38 WAREHAM LADY ST. MARY (9287)
(O.S. 6 ins. SY 98 NW)
The parish, now also the modern borough of Wareham, covers some 700 acres of land almost all on alluvium and river terraces of the rivers Piddle and Frome,
nowhere much above 50 ft. above O.D. The main part
of the parish occupies a long narrow peninsula lying
roughly E.–W. bounded on the N. by the R. Piddle
and on the S. by the R. Frome, here under a mile apart,
flowing E. to Poole Harbour. In the central and
narrowest part of this peninsula is the town of Wareham in a position of great tactical and strategic strength
bounded by its Alfredian ramparts.
The parish has been subject to much modern boundary revision with the result that it has lost land to the
W. to Arne and gained land N. of the R. Piddle from
the parishes of Morden and Wareham St. Martin.
Wareham itself and Northport, a small suburb on the
N. side of the R. Piddle on the main road N. out of the
town, are the only major settlements. Northport was
formerly a detached part of Wareham St. Martin.
Numerous Roman finds within the town indicate
a substantial occupation and the existence of at least
one building of distinction in this period, but the main
development came later. Christian British inscriptions
of the 7th–9th centuries and the burial of Brihtric,
King of Wessex, in Wareham in 802 (fn. 1) imply the
existence of a church held in some esteem. It was
probably the monastery mentioned by Asser in connection with the events of 876 (fn. 2) . The church, as rebuilt in
the early 8th century, may be identified with the building which existed on the site of Lady St. Mary until 1840.
Moreover Wareham was already a recognised crossChannel port in the early 8th century, (fn. 3) and in the early
10th century it was one of the West Saxon fortified
boroughs. The massive ramparts which still enclose the
town on three sides are the remains of the defences of
this period, and the gridiron street plan probably reflects
a contemporary lay-out.
As a site of strategic importance Wareham was superseded by the development of Corfe castle from the late
11th century. But the continued commercial importance
of the town is seen in the establishment of Wareham
castle within the S.W. corner of the defences in the early
12th century; this led to involvement in the wars of
Stephen and Matilda (see Wareham Castle (80)). Thereafter the town seems to have declined in importance,
partly owing to the proximity of Corfe castle and
partly as a result of the silting up of the higher W.
reaches of Poole Harbour. The latter led to the growth
of Poole, in a better position, as the main commercial
centre of the area. In the 17th century Wareham was
besieged twice by each of the parties in the Civil War
(C. J. Bennet in Dorset Procs. XIII (1891), 108–9).
The ancient borough status of Wareham was confirmed by a charter of Queen Anne in 1703. In 1762 a
fire destroyed more than half the houses in the town
and in the following year Commissioners were appointed by Act of Parliament to regulate rebuilding, (fn. 4)
which was generally carried out in brick. Thus the
devastated middle of the town re-arose as a pleasing
assemblage of more or less contemporary buildings.
A large number of attractive shop windows of this
period survived into the middle of the present century.
Hutchins (1st ed., 1774) includes a map of the town
showing the N.E. sector without any buildings behind
those fronting the main streets; development in the
N.W. sector was slight. In the S.E. sector are the two
most important houses surviving from before the fire,
the Priory and the Manor House. The Quay, in the
same sector, is an ancient structure, repaired in 1745
and reconstructed in the middle of the 19th century.
The railway to Wareham was opened in 1847.
The remains, both surviving and documentary, of
the post-Roman and pre-Conquest development of
Wareham are of considerable importance. They comprise the 8th-century predecessor of the present church
of St. Mary, no less than five stone-cut inscriptions
dating from the 7th to the late 8th or early 9th centuries
preserved in the latter, the Alfredian town defences and
the early 11th-century church of St. Martin. Since the
8th-century church and the inscriptions demand more
discursive treatment than is suited to the Inventory
form of entry, they are considered in two Appendices
at the end of the account of Lady St. Mary's church
(pp. 309, 310).
(1) The Parish Church of Lady St. Mary (Plates
163, 164) stands in the S.E. angle of the town. The walls
are of Purbeck stone: in the chancel mostly of rubble,
in the S. chapel of rubble mixed with carstone, in the
N. and S. aisles and porch of coursed and squared stone,
and in the W. tower of ashlar. The roofs are covered
with tiles, slate and stone slates. The early 8th-century
church, much the size of the present building, in large
part survived here until the mid 19th century. This
pre-Conquest minster church with its possessions had
been given to the Norman Abbey of St. Wandrille
before 1086. (fn. 5) It was given by Robert, Earl of Leicester,
to the Abbey of Lire (fn. 6) in c. 1150, which established a
Benedictine Priory, replacing the canons. (fn. 7)
In the 14th century Wareham suffered the usual
disadvantages under which alien priories laboured (fn. 8) and
in 1414 the church and its possessions were granted to
Henry V's newly founded Carthusian Priory of Sheen. (fn. 9)
The Church of Saint Mary, Wareham Lady St. Mary, Dorset
The date and the form of the early church (Plate 163,
Fig. p. 305) are discussed in the Sectional Preface, p. xliii,
and Appendix A, p. 309. Nothing of the pre-Conquest
building is visible above ground in the present church,
but the walls at the W. end of the aisles are so placed
that they may be assumed to be substantially of this
date beneath the modern plaster. The early chancel was
probably rebuilt when the present St. Edward's Chapel
was added c. 1100. The western part of the S. side of this
chapel is thin, suggesting the party wall of a building
about 23 ft. wide running S. and forming the E. range
of a normal claustral lay-out. In c. 1100 the chapel consisted of a single storey with a floor sunk some 3 ft.
below the level of the nave and entered through a
W. arch. The lowering of the floor was presumably to
allow the upper floor of the range containing the
dormitory to extend across the W. part of the chapel
up to the S. wall of the church. An upper storey extending over the whole of the chapel was added when
the vault was inserted in the latter in the early 13th
century; this probably formed a Treasury entered
directly from the choir as at present. The Chancel of
the church was enlarged in c. 1325, and the vice at the
N.E. corner and the Becket Chapel are also of this period.
The West Tower was built in c. 1500 and soon afterwards
the Vestry was added to it on the N. The West Porch
is also of the early 16th century. The present Nave
and North and South Aisles succeeded the pre-Conquest
aisled nave taken down in 1841–2 together with the
W. end of the chancel; the new chancel arch was built
11 ft. E. of the earlier one (measured centre to centre).
The new building had galleries at the W. end of the
nave and in the aisles; these have since been removed.
The work of rebuilding was carried out by Jesse
Cornick and Sons of Bridport, apparently to the
designs of T. L. Donaldson, who signed the 1840 plan
(see p. 309), for £2,122. The Organ Chamber was added
in 1882 and restoration work was also carried out then
and, to the chancel, in the two following years.
By chance it is possible to reconstruct with accuracy
the form of the pre-Conquest minster church and to
indicate the importance of it in the history of ecclesiastical building in England. Though most of the ancient
structure was demolished immediately prior to the
rebuilding in 1841–2, the church of Lady St. Mary is
still of much interest for its impressive 14th-century
chancel and the remarkable contents, including five
pre-Conquest inscriptions, a 12th-century lead font
and two 13th-century military effigies. Here too is the
grave and memorial tablet of the Rev. John Hutchins,
whose History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset
(1774) has put all students in this field in his debt.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (47½ ft. by 24 ft.)
is a building of c. 1325; unless otherwise described, the features
are of this period. It has in the E. wall a very large window
(Plate 164) of seven trefoiled and transomed lights with net
tracery in a four-centred head and cusping below the transom.
At the N.E. corner is an enlarged buttress of ashlar, with a
high battered plinth, containing a vice entered from the
chancel by a doorway with chamfered jambs and lintel; the
vice is lit by small loops and has a doorway at the top opening
to the chancel roof. The upper part of the main N. wall and
its parapet have been rebuilt. The three-light N. window,
with a cinque-foiled light between two trefoiled ogee lights,
has geometric tracery in a two-centred head with a label. The
opening to the organ chamber is of 1882; it displaced a window, which is now reset in the N. wall of the organ chamber
(q.v.). The S. wall has at the E. end a doorway to the Becket
Chapel, with chamfered jambs and lintel, the chamfers
finishing on shaped stops. The S. window is of the early 15th
century and has three cinque-foiled lights and vertical tracery
in a two-centred head with a label. The S. doorway has a
chamfered two-centred head, continuous jambs with shaped
stops, a moulded label and moulded segmental-pointed rear
arch. Further W. is a modern doorway with a reused four-centred head; it opens to St. Edward's Chapel and is in part
in the blocking of an earlier opening. High above it is a small
lancet window and, at the W. extremity of the wall, at halfheight in a recess under a half arch, is a doorway; both open to
the room over St. Edward's Chapel. The doorway has a
moulded two-centred head with shallow chevron and nail-head ornament springing from moulded imposts below which
the moulding is continued down the jambs; the dressings are
of the 12th century, reset when the doorway was made,
probably c. 1600. The chancel arch, of 1841–2, is of three
orders, two-centred and moulded, the centre order continuous
and the inner and outer orders springing from attached shafts
with moulded caps and chamfered bases.
The Becket Chapel (8½ ft. by 6 ft.), on the S.E. corner of the
chancel and of the same build, is of ashlar and has high battered
plinths to the E. and S. walls. The E. end of the N. wall is
carried up to form a buttress to the chancel and the lower
weathered offset of this buttress is continued across the E. wall
of the chapel and returned as part of the water-tabling on the
S. The E. window has three lights with modern mullions and
15th-century vertical tracery in a segmental-pointed head
reused and replacing a window presumably of the 14th
century. The stone vaulted roof (Plate 164) has moulded ribs
St. Edward's Chapel (26 ft. by 12¼ ft.) is at a lower level than
the chancel; it has an upper room, now disused. The thinner
part of the S. wall may have been the party wall with a contemporary range extending S., now gone. The vaulting and
vaulting shafts and the upper storey are 13th-century additions
to the original building of c. 1100. Subsequently the whole
wall-head on the S. was lowered. On the S.E. angle is a
clasping buttress; under the E. window is a rounded string-course. The 13th-century E. window has two plain two-centred lights and a quatrefoil above; the rear arch is segmental-pointed. The N. wall retains, towards the E., part of the
chamfered E. jamb of a former doorway, probably of the
13th century. The S. window has one square-headed light and
the S. doorway is of the 19th century. In the W. wall is an
early 12th-century archway with plain round head springing
from moulded imposts and stop-chamfered responds. The
upper floor has the remains of a 13th-century two-light E.
window, blocked and with a small rectangular window, perhaps 16th-century, in the blocking and, in the S. wall, a small
rectangular loop-light of the 16th century. The chapel is
covered by two bays of quadripartite vaulting with chamfered
ribs springing from detached circular shafts of Purbeck marble
with attached moulded caps and bases; the transverse and wall
ribs form two-centred arches and the diagonal ribs elliptical
arches; the intersections are recessed and carved with conventional flowers.
The Organ Chamber (25 ft. by 12½ ft.) of 1882 has in the N.
wall a reset 14th-century window removed from the N. wall
of the chancel; it has a septfoiled centre light between cinque-foiled side lights and curvilinear wheel tracery in a two-centred head with a label.
The Nave (74¼ ft. by 22 ft.) has high over the chancel arch
a small two-light window of 1894. The N. and S. arcades are
of four two-centred arches of two chamfered orders springing
from lofty octagonal piers and attached half piers at the
responds, all with moulded capitals and chamfered bases.
Each of the clearstorey windows is of two plain lights with
tracery in a two-centred head with a label. The walls are
carried up to embattled parapets. The North Aisle (11¼ ft.
wide) has in the E. wall a reset round window of the 12th
century with moulded reveal and, above, a reset 15th-century
window with three plain lights and vertical tracery in a
two-centred head; both now open to the organ chamber.
