11 CHARLTON MARSHALL (9004)
(O.S. 6 ins. ST 80 SE, ST 90 SW)
Charlton Marshall is a long strip-like parish of about
2,300 acres, rising from the S.W. bank of the R. Stour,
at 200 ft., to a maximum altitude of 400 ft. in the
S.W. Most of the land is on Chalk and the village is
concentrated on a narrow river terrace above the flood
plain. There appear to have been three early settlements
beside the river, and the extended pattern of the present
village reflects this origin. Each settlement had its own
strip of land running up to the Chalk and the boundaries
of the strips are still marked by continuous hedges.
These lands became three manors, (fn. 1) but in 1799 the
central manor was the only one to preserve open
fields. (fn. 2) On the downs at the S.W. end of the parish
large parts of all three manors remained unenclosed
until well into the 19th century. (fn. 3) The most important
monument is the parish church.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary, standing
beside the river in the N. part of the village, incorporates the remains of a late 15th-century structure, mainly
in the West Tower, but the Chancel, Nave, North Aisle,
Organ Chamber and South Porch were rebuilt in 1713.
The W. tower is of banded flint and squared Greensand
rubble with ashlar dressings. In the 18th-century parts
of the church the walls are faced with knapped flint
into which are set large rectangular Greensand ashlar
blocks. The nave roof is tiled, with wide stone-slate
verges; the roof of the S. porch is entirely stone-slated;
the tower and N. aisle have flat leaded roofs concealed
The interior of the church is a good example of
graceful and sensitive 18th-century design. The original
fittings, probably from the Bastard workshops at
Blandford, are of high quality.
Charlton Marshall, the Parish Church of St. Mary
Architectural Description—Externally, vestiges of a mediaeval
chancel are perhaps recognisable in three weathered ashlar
three-stage buttresses, two set diagonally at the N.E. and S.E.
corners of the present chancel and one, square-set, projecting
from the S. wall, 18 ft. from the E. end. Since no internal
feature separates the chancel from the nave, the southern
buttress has no function and this also suggests that it survives
from, or at least represents, a mediaeval building; nevertheless
the masonry appears to have been rebuilt in 1713. On the
other hand the lower part of the S.W. corner of the nave
appears to be of the 15th century. The 18th-century Nave and
Chancel (52 ft. by 15½ ft.) have a continuous roof terminating
to the E. at a gable of flint and ashlar with an inclined ashlar
coping above shaped kneelers. The round-headed E. window
has a plainly moulded architrave with a keystone and impost
blocks. The S. wall of the nave and chancel has four similar
windows, but set at a lower level and without impost blocks;
between the eastern pair of windows is a square-headed chancel
doorway with a beaded stone architrave. Over the keystone of
the most westerly window is an ashlar block with the date 1713
in large Arabic numerals. The South Porch (6½ ft. square) is a
low gabled structure with details similar to those of the nave
and chancel; the round-headed outer archway has a beaded
architrave with imposts and keystone; at the apex of the gable
is a prism-shaped stone sundial. The N. wall of the North Aisle
(40 ft. by 10½ ft.) and Organ Chamber (11 ft. by 10½ ft.) has
masonry and details similar to those of the S. wall of the nave,
except that the stone architraves of its five round-headed
windows have impost blocks as well as keystones. An ashlar
plat-band immediately above the windows is surmounted by
a chequered parapet with a moulded coping. At the E. end of
the N. wall is a square-headed doorway with an ashlar architrave; the E. and W. walls have no openings.
The West Tower (9 ft. by 10 ft.) is of two stages divided by
a weathered string-course. The tower arch is two-centred and
of two chamfered orders which die into the responds at the
springing. In the N. side of the tower, the vice turret is concealed by the W. wall of the N. aisle, except for its weathered
stone roof which protrudes above the aisle parapet. The doorway to the vice, a chamfered four-centred opening, was
originally set some distance above ground in the inner face of
the N. wall, but it has been transferred to the outer face of the
same wall and now opens at an upper level in the W. part of
the N. aisle. The W. wall of the tower, in the lower stage,
extends N. and S. to form two two-stage ashlar buttresses with
weathered offsets. The two-centred 15th-century W. window
has casement-moulded jambs extending almost down to the
ground and thus flanking the W. doorway. The present doorway is an 18th-century square-headed opening flanked by plain
pilaster strips and surmounted by a moulded cornice; over it,
within the 15th-century window surround, is an 18th-century
round-headed window with impost blocks and a triple keystone. In the upper stage, each face of the tower has a square-headed 15th-century belfry window of two two-centred lights
with cinquefoil cusping on the W. side and trefoil cusping on
the other three sides. On the S. side, below the belfry window,
is a one-light opening, partly covered by a clockface. The tower
parapet dates from 1713; above a hollow-chamfered weathered
string-course the four corners of the parapet wall are shaped to
form square pedestals, above which are pyramidal pinnacles
with ball finials; between the pedestals each parapet wall is
set slightly forward and surmounted by a plain pediment.
