22 STOUR PROVOST (7921)
(O.S. 6 ins., ST 72 SE, ST 82 SW, ST 81 NW)
Stour Provost is a parish of 2,815 acres, extending E.
from the R. Stour which forms its western boundary.
The W. part of the area is on Corallian Limestone
between 200 ft. and 300 ft. above sea-level, sloping
gently down to the Stour. The rest of the parish,
mainly on Kimmeridge Clay at about the same altitude,
is undulating and well-wooded and is drained by small
streams flowing S. and S.E. At the N.E. corner of the
parish the land rises steeply to 690 ft. on the wooded
Greensand outlier, Duncliffe Hill.
The village stands compactly on the bank of the
Stour, and the still existing pattern of long narrow fields
shows that the former open fields lay around it, on the
Limestone, to N., E. and S. Further E., on the Clay,
at Woodville and beyond, a scatter of farms and cottages
reflects gradual encroachment on the former waste, a
slow and ill-documented process which must have
started at least as early as the 13th century (P.R.O.,
E32/11, m.3). The pattern of the present boundaries
suggests that originally there were at least four such
areas of encroachment, separated from each other by
waste, each comprising a small group of farms surrounded by irregularly shaped fields; although the
earliest remaining building (15) is of 17th-century date,
occupation is certainly very much older. Later, probably in the 18th century, the remaining waste was
enclosed in rectilinear fields. In the late 18th and early
19th century many small cottages were built on the
broad verges of the lanes, notably at Stour Row.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Michael stands near
the centre of the village. It has walls of rubble, squared
rubble and ashlar; the roofs are covered with stoneslates and, in part, with Welsh slates. The Nave and
chancel arch are of the early 14th century; a small
lancet window in the nave which appears to be more
in the style of the 13th century could be a late survival,
or perhaps is from an older building. The South Tower
is of the 15th century with 17th-century rebuilding of
the upper part, and 19th-century repairs. The N.
arcade of the nave and the North Aisle are of the early
16th century. The Chancel and the South Porch are of
the first half of the 19th century.
Architectural Description—The Chancel has an E. window of
three lights with reset 18th-century tracery in a four-centred
head; the lights have two-centred heads and the tracery lights have
trefoil heads. The rear arch is outlined by a roll moulding and the
jambs have attached shafts with moulded caps and bases. In the
N. wall is a window of two trefoil-headed lights with a central
quatrefoil above; the jambs and mullion are shafted externally
and internally; a painted inscription implies that the opening
dates from 1845. The S. wall has two lancet windows with
shafted and hollow-chamfered jambs and detached rear arch
shafts; the shafts have moulded caps and bases and moulded
collars at half height. Two stone steps with moulded nosing in
front of the communion rail are mediaeval, but reset. The chancel
arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders springing from
hollow-chamfered imposts; the responds are three-sided and
appear to have been partly recut; at the base are shaped and
run-out stops. Weathered stonework seen externally, N.E. of
the N. respond, is probably part of a rood stair turret.
Stour Provost, the Parish Church of St. Michael
The Nave has, on the N., a four-bay arcade with uniform two-centred arches of 16th-century date. Each arch has two orders,
the inner order wave-moulded and the outer order hollow-chamfered. The piers and responds have attached shafts alternating
with hollow chamfers, with plain conical capitals and hollow-chamfered bases. The shafted E. respond appears to be formed
partly from reused 14th-century stonework with thin courses;
the adjacent masonry is probably part of the original N. wall.
On the S. side of the nave is the tower arch (see below); adjacent,
on the W. and above the porch roof, is a 19th-century window
of two pointed lights with a plain spandrel light. The 14th-century S. doorway has a moulded two-centred head with
continuous jambs, partly recut, but terminating on the E. in
small base mouldings and a crude broach stop; above is a
moulded label with returned stops. To the W. of the doorway is
a lancet window of 13th-century form, with a chamfered surround, a moulded label, deep internal splays and a segmental
rear arch. The W. wall has been extensively rebuilt, but it is
probably of 14th-century origin. At the S. corner is a diagonallyset buttress of two weathered stages. A similar buttress, but
square-set, strengthens the N.W. corner of the nave and provides
abutment for the 16th-century arcade; there is evidence that the
buttress is part of a former angle-buttress and the reason for its
contrast with the diagonal S.W. buttress is obscure. The 19th-century W. window incorporates reused 14th-century material;
the head is segmental-pointed and ovolo-moulded, with continuous jambs; the opening is of three gradated lights with plain
two-centred heads, the centre light being slightly wider than
those on each side.