The N. windows are each of two transomed lights with plain
tracery in a two-centred head with a label. In the W. wall,
above the N.W. vestry, is a reused 14th-century window of
three plain lights with curvilinear tracery in a two-centred
head. The South Aisle (11¼ ft. wide) has an E. wall built against
the W. wall of St. Edward's Chapel and with an opening for
the archway to the chapel; the head of the opening is made
up from the cusping of the recess over a 14th-century wall-monument formerly in the chapel on the E. extremity of the
old N. aisle (Hutchins I, 111, 112). The S. windows are uniform
with those in the N. aisle. In the W. wall is a mid 19th-century
doorway with continuous chamfered two-centred head and,
higher up, a reset mediaeval window from the N.W. vestry
(Hutchins I, 111) with three cinque-foiled lights and curvilinear
tracery in a square head with a modern rear arch.
The West Tower (16¼ ft. square) of c. 1500 is of four stages
divided by moulded string-courses, with moulded plinth and
embattled parapet above a parapet string with grotesque
gargoyles; there are angle buttresses to the E. and diagonal
buttresses to the W. A polygonal vice projects at the N.E.
corner. The tower arch is two-centred and of three moulded
orders, the inner order being carried on three-quarter shafts
with moulded capitals and chamfered bases; the other orders
are carried down the responds, the outer one being interrupted
by capitals. The N. wall has a doorway with four-centred
head to the vice. The W. doorway has a moulded two-centred head and continuous jambs; above it is a window of
four transomed lights with intersecting tracery of 1869 in an
opening of c. 1500 with a four-centred head under a label with
one shield stop and with the original rear arch. The string at
the head of the ground stage is returned below the window.
The third stage has a doorway from the vice to the nave roof
and, in the W. wall, a window of one cinque-foiled light in a
square head with a label. The top stage had in each wall a
window of two transomed lights, but mullions and tracery
have been removed except in the E. window where the lower
half is complete. The North-west Vestry (21½ ft. by 12 ft.), of
the earliest years of the 16th century, has a moulded plinth
and two-stage buttresses. To E. and N.E. are 19th-century
doorways with two-centred heads. The original N. doorway
is blocked; it has a moulded two-centred arch within a square
head with continuous jambs; in the spandrels are quatrefoils
enclosing a Tudor rose and a patera and over all is a label with
defaced head-stops. To the W. is an original window of two
cinque-foiled ogee lights in a square head; the mullion is a
renewal. The W. wall has a raking parapet with moulded
panels, now in part cut away, matching the parapet to the W.
porch. The South-west Porch, now used as a vestry, has a
semicircular-headed S. doorway of 1841–2 and a small W.
window with a reset 14th-century cinque-foiled ogee head.
The West Porch (12¼ ft. by 9 ft.) has diagonal buttresses, a
moulded plinth and a parapet with four moulded square
panels in the W. face above a string-course. In the N. wall is
a doorway of 1841–2; the W. doorway has a moulded two-centred head and continuous jambs finished with shaped stops.
Fittings—Bells: eight, all except the second by William
Mears, 1785, and all recast 1910. Brasses and Indents. Brasses:
in chancel—reset on S. wall, inscription plates, (1) to Edmund
Moore, 1625; (2) to George Burgess, erected by his wife
Anna, 1640/1; (3) to Ann wife of Richard ffranke, draper of
Wareham, 1583; (4) to William Perkins, 1613; (5) to Richard
Perkins, 1616. Indent: in St. Edward's Chapel, of inscription
plate, in Purbeck marble floor-slab. Chairs: in chancel—(1)
with moulded and enriched framing and arms and panelled
back, c. 1650, with inscribed plate 'Given by Elizabeth wife
of Charles Oldfield Bartlett 1842'; (2) with moulded and
enriched framing and arms and panelled back, dated 1652.
Coffins and Coffin-lids. Coffins: in N. aisle—(1) of finely
wrought Purbeck marble, rounded and with projecting keels
at each end, the upper edges rebated and keyed for mortar,
13th-century; in churchyard—(2) of carstone and broken;
(3) of local limestone, part only, with rounded head; (4) of
carstone, part only; (5) of local limestone, the interior rounded
at the head but not shouldered; (2–5) mediaeval. Coffin-lids:
in St. Edward's Chapel—in N. tomb recess, (1) with incised
cross; in floor, (2) part of a lid, with plain cross; in N. aisle—
(3) small lid, 26 ins. long, with hollow-chamfered edge and
wheel-head cross in low relief, broken; (4) small lid, 33 ins.
long, with hollow-chamfered edge and cross in low relief,
broken; (5) small fragment of lid with stepped Calvary;
(1–5) 13th and 14th-century. Communion Table: in St. Edward's
Chapel, with legs carved as winged lions rising from square
shafts with strap ornament, gadrooned bearers and later top,
early 17th-century, reduced in size. Doors: (1) in doorway to
tower vice, nail-studded and with strap hinges, 15th-century;
(2) in W. doorway of tower, in two leaves, with fielded
panels, 18th-century. Fonts: in nave—(1) of lead, hexagonal
(Plates 167, 168); on each side are two bays of arcading with
round arches springing from grouped shafts with cushion
capitals and bases, these last being alternately moulded and in
the form of a grotesque beast's head; under each arch is a
nimbed figure, one identifiable as St. Peter (Plate 167), the
others presumably Apostles, but holding only books and
scrolls, 12th-century; the bowl is set on a 13th-century
octagonal Purbeck marble pedestal with attached corner shafts
and retooled top, all on a modern base; in Becket Chapel—
(2) octagonal stone bowl with moulded top and chamfered
lower edge, inscribed 'HF.FS.TC.1620 churchwardens', on
modern stem and base, formerly in Holy Trinity church.
Inscriptions: five, see also Appendix B, p. 310, are here
listed chronologically (Plates 165, 166). They were all found
built into the old nave during demolition in 1840 but the
position of only No. iii is accurately recorded, namely, 'on
taking down the S. gallery the plastered facing of one of the
piers was brought away and thus was laid open the face of a
large stone having on its surface a Runic inscription' (engraving
appended) and 'the stone is placed across the top of the third
[S.] pier from the E., being thus about 13 ft. from the ground'
(Dorset Procs. LXII (1941), 83, 84); another source records that
it was found 'inverted under the capitals of one of the columns
in the nave' (Hutchins I, 116). In S.W. porch, reset in E. wall:
VIDCV. . .
FILIVS VIDA . . .
There are missing letters at the end of each line. This 7th-century inscription is cut in two lines on a classical architrave
of Romano-British date. The stone has two fasciae, the upper
one projecting in front of the lower; it was later reused as a
door jamb and the slot for the bolt is cut to the left of the
inscription; the re-use is late mediaeval. The upper fascia has
been dressed back flush with the lower after the last surviving
letter of the first line. In N. aisle, lying loose:
IUDNNE . . .
FIL[I] QUI . . .
There are missing letters at the end of each line. This late 7th-century inscription is cut in the shaft of a small monolithic
Romano-British column with a maximum diameter of 11 ins.
(cf. a similar column in R.C.H.M., Eburacum, fig. 79, 12f). The
column has a bulbous base and annulet; the shaft, which is
broken off at the top, has a slight entasis. Such columns could
be used on dwarf walls to support a pent roof and are found
in public buildings and villas. In N. aisle, reset in E. wall:
CATGUG . C . . .
FI]LIUS . GIDEO
Letters are missing at the end of the first line. This 7th to
8th-century inscription is cut in a pillar stone which has been
squared for re-use as building material. In N. aisle, lying loose:
D]ENIEL . FI[LIUS
. . . . AUPRIT . IA[CET
This late 8th-century inscription is cut along the damaged
drum of a column about 11 ins. in diameter and imperfect at
each end. In N. aisle, reset in E. wall:
This 8th to 9th-century inscription is cut on a pillar stone,
fractured diagonally near the present centre.
Masons' Marks: on stonework of chancel E. window, Becket
Chapel and sedilia, c. 1325. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—on N. wall, tablets, (1) to Capt. George
Lefebure, R.H.A., 1812; (2) to Major-General Sir Granby
Thomas Calcraft, 1820; (3) to Major Charles Lefebure,
R.E., 1810; (4) to Richard Calcraft, 1819; (5) to Major William
Calcraft, 1809; (6) to Elizabeth, wife of John Calcraft of
Rempston Hall, 1815, signed Bacon; (7) to John Calcraft,
M.P., 1772; (8) to the Rt. Hon. John Calcraft, P.C., 1831;
(9) to John Card, six times mayor, 1822, and Theresa his
wife, 1826, oval tablet and urn, signed Warren, Wareham;
(10) to Robert Card, R.N., 1826, with draped urn; against
N. wall, (11) probably to Sir William d'Estoke (Plate 10),
1294, tapered stone slab with effigy of man in mail armour
and surcoat, with couters and poleyns, hand on sword, head
resting on two pillows, and with shield bearing the arms
vair and a chief for Estoke (B.M., Harl. MS. 6589, f. 53),
formerly in St. Edward's Chapel; against S. wall, (12) probably
to Sir Henry d'Estoke (Plate 10), mid 13th-century, stone slab
with moulded edge enriched with stiff leaf, with effigy of man
in mail armour and surcoat, the coif flat-topped, the head
resting on a cushion, sword broken away, shield plain and
damaged, formerly in St. Edward's Chapel; on S. wall,
(13) to George Gigger, 1794, and his sister Elizabeth Chapman,
1802, framed tablet with apron, pediment and urn; (14) to
Robert Carruthers, surgeon, R.N., 1799, Isabella his wife, 1786,
and four children, also Captain Ned Carruthers, R.M., 1801,
Lieut. Charles Lawson Carruthers, 1804, and Captain Walter
Stirling Carruthers, R.M., 1810; (15) to Henrietta Carruthers,
1825, with draped urn; (16) to Thomas Garland, 1828, Betty
(Watts) his wife, 1805, and nine children, also others later;
(17) to William Dugdale, mayor, 1844, his wife Mary, 1824,
and five children, signed Lester, Dorchester. In St. Edward's
Chapel—on N. wall, (18) to George Ryves Hawker, Rector,
1789, and his daughter, with shield-of-arms; (19) tomb recess
with cinque-foiled arch with enrichment cut away, late 13th-century; on S. wall, (20) tomb recess with chamfered cinque-foiled head, late 13th-century; (21) to Humphrey Giles, 1789,
and Sarah his wife, 1805, with apron and pediment; (22) to the
Rev. John Hutchins, A.M., 1773, many years Rector of Wareham and Swyre and author of the History and Antiquities of
the County of Dorset, oval tablet erected by his son-in-law,
Major John Bellasis, 1792; on W. wall, (23) to Mrs. Sarah
Clark, 1820; (24) to the Rev. George Hooton Hyde, M.A.,
1828, and Diana his wife, 1825, and four children, signed
T. Tyley, Bristol. In N. aisle—on N. wall, (25) to Elizabeth,
widow of Joseph Staines, 1808, Joseph their son, 1824, and
others later, signed Osmond, Sarum; (26) to Thomas Bartlett,
1803, Alicia (Oldfield) his wife, 1779, and two children, also
to Thomas their son, 1836, Anne (Vincent) his wife, 1799,
and John Oldfield their son, 1770; (27) to Harry Tuck, 1776,
and Mary his wife, 1767; (28) to Mary, wife of Richard Wright,
1805, signed Hiscock, Poole; (29) to John Barker, 1819, and
Maria (Mill) his wife, 1826, tablet with drapery, bay leaves
and shield-of-arms, signed I. Kendall, Exon; (30) to Jean
Buxton, 1766; (31) to Thomas Baskett, 1821, and his wife,
1792, with shield-of-arms, signed Warren, Wareham; on
W. wall, (32) to Arthur Addams, 1774, scrolled cartouche in
rococo surround with cherubs, symbols of mortality and
draped canopy (Plate 16). In S. aisle—in E. wall, (33) reset
over entrance to St. Edward's Chapel, moulded and cusped
segmental arch under ogee outer moulding with trefoiled
spandrel, from 14th-century tomb recess; on S. wall, (34) to
Anthony Trew, 1771, tablet with apron, broken pediment and
shield-of-arms; (35) to Thomas Wade Pink, 1835, Mary his
wife, 1832, and Patty their daughter, 1810, sarcophagus-shaped tablet with urn, signed G. & W. Slade, Dorchester;
(36) to Robert Dugdale, 1766, Robert his nephew, 1788, and
others, tablet with apron, cornice, urn and shield-of-arms.
