ROYAL COMMISSION ON THE ANCIENT AND HISTORICAL
MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS OF ENGLAND
Report to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
May It Please Your Majesty
We, the undersigned Commissioners, appointed to make an Inventory of the Ancient and Historical
Monuments and Constructions connected with or illustrative of the contemporary culture, civilisation
and conditions of life of the people of England, excluding Monmouthshire, from the earliest times to the
year 1714, and of such further Monuments and Constructions subsequent to that year as may seem in our
discretion to be worthy of mention therein, and to specify those which seem most worthy of preservation,
do humbly submit to Your Majesty the following Report, being the twenty-sixth Report on the work of
the Commission since its first appointment.
2. With regret we have to record the retirement from the Commission upon expiry of term of office
of Professor John Grahame Douglas Clark, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of
Antiquaries, and the resignation of Arthur Stanley Oswald, Esquire.
3. We have to thank Your Majesty for the appointment to the Commission of Sir John Betjeman, Knight,
Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and of John Nowell Linton Myres, Esquire, Fellow of
the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries; also for the reappointment of Courtenay
Arthur Ralegh Radford, Esquire, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries,
and of Sir John Newenham Summerson, Knight, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Fellow
of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Associate of the Royal Institute of British
Architects. These appointments and reappointments took place on 1st January 1970 under the terms of
Your Majesty's Warrant dated 31st December 1969.
4. We have pleasure in reporting the completion of our Survey of the Monuments in the northern part
of the County of Dorset, an area comprising thirty-four parishes, containing 857 Monuments of sufficient
significance to demand separate enumeration and some 200 minor Monuments.
5. Following our usual practice we have prepared a full, illustrated Inventory of the Monuments in North
Dorset, which will be issued as a non-Parliamentary publication (Dorset IV). As in the Inventory of
Central Dorset (Dorset III), accompanying the twenty-fifth Report, we have adopted the terminal date
1850 for the Monuments included in the Inventory.
6. The methods adopted in previous Inventories have in general been adhered to and attention has again
been paid to topography and to the form and development of the landscape in which the Monuments are
set. Introductory notes are designed to suggest the natural features of each parish and to indicate the
history of settlement.
7. The method of presenting 'Celtic' Field Groups and associated Monuments follows that of Dorset III.
Since many of these Monuments extend beyond the boundaries of a parish they are described extraparochially in a part of the Inventory following the Inventory by parishes.
8. Important entries in the Inventory of North Dorset have been submitted in draft to the incumbents of
parishes and to the owners of houses, as appropriate, and we believe that no significant Monument dating
from before the year 1850 has been omitted.
9. Our special thanks are due to incumbents and churchwardens and to owners and occupiers who have
allowed access by our staff to the Monuments in their charge or ownership. We are indebted to the
Directors and Curators of many institutions for their ready assistance to us, particularly to Mr. R. N. R.
Peers, Curator of the Dorset County Museum, to Miss M. Holmes, the County Archivist, and to Miss P. K.
Stewart, assistant Diocesan Archivist in Salisbury. We have to record our indebtedness to the Director
General of the Ordnance Survey for access to his archaeological records, for assistance in the preparation
and printing of maps, and for valuable work done by the Air Surveyors of his Department. We have
also to thank the Director in Aerial Photography in the University of Cambridge for air photographs
taken specially for us.
10. We humbly recommend to Your Majesty's notice the following Monuments in North Dorset, as
being Most Worthy of Preservation:
(1) The Parish Church of St. John, in which the chancel
and nave are of 14th-century origin and the N. aisle is
of the 15th century; the chancel contains an interesting
late 14th-century tomb with a recumbent effigy.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary, with a 16th-century
W. tower, and with chancel, nave and transeptal chapels
(2) The Old Parish Church of St. Mary, disused and in
ruins, but retaining a late 15th-century W. tower.
(1) Christ Church, wholly rebuilt in 1842, an interesting
example of Victorian Romanesque architecture.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Lawrence, with a nave
perhaps of 12th-century origin, and a 15th or 16th-century S. porch and tower.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary Magdalen, with chancel,
nave and S. tower of the 14th century, and with a N.
chapel containing an important 18th-century wall-monument.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Andrew, with a 15th-century
W. tower, interesting parapets of 1530 reset on the 19th-century N. aisle, and an important 12th-century font.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary, with an early 14th-century chancel, and with nave and aisles of 1838.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary, an important monument retaining a mid 12th-century nave and N. aisle,
and probably part of a S. tower, also a late 12th-century
S. aisle, a 13th-century N. transept, a 14th-century
chancel, W. tower and S. porch, and a 15th-century
(1) The Parish Church of All Saints, with a fine late 15th-century W. tower.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Margaret, with a 15th-century
(1) The Parish Church of St. Peter, with a 12th-century
doorway reset in the 19th-century S. aisle, a 12th-century
chancel arch and a 15th-century W. tower.
(1) The Abbey Church, razed to the ground at the Dissolution, but retaining the foundations of an important late
11th-century church with 12th-century and 14th-century
additions, together with the valuable collection of
architectural fragments recovered during the excavation
of the Monument.
(2) The Parish Church of St. Peter, with a 15th-century
nave, N. aisle and W. tower, and a 16th-century S. aisle.