In the North Aisle, diagonal buttresses of two weathered stages
stand at the N.E. and N.W. corners and two similar buttresses
are set square against the N. wall; all walls have hollow-chamfered plinths, that on the N. being stepped to follow the
slope of the ground. The lean-to roof joins the N. slope of the
nave roof, but is of lower pitch. The E. window has three plain
gradated two-centred lights under a four-centred casementmoulded head with continuous jambs; the lights and a label
above are of the 19th century, but the surround and the moulded
rear arch with continuous jambs are of the 16th century. The
three windows of the N. wall are uniform and of three lights;
the 19th-century tracery is uniform with that of the E. window
and here the surrounds also are of the 19th century although they
incorporate 16th-century material; beneath the central window
is a blocked N. doorway. The W. window of the N. aisle is
similar to that on the E.
The South Tower, of ashlar and coursed rubble, has two stages
separated by a weathered and hollow-chamfered string-course.
The lower stage, including the string-course, is of the 15th
century; the upper stage is of the 17th century, but it incorporates
reused 15th-century material. The S. wall was restored in 1854.
In the lower stage, the E. wall has a doorway with a chamfered
segmental-pointed head and continuous jambs; inside, it has a
wide two-centred rear arch. Adjacent, on the N., is the crease of
the roof of a former chancel which appears to have been wider
than the present structure. In the N. side of the tower is an archway to the nave, now blocked, with a chamfered two-centred
head and continuous jambs; in the blocking is a small doorway
with a two-centred head, of uncertain date. The S. wall has a
19th-century window of one light with a two-centred head;
above is a square-headed 15th-century window with a moulded
surround. The W. wall has no openings in the lower stage. The
upper stage of the tower has slender corner pilasters; those on
the N.E. and N.W. are divided at half height by moulded
strings, the others are plain. In the E. and N. sides are 19th-century belfry windows of one trefoil-headed light; in the S.
side is a reset 15th-century window of two trefoil-headed lights
with vertical tracery in a casement-moulded two-centred head;
in the W. side the belfry window has tracery similar to that on
the S., but the surround is of the 17th century and without casement mouldings. At the top is an embattled parapet, with a
hollow-chamfered string-course with 15th-century gargoyles to
S.E. and S.W., and corner pinnacles with crocketed finials.
The 19th-century South Porch incorporates some mediaeval
material. It has an archway with a chamfered two-centred head
and continuous jambs. At the S.W. corner is a square-set
weathered buttress. Inside, stone wall-seats are reset on the E.
and W. sides.
The Roof of the chancel (Plate 66) incorporates 16th-century
material, probably from the N. aisle. The raised central area has
moulded wall-plates and intersecting beams, forming four bays,
each bay being divided into twelve coffers; the coffers have
fretted panels similar to those of the nave roof at Marnhull
(Dorset III, 151). The surrounding zone of coffering and the
coved wall-plates are of the 19th century, but the fretted panels
Fittings—Bells: four; treble by John Wallis, inscribed 'Love
the Lord, IW, 1602'; 2nd inscribed 'Regina celi letare' in black-letter, probably 15th-century; 3rd inscribed 'Ave Maris Stella
Dei Mater Alma' in crowned Lombardic letters, 15th century;
4th, with inscription of 1683, recast 1902. Bell-frame, modern,
incorporating older members, perhaps 16th or 17th century.
Brass: In nave pavement, near chancel steps, plate (9½ ins. square)
with inscription of James White, 1694. Chests: of oak, one with
tapering ends, shaped feet and three locks, 17th-century; another
with panelled front and sides, 18th century. Communion Rails:
with Tuscan-column posts and turned balusters, late 18th
century; moulded rail and sill modern. Communion Table: of oak,
with crude cabriole legs, enriched rails, scrolled brackets and
moulded top; late 17th century. Door: In S. doorway, of six
panels with beaded borders, c. 1800. Font: of Purbeck stone, with
octagonal bowl with two trefoil-headed panels to each face, and
octagonal shaft with one trefoil-headed panel to each face and
roll-moulded and chamfered capping above, on chamfered
octagonal plinth; 15th century. Glass: In N. window of chancel,
with two panels of scriptural subjects, 1845.
