AN INVENTORY OF
THE ANCIENT AND HISTORICAL MONUMENTS
IN NORTH DORSET
Arranged by Parishes
The group of four figures following each parish heading gives the position of the parish church on the National
Grid, permitting easy location of the place on the one-inch O.S. map at the end of the volume. The next line
indicates the sheets of the six-inch O.S. map (edition of 1960) which relate to the parish. Each Monument in the
Inventory is located by a six or eight-figure reference to the National Grid.
In architectural descriptions of churches, the parts of the building are taken in the order E. to W. and N. to S.;
in descriptions of houses the exterior precedes the interior. Architectural plans have a uniform scale of 24 ft. to
the inch, except for a few key-plans at approximately 48 ft. to the inch. Hatching symbols used to indicate dating
are uniform throughout the volume. All construction since 1850 is termed modern.
Information now impossible to verify and derived from literary sources, usually Hutchins, is enclosed in square
brackets. The date given in the description of a funerary monument is that of the death of the person first commemorated; if known, the date of erection of the monument is added; surnames in round brackets are maiden
names. The final volume of the Dorset Inventory will contain a general Armorial of the County.
'Celtic' Field Groups are described extra-parochially in a separate section (see p. 118); Roman Roads will be
dealt with as a whole in the final volume of the Dorset series. These exceptions apart, the Monuments of North
Dorset are listed below, under the names of the thirty-four Civil Parishes in which they occur.
1 ASHMORE (9117)
(O.S. 6 ins. ST 91 NW, ST 81 NE
Ashmore, covering some 2,700 acres, lies entirely on
Chalk above which in the S. and S.E. are extensive
areas of Clay-with-flints. The land slopes down from
856 ft. above sea-level on Ashmore Down, at the N.
corner of the parish, to less than 400 ft. in the S., dry
valleys draining S. and S.W. into Stubhampton Bottom
on the W. boundary. Extensive woods in the W. and
S. are part of Cranborne Chase. The village (Plate 32)
occupies a high spur between two of the valleys, at an
altitude of 700 ft.; it is centred upon and takes its name
from a large pond, rarely dry and probably the main
reason for settlement; the situation resembles that of
several Romano-British sites in the area (O. G. S. Crawford, Antiquity, II (1928), 184). The open fields, finally
enclosed in 1859, lay around the village; until recently
most of the land beyond the area of the fields was open
down and woodland. Well Bottom, a small settlement
in the S.E., appears to have existed in 1333 ; it lies
beyond the former open fields and probably is secondary
to Ashmore. In the E. of the parish, cutting through a
pre-existing linear ditch, a well-preserved stretch of
Roman road leads towards Badbury Rings. (E. W.
Watson, Ashmore, Co. Dorset, A History of the Parish,
(1) The Parish Church of St. Nicholas was rebuilt
in 1874. A two-centred archway of two plain orders
with continuous jambs, opening into the N. vestry from
the E. end of the N. aisle in the rebuilt church, is said
to be the old chancel arch, reset. The arch may be of
the 13th century, but since Hutchins (III, 370) says that
the former chancel arch did not correspond with its
piers, the responds must be of 1874. Fittings from the
old church are incorporated in the present building.
Fittings—Chest: for registers, of cast-iron with panelled
sides and top, early 19th century. Communion Table: of oak,
with turned legs and moulded rails with chip-carving, 17th
century. Font: with hemispherical bowl, stout baluster-shaped
stem and round convex base, 18th century.
Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: Reset in vestry, (1)
of Rev. George Chisholm, 1825, marble wall tablet with painted
shield-of-arms; (2) of Elizabeth (Cary) Barber, 1738, baroque
wall-monument with cherub-heads and drapery surround, surmounted by shield-of-arms. In churchyard, immediately S. of
chancel, (3) of George Barber, 1662, stone slab with shield-of-arms; adjacent, (4) probably of Elizabeth Barber, 1738, stone
slab. Floor-slabs: In N. aisle, leaning against wall, (1) of John
Mullens, 16 .., broken and defaced. Reset as threshold at entry
to vestry, (2) of [John Ca]rver, , Purbeck marble slab
with bold lettering, preserved in part.
