29 MANSTON (8115)
(O.S. 6 ins. ST 71 NE, ST 81 NW)
The parish covers nearly 1,400 acres, undulating
between 150 ft. and 200 ft. above sea-level. Most of the
land is on Kimmeridge Clay but an outcrop of Corallian
Beds occurs along Chivrick's Brook on the W. border
of the parish. The original village lay to the S., around
the church and beside the R. Stour; the present rather
scattered settlement pattern probably reflects secondary
growth following the enclosure of former open fields.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Nicholas stands
close to the R. Stour in the S. part of the parish. The
walls are of roughly coursed rubble with ashlar dressings;
the roofs are tiled. The Chancel dates from the beginning
of the 13th century; the Nave and North Aisle are of the
first half of the 14th century and two early 13th-century
windows in the N. wall of the aisle were probably
transferred from elsewhere in the original building. The
West Tower is of the mid 15th century (see Graffiti) and
the West Doorway, dated 1534, must be an insertion. In
the 17th century the N. aisle was shortened by the
removal of the W. bay and new windows were made
in the nave. The South Porch was rebuilt in the 19th
century, probably using old masonry. The church was
restored and the North Vestry was built in 1885.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (22¼ ft. by 16¾ ft.)
has a restored early 13th-century E. window of three lancet
lights with chamfered jambs and wide internal splays; the
middle lancet is wider and slightly taller than those on either
side. Below the window sill the E. wall is 4 ins. thicker than
above. In the N. wall is a single 13th-century lancet with wide
splays, chamfered iambs and a segmental-pointed rear-arch; to
the W. is a 19th-century doorway and also an archway opening
into the vestry. The S. wall has two 13th-century lancet lights
and, between them, a 13th-century doorway with a chamfered
two-centred head, continuous jambs and a two-centred rear-arch. The chancel arch, restored and perhaps remodelled, is two-centred, with two chamfered orders dying into square responds
above hollow-chamfered abaci. The arch is low and the wall
over it is pierced by a modern three-light opening; N. of the
arch is a 14th-century squint with a chamfered, pointed head
and plain jambs. The Nave (39¾ ft. by 17½ ft.) has a three-bay
N. arcade of the early 14th century with two-centred arches of
two chamfered orders, with continuous piers and responds; the
W. bay is blocked. The S. wall has, in the E. part, two 17th-century two-centred windows, each of two pointed lights with
a central spandrel light; the surround is ovolo-moulded and the
mullions and jambs are hollow-chamfered. The S. doorway is
of the 14th century and has a two-centred head with continuous
double ogee mouldings and a chamfered semicircular rear-arch.
The W. window in the S. wall is a 19th-century copy of those
to the E.
The North Aisle (24 ft. by 14¼ ft.) has, in the E. wall and now
looking into the vestry, a mid 15th-century window of three
cinquefoil ogee-headed lights, with tracery in a casementmoulded surround with a two-centred head. The masonry S. of
the opening is 3 ins. thicker than to the N., probably because
the northern part of the wall was rebuilt when the window was
inserted. The N. wall contains two reset early 13th-century
lancet lights. The W. wall, closing off the W. bay of the arcade,
is probably of the 17th century but incorporating earlier masonry,
reused; in it is a doorway with a two-centred head and continuous chamfered jambs.
Manston, the Parish Church of St. Nicholas
The West Tower (10 ft. square) has a chamfered and moulded
plinth. Above, three stages are defined by weathered and
hollow-chamfered string-courses; at the top is an embattled
parapet with moulded copings. The string-course below the
parapet is decorated with gargoyles at the corners and in
the middle of each side. The N.W. and S.W. corners of the
tower have diagonal buttresses in the lower stages. The vice
turret projects from the S. side and has stages corresponding
with those of the tower, the string-courses being continuous.
At parapet level the turret has a hexagonal fourth stage surmounted by a modern embattled parapet, higher than that
of the tower. The tower arch is two-centred, with ogee outer
mouldings and ribbed stone panelling on the responds and
soffit; the ribs have chamfered and hollow-chamfered mouldings and the panels on the responds have trefoil heads at
springing level. The vice doorway has a chamfered four-centred head and continuous jambs; the stair is lit by
square-headed loops. The W. doorway has a moulded four-centred head, spandrels with plain shields, a square label with
shield-stops and the date 1534 carved at the centre of the label.
