7 East Orchard (8317)
(O.S. 6 ins., ST 81 NW)
The parish, of some 950 acres, lies 3½ m. S.W. of
Shaftesbury. The land is entirely Kimmeridge Clay
and slopes gently down from 380 ft. above sea-level in
the N. to 170 ft. in the S.; it is drained by the Orchard
Water, a small brook on the E. boundary of the parish.
Until the 19th century East Orchard was a parochial
chapelry of Iwerne Minister; it included Hartgrove,
now part of Fontmell Magna. The houses are dispersed
and there is no village nucleus. An early mention of
the settlement, Archet, occurs in the 15th-century
Register of Shaftesbury Abbey (B.M., Harley MS. 61,
f. 51V.), reciting pre-conquest matter.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Thomas, then a
chapel-of-ease to Iwerne Minster, was built in 1859,
and the former chapel on another site (see (11)) was
demolished (Sarum Dioc. Regy., 1859). A font was
transferred from the old to the new building.
Fitting—Font: of stone, with circular bowl with slightly
tapering sides, chamfered below and with cuttings in rim for
locked cover, now gone; probably late 12th or early 13th
century, with 19th-century retooling; stem and base, 19th
(2) Methodist Chapel (83491823), with walls of ashlar and
of rubble and with a slated roof, is probably of late 18th-century
origin; it was enlarged on the S. in 1824. The gabled S. front
has a segmental-headed doorway and, above, a round-headed
window with a cast-iron lattice; two similar windows occur
in each of the E. and W. walls; the N. end is masked by a
cottage, perhaps contemporary with the original chapel. In the
S. part of the E. wall are two tablets, one recording the date of
enlargement, the other with 'Ebenezer. Sam. VII, 12'. Inside,
the meeting room (33½ ft. by 17 ft.) has a plain gallery at the S.
(3) Bridge (83441643), across the Orchard Water, of brick
with one semicircular arch, is of the first half of the 19th century.
(4) Gulliver's Farm (83371660), house, of two storeys with
rubble walls and a thatched roof, is of late 17th or early 18th-century origin with late 18th-century alterations and additions.
The original range has a symmetrical S. front of three bays, with
casement windows of two and of three lights, some retaining
wrought-iron frames. The extension at the W. end of the range
is of two bays. A stone at the base of a brick chimney-stack on
the E. gable is inscribed L.G. 1785. Inside, one room has a
heavily chamfered beam with run-out stops.
(5) Great House (83461649), of two storeys, with walls of
ashlar and brickwork and with thatched roofs, is of the 17th
century, with an 18th-century service wing on the E. In the
original W. range the three-bay W. front and the gabled S.
wall are of ashlar, with weathered and hollow-chamfered first-floor string-courses. The W. front has casement windows of
four square-headed lights in the upper storey; in the lower
storey the windows probably were once uniform with those
above, but they now have 19th-century sashes; the central
doorway has a plain stone surround. The gabled S. wall has
a small blocked oval window on the ground floor and blocked
square-headed openings above; the gabled N. wall is of brickwork and has no openings. The E. wing has walls of chequered
flint and stonework in the lower storey and of brick above.
Inside, the plan of the W. range appears formerly to have been
of class F, but the range has been shortened and the presumed N.
bay has gone. The main ground-floor room has an open fireplace and a six-panel ceiling with deeply-chamfered intersecting
beams. The stairs, in the through-passage on the S. of the
chimneybreast, are of the 17th century and have moulded close
strings, square newel posts, moulded handrails and turned
(6) Whitegate Farm (83641660), house, of two storeys with
attics, has walls of squared and coursed rubble and thatched
roofs. The three-bay S. range is of the late 17th or early 18th
century and the N. wing, with brick walls, was added later in the
18th century. Inside, one room has a stop-chamfered beam.
(7) Bowling Green Farm (83101743), house, demolished in
1962, was single-storeyed with dormer-windowed attics and was
of late 17th-century origin. In the 18th century the southern
two-thirds of the range was heightened to two storeys. The
walls were partly of rubble, partly of brick, and partly of cob;
the roofs were thatched. The doorways at each end of the
through-passage had heavy chamfered timber frames, as also had
the southern doorway in the E. wall. A window (d) in the W.
wall, nearly opposite the last-named opening probably replaced
a former doorway. At the N. end of the range, rounded
timber wall-plates projected externally below the eaves. Several
casement windows had chamfered wooden mullions of stout
cross-section, probably original. Intersecting ceiling beams
in the central room retained mortices for former partitions.
The open fireplaces against the N. and S. end walls had been
(8) Trapdoor Farm (83351775), house, of two storeys with
walls of rubble and of brick and with a slated roof, is of the early
19th century. The brick-faced S.W. front is symmetrical and
of three bays, with a round-headed central doorway and with
uniform sashed windows in both storeys.
(9) Swainscombe Farm (83621780), house, of two storeys
with brick walls and tiled roofs, is of the early 19th century.
The S.E. front is symmetrical and of five bays, with a central
doorway and with uniform sashed windows in both storeys.
(10) Cottage (83751772), of two storeys with brick walls
and a thatched roof, is of the late 18th century.
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
(11) Platform and Enclosure (84211822) of the former
chapel-of-ease (see (1)), lie near the N. boundary of the parish.
On the Tithe Map of 1840 the building appears as a rectangle
with a projection, perhaps a porch, at the centre of the S. side.
The building now is represented by a sunken platform, some
30 ft. by 40 ft., orientated E.—W.
(12) Cultivation Remains. Nothing is known of the date
of enclosure of the open fields. Remains of ridge-and-furrow,
5 yds. to 9 yds. wide and arranged in interlocking furlongs,
extend over a wide area in the central and southern parts of the
parish (R.A.F., V.A.P., CPE/UK 2018: 3178–3208).