Plate: includes Elizabethan silver cup and cover-paten
(Plate 25), with assay-marks of 1576, cover-paten inscribed
1577. Royal Arms: painted on wood panel, in moulded surround, by K. Wilmot, 1816.
(2) School (91321783), of one storey, with rubble and ashlar
walls and slated roofs, was built in 1842. The original range has
modern additions on the N.E. and S.W.
(3) Old Rectory (91301774), of two storeys, has walls of
flint and rubble with ashlar dressings, and tiled roofs; it is of
early 18th-century origin, with later enlargements and alterations. The N. front is symmetrical and of five bays; in the
lower story an original doorway is flanked by coupled sashed
windows of c. 1870, with chamfered jambs and segmental
heads; in the upper storey are corresponding square-headed
sashed windows. The doorway has a moulded stone architrave
and a segmental broken pediment on scroll consoles. Inside,
the plan is of class T. The staircase and chimneypieces are of c.
1870 or later, except for a chimneypiece of c. 1750 which has
recently been brought from elsewhere.
(4) Manor Farm (91051779), house, of two storeys with
attics, has walls of ashlar and of squared rubble, and tile-covered
roofs. The S.W. range is of uncertain date; the walls are up to
4 ft. in thickness and might be mediaeval, but there is no other
feature to confirm this assessment; the unusual thickness of
masonry could be the result of refacing a rubble or cob structure
with ashlar. The demolition of Eastbury, c. 1782, must have
made worked stone readily available locally. The S.W. front
is two-storeyed and of four bays, with plain sashed windows and
with a square-headed doorway; first-floor level is marked by a
weathered string-course. The gabled S.E. elevation has a
similar string-course and, at the base of the gable, an ornamental
corbel-table similar to that of the archway in the stable court at
Eastbury (Plate 80). Projecting N.E. at the N.W. end of the
range is an addition of c. 1800, originally built as a Wesleyan
meeting room (F. Lyle Uppleby, Ashmore (1949), 8). Some
rooms in the S.W. range have chamfered beams, probably of the
(5) Cottage (91311778), of one storey with an attic, has
walls of banded flint and rubble, and a thatched roof; probably it
is of the 17th century. Inside, a large open fire-place has a
chamfered bressummer, and there are chamfered beams with
(6) Cottage (91331777), of one storey with an attic, with
walls of flint and rubble and with a thatched roof, is of the 17th
century and has a class S plan. Inside, a chamfered beam with
ogee stops is exposed. An addition with brick walls probably
is of the early 18th century.
(7) Cottages (91351774), two adjacent, of one storey with
attics, have walls of banded flint and ashlar, and thatched roofs;
they are of the 17th century and perhaps originated as a single
house. The S.W. elevation has an original stone doorway with
a chamfered segmental head, and a stone window of three square-headed lights with hollow-chamfered jambs and heads. Inside,
there are plank-and-muntin partitions and a chamfered beam.
Ashmore. (14) Cross-dyke near Hatt's Barn
(8) Cottage (91401768), of two storeys with rubble walls
and a thatched roof, is of the 17th century. Inside, the plan is of
class S, with a modern addition on the S.W. The original
ground-floor room has two stop-chamfered beams.
Unless otherwise described, the following late 18th
and early 19th-century monuments are of two storeys
and have walls of rubble, flint and brickwork, and
thatched or slate-covered roofs.
(9) Cottage (91341788), has walls of flint and rubble, with
ashlar quoins. The W. front is symmetrical and of three bays.
Inside, one room has a chamfered ceiling beam, and an open
fire-place, now blocked.
(10) Cottages (91191778), pair, have brick and rubble walls
and thatched roofs. In each tenement, the S.E. front is of Flemish
bonded brickwork and has two bays with segmental-headed
casement windows, and a central doorway. A stone plaque is
inscribed G.C. 1802.
(11) Cottage (91181776),with brick,rubble and rendered walls
and with a slated roof, has a date-stone inscribed A.W. 1837.
(12) Cottages (91361773), pair, of one storey with attics, have
walls of squared rubble. Each tenement has a class S plan.
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
(13) Cultivation Remains. The open fields were enclosed
in 1859 (Map and Award, D.C.R.O.). There were three fields:
North Field, on the N. of the village, and Broadridge and Sandpit Fields, on the S.; they were approximately equal in size and
their combined area was only 380 acres. In addition, there was
a large area of enclosed fields which, even in 1590, covered 240
acres (S.D.N.Q., x (1907), 65). Fragmentary strip lynchets
which exist ¼ m. N. of the village (911184) were formerly in
North Field. Other strip lynchets E. of the village (915178) lie
in an area which was enclosed before 1859.