The spandrel shields have been restored and that to the N. has
an incised and coloured cross, possibly of the 19th century. The
rear-arch is four-centred and shouldered. The two-centred W.
window is of the mid 15th century and has three hollow-chamfered cinquefoil-headed lights below vertical tracery; the
outer heads and jambs are casement-moulded. In each side of
the third stage is a casement-moulded two-centred belfry
window, of two cinquefoil-headed lights below vertical tracery;
the lights are filled with stone panels pierced with three heights
of quatrefoils, with foliate bosses.
The South Porch (7½ ft. by 5¾ ft.) has been rebuilt, perhaps
with mediaeval material. The Roof of the nave is a rounded
wagon vault of c. 1600 with moulded timbers and plaster
infilling. The junctions of the principals with the moulded wall-plates are masked by plain wooden shields. Until recently the
N. aisle roof was similar, but pointed in cross-section and with
foliate wooden bosses at the intersections of the timbers; it has
now been replaced by a modern roof with a flat ceiling.
Fittings—Bells: five; treble inscribed 'Ave Gracia', recast 1923;
2nd inscribed 'Anno Domini 1639, R.P.'; 3rd modern; 4th
inscribed '1598 God be our guyd RB', recast 1923; tenor inscribed
'ID Rejoyse in God 1635'. Coffin-lid: In churchyard, lying on
top of monument (2), stone, 62/3 ft. by 2⅓ ft. at head and 1¼ ft. at
foot, with double hollow-chamfered edges; early 14th century.
Coffin Stools: pair, with moulded tops and beaded uprights;
18th century. Graffiti: On external head of E. window, THES
.YEU.TREES.SETT.1690. On S. respond of tower arch, second
stone above plinth, 'Ryth wyl belovyd fath . .', cursive, mid
15th century; also several 17th-century initials and dates. In S.
porch, several 18th-century initials, names and dates. On head
of W. belfry window 'EH 1807'. Hourglass Stand: On splay of
E. window in S. wall of nave, of wrought iron, with spirally
twisted hinged arms and cylindrical container with three
twisted iron uprights with shaped terminals.
Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In chancel, on N. wall,
(1) of Grace Morris, Jan. 14, 1688/9 (sic), hemicylindrical wall
monument (Plate 33) with flame finial, urn, and flower festoons
above, flowered side pilasters, spherical base with acanthus
enrichment enclosing cartouche, and cherub-head bracket;
Latin inscription incised in italics. In churchyard, close to S. wall
of nave, (2) of Alexander Good, 1688, and Frances his wife,
1674, table-tomb with heavy moulded top, inscription panels
with baroque surrounds on sides, cartouche with arms of Good
on W. end, conventional mortality emblems on E. end. Three
paces from S. porch, (3) of George Pope, 1633, table-tomb.
Floor-slab: In N. aisle, on N. side, of James Bennett, 1705, and
Richard Dibben, 175–. Piscina: In chancel, in E. wall, S. of
communion table, with chamfered trefoil head, continuous
jambs and shallow basin; 13th century. Plate: includes silver cup
with maker's mark TR and hallmark for 1665, and cover-paten
inscribed 'Thomas Godwine Richard Cole 1667'. Sundial: On
S. face of vice turret, rectangular stone panel with incised Roman
numerals and iron gnomon, 17th century. Weather-vane: On
vice turret, standard with wrought iron scroll-work, probably
(2) Hosey Bridge (79901508), on the W. boundary of the
parish, carries the road to Sturminster Newton across Chivrick's
Brook. It is of rubble with ashlar dressings and spans the brook
with two semicircular arches. The parapet walls have rounded
copings and end at small rectangular piers. The date 1821 is
carved on the S.E. pier.