In churchyard—N. of N.W. vestry, headstones: (37) to S.S.,
1677, with trefoiled top; (38) to Elizabeth, wife of Thomas
Randel, 1684; (39) to E.S., 1661; (40) to William Damen,
1697; (41) to Henry Leaves, 1691; (42) to Alice, daughter of
William and Mary Lerrouse, 1710; (43) to John and Elizabeth
Say, 1702/3; (44) to William son of Robert Raines, 171;
(45) to Thomas Fflorance, 1714; (46) to John Baker, 1670;
(47) to John, son of Edward and Hannah Linning, 1707;
(48) to Usala, wife of John Cotton, 1685; (49) to Margaret,
wife of James Ionide (?), 1689; (50) to George Matthews,
1680; (51) to Edeth, wife of John Woolfreys, 1668; (52) to
E.W., 1681; (53) to Ragk (sic) son of Ragk Langley, 1705.
Floor-slabs: In chancel—(I) to Elizabeth, daughter of Richard (G)ould, 1660; (2) to William Bond, 1669, and two
children; (3) to Margaret, wife of John Flint, 1701; (4) to
Robert Coombes, 1714, Jane his daughter, widow of Richard
Kaines, 1734, and Robert Kaines her son, 1756; (5) to Mr. G. G.
and Mrs. E. C., 1802. In St. Edward's Chapel—(6) to Helen
Stephens, sister to Mrs. Hutchins and daughter of the Rev.
Thos. Stephens, Rector of Pimperne, 1781; (7) to the Rev.
John Hutchins, A.M., 1773, and Anne his wife, 1796; (8) to
Dana Emma Hyde, 1802. In S. aisle—(9) to Edward Dampier,
late 18th-century; (10) to John Ford and Elias Dugdale,
Elizabeth wife of John Ford and Elias Dugdale, 1797, and
Betty, wife of Elias Dugdale, 1829, and with later inscription
to Elias Dugdale, 1839; (11) to (Mar)ly Seward, 1730, Roger
Seward, 1750, and others; (12) to Robert Bacon, 1759, and
Bulas his wife, 1743.
Niches: in N.W. vestry—in N. wall above blocked doorway, (1) with trefoiled head beneath a gable between side
standards with crocketed finials, the moulded shelf carved
with a Tudor rose, 15th-century; in W. tower—over W.
doorway, (2) cinque-foiled recess in moulded rectangular
surround, c. 1500. Piscinae: in chancel, (1) see under Sedilia
below; in Becket Chapel, (2) with bowl in part-octagonal,
moulded and tapered projection under a trefoiled ogee arch,
15th-century; in St. Edward's Chapel, (3) with projecting
bowl with moulded edge and four drain holes, under reset
trefoiled head, 13th-century; in N. aisle, (4) with two bowls
in rounded and tapered projections under trefoiled head, 13th-century, reset. Plate: includes paten of 1662, dish of 1694 with
inscription of 1823, cover-paten of 1724, cup of 1822 and
another of 1842; two pewter flagons, 18th-century, and brass
alms-dish embossed with figures of the two spies, German,
16th-century. Sedilia: arcade of four stilted four-centred and
moulded arches carried on grouped shafts with conjoined caps
and bases, in the first bay two octagonal piscina bowls, in the
other three bays stepped seats now cut back flush with the
wall, c. 1325. Stoup: in N.W. vestry, with quatre-foiled panel
to front, 15th-century. Miscellanea: In chancel, on S. wall,
dish of Delft pottery (Plate 5), with sacred monogram,
possibly a paten, 18th-century. In room over St. Edward's
Chapel, various carved and moulded stones including seventeen moulded voussoirs of a 12th-century arch and part of
the steps to an octagonal font, 15th-century. In N. aisle—in E.
wall, stone carved with Crucifixion, 14th-century; lying loose,
fragments including a stone cross, 11th-century, two stones
(Plate 6), each 9 ins. square and 20 ins. and 25 ins. high respectively, symmetrically shaped on all four sides at the top,
being parts of two pre-Conquest cross-shafts, 10th or 11th-century; parts of a stoup with trefoiled panels, 15th-century,
of a Crucifixion, 15th-century, and of a stone frieze moulded
and carved with quatre-foiled circular panels, 15th-century;
a stone cresset with five sinkings; an oval font bowl reduced
in depth; a bronze skillet, inscribed on handle 'Clement
Tosear', late 17th-century; see also Inscriptions above. In S.W.
porch, see Inscriptions above. In churchyard wall, various
reused fragments of worked stone, mediaeval.
Lady St. Mary: the earlier church.
In August 1840, prior to the demolition of the nave, a plan
was made of the church showing 'the present position and
arrangement of the pews' (Fig. p. 305). This and two watercolours of 1864 (Plate 163) based upon sketches made before
the demolition are preserved in the present church of Lady St,
Mary; one of the latter shows the interior, from near the W.
end of the church, and includes the E. end of the nave with the
chancel beyond and the E. part of the N. arcade; the other is a
view of the exterior seen from the N.W. The two watercolours give a general impression of the old building, but may
not be reliable in matters of detail. The plan is accurate apart
from its rectilinearity.
The core of the old church consisted of an aisled nave. The
nave measured 64¼ ft. by 25¾ ft., but the original length was
probably 61¾ ft., as the E. face of the later tower was set back
in relation to the W. walls of the aisles, showing that the
gable was demolished when the tower was completed. The
aisles were 8¾ ft. wide. The eastern arch was 15¾ ft. wide and
of two orders; the inner order sprang from a plain abacus of
uncertain profile; the latter is clearly visible in the watercolour only on the S. side, where the W. face is shewn flush
with the wall surface, the N. respond of the arch being largely
masked by the pulpit and sounding board. The outer order
was plain with a slight projection and apparently rectangular
in section; it stopped without any finish at the level of or just
above the abacus, suggesting that it originally sprang from a
return which had been dressed off, possibly to accommodate
a late mediaeval rood screen. The N. arcade was of six bays,
the arches springing from T-shaped piers, each with a flat
face about 4 ft. long towards the nave. The arches varied
slightly in width: the first, counting from the E., measured
5 ft.; the second 5¼ ft.; the third 6¼ ft.; the fourth 5¼ ft., and
the other two 5½ ft. each. There was a blank stretch of wall
7¾ ft. long at the E. end of the arcade. The S. arcade was very
similar with an additional opening 5¼ ft. wide piercing the
blank wall at the E. end. The three arches at the E. end of the
N. arcade, shown in the view of the interior, were round-headed and of two orders similar to those of the chancel arch;
where visible the orders sprang from an abacus of two projecting, square-sectioned members separated by a flat; these
abaci were continuous along the nave face of the piers. Above
the first and second arches were round-headed windows with
wide openings, splayed embrasures and deeply sloping sills;
the wall above the third arch was blank; the view of the
exterior shows two more clearstorey windows further W.
The aisles were divided into bays by cross walls with wide
arches springing from the piers and from slight projections
from the aisle walls. The only arch visible in the watercolour is
that between the second and third bays of the N. aisle; it had
a plain round head. Externally the aisle is shewn covered by a
pent roof of comparatively low pitch, broken over the third
bay by a tall structure with a transverse gabled roof. The outer
face of this structure projected slightly beyond the line of the
aisle and was treated as a lofty blank arch rising above the
eaves of the aisle roof and framing a doorway with a pointed
head, apparently of the 13th century. Internally the watercolour shows the aisle wall in this bay splayed back at the level
of the eaves, suggesting that the projecting arch and the upper
part of the structure were later additions. But the wider
opening in the arcade suggests that there was a doorway here
from the beginning. There was also a doorway in this position
in the S. aisle. No record of its treatment survives, but the
plan shews no projections like those on the N. side.
The arcade walls extended beyond the nave with openings
about 5 ft. wide immediately E. of the eastern arch. On the
S. side this wall continued to where it was cut through by the
N.W. angle of St. Edward's Chapel; the floor of this last lies
some 3 ft. below that of the church. On the N. side the wall is
shewn continuing at the same width for 16 ft. where the
transition to the slightly narrower wall of the 14th-century
chancel is masked by a buttress. This would give a minimum
length of 16 ft. for the choir of the earlier church.
The bays of the N. aisle varied between 7 ft. and 8 ft. in
length with the exception of the easternmost which was
10 ft. long. Even so, the aisle was not coextensive in length
with the nave. Adjoining on the E. was a separate room
with a fireplace and chimney, in 1840 probably used as a
vestry; it measured 12¼ ft. by 8¾ ft. and was separated from
the aisle by a wall with a doorway towards the outer end; the
doorway had a splayed embrasure and must have been late
mediaeval. The exterior view shows the masonry and roof of
the aisle and the eastern room unbroken, suggesting that the
whole fabric was of one date. Even if the wall separating the
aisle from the eastern room was not original, the greater size
and the anomalous position of the room overlapping the nave
and the space to the east suggest a special function. On the S.
side of the church the arrangement at the E. end of the aisle
had been altered to provide access to St. Edward's Chapel,
an addition of c. 1100; the additional opening at the east end
of the arcade and the transverse arch spanning the aisle immediately E. of this opening were probably connected with
the building or remodelling of this chapel.
The 19th-century watercolour of the exterior shows that
the windows in the aisle were renewed at various dates in the
13th, 14th and 15th centuries and that the clearstorey was
raised and provided with a battlemented parapet which
masked a low-pitched late mediaeval roof. The interior view
provides evidence of a considerable rearrangement in the 18th
century; the galleries over the aisles projecting into the nave,
the pulpit with its sounding board and the coved plaster ceiling
are all of this date.
A closer dating of the pre-Conquest church must depend on
the parallels that can be cited, interpreted in the light of the
known historical development of Wareham. The matter is
discussed in the Sectional Preface (Pt. l, p. xliii) in the setting of
the general review of pre-Conquest ecclesiastical buildings in
S.E. Dorset, but in summary it appears that the early church
at Wareham Lady St. Mary should be ascribed to the time
of St. Aldhelm (ob. 709), with alterations to the N. porch and
possibly also to the corresponding S. porch at more than one
date and the remodelling of the E. end of the S. aisle in the
early post-Conquest period.
Early Christian Inscriptions (fn. 10) (see also p. 308 and Pt. 1, p. xlix).
The five inscriptions (Plates 165, 166) in the church of Lady
St. Mary form a group which must be compared both epigraphically and prosopographically with the early Christian
monuments of Wales and the south-west. The earliest of the
Wareham inscriptions dates from the 7th century; the latest
is of c. 800 or later.
The lettering is a mixture of Roman capitals and of forms
derived from contemporary or rather earlier book-hands. In
view of the date it has seemed best to describe the latter forms
as Insular. In Ireland the Cathach of St. Columba, written
soon after the middle of the 6th century, is classed as early
Insular majuscule. (fn. 11) Though no contemporary British MSS.
survive, the influence of this book-hand can be traced in
inscriptions of the early 7th century, such as the Cadfan stone
at Llangadwaladr, (fn. 12) and perhaps even earlier. Insular majuscule,
a script derived from the half uncial book-hand, (fn. 13) allows an
intermingling of uncial forms to an extent that varies from MS.
to MS. Attention is drawn to these forms where they occur in
The names recorded on all, save possibly the last, of these
inscriptions find their explanation and parallels in the British
material preserved in other Celtic lands. They are only
explicable in terms of Celtic philology and the forms used are
appropriate to the date ascribed to the stones.