Roman and Prehistoric
The Roman Road from Badbury Rings to Bath passes through
the E. part of the parish (see Dorset V).
'Celtic' Fields, see p. 120, Group (78).
(14) Cross-dyke (90101854–90111886), near Hatt's Barn, lies
across a ridge between 700 ft. and 800 ft. above sea-level and
faces E.; it is cut by the modern road running S.W. from Win
Green in Wiltshire. South of the road the dyke runs S.S.E. for
175 yds. and then, in Hatt's Copse, turns to run S.S.W. for a
further 200 yds.; it ends halfway across a shallow combe falling
south-eastward. North of Hatt's Copse the earthwork comprises a ditch some 8 ft. deep and 30 ft. across, with a modern
hedge-bank along the W. edge. A main bank 28 ft. across and
up to 2½ ft. high lies some 25 ft. back from the W. edge of the
ditch, but it extends S. for only 100 yds. and ends immediately
inside the copse. The ditch continues, but towards the S. end
of the copse it is blocked by a modern track and cut into by a
pond. Further S. the ditch reappears on a smaller scale, about
15 ft. across and up to 4 ft. deep, and disturbed by digging; it
has no bank, and lynchets on either side of it have accentuated the
profile. On the N. side of the modern road, as noted by Sumner
(Cranborne Chase, 66), the dyke appears to have continued as far
as the shoulder of the slope to a very steep-sided combe. This
section, now followed by the boundary between Compton
Abbas and Melbury Abbas, is marked by a large hedge-bank,
15 ft. across and up to 4 ft. high, with a slight dip which probably
marks the line of the ditch along the N.E. side.
(15) Dyke (90721601–91071625), near Deadman's Coppice,
1 mile S. of the village, extends from S.W. to N.E. obliquely
across a S.-facing slope, between 550 ft. and 600 ft. above sea-level. It is some 480 yds. long, but it has been almost entirely
obliterated by cultivation and trackways, except at the S.W. end
where, in Deadman's Coppice, it is well-preserved for a length
of some 80 yds., comprising a bank 15 ft. across and 1½ ft. high,
with a ditch 16 ft. across and 2 ft. deep on the N.W. side.
(16) Dyke (91931675–92531725), in Mudoak Wood, extends
from S.W. to N.E. for some 900 yds. across a low spur and a dry
valley, at altitudes between 500 ft. and 600 ft. above sea-level;
at its N.E. end it crosses the boundary with Wiltshire. The
earthwork is best preserved for a distance of about 300 yds. in
Mudoak Wood, where the bank is 20 ft. across and 2 ft. high,
and the ditch, lying along the N.W. side of the bank, is 25 ft.
across and 2½ ft. deep. A so-called 'barrow' on the line of the
dyke at 92131698 is almost certainly part of the bank. Between
Mudoak Wood and the county boundary the dyke has almost
been destroyed by ploughing, but it is clearly earlier than the
agger of the Roman road, which crosses it. At the S.W. end the
earthwork has been disturbed by a track.
Monuments (17–18), Round Barrows
A round barrow, from which bones were recovered
when it was removed during the 19th century, lay near
897168 on the boundary with Fontmell Magna (Watson,
op. cit., 3, 20). A group of four small mounds N.
of Well Bottom (91631670 centre), which Watson
thought were barrows, are probably the remains of the
lynchetted angles of 'Celtic' fields, elsewhere destroyed
by more recent cultivation. Apart from these, two
barrows are noted:
(17) Bowl (91511628), S.W. of Well Bottom on a S.E.-facing
slope, lies at about 560 ft. above O.D.; diam. 45 ft., ht. 1½ ft.
(18) Bowl (91531629), immediately N.E. of (17); diam.
30 ft., ht. 1 ft.
(19) Pond (91291780), at the centre of the village (Plate 32),
is circular and some 40 yds. in diameter. Of its origin nothing
is known; it may be partly natural, but enlarged artificially,
perhaps in Roman times (Crawford, Antiquity, II (1928), 184).