front
with central entrance.
c(14) House (50 yds. W.N.W.), has a slate-covered roof
and is of the mid 18th century. The central entrance doorway
is set in a slight projection and has rusticated jambs and head,
and the ground-floor windows have 19th-century casements
set in the openings of original stone-mullioned windows.
On plan it has two rooms of unequal size, with gable fireplaces.
c(15) Cottage, in Back Street (170 yds. N.N.W.), dated
1657, has been extended and modernised.
c(16) Cottage, in Back Street (180 yds. N.), has been heightened and has a slated roof. On plan there is one room with a
gable fireplace to each side of a central through passage.
c(17) Cottage, at junction of Front Street and Back Street
(180 yds. N.), is of the 18th century and has a symmetrical
front with central entrance.
c(18) Shepherds Cottage (230 yds. N.N.E.) has been
enlarged and much altered.
c(19) Cottages, a pair (290 yds. N.E. by N.), are of the late
c(20) House (160 yds. N.E. by N.), rendered in stucco and
with slate-covered mansard roof, is of the late 18th century
and has a symmetrical front with central entrance.
c(21) Cottage (50 yds. N.E.) was built in the early 17th
century on a two-room plan; the symmetrical front has an
original central doorway and flanking windows; the first-floor ceiling has moulded plaster plaques of a fleur-de-lys
and a face within a horseshoe. A second Cottage added to the
S. has a similar central doorway, perhaps made as a copy of
c(22) Swallow Cottage, at Little Waddon (62418570),
has the upper storey partly in the roof. It is built on a two-room
plan with a gable and chimney at the S. end but the roof is
hipped at the N. end.
c(23) House, at Little Waddon (62538569), is of the second
quarter of the 19th century and has a slate-covered roof; it is
symmetrically planned with two rooms flanking a central
entrance and staircase.
c(24) Cottage, at Coryates (628850), is of the late 18th
b(25) House, at West Shilvinghampton (62478432), has a
slated roof and is of c. 1840.
b(26) East Shilvinghampton Farm, house (627843), has a
slate-covered roof and is of the late 17th century, extended to
the S.W. in the early 18th century. The earlier part (Plate 45)
retains an original doorway and ground-floor windows with a
continuous string-course in place of labels; an original first-floor window has a moulded wood frame. On plan it comprises
two unequal rooms with entrance and staircase between them;
the staircase has been reconstructed. (See plan and (27) below.)
b(27) Shilvinghampton Farm Cottages, three (628843),
immediately E. of (26), have tiled roofs. The two N.E.
cottages have been formed out of a house which comprised
on plan three rooms and a through passage with outshots
to the rear. The S.W. end is of later build but not structurally
separate and the whole probably represents the piecemeal
rebuilding of an earlier structure; the middle part may have
been heightened to two full storeys when the S.W. end was
Shilvinghamton Farm (26)
(27) Farm Cottages
c(28) Cottage, now two tenements, S.E. of Corton Farm
(63688543), is dated 1684. On plan the building comprises
two rooms with gable fireplaces, a larger one with an oven at
one side and a smaller one with four-centred timber head.
Cottage, Dated 1684
c(29) Friar Waddon (641858) was formerly a manor
held at the time of the Domesday survey by the French
nunnery of St. Mary, Montevilliers (Hutchins II, 764);
Friar Waddon House is fairly modern and the old
hamlet now forms a large farmstead to the S.E. (Plate
147). In addition to the buildings described, there are
traces of foundations indicating that other buildings
have been pulled down, particularly in the N.W. corner
of the farmstead.
House, to W., with walls of squared stone and slate-covered
roof, is built on a three-room plan with end chimneys and
entrance opposite a small central room; it has been extended
to the W. and divided to form two tenements. House, to S.,
is similar in size and plan but has the upper floor partly in the
roof; it is of the 18th century but has reset in the S. wall a
16th-century window of three arched lights in a moulded
square head with continuous jambs; the house has been rearranged to form two tenements. House, to E., is of similar size
to the foregoing and has one end chimney and one projecting
lateral chimney suggesting a late 16th-century date; it has been
drastically altered and only part is now occupied as a dwelling.
Stable, to N., is probably of the 18th century. Barn, to E.,
has opposed porches and has been extended; the roof was
reconstructed in the 19th century. Barn, further E., has a shallow
porch to the S. only; the roof is carried on three tie and
collar-beam trusses. Byre to N.E. is probably of the late 18th
century. Barn to N.W. is of five bays with opposed porches,
one with gabled roof and one with pent roof; the main roof is
carried on queen-post trusses.