(3) Manston House (81601500), 50 yds. S.W. of the church,
is of two storeys with attics. Much of the house was destroyed
by fire in 1857 and rebuilt, but part of the earlier building
survives; it is of the 17th century and has ashlar walls and stoneslated roofs. The 19th-century block, containing the principal
rooms, is at the N. end; it has a three-bay ashlar N. front with a
pediment over the middle bay and a pedimented doorway at the
centre; the roofs are slated. The 17th-century range is seen at the
rear of the 19th-century block, facing E. and W., its southern
end being concealed by further 19th-century additions. The
17th-century E. front is two-storied and comprises a central
gabled bay, about half of another gabled bay adjacent on the
N., and a third bay somewhat set back on the S. The lower storey
is hidden by a modern addition but the first floor of the centre
bay has a mullioned and transomed window of three square-headed lights; over it is a hollow-chamfered and weathered
string-course. In the gable above the string-course is a square-headed two-light window with the remains of a hood-mould.
The W. elevation of the 17th-century range has, on the ground
floor, a square-headed four-light window with a weathered
hood-mould; a similar window on the first floor has no hood-mould. Inside, the 17th-century part of the house contains the
kitchen, with a large fireplace with a chamfered segmental head.
Outbuildings to the S. are of brick with tiled roofs and date from
the late 18th or early 19th century. A private Crematorium dates
from the late 19th century and a Mausoleum, 50 yds. N. of the
church, was built in 1857.
(4) Manston Farm (82001530), 500 yds. N.E. of the church,
is of the 17th century; it is two-storied with attics and has walls
of ashlar and coursed rubble; the roof is covered with modern
tiles. The symmetrical S.W. front, of three bays, has a central
doorway flanked by square-headed four-light windows with
chamfered stone jambs and mullions. Immediately over the
ground-floor window heads is a hollow-chamfered and weathered
string-course. Two and three-light wooden casement windows
on the first floor are modern but brick patching indicates the
jambs of the original openings. The gabled end walls have stone
windows on the ground floor and openings with wood surrounds above. The weathered string-course noted on the S.W.
front continues on the end walls. Inside, one room has three
chamfered ceiling beams.
(5) Higher Manston Farm (80931546), ½ m. N.W. of the
church, is two-storied with attics and has brick walls and tiled
roofs. It is of the late 18th century with later extensions to the
E. The symmetrical three-bay W. front is rendered and has, on
the ground floor, a central doorway flanked by three-light
sashed windows. Similar windows occur on the first floor and
a single window opens above the doorway. The attic has two
small dormer windows. Inside, the close-string staircase has
Tuscan-column newel posts and turned balusters. A ground-floor room has a late 18th-century fireplace surround with
(6) Lower Manston Farm (81551518), 190 yds. N.W. of the
church, is an early 18th-century cottage of one storey with
attics, with rubble walls and thatched roofs. One ground-floor
room has a deep-chamfered ceiling beam. To the W. is an
extension of two storeys with an attic; it is of brick with a
thatched roof and is probably of the late 18th century.
(7) Middle House (81501551), 550 yds. N. of the church, is
of two storeys with attics and is built mainly of rubble, but with
English-bond brickwork in the upper storey of the rear wing.
The house dates from the 17th century but the main range to
the S.W., with double-chamfered stone window openings, was
demolished and rebuilt c. 1952, leaving only the rear wing of the
(8) The Plough Inn (81331610), some ¾ m. N. of the church,
is two-storied, with rubble walls and a tiled roof. It probably was
a farmhouse and of 18th-century origin but it was refronted in
the 19th century and has recently been enlarged. The ground-floor rooms, now thrown into one by the removal of partitions,
have stop-chamfered ceiling beams. Moulded plaster ceilings of
the 17th century have recently been brought from elsewhere.
Early 19th-century buildings include the following: At Connegar
Farm is a two-storied cottage (81851630) with a symmetrical
S.E. front of brick, other walls of rubble, and with a tiled roof;
a stone tablet in the N.E. gable is dated 1818 and the cottage was
advertised as new-built in the Salisbury Journal, Sept. 1st., 1823.
A Farmhouse (80881547), dated 1861, has at the rear a two-storied
N. wing of brick with a tiled roof; this appears to have originated
as two cottages, probably in the late 18th century.
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
(9) Cultivation Remains. The date of the enclosure of the
open fields is unknown, but the positions of Monuments (5) and
(8) indicate that part at least had been enclosed by the late 18th
century. Traces of ridge-and-furrow arranged in butting furlongs,
underlying the present field boundaries, appear on air photographs (R.A.F. CPE/UK 1974: 2159–61, 3159–61); e.g. at
812157, 820162 and 802157.