Monument and Floor-slabs. Monument: In churchyard, 5 paces
S. of tower, of Richard Snooke, 1606, Joan his wife, 1607, and
William Snooke, 1672, stone table-tomb with moulded top and
plinth. Floor-slabs: In chancel, (1) of Humphry Newberry,
rector, 1712; (2) of William Wray, rector, 1780.
Plate: Silver cup with conical bowl gadrooned at base,
knopped stem and gadrooned foot, no marks, probably 17th
century; silver stand-paten and flagon, both of 1844; silver alms-dish with donor's inscription of Susannah Newbary, 1728.
Royal Arms: In nave, above chancel arch, lozenge-shaped panel
with painted arms, date 1707 and initials A.R.; on surround,
Psalm 72, V. I. in black-letter.
(2) Congregational Chapel (81952107), at Stour Row, now
a parish hall, has walls of squared rubble with ashlar dressings,
and slate-covered roofs; it was built in 1843. The gabled S. front
has a doorway with a chamfered two-centred head and continuous jambs, and a moulded label with returned stops. In the gable
above the doorway is a roundel with a quatrefoil panel. Flanking
the doorway are two lancet windows with labels as before. The
E. and W. walls have each three lancet windows without labels;
the N. wall has no openings.
Stour Provost Village
(3)The Rectory (79302168), 165 yds. N.W. of (1),
is two-storeyed, with rubble walls and slated roofs. The
main range was built c. 1825, but the service range on
the N.E. may be a little earlier. The windows are
square-headed, with large sliding sashes; the roofs are
of low pitch with wide eaves. Inside, the principal
rooms have moulded ceiling cornices. The staircase
has a scrolled spandrel to each step, plain balusters and
a mahogany handrail.
(4) Church House (79352157), some 50 yds. W. of
the church, is of two storeys with attics and has walls
of rubble with ashlar dressings; the roofs are covered
with modern tiles. The house is of the early 17th
century with modern additions and restoration.
Stour Provost, Church House
The W. front is of four bays; the two middle bays have a
N.—S. roof and the projecting end bays are gabled. The middle
bays and the southern bay have a continuous weathered string-course at first-floor level. The northern bay has a small square-headed loop, probably to light a former stair; a similar loop at
first-floor level has been blocked, but is seen internally. Adjacent
is a large original chimneybreast, to the S. of which, on each
floor, is a modern casement window. The second bay contains
the front doorway, with a moulded four-centred head and
continuous jambs with run-out stops; above, on the first floor,
is an original square-headed stone window of three lights with
hollow-chamfered surrounds. The third bay has a four-light
window on the ground floor and a three-light window above,
both with details as described. The southern bay has a four-light
ground-floor window, as described, a window of three lights on
the first floor and one of two lights in the gable; the first-floor
and the gable windows have moulded labels. The S. elevation is
gabled, with a chimney-stack on the apex; on the first floor,
immediately W. of the chimneybreast, is a stone window of one
square-headed light. The E. elevation has a three-light stone
window with a label in the lower storey of the third bay, a
similar two-light window in the southern bay and, between
them, a square-headed loop; the other E. openings are modern.
The N. front has no noteworthy features.
The front doorway opens into a through-passage, to the S.
of which is a hall with deeply chamfered ceiling beams intersecting to form nine panels; the open fireplace on the N. has a
cambered and chamfered timber bressummer and chamfered
stone jambs; on the S. side of the room is a reset plank-and-muntin partition with moulded muntins and top rail. The
parlour has 17th-century oak panelling, perhaps reset. The
kitchen on the N. of the through-passage, now used as a dining-room, has a large open fireplace with a timber bressummer;
beside it is a circular recess, probably for a former newel stair.