Inside, the Nave (Plate 8) opens into the N. aisle through
three round-headed stone archways, with moulded and panelled
archivolts springing from rectangular piers with panelled sides
and moulded cornices and bases; the date 1713 is carved on
the keystone of the westernmost arch. At the E. end of the
arcade a wider pier, panelled and moulded as before, marks the
division between nave and chancel; a cross-arch springing from
the N. side of the pier divides the N. aisle from the present
organ chamber, perhaps originally a vestry. A single archway,
similar to those of the nave, opens from the organ chamber
into the chancel. The ceilings of the N. aisle and organ chamber
are flat; that of the nave and chancel is a continuous plaster
barrel-vault of elliptical cross-section, springing from a coved
and moulded wooden cornice. At the W. end the cove returns
for a short span on the E. face of the tower and is interrupted
to make way for the tower arch. On the E. wall of the chancel
the coved cornice returns and is incorporated in the reredos.
The elaborately carved oak reredos occupies the whole E.
wall. At the base is a panelled dado with a moulded capping,
set forward on each side of the communion table to form
pedestals for two fluted Corinthian pilasters with gilded capitals,
which flank the E. window. Each capital supports a section of
entablature, the cornice of which is a continuation of the coved
ceiling cornice; at the arrises the cove is decorated with gilded
palm leaves. In an attic storey above the cornice, short scrollfooted pilasters enriched with gilt swags support a pediment
with the inscription GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST in the
tympanum. On each side, the lunette of the vault-end is filled
with a shaped panel in front of which stands a gilded ewer.
The pediment and its pilasters enclose the semicircular head of
the E. window, the intrados and jambs of which are lined with
panelled oak culminating in a keystone with a gilt festoon.
The window-sill is masked by a broken pediment, supported at
each end on a gilded bracket; the pediment encloses a cartouche
of a heart encircled by a crown of thorns, below which is a
ribbon inscribed 'The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit: a
broken and contrite heart'. Under the cartouche is a pair of
gilded cherub heads with a carved garland of flowers. Below
are two panels with shaped tops and moulded and gilded surrounds, inscribed one with the Lord's Prayer the other with the
Creed, in gilt lettering with elaborate flourishes. At a higher level,
to right and left of the Corinthian pilasters, are other panels
inscribed with the Ten Commandments; these also have gilded
cherub heads in the spandrels above them.
Fittings—Bells: four; treble inscribed 'ave gratia', 3rd, inscribed 'ave Maria', both 15th century; others modern. Chest:
of oak, with moulded edge to lid, and shaped bottom rail;
18th century. Coffin-stool: with turned legs and carved rails,
17th century. Communion rails: of oak, with moulded and
shaped rail, and posts in form of fluted Roman Doric columns,
and tapering octagonal balusters (Plate 23); centre bay hinged;
1713. Communion tables: In chancel, of oak, with massive turned
legs representing Doric columns, and moulded rails, 17th
century. In N. aisle, of oak with tapered octagonal legs, scrolled
and shaped diagonal cross-braces, arcaded top rails and moulded
edge to board, 18th century; since legs match communionrail balusters this was presumably the original communiontable. Doors: In S. doorway, of oak, with round head and six
moulded panels; in porch archway, with shaped top, spiked, and
with six fielded panels; both 18th century. Doorcase: In S. doorway of chancel, internal surround with moulded wooden architrave flanked by Ionic half pilasters supporting entablature with
gilded acanthus scroll-work and a central bracket; over this
rises a tall bow-fronted panel with scrolled cheek-pieces and
pediment, inscribed to record donation of communion plate by
Catherine Sloper, 1712, and other items. Font: In tower, of
Portland stone with octagonal bowl gadrooned at base, on
square baluster with Ionic capitals at top and with band of
leafwork above bulb (Plate 27); first half of 18th century and
closely akin to font at Blandford Forum. Font-cover: of oak,
with eight-sided dome surmounted by large pineapple finial,
hanging from pulley with gilded metal cherub-head counterweight; 18th century.
Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel, on N.
wall, (1) of Dr. Charles Sloper, rector of Spetisbury and Charlton (1705–27), wall monument of white and polychrome
marbles in form of a Roman-Doric pavilion surmounted by a
shield-of-arms; apron decorated with a laurel-wreathed skull;
tablet inscribed '. . . At Spetisbury he rebuilt the parsonage
house and outhouses, at Charlton the parish church and chancell,
wholy at his own expence' (Plate 38). In nave, on S. wall,
(2) of Henry Horlock, 1719, and other members of the Horlock
family, polychrome marble obelisk-shaped wall-monument with
white marble urns and reliefs. In N. aisle, on N. wall, (3) of
Margaret Horlock Bastard, 1845, marble tablet by Marshall of
Blandford; (4) of Thomas Bastard, 1791, and his wife Jane, 1798,
sarcophagus-shaped tablet with obelisk and sculpture, by R.
Cooke; (5) of Thomas Street, 1805, and his wife Christian,
1816, oval marble tablet with arms, by Hiscock of Poole. In
churchyard, immediately E. of chancel, (6) of Dr. Charles
Sloper, 1727, table-tomb surrounded by railings with fluted
columnar corner posts, scroll-work and urn finials of wrought
iron. Eight paces N.W. of corner of N. aisle, (7) of Elizabeth
Horlock, 1729, headstone with fluted pilasters and conventional
symbols. Six paces S. of chancel, (8) of Edward Wake, 1680,
table-tomb. Close to N. wall (9) and (10) anonymous headstones, 1674, 1678. Floor-slabs: In chancel, (1) of Catherine
Sloper, 1712, Purbeck marble slab with fine italic lettering. In
N. aisle, (2) of Thomas Bastard, 1791, and Thomas Horlock
Plate: includes silver cup (Plate 43), paten and flagon given
by Catherine Sloper, 1712, with hallmarks of 1714, cup and
flagon with arms of Sloper; also paten of 1695. Pulpit: of oak,
hexagonal, with five sides; each side with two fielded marquetry
panels, moulded ledges, and cornice with central console
(Plate 47); desk supported on scrolled brackets; oak back-board
in two panels flanked by foliate scrolls, lower panel marquetry,
upper panel carved with winged cherubs; above, sounding
board, with marquetry soffit and carved cornice, surmounted
by ogee cupola on pinnacle of which stands gilded pelican-inpiety. Reredos: See architectural description, above, Royal Arms:
In nave, over S. doorway, painted panel with shaped, moulded
head and scrolled shoulders; arms are those of George I but panel
must survive from earlier period since in fourth quarter, beneath
those of Hanover, the arms of England impaling Scotland as
used by Queen Anne can be discerned. Seating: Eight oak
benches of varying length but otherwise uniform, with beaded
edges to boards, fretted board legs and turned stretchers; 18th
century. Modern oak pews incorporate panelling probably from
former box-pews; other panels reset on N. and S. walls. Sundial:
On apex of S. porch gable, stone block on moulded pedestal,
with iron gnomons; 18th century. Miscellanea: In vestry,
pewter chamber-pot, 18th century. In N. aisle, on N. wall,
panel of painted wood with moulded frame, and text of Isaiah
LVIII, 13, 14, in gilt lettering, with date 1712.
(2) Stocks, reset against the S. wall of the church
tower and protected by a modern roof, have renewed
timbers but the ironwork is perhaps of the 18th century.
(3) Charlton House, 100 yds. W. of the church,
is an early 19th-century building with a symmetrical
E. front of three storeys and five bays, with rendered
walls and a slated roof. Single-storied two-bay wings
extend to either side. The central doorway has a Greek
Doric porch with coupled columns.
Unless otherwise described the following are two-storied dwelling-houses of 18th-century origin.
(4) Cottage (89970413), 100 yds. N.W. of the church, has
walls of cob with a brick and flint plinth and is two-storied
with an attic under a thatched roof. It probably dates from the
second half of the 18th century. The N.E. front is of three bays,
with a central doorway, a modern four-light casement window
to the S.E., an original two-light casement to the N.W., and
three original two-light casements on the first floor. The latter
have wrought-iron frames and leaded lights.
(5) Cottage, 10 yds. N.W. of the foregoing, is of one storey
with an attic; the walls are of cob, with some banded brick
and flint, and the roof is thatched.