(3) Holy Trinity Church, by Gilbert Scott, 1841.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Nicholas, largely rebuilt in
the 15th century, but incorporating a late 12th-century
nave arcade; within the nave is the important monument by Nost of Sir Hugh Wyndham (1692).
(1) The Parish Church of St. Michael, of 14th-century
origin, with a 15th-century S. tower and a 16th-century
(1) The Parish Church of St. Bartholomew, of 1847, with
a well-proportioned W. tower and spire.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary, with a chancel of 12th-century origin and a 13th-century nave, the walls retaining important 14th and 15th-century paintings.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary, with a 14th-century
W. tower, and interesting wall-arcading of c. 1100,
discovered in 1843 and reset.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary, with a 14th-century
nave, a 15th-century S. aisle and W. tower, and an
important 16th-century Easter Sepulchre.
(1) The Parish Church of All Saints, of 15th-century
origin, with 18th-century restorations.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary, probably of 14th-century origin, and with 16th and 18th-century additions.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary, of 12th-century origin,
with 14th-century additions.
(2) Cross-shaft of the late 10th or early 11th century.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary, with a 13th-century
(2) Chettle House, of c. 1710, an interesting building with
baroque characteristics, probably designed by Thomas
(3) West Lodge, with a handsome 18th-century S.E. front.
(7) 'The Chantry', a small early 17th-century house.
(7) Lower Farm, a late 17th-century house with a well-proportioned S. front.
(4) Higher Farm, a 15th-century farmhouse with the hall
originally open to the roof, but chambered over in the
(3) North End Farm, an early 17th-century farmhouse
retaining interesting original features.
(51) The Ship Inn, a small 17th-century town house.
(68–75) Gold Hill, a picturesque thoroughfare flanked on
the W. by the mediaeval boundary wall of the abbey,
and on the E. by 17th and 18th-century cottages.
(4) Church House, an early 17th-century dwelling with
interesting interior fittings.
(5) Diamond Farm House, of the early 17th century.
(3) Tarrant Abbey House, incorporating a small early 15th-century building, presumably part of the former abbey.
(5) Farm Buildings of the late 15th century.
(2) Eastbury House, incorporating the remains of an 18th-century mansion, a monumental archway and park gate-piers, all designed by Vanbrugh.
(3) The Old Rectory, of c. 1850, in the revived 'Tudor'
style by Benjamin Ferrey.
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
Note: The rapid and widespread destruction of field
monuments continues to be a cause of anxiety. All field
monuments listed in the Inventory of North Dorset should
be treated with care, not only on account of their increasing
rarity, but also because the extent and impressiveness of
surface remains do not by themselves indicate a monument's
archaeological importance; this can be revealed only by
excavation. Destruction should never be allowed until
competent archaeological investigation has taken place.
(20) Moat and Banks, remains of an early 13th-century
(138) Castle, remains of a small 12th-century fortification.
(30) Park Pale.
Roman and Prehistoric Monuments
See note under Mediaeval Earthworks.
(33, 34) Cross-Dykes, on the crest of Fore Top, notable for
their good state of preservation.
(15) Iron Age Settlement Site and Roman Villa.
(32) Hill Fort, of Iron Age date, the only example to survive
in the area covered by this Report.
(24) Pimperne Long Barrow, perhaps the finest Neolithic
long barrow in Wessex.
(16) Buzbury Rings, an unusual enclosed settlement of Iron
Age and Romano-British date.
11. Our criteria in compiling the foregoing lists have been architectural and archaeological importance
(subject to the reservation expressed in the note to Earthworks above), rarity, and the degree of loss that
would result from destruction, always bearing in mind the extent to which the Monuments are connected
with or are illustrative of the culture, civilisation and conditions of life of the people, as required by Your
Majesty's Warrant. We have taken no account of such circumstances as cost of maintenance, usefulness
for present-day purposes, or difficulty of preservation.
12. We wish to express our appreciation of the work done by our executive staff in the production of
this Inventory: by the editor, Mr. G. U. S. Corbett, and by our investigators, Messrs. R. W. McDowall,
N. Drinkwater, H. C. Bowen, T. W. French, W. E. Mercer, J. E. Williams, C. F. Stell, D. J. Bonney,
C. C. Taylor, Dr. B. E. A. Jones, and Mr. J. N. Hampton; also by our illustrators, Mr. A. L. Pope and
Mrs. G. M. Lardner-Dennys, and by our photographers, Messrs. W. C. Light, R. E. W. Parsons, and
C. J. Bassham. The index was compiled by Miss M. Meek.
13. We also wish to acknowledge the valuable and constant assistance rendered by our Secretary and
General Editor, Mr. A. R. Dufty, whom Your Majesty has lately been pleased to appoint a Commander
of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
14. It is hoped that the final Inventory in the Dorset series, recording the Monuments of twenty-five
parishes in the eastern part of the County, may be submitted to Your Majesty in 1974.
J. W. WELD
H. C. DARBY
C. A. RALEGH RADFORD
H. M. COLVIN
D. B. HARDEN
W. A. PANTIN
A. J. TAYLOR
W. F. GRIMES
M. W. BARLEY
S. S. FRERE
R. J. C. ATKINSON
J. N. L. MYRES
A. R. DUFTY (Secretary)
Mediaeval floor-tiles in
Shaftesbury Abbey Church