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 thirty-first Report on the work of the
Commission since its appointment.
2. We have pleasure in reporting the completion of our recording of the Monuments in the eastern
part of the County of Dorset, an area of twenty-five civil parishes wherein we have identified 842 distinct
Monuments, 4 Roman Roads and extensive remains of Prehistoric Agriculture. Our Survey of Dorset is
3. Following our usual practice we have prepared an illustrated Inventory of the Monuments of East
Dorset, which will be issued as a non-Parliamentary publication (Dorset V). As in the Inventory of North
Dorset (Dorset IV), accompanying the twenty-sixth Report, it has been our policy to include all significant
Monuments and Constructions dating from before 1850. The methods adopted in previous Inventories
have in general been adhered to, and special attention has been paid to topography and to the form and
development of the landscape in which the Monuments are set.
4. Important entries in the Inventory of East Dorset have been submitted in draft to the incumbents
of churches and to the owners of land and houses, as appropriate, and we believe that no significant
Monument dating from before the year 1850 has been omitted.
5. Our method of presenting 'Celtic' Field Groups and associated Monuments remains as in Dorset IV.
Since many of these Monuments extend beyond the boundaries of a single parish they are described
extra-parochially in a section of the Inventory following the inventory by parishes. For similar reasons
we have been unwilling to subordinate the discussion of ancient roads to the parochial structure, and the
final volume of the Dorset Inventory therefore contains a general synopsis of Roman Roads in the County.
6. The Inventory of East Dorset contains a general list of monumental coats-of-arms noted throughout
the County; it is complete up to 1714, but selective with regard to later heraldry.
7. Our thanks are due to incumbents and churchwardens and to the owners and occupiers of land and
houses who have allowed us and members of our staff to investigate the Monuments in their charge or
ownership. We are indebted to the Directors and Curators of several institutions for ready assistance:
notably Mr. R. N. R. Peers, Curator of the Dorset County Museum, Miss M. Holmes, the County
Archivist, and Miss P. K. Stewart, assistant Diocesan Archivist in Salisbury. We have to thank the Director
General of the Ordnance Survey for access to archaeological records held by his Department. Cambridge
University Committee for Aerial Photography has supplied many indispensable photographs. For help in
questions of geology we are indebted to Dr. F. W. Anderson, formerly of the Geological Survey.
8. We humbly recommend to Your Majesty's notice the following Monuments in East Dorset as
Most Worthy of Preservation:
(2) Ebenezer Chapel, Cripplestyle, a rustic meeting-house of
1807 retaining many original features.
(1) The Parish Church of All Saints, of the 13th, 16th
and early 18th centuries.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary and St. Bartholomew,
of 12th-century origin, rebuilt in the 14th century and
having a fine 15th-century W. tower.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Nicholas, of 12th-century
origin, with 14th-century and later additions.
Gussage All Saints
(1) The Parish Church of All Saints, a well-preserved early
Gussage St. Michael
(1) The Parish Church of St. Michael, with an early 12th-century W. tower and a 13th-century nave and aisles.
(1) The Parish Church of All Saints, with a 14th-century
chancel and W. tower.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Wolfrida, mainly of the 18th
century, but mediæval in origin and containing interesting 14th-century tombs.
(1) St. Mary's Church, a mid 19th-century building of
high quality, probably by George Alexander.
(1) The Chapel of St. Margaret and St. Anthony, of 13th-century origin.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Bartholomew, of 12th-century origin, with 14th and 15th-century additions.
(2) St. Andrew's Church, Gussage, a small 12th-century
church with a 13th-century chancel and wall-paintings.
(1) The Parish Church of All Saints, of 12th-century
origin, with 14th-century and later additions and with
interesting 17th and 18th-century fittings.
(1) The Minster Church of St. Cuthburga, an important
building, mainly of the 12th and 13th centuries, but
incorporating considerable remains of a Saxon cruciform
Wimborne St. Giles
(1) The Parish Church of St. Giles, built in 1732, with a
fine W. tower of that date and with internal fittings of
(1) Knowlton Church, the ruins of a 12th-century church
with a 15th-century tower, now in the guardianship of
the Department of the Environment.
(4) The Manor House, one of the earliest and best-preserved
domestic buildings in England, dating from 1207, with
17th-century alterations and additions, in part designed
by Richard Ryder.
(5) Cranborne Lodge, an early 18th-century house with
additions of c. 1750.
(4) Edmondsham House, with a symmetrical S.W. façade
dated 1589, and 18th-century wings.
Gussage St. Michael
(5) Ryall's Farm, a 16th-century farmhouse with later
(4) Longham Bridge, a brick and stone bridge dating from
the 18th century.
(2) Bridge, dated 1666, but incorporating earlier masonry.
(6) Abbey House, with interesting mediaeval roofs.
(7) Horton Tower, an 18th-century 'folly'.
(2) Crichel House, a country house of c. 1745 with extensive additions of c. 1775.
(3) Almshouses, dated 1698.
(4) Kingston Lacy, a fine house of 1663 designed by Sir
Roger Pratt, much altered by Sir Charles Barry c. 1835.
(5) The Manor House, a notable 17th-century building.