(6) House (89950418), has walls of flint with brick bonding,
with a little ashlar; the roof is slated. Although entirely modernised externally the house has a through-passage and contains
chamfered ceiling-beams and large fireplaces which probably
indicate a 17th-century date.
(7) Cottages (89940417), two adjacent, have cob walls and
thatched roofs. The cottage to the N.W. has a symmetrical
N.E. front of three bays, with a central doorway and sashed
windows on the ground floor, and casement windows above;
that to the S.E. is of one bay, with a doorway to one side of the
(8) Charlton Cottage, 30 yds. S. of the foregoing, is of rendered
brick in two storeys, with attics under a slated roof. The N.E.
range was built c. 1800 but the S.W. part is probably earlier.
The doorway, at the N.W. end of the earlier part, is flanked
by fluted Doric pilasters with a pedimented entablature. The
N.E. front is of three bays, with a central french window with
a sashed window above it, and with two-storied bay windows
on either side.
(9) Little Manor (89930444), house, of 18th-century origin,
has been completely modernised.
(10) Manor Farm (88710315), house, 1 m. S.W. of the church,
has a mid 18th-century nucleus with cob walls, and later
additions to the E. and N.; the roofs are tiled.
Monuments of the first half of the 19th century include the
house at Sparrowbush Farm (87760312), which has rendered
walls and a tiled roof and dates from c. 1830. The Working
Man's Club House, erected in 1854 (Hutchins III, 525), stands in
the village 230 yds. S.E. of the church (90130388).
Roman and Prehistoric
(11) Roman Building and Occupation Debris. Foundations of a 'Roman Villa' are reported (Hutchins III, 522) within
¼ m. of Charlton Barrow (904033); finds from the site included
samian and coarse ware, two Kimmeridge shale 'amulets' and
Numerous coins from allotments in the parish included
bronze autonomous Greek coins of the 2nd century B.C. (J. G.
Milne, Finds of Greek Coins in the British Isles (1948), 18f., 24;
H. S. L. Dewar (ed.), The Thomas Rackett Papers (1965), 72–3,
Combs Ditch (see Winterborne Whitechurch (19)) forms
the S.W. boundary of the parish.
'Celtic' Fields, see p. 345, Group (67).
Monuments (12–20), Round Barrows
Nine barrows in the S.W. of the parish form part
of a barrow scatter that is continued in the adjacent
parishes of Winterborne Whitechurch and Winterborne
Kingston; they lie between 250 ft. and 400 ft. O.D., on
the E.-facing slopes of the Chalk downland between
the valleys of the Stour and the Winterborne; all have
been heavily ploughed. Three barrows on Charlton
Down were opened by H. White in 1811 (Warne
C.T.D., Pt. 3, Nos. 48, 49 and 50; Hutchins III, 525);
one contained, near the surface, an inhumation, probably
intrusive, with the feet to the E.; the second contained
a cremation in an urn; the third contained a primary
cremation in a globular urn set in a circular cist 2 ft.
deep and 1½ ft. wide, cut into the chalk beneath (Barrow
Diggers, 91–2 and Pl. 8; Arch. J. CXIX (1962), 57). A
skull (Barrow Diggers, 81–2 and Pl. 6) may be that of
the skeleton found by White, or from a further barrow
as suggested by Hutchins. The nine barrows are as
(12) Bowl (86830082), on Charlton Down, 60 yds. N. of
Combs Ditch; diam. 40 ft., ht. 1 ft.
(13) Bowl (87170083), on Charlton Down; top of mound
disturbed by N.-S. trench; diam. of mound 40 ft., ht. 4½ ft.,
ditch 6 ft. across and 1½ ft. deep.
(14) Bowl (85960185), N.W. of Charisworth; diam. 50 ft.,
ht. 1 ft.
(15) Bowl (86020180), 80 yds. S.E. of (14); diam. 48 ft., ht. 1 ft.
(16) Bowl (86300251), just N. of the Blandford-Dorchester
road; diam. 50 ft., ht. 1 ft.
(17) Bowl (86320249), 25 yds. S.E. of (16); diam. 42 ft., ht. 1½ft.
(18) Bowl (87480202), 500 yds. N. of Holly Brake at 300 ft.
O.D. on a spur sloping N.E.; much ploughed; diam. 57 ft.,
ht. 1½ ft.
(19) Bowl (87660206), 200 yds. E.N.E. of (18) and at a lower
level on the same spur; almost completely destroyed by
(20) Bowl (87790217), 185 yds. N.E. of (19) and in similar