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
b(30, 31) Settlement Remains, at West and East
Shilvinghampton, lie some 12/3 miles S.E. of Portesham
Church on the lower N.-facing slopes of a limestone
ridge. West Shilvinghampton (called 'West Shilvington'
in Hutchins II, 762) is mentioned in Domesday Book and
belonged to Abbotsbury Abbey until 1539 when it
passed to the Samways family. East Shilvinghampton
('Shilvington' in Hutchins) was described in Domesday
Book as two parcels, of which one or both passed to
Shaftesbury Abbey and after 1539 both were held by the
Earl of Pembroke. The two settlements are clearly set
in a territory bounded on the W. by Abbotsbury and
Langton Herring, on the E. by the Chickerell boundary
and its continuation by field walls N. to the vicinity of
Corton, on the S. by Fleet, but only dubiously along the
N. by Corton Hill. This territory seems to be divided
by a line running between the two settlements and then
S. passing E. of Seven Acre Coppice and through Drift
Plantation. (R.A.F. V.A.P. CPE/UK 1821, 6455–8.)
West Shilvinghampton (625844) is marked by some 9 acres
of scarped and banked closes with associated tracks in the fields
immediately N. and E. of West Shilvinghampton Farm. The
area, now under pasture, has been much disturbed. A sunken
way runs N. to S. through the remains; it is 20 ft. or more wide,
up to 6 ft. deep and very wet with a stream canalised along
part of its length. To the W. are long scarped closes bounded
on the W. side by a continuous N. to S. ditch up to 10 ft.
wide and a bank, 27 ft. across and 1 ft. high, beyond it. E. of
the sunken way lie less regular, roughly square scarped platforms, the largest about ½ acre in area.
East Shilvinghampton (629844) has very disturbed remains
immediately N.E. of East Shilvinghampton Farm covering
about 8 acres 200 yds. E. of (30) and in a similar situation. Two
small and virtually flat closes probably mark sites of buildings.
a,c(32) Strip Fields, including contour and up-anddown types of strip lynchets, cover 88 acres W.N.W.,
N.E., and E. of Portesham village. Of six groups of
remains the first three are clearly connected with Portesham itself, (d) and (e) may have belonged to West
Waddon and (f) certainly belonged to Little Waddon.
All except group (a), partly on chalk, are on Jurassic
limestone. Treads are up to 350 yds. long and 2 yds.
to 10 yds. wide, and risers up to 8 ft. high. (R.A.F.
V.A.P. CPE/UK 1934: 1063–72).
(a) In and around Portesham Withy Bed (593859) traces of
contour strip lynchets (Plates 140, 233) cover about 16 acres.
One block runs W. into the parish boundary with Abbotsbury, unchanged at least since 1758, and probably crossed the
(b) N. of the church (around 606863) fragmentary contour
strip lynchets cover about 4 acres and run N. into 'Celtic'
fields of Ancient Field Group (4). They probably once joined
strip lynchets of group (c).
(c) On the W. part of Rocket Hill (around 607860) a complex of field remains includes, in addition to strip lynchets,
scarps possibly of 'Celtic' fields, a block of unusual rectangular
scarped plots each about 30 yds. by 7 yds. set against a slope of
22°, and some narrow rig. A curving footpath marked on O.S.
maps appears on the ground as a hollow-way with natural
outcrops of limestone to the S.
(d) On the E. part of Rocket Hill (around 609859) well-marked contour strip lynchets are linked to remains of (c) by
broad ridge-and-furrow (60828615) with ridges 11 yds. wide.
At about 61158585, E. of a disused tramway causeway, four
strip lynchets run up and down a slope of 14½°. Risers 2 ft. to
4 ft. high with limestone rubble in their faces maintain a
constant height. At the lower end they probably ran out on to
the line of the present road (Winter's Lane).
(e) E. of (d) (around 615859) are 6 acres of confused remains
including strip lynchets and a block of strips 7 yds. to 14 yds.
wide divided by low banks about 12 ft. wide; these are
disturbed by narrow rig. This cultivation has sliced a round
barrow (Portesham 48) on E. and W.
(f) E. of (e) (around 620858) are massive and well-preserved
contour strip lynchets.
Other Earthworks and Allied Monuments
(33) The Hell Stone, chambered long barrow, p. 432.
(34–55) Round Barrows, p. 449.
(56–57) Enclosures, p. 503.
(58–61) Stone Circle and other Stones, p. 513.
(62) Cross-ridge Dyke, p. 518.
(63–64) Roman Burials and other Remains, p. 604.
Ancient Field Groups (4–6), p. 625.