These five stones are memorials originally erected in the
cemetery of the Saxon monastery or of the British church
which preceded it presumably on the same site. The form of
the memorials, namely tall pillar stones with inscriptions
generally running vertically downwards, is purely Celtic and
is not found in Anglo-Saxon contexts.
Technically the letters are cut in a series of straight lines
with a U or V-shaped section. The edges of the channel are
blurred, giving an irregular outline. In the line-drawings on
Plate 166, dotted restorations are confined to the minimum
needed to explain the forms; fractures are shown in cross
hatching; a stipple is used to denote abrasion of the surface.
The abrasion is often shallow and in places the cutting can be
followed across it by touch. The outline of the stone is indicated only where it cuts across an inscription. In the following
transcriptions dots on the line indicate letters missing, more
or less; subscript dots indicate uncertain letters; dots at mid
line indicate stops (cf. Plate 166); letters which, though
missing, can be restored are indicated by square brackets.
VIDCV . . .
FILIVS VIDA . . .
The letters, which vary markedly in size, are Roman
capitals with an uncial D and Insular L. The C is square. The
final letter in the second line is imperfect; it can only be an A
with angular cross bar. The strokes of the C and the Vs are
crossed at their junction and several of the letters have prominent forked serifs.
The closest parallels in Britain are the inscription from
Llanfihangel Cwmdu, ascribed to the late 6th or early 7th
century, (fn. 14) and the St. Peter stone at Whithorn, probably of
the late 6th or early 7th century. (fn. 15) Both show the crossed junction of the strokes and the variation in size of the letters. The
forked serifs are used more consistently on the St. Peter stone.
The forked serif is widely found in Continental inscriptions
of the 6th and 7th centuries. (fn. 16) The square C is characteristic
of the same period in Gaulish inscriptions. (fn. 17) The uncial D does
not occur in the earliest group of Welsh inscriptions, dating
from the 5th to the 7th centuries, though it is found in group II,
e.g. at Llanlleonfel. (fn. 18) The Insular L at Llanddewi Brefi may be
rather earlier, (fn. 19) but the form is characteristic of group II, from
the 7th to the 9th century.
The first name may well have been VIDCVMI, in the Latin
genitive, when the inscription was complete. This would be
Old Welsh *Guidcu, modern Welsh Gwyddgu, meaning something like 'well-known dear one' or 'well-known kind one'.
The second name could well be VIDAR, if Middle Welsh
Gwydar is from an Old Welsh *Guidar (the source and etymology are uncertain).
IUDNNE . . .
FIL[I] QUI . . .
The regularly formed letters are mixed Roman capital and
Insular forms. The U is angular, almost square. If the reading
of the fifth letter in the first line is correct, the uncial and
Insular forms of the letter appear side by side; the concurrent
use of the two forms is common in Insular majuscule MSS.
The last letter in this line is incomplete, with only the rounded
back remaining; a capital E of rounded form is likely. The
reconstruction of the bases of the letters FIL at the beginning
of the second line is conjectural; no trace of the second I of
this word remains. A few of the letters have forked serifs
(cf. No. i). Both the D and the Q show a slight shallowing of
the groove, almost a gap, between the upright and the loop;
this feature may be compared with the treatment of the cross
arms in a number of Welsh crosses, which there is reason to
attribute to the 7th century. (fn. 20)
The closest parallel in Insular epigraphy is the rather later
inscription at Llanlleonfel which should belong linguistically to
the later 8th century. (fn. 21) Both inscriptions have the same tendency
to square letter-forms; both use the Insular N, the Q with a
loop and long shaft and the square U. But Llanlleonfel uses the
uncial D while Wareham prefers the Insular form. The
tendency to separate the different parts of the same letter may
also be noted at Llanlleonfel. In Insular epigraphy the forked
serif occurs occasionally as late as the early 9th century, e.g.
on the Caldey Island stone. (fn. 22) In Wales the square U is found
in the latest inscriptions of group I (5th-7th centuries); the
Insular N is first used in group II (7th-9th centuries).
Probably late 7th-century.
The first name is clearly one in iud, 'lord', a type well-known in Welsh in e.g. Old Welsh Iudris later Idris, Iudhael
later Ithel etc. The only one of this group which seems to fit
is Old Welsh Iudnerth, 'one with lordly strength', 'strong
like a lord'. The second name, with its qu-, cannot be Welsh,
nor is it likely to be Irish at so late a date. It must probably
therefore be Latin: perhaps Quintus or Quintilius or the like,
though such a name would be quite unexpected at this period.
CATGUG . C . . .
FI]LIUS . GIDEO
The letters are irregular and straggling. The forms are
generally Insular majuscule, though the A and U and the
rounded E are better described as debased Roman capitals.
The A in particular is anomalous; it appears to be a reversed
example of the capital type with angular cross bar (cf. No. i).
The fourth letter in the first line looks as though the workman
first cut a T, repeating the previous letter, and then corrected
to G. The last letter in this line could be O, but this is unlikely.
The first four letters in the second line are cramped, as though
the cutter began FI]LI . GIDEO and later inserted the US.
The central bar of the rounded E is separate from the rest of
the letter (cf. No. ii). There are traces of forked serifs.
The second word in the first line may have been adjectival (fn. 23)
or a noun in apposition. (fn. 24)
Some of the Insular forms used in this inscription are found
sporadically in the latest Welsh inscriptions of group I, dating
from the 5th to 7th century, but they are more usual in group
II, beginning in the 7th century. Their more consistent use in
this inscription indicates a date after these forms had become
established. Welsh inscriptions of this period are not common
and it is difficult to suggest a close parallel. The use of stops to
separate the words has no chronological significance.
7th to 8th-century.
The first name is the later Welsh Cattwg, and occurs in
Old Welsh as Catguc (Book of Llandaff, p. 161). This is a
pet-form of the longer name Old Welsh Catguocaun, Catgucaun, Middle Welsh Cadwgawn, i.e. Cadogan, from
British Catuvocānos, 'powerful in battle' or 'glorious in battle'.
The C which follows cannot of course be interpreted; it is
possibly the first letter of some adjectival epithet. The punctuation point seems to prevent reading Catgugc, where gc
would have represented a hesitation over how to write the
final consonant, not unnatural in the circumstances. Gideo is
doubtless the Biblical Gideon.
Biblical names occur occasionally on early Christian Celtic
inscriptions. (fn. 25)
D]ENIEL . FI[LIUS
... AUPRIT . IA[CET
The letters, which are straggling and disparate, shew a
mixture of Roman capitals and Insular forms. There is no
trace of the initial D. Two forms of capital E are used in the
first name. The last surviving letter in the first line is probably
FI ligatured, as the end of the cross bar is beginning to drop;
the upright of the F projects above the looped upper bar.
The first mark in the second line is the tail of an oblique stroke;
it is difficult to explain this except as the end of an uncial A,
a form used occasionally in Insular majuscule MSS., or an
Insular R together with the more normal letter. The beginning
of an A can also be distinguished at the end of this line, much
disguised by the surface abrasion of the stone. Forked serifs
occur on a number of letters, but there is no consistent use of
them. The words are separated by stops (cf. No. iii).
It is difficult to point to a close parallel to this inscription.
The straggling layout and the mixture of letter forms point
to a late place in the series. The forked serifs, though more
common in the 7th century, continue to occur in the early 9th
(cf. No. ii).
8th-century, perhaps rather late.
Deniel is early Welsh for Daniel, in Middle Welsh Deinioel.
At this date Denioil might perhaps have been expected, but
the e would still very likely be possible, if only as a rather
outdated spelling. The name Auprit (if the first letter is really A)
is unknown, and even with more letters at the beginning it
suggests no known name. It looks like a compound in prit,
Middle Welsh pryt, 'shape', 'form'.
A fracture almost obliterates the fourth letter and damages
the fifth. The small central fragment has been slightly displaced
so that the fifth letter reads badly. There is a final stop.
The letters are Insular majuscule with a Roman capital E.
The N is adapted from the uncial form, which is used in some
Insular MSS. together with the more normal N. Several of
the letters are characterised by an extension to the left of the
tops of the uprights; this feature is particularly noticeable in
the N, where the tops of both uprights are so treated.
Letters of the same general character are found in the 8th-century inscription at Towyn, (fn. 26) though the forms are there
less exaggerated and the setting out more irregular. The
forked serif to the central bar of the E is uncertain as the surface
is here abraded.
8th to 9th-century.
This is evidently the Latin genitive of a woman's name,
Gongoria, presumably an Old Welsh *Gongor when deLatinised, but no such name appears to be known. The Old
Welsh Guncar of the Book of Llandaff, p. 157, is a man's
name, and even if it were a woman's would still be rather far
(2) The Church of St. Martin (600 yds. N.N.W.)
(Plates 169, 170) has walls of rubble with ashlar dressings
and the roofs are covered with stone slates and some
tiling. The Chancel and Nave are pre-Conquest, of the
11th century; in the last quarter of the 12th century part
of the N. wall of the nave was demolished and rebuilt
with an arcade of two bays opening to a new North
Aisle; late in the 15th century the W. ends of the nave
and the N. aisle were rebuilt. The level of the chancel
roof has also been lowered. The South Tower is of the
16th century, restored and with the top rebuilt in 1712.
In the 18th century the church fell into disuse, but it was
restored in 1935–6.
Wareham, the Church of Saint Martin
The church has considerable interest as a building of
the first half of the 11th century. It contains a series of
wall paintings of which the earliest are probably of the
Architectural Description—The Chancel (12 ft. by 11 ft.)
has walls of rubble with large squared quoins, in part of long
and short work, above an ashlar base with a chamfered plinth;
in the E. wall is a mid 15th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with
a label with returned stops; the mullions have been restored.
The N. wall has an original window of one small round-headed light. In the S. wall is an original window widened
in the late 13th century and a late 13th-century doorway with
chamfered jambs and restored two-centred head. The chancel
arch is semicircular and of a single chamfered order with a
bold, roll moulding on the soffit; it springs from chamfered
imposts returned round the moulding which continues down
the square responds to a chamfered plinth; the N. impost
is continued to meet the N. wall of the nave but the continuation of the S. impost has been cut away; the arch has a half-round label on the W. also partly cut away.
The Nave (30 ft. by 16½ ft.) has a plain modern squint N.
of the chancel arch. S. of the chancel arch a round-headed
recess was formed early in the 12th century to provide the
setting presumably for the reredos of an altar; the rough surface of the wall below the recess shows whence the altar has
been removed. It was probably one of a pair of altars flanking
the chancel arch, but no corresponding recess was made on
the N. side. The S. recess itself was modified, if not blocked,
in the 14th century for the insertion of a niche and in modern
times it has been pierced for a square-headed squint. The N.
arcade has two plain round arches; the E. respond has two
Purbeck marble shafts with a common base, partly cut away,
and with carved stiff-leaf capitals of early form conjoined at
the top under a common abacus. The central pier has a square
capital with similar stiff-leaf carving at each corner; the original
pier had four detached corner shafts but was replaced in the
late 18th century by a new pier with attached polygonal
corner shafts and a hollow-chamfered base which rests on the
original chamfered plinth. The original base survives loose in
the N. aisle. The W. respond has a capital only of the late
12th century; it rests on the W. impost of an 11th-century
doorway which has been cut into to take the respond shafts,
but these have been removed; of the doorway there remains
the plain W. jamb, the impost, part of the W. segment of a
round tympanum and, on the N., part of a label; abutting the
label is a length of chamfered string-course. The S. wall is of
the 11th century to the E. of the W. wall of the tower; to the
W. of the same it is of the 15th century. The window is of
c. 1330 and has two ogee trefoiled lights and a curvilinear
quatrefoil; the doorway was partly rebuilt in the 18th century
but the rough W. impost and W. springing of the original
round head is visible in the stairway of the tower. The W.
window of the nave is of the mid 15th century and has three
trefoiled lights in a moulded square head.