(7) High Hall, a 17th-century house with good 18th-century fittings.
(9) Lower Farm, Minchington, a farmhouse of c. 1600 with
interesting original fittings.
(5) Julian's Bridge, of 1636, with 19th-century additions.
(7) Dean's Court, a substantial house of 1725.
(33) 'The Priest's House', an early 17th-century town house
with interesting original features.
Wimborne St. Giles
(2) Almshouses, of c. 1624.
(4) St. Giles's House, a large country house of c. 1650
with 18th-century additions by Henry Flitcroft.
(8) Riding House, of the first quarter of the 17th century.
(14) Mill House, an early 17th-century industrial building.
(25) Gazebo, of c. 1700.
(2) Ruins of former Manor House, of 13th-century origin,
with 15th-century modifications.
(3) The Manor House, a well-preserved early 16th-century
dwelling, perhaps the earliest example of the use of
brickwork in the county.
(3) Woodlands Farm, comprising the stable range of an
18th-century house, together with a fragment of a 16th-century building.
Mediæval 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 East 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.
(31) Motte-and-Bailey castle.
Gussage All Saints
(19) Settlement Remains of Brockington.
(20) Settlement Remains of Hemsworth.
(16) Settlement Remains of Knowlton.
Roman and Prehistoric Monuments
See note under Mediaeval and Later Earthworks.
Gussage St. Michael
(7) Iron Age and Romano-British Settlement, Gussage
(9) The Dorset Cursus (also in adjacent parishes).
(11–12) Long Barrows.
(14–15) Long Barrows.
(69) Roman Military Site, Lake Gates.
(70) Iron Age and Romano-British Settlement on King
(16) Bokerley Dyke.
(17) Grim's Ditch.
(18) Iron Age Hill-fort on Penbury Knoll.
(19–22) Long Barrows.
(31) Romano-British Settlement, W. of Badbury Rings.
(34) Badbury Rings, Iron Age hill-fort.
(47–55) Barrow Group near Badbury Rings.
(19) Iron Age and Romano-British Settlement, Woodcutts Common.
(25) Iron Age Hill-fort, unfinished, in Mistleberry Wood.
(7) Dudsbury, Iron Age hill-fort.
Wimborne St. Giles
(36) Iron Age and Romano-British Settlement, Oakley
(94–124) Barrow Group on Oakley Down.
(19–22) Knowlton Circles, four Neolithic enclosures.
(46) Great Barrow.
9. In compiling the foregoing lists our criteria have been architectural and archaeological importance,
rarity, and the degree of loss that would result from destruction, always bearing in mind the extent to
which the Monuments are connected with the contemporary culture, civilisation and conditions of life
of the people of England, as commanded in 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.
10. We desire to commend the good work done by our executive staff in the preparation of this
Inventory: by the editor, Mr. G. U. S. Corbett, PH.D., F.S.A., and by our investigators, Messrs. R. W.
McDowall, O.B.E., F.S.A., N. Drinkwater, O.B.E., T.D., A.R.I.B.A., F.S.A., H. C. Bowen, O.B.E., M.A., F.S.A.,
R. A. H. Farrar, M.A., F.S.A., W. E. J. Mercer, F.S.A., J. E. Williams, E.R.D., A.R.C.A., F.S.A., C. F. Stell, M.A.,
A.R.I.B.A., F.S.A., D. J. Bonney, B.A., F.S.A., C. C. Taylor, B.A., F.S.A., J. A. Reeves, F.S.A., J. N. Hampton,
F.S.A., and N. J. Moore, M.A., M.PHIL.; by our illustrators, Mr. A. L. Pope, A.R.C.A., A.R.E., and Mrs. G. M.
Lardner-Dennys; and by our photographers, Messrs. F. T. Power, W. C. Light and R. E. W. Parsons. We
are also grateful for help given by our investigators, Messrs. S. T. D. Spittle, M.A., A.R.I.B.A., F.S.A., T. W.
French, M.A., F.S.A., J. T. Smith, M.A., F.S.A., Dr. R. M. Butler, M.A., F.S.A., Dr. B. E. A. Jones, M.A., and
Mrs. V. G. Swan, B.A.; and by our illustrators, Messrs. W. Masiewicz, F.S.I.A., R. F. Meads and P. A.
Spencer. The index was compiled by Mrs. H. M. Green.
11. We wish to acknowledge the valuable assistance rendered to us, while the five volumes of the
Dorset Inventory were in preparation, by our former Secretary and General Editor, Mr. A. R. Dufty,
C.B.E., A.R.I.B.A., F.S.A., who recently left our Service to become the Master of The Armouries in Your
Majesty's Royal Fortress of The Tower of London. As Secretary and General Editor we now welcome
our former Investigator, Mr. R. W. McDowall, O.B.E., F.S.A.
H. C. DARBY
C. A. RALEGH RADFORD
H. M. COLVIN
W. A. PANTIN
A. J. TAYLOR
W. F. GRIMES
M. W. BARLEY
R. J. C. ATKINSON
J. N. L. MYRES
H. M. TAYLOR
J. K. S. ST. JOSEPH
R. W. McDOWALL (Secretary)
8th October 1973