On the first floor, the S. chamber has a fireplace of c. 1600 with
a stone surround with a hollow-chamfered and ovolo-moulded
four-centred head, continuous jambs and pedestal stops. The
chamber over the hall has a stone fireplace with a chamfered
(5) Diamond Farm (79272147), house, 165 yds. S.W.
of the church, is of two storeys with attics and has walls
of rubble with ashlar dressings; the roofs are covered
with modern tiles. The house is probably of the late
17th century, with modern additions on the W.
The original S. front is of six bays; that on the W. is wider
than the others, but the five eastern bays are more or less
symmetrical in themselves, comprising a central doorway with
two three-light windows on each side of it on the ground floor
and, on the first-floor, three similar windows; the first-floor
openings do not, however, correspond with those below. All
windows are square-headed, with chamfered and hollow-chamfered stone surrounds; immediately over the ground-floor
openings is a continuous weathered and hollow-chamfered
string-course; the doorway has a four-centred ovolo-moulded
head with continuous jambs and an 18th-century timber hood
on shaped brackets. The N. elevation has a doorway similar to
that on the S.; to the E. is a modern stone three-light window;
to the W. is an original window of four lights, as before, with
a moulded label with returned stops. The first floor has three
original windows of two and of three lights. The gabled E. wall
has a large chimneybreast; on the S. side the projection rests on
a moulded corbel.
Inside, the original ground-floor plan is preserved. The throughpassage is flanked by plank-and-muntin partitions in which the
top rails and the edges of each muntin are moulded. The parlour
on the E. has a fireplace with a moulded ashlar surround in which
the deep, slightly cambered head is formed of three large stones;
the mouldings are rounded at the shoulders and continue on the
jambs. The hall on the W. of the through-passage has moulded
beams, which intersect to form four panels; the fireplace has a
moulded timber bressummer and moulded stone jambs, the
moulding being continuous and rounded at the corners. On the
first floor, two chambers have stone fireplace surrounds with
moulded four-centred heads and continuous jambs. In the attics
are two fireplace surrounds of similar form; that on the E. bears
the initials and date IH 1707, roughly carved.
(6) Manor Farm (79432147), house, of two storeys with
rubble walls and slate-covered roofs, is of 17th-century origin,
but it was largely rebuilt in the 18th century, and an extension
on the W. is of the 19th century. The gabled E. wall of the S.
range is original and has a chamfered plinth and a projecting
chimney-breast; the rest of the building is later. Inside, the
original E. fireplace is blocked by an 18th-century chimneypiece.
(7) Mill House (79102149), of two storeys, has ashlar walls
and slated roofs. The N.W. front is symmetrical, with a central
doorway and with square-headed sashed windows in both
storeys. The adjacent Mill has rubble walls and tiled roofs; to
the E. is a two-storeyed Cottage and to the W. is a range of farm
buildings, of materials similar to the mill. All these buildings are
of the early 19th century.
(8) Cottages (79312156), two adjacent, now combined, are of
one storey with attics and have rubble walls and thatched roofs;
they date from the 17th century. Inside, two rooms have large
open fireplaces with timber bressummers and ovens. There are
several chamfered ceiling beams.
(9) Cottage (79242143), of one storey with an attic, has rubble
walls and a thatched roof; it is of 17th-century origin with a 19th-century addition on the W. Inside, the two rooms of the class-T
plan are divided by an original plank-and-muntin partition.
Both open fireplaces are blocked and modern grates have been
inserted. On the S. of the W. fireplace is a winding stair.
Unless otherwise described the following are two-storeyed 18th-century cottages, with rubble walls and
(10) Cottage (79342155), originally single-storeyed, is now
heightened and has a tiled roof.
(11)Cottage (79502148), now two tenements, has 19th-century and modern additions on the W.
(12) Cottage (79342145) has a blocked open fireplace.
(13) Cottage (79332148) has a 19th-century extension on
(14) Cottage (79332150), formerly the Royal Oak Inn, is of
early 18th-century origin. The gabled N. and S. end walls contain large open fireplaces, and several rooms have deeply
Monuments of the late 18th and early 19th century in Stour
Provost village include twelve Cottages, generally two-storeyed
and with rubble walls and thatched roofs, located as follows—
79342152, 79382152 and 79382151, about 50 yds. S. and S.W. of
the church; 79352150, 79352148 and 79362146, about 80 yds.