The North Aisle (8½ ft. wide) has in the E. wall a mid 15th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights with vertical
tracery in a two-centred head. The N. wall has been patched
and some of the patching may represent the blocking of a
former window; toward the W. end is a blocked doorway
of which the chamfered jambs are visible externally and the
segmental-pointed rear arch is outlined in the plaster internally;
it is probably of the 15th century. In the S. wall, W. of the
arcade, now internal but originally external, the 11th-century
plinth of the nave survives. In the W. wall is a 16th-century
window of two square-headed lights with a label.
The Tower (8 ft. square) is of two stages with gables to N.
and S. The lower part forms an entrance porch and has a
round-headed doorway in the S. wall over which is a recessed
panel inscribed 'Richard Coole Edward Benet Chorch Ward
Ans 1712'; in the upper part of the ground stage is a small
rectangular loop-light to the S. The second stage has a small
round-headed window to the E. and, at a higher level, small
square-headed windows to the E., S. and W. and a doorway
to the N. leading to the nave roof; in the S. gable is a further
Roofs: the chancel roof is modern; the nave roof has been
rebuilt with some old timbers incorporated; the 16th-century
aisle roof has cambered tie beams and slanting struts to the
principal rafters, now boxed in, and longitudinal braces to the
Fittings—Bell: one, by Clement Tosiear, 1698. Brackets: In
N. aisle, flanking E. window, two moulded stone brackets,
15th-century; over W. respond of arcade, reset chamfered
corbel, probably to carry an earlier roof. Chair: in nave, with
moulded and enriched framing and arms and panelled back,
c. 1650, with inscribed plate 'Given by Elizabeth wife of
Charles Oldfield Bartlett 1842'. Consecration Crosses: in chancel,
on N. wall, (1) painted in red on ochre ground; in nave, on
N. wall, W. of arcade, (2) uniform with (1), late 12th-century.
Font: set against W. respond of N. arcade, octagonal bowl
inscribed 'Set up by William Welsted and Philip Helliar
1607'. Graffito: in chancel, on W. jamb of S. doorway, perhaps 'Adam', 15th-century. Inscription: see under Architectural
Description above, Tower. Monument and Floor-slab. Monument: in N. aisle, to T. E. Lawrence, 1935, recumbent effigy in
Purbeck stone by Eric Kennington, R.A. Floor-slab: in N. aisle,
to Robert Carruthers R.N., 1799, Isabella his wife, 1786, and
their infant children (see Paintings below). Niche: in nave, in
E. wall, S. of chancel arch, shallow recess with trefoiled round
head, chamfered jambs and shelf cut back flush with wall,
Paintings: In chancel—on rear arch of E. window, an
indented pattern in red and ochre and, in N.E. corner, on E.
wall roses and on N. wall I.H.S. with crown, 15th-century;
on N. wall, the window is outlined with a red band continued
to divide the W. part of the wall into two heights; in lower
height is a scene with horsemen, in upper a second scene with
horsemen of which the top was destroyed when the wall was
lowered; E. of window and on W. splay of window are
traces of further figures, 12th-century; overlying parts of the
12th-century work are traces of masonry lining with scroll
ornament and a band of lozenge pattern, 13th-century; round
chancel arch, masonry lining and conventional scroll ornament,
13th-century, and, above, remains of panel with black-letter
inscription, c. 1600. In nave—on E. wall, remains of a pattern
of stars, early 15th-century; on N. extension of impost,
indented pattern, 12th-century, overpainted in 13th century;
on chancel arch, black-letter inscription 'Le[t e]very lawe
[be] subject unto a higher power f[or th]ere is no power but
of [God] Rom' (xiii, 1), and to each side of arch parts of the
Decalogue within a border, c. 1600; higher up, and overlying
much of the earlier work, an achievement of the Royal Arms
dated 1713 flanked by a further painting of the Decalogue
divided into two parts, each within a border; on N. arcade,
masonry lining, 13th-century; over N. arcade, a large painted
inscription in memory of Mr. Robert Carruthers, superannuated surgeon R.N. and 'practitioner in this borough', 1799,
Isabella his wife, 1796 (sic), and Capt. Ned Carruthers R.M.
drowned in H.M.S. Invincible, 1801 (see Floor-slab above); on
W. respond of arcade and W. end of N. wall, fragments of texts
of 16th, 17th and 18th centuries; on S. wall, the Creed, early
18th-century; on W. wall, fragment of a black-letter inscription, late 15th-century. In N. aisle—on N. side of E. respond
of arcade, masonry lining and foliation, early 13th-century.
Royal Arms: see under Paintings above. Miscellanea: in N. aisle,
lying loose, stone fragments including base of pier of N.
arcade, late 12th-century, and ridge-piece with socket for
gable cross and four-sided bowl for piscina, mediaeval.
(3) The Church of the Holy Trinity, South Street,
has walls of rubble and roofs covered with slates and
stone slates. The Chancel and Nave were built in the
14th century, with a two-bay arcade opening into a
North Chapel. The West Tower was built in the 16th
century. In the 17th century the E. wall was rebuilt,
and in the 18th century a very plain stone structure
replaced the former N. chapel; the W. end of it has
since been rebuilt. The South Porch is modern.
Wareham, the Church of the Holy Trinity
Architectural Description—The Chancel and Nave (44 ft.
by 16½ ft.) are structurally undivided. The E. wall has a chamfered plinth and a window with two-centred head and
moulded 14th-century rear arch, now without any mullions
or tracery. The N. wall has a house built against the E. part;
a squint in this part of the wall is blocked. Further W. is a
16th-century window of two square-headed lights above
another squint, also blocked. In the W. part of the wall is a
two-bay arcade with octagonal pier with moulded cap and
chamfered base; the E. arch has been replaced by a hollow-chamfered segmental arch of c. 1500. The original W. arch is
two-centred and of two moulded orders; the responds are
chamfered. In the S. wall the E. window is of the 15th century
and has two ogee cinque-foiled lights with pierced spandrels
in a square head under a label with small returned stops. The
two other windows are of the 14th century; each has two
cinque-foiled lights with sunk spandrels in a square head under
a label also with small returned stops. The doorway has a
moulded two-centred head with continuous jambs and a
chamfered segmental rear arch.
On the site of the North Chapel is a rough lean-to building
without any architectural features.
The West Tower (8½ ft. square) is of two stages divided by a
moulded string-course and has a chamfered plinth, moulded
parapet string and plain parapet surmounted by obelisks. The
tower arch has a chamfered round head above plain jambs.
The W. window has three square-headed lights. In the upper
stage are single-light windows to N., S. and W. with four-centred heads within square outer mouldings. The Porch is
modern but contains a reset mediaeval archway with moulded
segmental head and continuous jambs.
The Roof of the chancel and nave is ceiled with a plaster
barrel vault divided by plain chamfered ribs into three bays
each of four panels above chamfered wall plates.
Fittings—Bell: one, no inscription. Bracket: on E. respond
of arcade, moulded shelf on tapered corbel, 15th-century.
Font: see Monument (1), Lady St. Mary's church, Font (2).
Piscinae: in chancel, (1) with cinque-foiled head and sunk
spandrels within a square moulding, and with drain holes
round a central knob, 14th-century; in E. respond of N. arcade,
(2) with trefoiled head and with projecting eight-lobed drain
partly cut away, 15th-century. Recess: in porch, reset sevenfoiled head, perhaps of a stoup, over modern shelf, mediaeval.
(4) Congregational Chapel, Church Street (170 yds.
N.), with brick walls partly rendered in stucco and a
tiled roof with stone slates at the verges, is a rebuilding
of 1762. It replaces the 'Presbyterian Meeting-house'
which, according to Hutchins (1, 81), was destroyed in
the great fire of that year. In 1860 and 1895 wings were
added to N.W. and S.W., the former to accommodate
the Sunday School. A single-storey porch (not shown
on the accompanying plan) extending across the W.
front of the chapel was built in the late 19th century.
The recess in the E. wall is modern.
The Congregational Chapel
The chapel is nearly square; the W. front has two plain
doorways and segmental-headed windows with radial glazingbars. Inside, the roof, which is in three parts, is supported by
six timber columns with Tuscan capitals. The columns also
support the panelled fronts of the N., S. and W. galleries. The
ceiling over the central space is coved and divided into square
panels by pine ribs; the gallery ceilings are flat and similarly
divided and conceal plain triangulated trusses.
Fittings—Seating: in gallery, early 19th-century, except,
over staircases, small box-pews, probably 18th-century.
(5) Unitarian Chapel, South Street (Plate 179),
has walls of brick with the E. front rendered in stucco
and the roof covered with slates. It was opened in
October 1830 (D.C.C. 7 Oct. 1830) to serve a congregation which seceded from the Congregational community in Church Street in 1828 (Hutchins I, 119).
The E. front has steps leading up to a central entrance
portico of four Ionic columns carrying a simple entablature
of which the upper part is carried across the full width of the
elevation; over the portico is a panelled parapet; to each side
of the portico is a round-headed niche in the wing walls
that screen the staircase projections to N. and S. In the other
walls are round-headed windows. The entrance leads into a
vestibule the full width of the chapel with a staircase in a wing
at each end giving access to an E. gallery carried on slender
timber columns. The pulpit is at the centre of the W. end of
the chapel, and behind it are two small rooms now thrown
into one. The chapel is ceiled with a segmental plaster barrel
Fittings—Organ: lower part of case with solid panels, upper
part three bays of pipes, centre bay flanked by Ionic pilasters
with pediment, c. 1830. Pulpit: with arcaded cornice, 1830,
remodelled. Seating: incorporated into later seating are three
doors from original pews. Staircases: with turned newels, 1830.
(6) Former Congregational Chapel, West Street,
now a school, is of brick with the S. end rendered and
has a low-pitched slated roof. It was built by George
Gollop of Poole and John Swetland and opened on 1st
January 1790 (W. Densham and J. Ogle, Congregational
Churches of Dorset (1899)). It was built to serve a congregation which seceded from the Congregational
community in Church Street in 1789. After their reconciliation in 1849, the chapel was converted and
enlarged for use by the British School, founded in
1830, formerly in Church Street.
The E. and W. walls of the original building survive but the
S. front was rebuilt c. 1849. The S. elevation is rendered and
divided into three bays by panelled pilasters under a pediment;
it has a central doorway and two heights of segmental-headed
windows. The interior comprises a large room (45½ ft. by
30 ft.), formerly with a gallery at the S. end but now devoid
of any original fittings, and a smaller room to the N. Reset
inside the front boundary wall is an early 19th-century pedimented wall-monument of stone with sarcophagus-shaped
inscription tablet and urn.
(7) Town Hall, on the site of the former church of
St. Peter, is a modern building but has reset in the
S. wall of the Council Chamber an achievement of
the Royal Arms of William III with lion and unicorn
supporters and the motto of Nassau Je Maintiendray,
all carved in high relief, painted and gilded (Plate 60).
The arms are incorrectly presented, England filling the
first quarter and France modern the fourth. Below is a
small plaque with inscription 'Let mercy goe wit justice
Borough Seal (Plate 36), of silver with ivory handle,
bears the shield-of-arms of the borough within a
circular border inscribed Sigillum Villae & Burgi De
Wareham; the stem is inscribed 'Ex dono Michaell
Derby'; 17th-century. Mace (Plate 38), of silver, parcel
gilt, 23¼ ins. long, is of the early 17th century; at
intervals along the stem are knops enriched with bands
of cable moulding; the flanges are formed by eight
beasts joined to the stem at the feet and shoulders and
decorated with strapwork; the seal-shaped end is inscribed 'HH mayor 1615', for Henry Harrison. The plain
cup-shaped end of the mace has a flat top enriched with
bands of moulding within which has been set a shield
of the Stuart royal arms with date and initials '1660
C 2D R'.