S.W. of the church; 79352144, about 140 yds. S.W. of the
church; the Post Office, 79332151, about 80 yds. W. of the
church; 79242160, about 170 yds. W. of the church; 79262144,
about 200 yds. W. of the church; 79352168 and 79352170,
about 150 yds. N. of the church.
(15) Great House Farm (81852066), house, with rubble walls
and thatched roofs, comprises an early 17th-century cottage of
one storey with an attic, and an 18th-century range added on the
S., the resulting plan being T-shaped with the earlier range in
the upright of the T. All elevations are asymmetrical, with plain
casement windows and doorways. Inside, a ground-floor room
of the early range has moulded beams and wall-plates intersecting to form a ceiling of four panels.
The following farmhouses and isolated cottages, dating from the 17th century, are dispersed around Woodville in the central part of the parish, from ½ m. to
1¼ m. E. of the parish church. Unless described otherwise they are two-storeyed and have rubble walls and
(16) Lyde Hill Farm (80582168), house, with tiled roofs has
the original range adapted to form the service wing at the W.
end of a 19th-century house. The latter has a symmetrical N.
front of three bays, with a central doorway and uniform square-headed sashed windows; the original range has casement
windows. Inside are several chamfered beams.
(17) Cottage (80362143), with a tiled roof, was partly rebuilt
in the 18th century.
(18) Shade House Farm (80502116), house, with slate-covered
roofs, was rebuilt in 1842 as recorded in an inscription on the N.
front; the E., S. and W. elevations, however, retain 17th-century
stone windows of two, three and four square-headed lights,
some of them with moulded labels. Inside, some rooms retain
stop-chamfered beams, perhaps reset. A first-floor room has a
stone fireplace surround with an ovolo-moulded four-centred
(19) Yeatman's Farm (81312108), house, has the S. front in
two bays with a central doorway; a date stone in the western
bay is inscribed 'P. G. Tucker, 1805' and probably records the
rebuilding of this part of the S. wall. The eastern bay retains a
moulded string-course at first-floor level. Inside, the plan is of
class T, having a central through-passage with a heated room
on each side of it; that on the E. has a large open fireplace with
an oven adjacent, also moulded wall-plates and moulded beams
forming a ceiling of four panels. A small closet is made of 17th-century panelling with guilloche enrichment.
(20) Cottage (81462097), comprises only one room and an
attic. Inside, there is an open fireplace, now blocked, with an
oven on one side and a stone vice on the other. The N. wall
contains a round-headed alcove.
(21) Cottage (80802062), single-storeyed with attics, has early
18th-century additions on the E.; a fragment of hollow-chamfered string-course in the 18th-century part is presumably
reset. Inside, the original part of the cottage has stop-chamfered
(22) Sweet's Farm (81222068), house, formerly of one storey
with dormer-windowed attics, but now of two storeys, retains
several casement windows of three square-headed lights with
hollow-chamfered stone surrounds and moulded labels. Inside,
one room has deep-chamfered beams intersecting to form a
four-panel ceiling, and an open fireplace; another room has a
(23) Good's Farm (81272069), house, with a tiled roof, was
heightened and provided with new windows in the 19th century.
Inside, a room at the N. end of the range has an open fireplace
and a four-panel ceiling with deep-chamfered beams.
(24) Cottages (80392227), two adjacent, with tiled roofs, were
originally single-storeyed with attics. Inside, the E. cottage
retains chamfered ceiling beams and an open fireplace.
The following 18th-century buildings occur in the
same area as the foregoing group. They all are two-storeyed and have rubble walls.
(25) Vanner's Farm (80392258), house, with tiled roofs, was
built in 1798, as attested by a date-stone in the S. gable.
(26) Cottage (80502225), with a thatched roof.
(27) Cottage (80342147), with a thatched roof, is of the late
18th century; it contains an open fireplace and a chamfered
(28) Wadmill Farm (81681979), with a tiled roof, is of c. 1800.
The S. front is symmetrical, with a central doorway flanked by
three-light casement windows, corresponding windows in the
upper storey, and a window of one light over the doorway.