(8) North Bridge, over the R. Piddle or Trent, of
stone, has three arches; the N. arch is pointed and may
be of mediaeval origin; the middle and S. arches are
segmental and were probably rebuilt c. 1670 following
orders made at the Quarter Sessions of 1667 and 1670;
contracts were made in 1670 with John Maskell and
John Thorne and with Robert Slade and Thomas
Godden. The bridge was widened to the W. and the
approaches improved in 1846 to the plans of George
Evans, County Surveyor, the work being carried out
by Dominic Stone of Taunton. There are cutwaters on
the piers of the arches on the W. side only; the parapets
Wareham Lady St. Mary
The South Bridge is modern, but see Wareham
St. Martin (1).
Railway Station and Gatekeepers' Cottages, see
(9) Almshouses, East Street, of two storeys with
walls of brick and roof covered with stone slates,
originally founded by John Streche who died in 1418,
were rebuilt in 1741 and have been modernised internally.
Almshouses in East Street, Wareham
The N. front is in three main bays divided and flanked by
rusticated pilaster-like quoins; the middle bay projects slightly
under a pedimented gable containing an inscription panel and
surmounted by a timber cupola. The central entrance doorway
has a semicircular head and is set in a recess with rustications
to each side under a simplified entablature. In each side bay is a
plain doorway between two windows. Over the doorways are
blind recesses ranging with the first-floor windows. At the
back the centre has the upper floor carried forward on four
iron columns between side wings.
(10) Christmas Close, hospital (918874), was built as
a Workhouse under the Poor Law Amendment Act
of 1834; the land, in Christmas Close, was bought in
1836 and Messrs. Carter and Hyde were appointed as
architects to supervise the erection of the building later
in the same year (Minute Book of the Wareham and
Purbeck Board of Guardians, D.C.R.O.).
The building is of three storeys with brick walls and slated
roof and is built on a standard plan comprising an octagonal
block and four radiating wings (cf. Dorchester 18, Poole 22,
Weymouth 16); it is very plain, with hung sash windows,
only the S. end of the S. block being given a slightly more
elaborate architectural treatment.
(11) House, Priory of Lady St. Mary, is of two storeys
with lower ranges round a courtyard to the N.; the
walls are of stone rubble with some rebuilding and
additions in brick and the roofs are covered with tiles
with stone slates at the verges.
A priory was founded here in the early 12th century
as a cell of the Norman Abbey of Lire, perhaps on the
site of an early monastery mentioned in A.D. 876; on the
suppression of alien houses in 1414 the priory was
bestowed on Henry V's new Carthusian foundation at
Sheen (V.C.H., Dorset II, 121). The present house dates
from the early 16th century; the main E. part of the
S. range comprised a single-storey hall with parlour
with chamber above to the E.; the service end to the
W. was largely rebuilt in the 18th century. Beyond it
are the ruined remains of an undercroft perhaps of the
early 17th century, and an L-shaped building N. and E.
of the courtyard is also of this date but was much
altered in the 19th century and later; the longer W.
arm is built above an undercroft. In the late 17th
century the hall was divided into two storeys and at a
later date the N. elevation was remodelled to give a
symmetrical front now partly masked by a 19th-century entrance passage. Later in the 18th century a
coach house, now incorporated with the drawing room,
was built against the S.E. corner of the house and the
building N. of the courtyard extended to the W. In
the late 19th century a further wing was built N.W.
of the service quarters.
The house has been much altered but the main
features of the 16th-century layout can still be traced.
The Priory of Lady Saint Mary at Wareham
Architectural Description—South Elevation. The S. wall of
the former hall is of rubble, partly with a battered plinth;
the walling has been disturbed where buttresses have been
removed. The ground floor has three windows of which the
two-light window to the E. is original and formed the lower
part of a taller transomed window of which the upper part
except for the chamfered E. jamb has been largely destroyed;
the chamfered W. jamb of a similar window appears above
the westernmost window. The two W. windows date from
the late 17th century when a floor was inserted into the hall;
one was reduced to two lights and both sills were lowered in
the 19th century. The first-floor windows above now have
modern casements. To the E. the walling is of rough Purbeck
ashlar with a chamfered plinth, perhaps an 18th-century
refacing, and none of the openings is original. To the W. the
service end has been rebuilt in brick but the stone jambs of
the original S. doorway remain with one chamfered jamb of
an original window above. The North Elevation has part of
the lower storey masked by the later entrance passage; the
walling is of rubble with a 17th-century doorway, now internal, reset in the 18th century between two 18th-century
windows which are now blocked; the doorway has a moulded
four-centred stone head and continuous jambs. The doorway
to the kitchen, also now internal, has a timber frame with
four-centred head, which has been reset. The small gabled
wing N. of the kitchen has in the W. wall a similar but
smaller reset timber door-frame. The lower ranges of the
building to the N. have been much altered but retain three
original 17th-century doorways with moulded four-centred
stone heads and continuous jambs; the undercroft of the N.
range is lit by small looplights with chamfered jambs and
The former Hall was divided into two storeys in the late 17th
century; it has an 18th-century chimneybreast in the N.W.
corner and a staircase of c. 1730 in the N.E.; the original
balusters of the staircase have been replaced by modern
metalwork. The Drawing Room to the E. has the ceiling
divided into panels by moulded intersecting beams; the fireplace has a moulded four-centred stone head with carved
spandrels and embattled cresting. The Study in the E. range
has a smaller reset fireplace similar to the last but without the
cresting. The Undercroft of the N. range has in the N. wall
a series of plain stone corbels to carry the beams supporting
the original upper floor. The Roofs are of the 18th century and
W. of the main part of the house are the remains of an
undercroft with the walls standing a few feet high; in the N.
wall is a regular series of narrow looplights.
Barn to S.W., probably of 16th-century origin, has been
partly rebuilt and the roof renewed.
The Manor House, Dated 1712
(12) The Manor House, South Street (Plate 173),
is of three storeys with the front wall of ashlar and other
walls of brick with stone dressings and has an original
flat roof covered with lead; this is dated 1712 with the
inscription 'This platform was cast by James Gaylard
plumber for Mr. George Gould'.
The house has a dignified front of finely-wrought
ashlar and retains most of the original fittings.
The W. front has a moulded plinth, plat-bands between
the storeys, rusticated quoins, dentil cornice, and parapet
divided by pilasters into bays of solid walling and open
balustrading. The middle bay forms a centrepiece of slight
projection with a doorway flanked by fluted obelisks within
a moulded architrave with shaped top cutting into a pulvinated
frieze under a bowed pediment. The windows have beaded
architraves and those on the upper floors have moulded
aprons; some retain the original heavy glazing bars. The
back elevation has stone architraves to the doorway and
windows; there are circular windows to the staircase and
additional modern windows further N. Inside, the entrance
hall, now divided to give a separate room to the S., is lined
with ovolo-moulded and fielded panelling; a panelled archway with niches in the reveals (Plate 174) leads to the rear
hall; the fireplace surround is modern but includes 17th-century
carved woodwork from elsewhere. The drawing room is
lined with bolection-moulded panelling with a cupboard
(Plate 174) in the N. wall with shouldered and enriched
architrave under a shaped pediment. The staircase has the
lower flight altered; from first to second floor it has a cut
string, fluted columns as newels and twisted balusters and,
from the second floor to the roof, a close string and turned
balusters. On the first floor two rooms have original fireplace
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of two storeys, many with an attic, with
walls of brick, often on a stone plinth and finished with
an oversailing brick eaves cornice, and with roofs
covered with tiles, often with stone slates at the verges;
they are of the late 18th century. Most of the houses
near the centre of the town have the ground floors
modernised as shops with modern display windows; a
number of them have lost 18th-century doorcases and
bay windows very recently.
(13) House, No. 1, of one storey and attic, with cob walls
and thatched roof, is probably of the early 18th century but has
been thoroughly modernised.
(14) Houses, Nos. 18–28 (even), are of the early 19th century;
they are built in pale brown brickwork with casement windows.
(15) House, No. 34, of one storey and attic with cob walls
and thatched roof, may be of 17th-century origin.
(16) Houses, Nos. 1, 3, and The Duke of Wellington p.h.,
are built largely of rubble with some brickwork. Nos. 1 and 3
have small rectangular bay windows.
(17) Houses, Nos. 15, 17, of the early 19th century and with
slated roofs, have reeded timber door-surrounds; No. 17 has a
bow window and a second doorway under a common cornice.
(18) House, No. 27, has the front elevation built in Flemish
bond with red stretchers and blue headers and includes a smaller
building added on the W. side in the early 19th century.
(19) House, No. 29, was refronted in the third quarter of the
(20) Houses, Nos. 37, 39, form a long low range of one storey
and attic; the lower part of the walls is of rubble and the upper
part covered with pebble dash; they are of 17th-century origin
(21) House, No. 6, has the ground floor of rubble and is of
the early 19th century. It has a bow window flanked by pilasters.
(22) House, No. 14, has a bay window with curved sides.
(23) House, No. 18, has walls of cob on a stone base; it was
built c. 1700 but has been much altered and converted into two
small tenements opening off a through passage.
(24) House, No. 20, has a bay window with curved sides.
(25) Chichester House, No. 38, is of the early 19th century.
The front is in three bays, the middle one projecting as a part
octagon; the doorway is flanked by reeded pilasters with a fanlight rising into an open pediment.
(26) Cottages, Nos. 40, 42, with cob walls and thatched roof,
are of 17th-century origin and were partly rebuilt in the early
18th century. (Demolished)
(27) Store, former Working Men's Institute, has some of the
lower parts of the walls of rubble perhaps of the 17th century,
but it was built up in brick as a warehouse in the late 18th or
early 19th century.
(28) House, No. 1, is fronted in Flemish bond with red
headers and brown stretchers and a plat-band at first-floor level.
The doorway has attached reeded columns with Doric frieze
and open pediment over a dummy fanlight. The dormer
windows have cheek-boards decorated with scrolls and zigzags.
(29) House, No. 3, has a plat-band at first-floor level.(Demolished)
(30) House, No. 5, has a moulded and enriched timber eaves
cornice with modillions. The doorway has a flat hood carried
on shaped brackets with a lozenge between them. (Hood removed)
(31) House, No. 7, has the front elevation rendered; the
doorway has a flat hood on shaped brackets and there is a bay
window with rounded ends.
(32) Houses, Nos. 11, 13, a pair, are fronted in red brick laid
in header bond with vertical panels of vitrified headers between
the windows; the doorways have reeded pilasters and flat hoods
carried on shaped brackets; the doorway to No. 13 has been
moved and a two-storey bay window added.
(33) Anglebury, house, Nos. 15, 17, with rubble walls and
roof covered with stone slates and tiles, is of the 16th century,
but the front was remodelled with new windows and eaves
cornice in the 18th century; at the N. end is a lower wing
fronting on Cow Lane; the main block was built on a three-room plan with a central hall, with a through passage at the
N. end of it, and smaller rooms at each end of the block. The
staircase N. of the hall chimney is partly of the early 18th
century and may be in the position of the original staircase.
The back wing has been partly rebuilt and there are later
additions S. of it.
(34) Houses, Nos. 29, 31, a pair, with slated roof, are of the
second quarter of the 19th century; the doorways are placed
together centrally and have elliptical heads with moulded
imposts beneath an outer ogee arch.
(35) House, No. 33, with stone walls and thatched roof, may
be of 17th-century origin but was remodelled in the early 19th
(36) King's Arms p.h. has a thatched roof.
(37) Houses, Nos. 43–53 (odd) are of the early 19th century;
Nos. 45 to 51 are of three storeys with a parapet and have
doorways flanked by moulded timber pilasters carrying open
pediments, those of Nos. 47 and 49 being united under a
common pediment; the doorway to No. 53 is similar.
(38) Houses, Nos. 55, 57, 59, are very plain and are of the
early 19th century; mid 19th-century bay windows have been
(39) Houses, Nos. 65, 67, 73, 75, 77, are of the first half of
the 19th century and built in pale brown brickwork.
(40) Houses, Nos. 14, 14a, have rubble walls with additions
in brick and slate-covered roofs. No. 14 was built c. 1600 and
No. 14a soon afterwards. Both houses were drastically altered
c. 1840 and probably at the same time they were combined to
form one dwelling.
No. 14 is L-shaped on plan brought up to a square by a
19th-century addition; the front wall retains some traces of the
original window openings and has been heightened in brick;
in the back wing is an original doorway with chamfered stone
jambs and rounded head; the roof retains original collar-beam
trusses. No. 14a consists, on the ground floor, of a wide entrance
passage and a single room separated by a muntin and plank
partition; in the E. wall of the room is an original doorway,
now blocked, with rounded head; the fireplace at the S. end
has been partly reconstructed and originally had a newel stair
at the side of it.
(41) House, No. 16, of three storeys with a slated roof, has
rendered walls of which the two lower storeys are thick and
said to be of cob. The house was heightened and remodelled
in the first half of the 19th century but the chimneys in the
back wall suggest that it may be of the late 16th century.
A two-storey wing at the back, partly of stone rubble, is of
various dates; the E. end may originally have been a freestanding outbuilding.
The W. front has an entrance doorway near the centre and
hung-sash windows asymmetrically arranged. The doorway
has a reeded surround and panelled door of the 19th century,
set within an older door-case comprising narrow side pilasters,
console brackets and cornice with segmental pediment, probably
early 18th-century. The interior has been extensively refitted
but retains a good open well staircase of the early 19th century,
rising from the entrance hall to the top storey. Each floor has a
large room to the N. and a smaller one to the S.; the upper
rooms to the N. have fireplaces in the N. end wall but the
original chimneys appear to have been two on the E. wall.
(42) Houses, Nos. 36, 38, 40, are of the late 18th or early
19th century. No. 36 was probably built as an extension to
No. 38; it has been completely modernised. No. 38 has a
symmetrical front with central entrance leading to an internal
porch in one end of the larger of the two front rooms. No. 40
has a door-case with pediment, and a bow window.
(43) House, No. 54, of three storeys, is of the early 18th
century, remodelled in the early 19th century; the central doorway has a semicircular fanlight, reeded pilasters and open
(44) House, No. 2, has the front built in header bond; all the
windows are modern.
(45) House, No. 3, Warehouse and Cottage, No. 4 Church
Green, are grouped at the N.E. corner of the Quay. The house,
mainly of rubble, was heightened and remodelled in brickwork
in the 18th century; the front is stuccoed. The cottage, forming
a back wing to the house, has the lower part of rubble; reset
in the brick upper part is an old ridge-stone inscribed W.D.
1845. The warehouse, of brick and rubble with stuccoed front,
was built probably as a dwelling in the early 18th century and
has one window retaining an original moulded architrave.
(46) New Inn, of brick and rubble, with rendered front, has
been extensively modernised.
St. John's Hill
(47) Smithy, with rubble walls partly rebuilt in brick and
roof covered with stone slates and tiles, was probably built as a
barn c. 1500. An original doorway has wave-moulded four-centred head and continuous jambs; the roof is modern.
(48) House, Nos. 4, 5, was built probably in the early 18th
century on a three-room and through-passage plan.
(49) House, No. 1 Gold Court, is traditionally reputed to
stand on the site of a Saxon Mint; under the house is a cellar
with stone walls and a brick barrel vault.
(50) Houses, two, and Horse and Groom p.h. are of the
early 19th century. The E. house has a two-storey bay window
and central doorway flanked by pilasters carrying an open
(51) Houses, Nos. 15, 17, were built c. 1700 and remodelled
in the late 18th century. At the S. end is an original chimney-stack with panelled sides.
(52) House, No. 21, has walls of rubble and roof covered
with stone slates and tiles; it is of 17th-century origin but was
rebuilt, except for the roof, c. 1950.
House, No. 2, see Monument (60).
(53) Houses, Nos. 4, 6, 8. Nos. 6 and 8 are rendered and
No. 8 has an added parapet.
(54) House, No. 12, has a plat-band at first-floor level and
an early 19th-century doorway and bowed shop window
framed by pilasters and with a re-curved crowning cornice,
concave over the doorway, convex over the window (Plate 171).
(55) Black Bear Hotel (Plate 173) is of three storeys with
rendered walls and balustraded parapet; the central entrance
with later porch is flanked by three-storey bow windows.
(56) House, No. 16, has the front finished with cornice and
(57) Houses, Nos. 18–28 (even), are of the first half of the
(58) House, Nos. 30, 32, has walls of rubble and roof covered
with stone slates and tiles; it was built c. 1600 and a later wing
has been added at the back. On plan the house originally
consisted of three rooms with an axial chimney at the S. end
of the central hall. The building has been much altered and the
N. end divided off and converted into a shop.
(59) The Rectory is L-shaped on plan and has an 18th-century range running E.–W. and an early 19th-century wing
to the S. with an entrance porch in the re-entrant angle. The
doorway has a reeded architrave carried over a semicircular
Reset in the garden wall is a 12th-century archway with
round head enriched with chevron ornament, perhaps from
the Castle (Monument 80).
(60) Houses, Nos. 1, 3, 5, and No. 2 South Street (Plate 171),
are of one build; the walls are of red brick with dressings of
white brick and there is an attic storey in a mansard roof. No. 2
has a small bow window under a square cornice; the sill is
supported on a curved wrought-iron bar.
(61) House, No. 7, has the front built in English bond brickwork with white dressings.
(62) Houses, Nos. 9, 11, have the front rendered and a
mansard roof. The entrance to No. 9 has an original pedimented
door-case. (Doorcase removed)
(63) Antelope Hotel has the front built in header bond; the
entrance has an original hood carried on shaped brackets.
(64) Houses, Nos. 15, 17, 19, 21. No. 15 is rendered and has
a parapet. No. 17 has the front built in header bond with a
plastered plat-band and parapet. No. 19 has a plat-band. No. 21
has a 19th-century butcher's shop-front with external meat rails
carried on elaborate wrought-iron brackets.
(65) Houses, Nos. 23, 25 (Plate 41), were remodelled in the
early 19th century, probably to convert a single dwelling into
two. No. 23 has an entrance doorway with semicircular fanlight under an entablature which is continued over a bow
window; the doorway and the window are flanked by narrow
panelled pilasters. To the E. is a later bay window. The entrance
doorway to No. 25 has reeded side pilasters and an open pediment of free Doric style over a semicircular fanlight.(Front modernised)
(66) House, No. 27, is faced with vitrified headers with red
dressings. The entrance has moulded architrave and hood.
(67) Houses, Nos. 37, 39, were built in the early 19th century;
No. 39 was originally two dwellings.
(68) Houses, Nos. 41, 43, are of the early 19th century. No. 41
has an original bow window and entrance flanked by moulded
pilasters under a common cornice.
(69) Cottage, No. 53, of one storey and attic with cob walls,
has, on plan, a single room opening off a through passage. (Demolished)
(70) Red Lion Hotel was advertised as 'newly built within
these 20 years' in the Salisbury Journal 7 July 1783, but it includes
some earlier walling in the cellars and some of the stonework
in the plinth is reused; an extension to the W. is little later than
the main building. The S. front is faced with white headers
with red dressings and is symmetrically designed with end
pilasters and central doorway with traceried fanlight flanked
by fluted timber pilasters carrying a frieze with triglyphs and
open pediment. The W. extension is faced with red headers
and has round-headed windows. The frontage on North Street
is faced with light brown brick with red dressings and has a
doorway with reeded side pilasters and a pediment; at the N.
end is a carriage entrance with elliptical arched head with plain
imposts and keystone. The interior has been modernised but
retains an original staircase with turned balusters, except on the
top landing which has a trellis balustrade; some of the rooms
also retain original ceiling cornices.
The Bar at the W. end is of a separate build with walls in
Flemish bond with brown stretchers and blue headers.
(71) Houses, Nos. 2, 4, a pair, with rendered walls, are of
c. 1800. No. 4 retains the original entrance doorway with
reeded pilasters, Doric frieze and open pediment over a semi-circular fanlight with foliated tracery.
(72) House, No. 6, has the front faced with red brick with
darker red dressings carried up to a rebuilt parapet above a
moulded brick cornice; at first-floor level is a moulded platband. The central doorway has a moulded timber architrave
and flat hood carried on shaped brackets; to the E. is a mid
19th-century shop window of three pointed lights.
(73) House, No. 12, is fronted in header bond, with a platband to the middle part. It has two early 19th-century bowed
shop windows flanking a shop doorway with house doorway
to one side, all separated by thin reeded pilasters, under a
continuous cornice curved on plan and similar to that of
Monument (54) (Plate 171).
(74) Houses, Nos. 18, 20, were built at the beginning of the
19th century; bay windows were added in the mid 19th century
and No. 18 was refronted c. 1960.
(75) St. Michael's, house, is faced in red brick with contrasting dressings. The central doorway is flanked by fluted
timber pilasters and has a dummy fanlight rising into an open
pediment. The double-hung sash windows have segmental
arched heads in gauged brickwork with keystones; two of the
original windows have been replaced by an early 19th-century
bow window. The N. end is partly of rubble; the back elevation
has windows irregularly placed.
On plan the house is generally similar to Monument (12),
the entrance passage widening at the back, beyond an elliptical
archway, to take a staircase with cut string and turned newels
and balusters. The ground floor was partly refitted in the early
19th century but retains some original panelling and, in the
N.W. room, an original fitted kitchen dresser. The first floor
retains two original fireplaces and a panelled dado.
(76) Houses, Nos. 28, 30, 32 and Nos. 34, 36, 38, are of the
late 18th or early 19th century.
(77) Pure Drop p.h., No. 46, and Houses, Nos. 48–56 (even),
are of the early 19th century. No. 48 has a doorway with reeded
pilasters and an open pediment over a blind semicircular fanlight; Nos. 50 and 52 are roofed with modern pantiles, No. 54
(78) Mill House, 120 yds. W. of St. Martin's Church, has
walls partly of rubble and was built c. 1700 on a two-room plan
with a chimney at one end.
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
(79) Town Defences (Plate 172). Wareham is mentioned in 876 in the account of the war between King
Alfred and the Danes. The vernacular version in the
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states that: 'In this year the
enemy army slipped past the army of the West Saxons
into Wareham.' It goes on to record how Alfred made
peace with the Danes, exacting hostages and oaths, and
how under cover of the negotiations the mounted men
stole away by night to Exeter (Anglo-Saxon Chronicle,
ed. Dorothy Whitelock (1961), sub anno). Aethelweard
in the Latin version adds some details; he states that
the Danes came from Cambridge and joined forces
with the western army near the town ('iuxta oppidum')
called Wareham and that they devastated the great part
of the province (H. Petrie, Monumenta historica britannica,
I, 515). Asser's account states that the Danes entered
into the strong place ('castellum'), which is called Wareham. He adds a number of local details, doubtless from
personal observation, for Wareham was an important
church in his diocese of Sherborne. Asser became bishop
of Sherborne not earlier than 892 and wrote his life of
King Alfred after that date. His description may reflect
the conditions of his own day and his use of the word
'castellum' need not therefore prove the existence of
defences in 876 (Asser, De rebus gestis Regis Aelfredi, ed.
W. H. Stevenson (1959 imp.), cap. 49). Wareham is
included in the list of fortresses defending the frontiers of
Wessex known as the Burghal Hidage. This list, which
was drawn up under Edward the Elder and probably
between 910 and 919, represents the full development of
the system established by King Alfred and his successor;
there is good reason to believe that its outline was laid
down by King Alfred in the years preceding the Danish
invasion of 892. In the Burghal Hidage 1600 hides are
allocated to the maintenance and defence of Wareham,
sufficient according to the annexed document to support
ramparts measuring 2200 yards, a figure which approximates very closely to the length of the banks enclosing the town on the W., N. and E. sides (A. J.
Robertson, Anglo Saxon Charters (1939), 246–9).