Monuments of the 19th century in Woodville include the
School and Schoolmaster's House (80782163), with ashlar walls and
tiled roofs, erected in 1850, a Cottage (80842215) with rubble
walls and a thatched roof, and a Cottage (80502163) with rubble
walls, a tiled roof and a symmetrical S. front of three bays.
Five 17th or early 18th-century farmhouses are
situated near the eastern boundary of the parish.
(29) Jolliffe's Farm (83172182), house, of two storeys
with rubble walls and slated roofs, is of the late 17th
century and retains many original features. The plan
is of class T. In the lower storey the E. front has
windows of two and of four square-headed lights with
ovolo-moulded stone surrounds; above them, a continuous weathered string-course descends to a lower
level between each opening, as a label, and similarly
follows the outline of the door-head. A stone window,
set at mezzanine level on the S. of the doorway, lights
the stairs and shows that these remain in their original
position. The first-floor windows have moulded
wooden surrounds. On the gabled N. wall the string-course continues, but it stops at the N.W. corner. The
W. front has casement windows with chamfered
wooden surrounds. The S. wall is masked by later
Inside, the hall on the S. has a large open fireplace, now partly
filled in, with the remains of an oven on the E. and a small larder
on the W.; the ceiling has deeply chamfered beams with
moulded stops intersecting to form four panels; the S. wall-plate
is chamfered and stopped in correspondence with the N.—S.
beam. The middle room, perhaps a buttery, is divided from the
N. room by an original plank-and-muntin partition with a
moulded head; on the S. a small section of plank-and-muntin
work encloses the main staircase. The stairs are modern, but a
section of original balustrading remains at the first-floor landing;
it has square newel posts with turned, ball-headed finials, stout
turned balusters and moulded top and bottom rails. In the
parlour on the N., the ceiling has a deeply chamfered beam with
splay stops; adjacent to the blocked fireplace is a small newel
staircase. The upper storey retains original plank-and-muntin
(30) Hill Farm (82562140), house, of two storeys with rubble
walls and slate-covered roofs, is of the 18th century. The S.E.
front is symmetrical and of three bays; at the centre is a square-headed doorway and, on the first floor, a small bull's-eye
window; flanking these, each storey has large sashed windows.
The plan is of class T.
(31) Yew Tree Farm (82742126), house, of two storeys with
rubble walls and tile-covered roofs, is of the early 18th century.
It has casement windows of two and three lights with wooden
surrounds and leaded glazing. Inside, some rooms have stop-chamfered beams.
(32) Woodville Farm (82792100), house, of two storeys
with rubble walls and tiled roofs, is of the early 18th century.
(33) Ruddock's Farm (82822055), house, of two storeys
with rubble walls and tiled roofs, is of the early 18th century
and resembles (31) in its general characteristics.
Monuments of the 19th century in Stour Row include the
following, all with rubble walls and with thatched or slate-covered roofs: Cottage (81852108), originally two tenements;
Cottage (81912107); Cottages (81982108), two adjacent; Cottage
(82002108); Inn (82032107), with a symmetrical N. front of
three bays; Cottage (82082112); Cottage (82132113); Cottages
(82152115), two adjacent, possibly of the late 18th century;
Cottage (82222114); Cottage (82332119); Cottages (82422125),
pair; Cottage (82582142), with a symmetrical ashlar-faced S.
front; Cottage (82832157); Cottage (83042166); Cottage
(83172173), formerly two tenements, possibly of the late 18th
century; Cottage (83302184); Thomas's Farm (83412184), house,
built c. 1850 with materials from an earlier building; Cottage
(82282094); Cottage (81812147); Cottage (81812162).
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
(34) Cultivation Remains. Nothing is known of the open
fields of the parish. Some traces of 7-yard ridge-and-furrow
occur N.W. of the village, and fields which extend S.E. of the
village seem from their shape to comprise enclosed furlongs.
It is probable that the mediaeval open fields lay only in the
western third of the parish.
(35) Pottery of the late Romano-British period was found in
1950 at 81482107, in an area of Kimmeridge Clay, about 200 ft.
above O.D. (Dorset Procs., 72 (1950), 78).