The site of Wareham is an almost level terrace of river
gravel over Bagshot Beds, between about 10 ft. and
38 ft. above O.D., at the place where the rivers Piddle
and Frome come closest together before diverging to
enter Poole Harbour 1¼ miles E. The town covers a
roughly square area of about 91 acres. The earthwork
defences surrounding it on the N., E. and W. sides are
known as the 'Walls'; the S. side is bounded by the river
Frome. The West Walls were scarped against attack by
tanks in 1940.
The Defences of Wareham
Excavation, observations, and chance finds provide
evidence of Iron Age occupation on the site and more
widespread evidence of Roman settlement (see Part 3,
p. 614). A stone fragment of a large Classical architrave
reused for a 7th-century inscription (see Monument (1),
under Fittings, Inscriptions: No. i), may imply at least
one stone building of especial architectural distinction
here in the Roman period.
In 1952–4, the Commission conducted excavations
on the West Walls (Med. Arch. III (1959), 120–38). The
defences were judged to date from the reign of King
Alfred, with the addition of a stone wall in the late
10th or 11th century and the recutting of the ditch in
the 12th century.
The town had four main entrances more or less central in
the sides, taking roads roughly E.–W. and N.–S. through the
defences. Widening has destroyed any remains of the original
arrangements, though where North Street now runs up a
steep cutting with incurving scarps on either side Hutchins
saw 'two very large bastions' (Hutchins I, 77–80, 94–5). A gap
in the N. side between this cutting and the N.W. angle is
probably later; so too are other gaps in the defences on the
E. and W. at the ends of lanes.
On the W. the line of the defences, which commences at
the bank of the Frome and runs N.W. for 585 yds., is notably
straighter than elsewhere. Apart from a rough mound just
S. of West Street and slight traces suggesting a flattened
rampart 100 yds. S. of it, only a ditch 50 ft. to 70 ft. wide
and 13 ft. deep survives in the S. part. The suggestion of a
counterscarp bank commencing 50 yds. from the S. end of
this side is probably due to the scarping of the irregular edge
of the river terrace by later tracks, one of which runs into the
ditch at this point. N. of West Street the rampart survives
but the ditch is only traceable towards the N.W. corner,
though no doubt it continued S. for the whole length before
the present parallel road was constructed. The N. part of the
ditch had been partly dug into a gully dropping N. through
the natural scarp above the river Piddle (Plate 172). The upper
part of the rampart has been thrown into the ditch for a
distance of 160 yds. N. of West Street and the internal height
of about 15 ft. thereby reduced to 12 ft. Where the rampart
is best preserved it is 12 ft. high above the interior and 26 ft.
above the bottom of the ditch, this last being 55 ft. wide.
About 30 ft. W. of the ditch a scarp rises steeply W. Only the
slightest fall is now detectable beyond it and this feature is
mostly natural in origin; it may be this that Hutchins described as an 'outer rampart much defaced'.
In the Commission's excavations the rampart and ditch
were sectioned completely in one place; the rampart alone
was sectioned in two others and tested at a fourth point
(for positions, see Fig. p. 323). Late Iron Age storage pits and
Roman occupation material, including New Forest wares of
the late 3rd or 4th century, were sealed by a rampart over 9 ft.
high and 47 ft. wide, perhaps revetted externally with timber
(later scarping had removed the face, but P.S., see Pt. 1, p. lxx).
It consisted mostly of sand and gravel apparently coming from
an external ditch, of which all traces had been removed by
later recutting. The black earth containing occupation material which comprised the upper layers seemed to have been
derived from behind the rampart where a depression indicating
some quarrying was visible in the section. This had already
been suggested by observations of a pipe trench cut c. 1930
just to the N. of the Commission excavation (C. D. Drew,
Dorset Procs. LII (1930), lxxxvii-viii), but an observer of a
nearby pipe trench cut in 1953 noted that there was no
internal quarrying at that point (R. A. H. Farrar, Dorset
Procs. LXXVIII (1956), 77–8). After some time had elapsed a
layer of river loam 4 ft. thick was added to the rear of the
rampart and a stone wall was erected on the crest. The latter
had a mortar raft to support footings at least 7 ft. wide, and a
footpath of sand and clay 15 ft. wide ran behind it. A mortar
flange waterproofed the outer edges of the wall footing.
Subsequently the wall was thoroughly robbed down to its
foundations, a flat-bottomed ditch was dug 30 ft. wide and
18 ft. deep, and some of the material from it dumped on top
of the rampart.
At the N.W. corner of the defences the rampart is 15 ft.
high measured from the inside. The natural surface tilts W.
to the gully already mentioned but the rampart was built
up to the same height as elsewhere. Externally it drops 19 ft.
to a shelf where there are traces of damaged scarps described
by Warne as 'platforms with low breastworks' (C. Warne,
Ancient Dorset (1872), 86). There is a suggestion of quarrying
on the inside but no sign of an external ditch,
The N. rampart of the town, 670 yds. long, follows an
irregular line along the scarp; there was presumably no ditch
on this side, but a natural ledge is visible at the junction of the
rampart and the river terrace. Where best preserved the
rampart is 64 ft. wide, set 30 ft. to 40 ft. above the river
Piddle and 12 ft. high above the interior. The N.E. corner is
again massive with damaged scarps below it.
The E. rampart of the town, 760 yds. long, in four straight
alignments, has an interior height of about 8 ft. and a width
of 60 ft. The southern 120 yds. have been virtually destroyed.
An excavation in c. 1910 revealed evidence suggestive of a
stone wall within the rampart (Drew, loc. cit.). A road at the
foot of the scarp has largely obscured the ditch. A low broad
bank, with a ditch to the E., can be traced some 20 yds E. of the
E. rampart for three-quarters of its length (in Wareham St.
Martin parish). Since it is not precisely parallel to the main
defences and has been almost completely levelled, and since
evidence for its date is lacking, its relation to other remains is
uncertain. On the N. it first appears on the edge of marshy
ground. The best preserved remains can be seen just N. of the
edge of the river terrace as a spread bank 80 ft. across, 2 ft.
high inside and still 3¼ ft. above the ditch bottom, with a
broken-down counterscarp a further 45 ft. to the E.
There is no trace of defences on the S. side of the town
where it borders the river Frome. (R.A.F. V.A.P. CPE/UK 1821:
(80) Wareham Castle (Plate 172, Fig. p. 323), earthworks and buried structures, lies in the S.W. angle
of the town defences (see Monument 79), where the
modern house, Castle Close, stands on a flat-topped
mound overlooking the river Frome (92188718). The
mound, the castle motte, has a total diameter of 250 ft.
and is 120 ft. across the top. The dimensions and
appearance probably owe much to relatively recent
work, and especially to the building of the house.
Hutchins' plan (Hutchins I, opp. 77) suggests that in
the late 18th century the top of the mound was only
55 ft. across. It was surrounded by a ditch, now mostly
filled in, but best preserved to the S.S.W. where it is
now about 70 ft. across and 22 ft. deep below the top
of the mound; slight traces of the ditch can also be
seen to the N. and W. of the mound. Beyond the
ditch on the N. and N.E. sides the curve of the W. part
of West Street and of Trinity Lane probably indicates
the line of the bailey. Some reused stonework, including
a small Norman arch in the Rectory wall (see Monument 59), is the only other visible trace of the castle.
However, massive stone foundations have been discovered at points along the probable line of the bailey
(H. J. S. Clark, Dorset Procs. LXXII (1950), 99–110), and
excavations by Mr. Clark during 1952–3 have shown
that the base of a stone keep survives inside the mound
(D. F. Renn, in Med. Arch. IV (1960), 56–68). Much
12th-century pottery was found in the excavation, and
the small finds included horse-shoes, an arrowhead and
a crossbow detent. About half of the area of the keep
is covered by the present house.
The early history of Wareham castle is difficult to
determine since the early documentary references are
confused by the description of Corfe castle as Wareham
castle (see Corfe Castle (10)), but the fact that the town
was a fortified royal borough and was at an early date
an important harbour leads to the supposition that there
may have been a castle here soon after the Conquest. (fn. 27)
Nothing even of the earthworks is demonstrably of this
period. The imprisonment of Robert of Belesme at
Wareham in 1113 recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (fn. 28) may indeed refer to Wareham, though a confusion
with Corfe is possible. The castle figures prominently
in the events of 1138–42. (fn. 29) The date of its destruction is
The small square rubble-built keep with pilaster
buttresses at the angles and in the centre of each side and
with quoins of large squared blocks of alternating limestone and sandstone belongs to a type that is likely to be
of the early 12th century; in the absence of surviving
detail a closer dating is not possible.
The keep was 37 ft. square internally with walls 13 ft. thick.
The latter were set on foundations with an offset externally of
3 ft. 1 in. and internally of 9 ins. to 1 ft. The foundations,
located at five points, were set 4 ft. into the gravel and were of
undressed stones, including sandstone, chalk, limestone and
Purbeck marble boulders. The upper surface of the exterior
offset sloped slightly outwards. Above this the walls were of
rubble with large squared quoins alternately of grey Purbeck
limestone and brown sandstone. The diagonal tooling was well
preserved and the mortar joints were wide. In the core were
found reused stones with mortar adhering, as well as chalk
blocks, quartz and granite pebbles, and pieces of greenish slate
ascribed to deposits in Normandy. At one point a sherd of
scratch-marked pottery was embedded in the mortar. This
walling ended abruptly at a height of 6 ft. in a level surface of
mortar, above which survived a few courses of rubble walling
with poor sandy mortar and including reused dressed blocks.
Above the foundation offset the walls were strengthened
with pilaster-buttresses. Central buttresses, found on two sides
of the keep, were 8 ft. wide and projected 2 ft. Those at the
two angles uncovered were 11 ft. wide with a projection of
2 ft. and were set back 2 ft. on either side of the angle.
The excavations also revealed on the N. side dark earthy
material piled up against the outer face of the keep to a
height of 4½ ft., covering the offset and the dressed facing
stones; above it was a layer dating from after the destruction
of the keep, having boulders lying on and just below the
surface. From a distance of 12 ft. N. of the keep, strata in all
10 ft. thick were seen to tilt upwards towards it.
Sections across the curving bank beyond the ditch S. and
S.W. of the mound showed that 6 ft. of rubble lay above the
natural ground surface. This bank could be part of the original
W. town defence, later altered to run S. to the river, but its
smallness, the rubble and spread nature of it and its fall to the E.
make this unlikely. Further S. still, 68 yds. from the keep, a
wall 5 ft. thick, believed to be part of the curtain wall of the
castle, was sectioned. It was of rubble with dressed ashlar faces
showing diagonal tooling and with a pilaster buttress on the
inside (information from H.J. S. Clark). Fragments of walling
13 yds. further S. may be remains of a fish weir (Dorset Procs.
LXXII (1950), 99). (R.A.F. V.A.P. CPE/UK 1821: 6402–4.)
(81) The Bowling Green (92458780; Fig. p. 323), probably
a post-mediaeval enclosure, lies in the N.E. corner of the town.
It is rectangular with an almost flat interior, approximately
180 ft. (E.–W.) by 90 ft., surrounded by a low bank about
12 ft. wide with an external ditch 6 ft. wide and now 1¾ ft.
below the crest of the bank. Traces of gaps at the E. and W.
ends suggest entrances; a ramped causeway leads to the E.
entrance from the summit of the town rampart. The N.E.
corner of the enclosure clearly lies over the tail of the town
bank. It could perhaps have been constructed as part of a
pleasure garden (Dorset Procs. LXIV (1942), 92–110), and a
brick tower, 'Dugdale's Folly', once stood W. of it. Fairs
were held here in the 18th century and it is shown on surveys
of 1762 though not on those of 1746 (J.B.A.A. XIV (1908), 22).
Other Earthworks and Allied Monuments
(82–4) Round Barrows, p. 455
Linear Dyke, see Arne (48), p. 516
(85) Roman Remains, p. 614