An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 2, South east. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1970.
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35 SWANAGE (0278)
The Urban District of Swanage, covering some 3,800 acres, lies 8 miles S.E. of Wareham in the S.E. corner of the Isle of Purbeck with the sea forming its S. and E. boundaries. It comprises a roughly rectangular area, the S. third of which is a rolling limestone tableland of Purbeck Beds, scarred by old quarries, between 200 ft. and 400 ft. high. N. of this the land falls into a broad open valley cut in the soft Wealden Beds. Beyond is the steep ridge of the Purbeck Hills rising to over 500 ft. on the N. boundary. Originally a part of Worth Matravers, Swanage became a separate parish in c. 1500 (Hutchins I, 656), and until the 19th century it also included a narrow strip of heathland running N. to the shores of Poole Harbour and covering nearly 600 acres, now in Studland parish.
Though a great part of the area is now occupied by modern housing development, originally, as elsewhere in the Isle of Purbeck, the settlement pattern was one of many settlements each associated with a rectangular block of land; some of these are still marked by continuous field lines. There are two Swanages listed in Domesday Book, perhaps separate settlements in the area of the present town. In addition there were Domesday settlements at Herston, W. of Swanage, at Moulham, now probably Godlingston Manor, and at Whitecliff Farm to the N. of the town. Newton, between Swanage and Herston, and Ulwell, at the mouth of a narrow gap through the Purbeck Hills, were both certainly in existence by the early 14th century.
The buildings of the old town are of local stone and are strung out along the line of the High Street running eastwards to the sea. Though Welsh slates for roofing were introduced in the early 19th century, the local stone is the predominating material for roofs as well as for walls. The export of stone from Swanage was developed in the 18th century and towards the end of that century William Morton Pitt of Kingston Maurward attempted to establish a fishing and fish-curing industry here. He also started the development of the town as a resort with the conversion of the Manor House into an hotel, which later became the Royal Victoria (Hutchins I, 657–8).
The stone trade with London led to the establishment of the Swanage family of Mowlem as London contractors and Mr. Burt, one of the partners, brought back to Swanage a number of relics of London; these include the front of the Town Hall from the old Mercers' Hall, statuary from the Royal Exchange now at Purbeck House (40), lamp standards formerly erected along the sea front and the Clock Tower, now in the grounds of the Grosvenor Hotel, which was first erected in 1854 at the S. end of London Bridge as a memorial to the Duke of Wellington.
a(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin stands in the middle of the parish, to the N. of High Street. The walls are of roughly coursed local rubble with ashlar dressings; the roof of the tower is covered with lead, the other roofs are covered with stone slates. Fragments of early 13th-century stonework are preserved in the church but the only mediaeval structure remaining is the West Tower, of the 14th century; the tower was heightened in c. 1620 when the rest of the church was partly rebuilt; apart from the tower, the church was completely rebuilt by T. H. Wyatt 1859–60 and greatly enlarged in 1907.
Architectural Description—The Nave has a window W. of the S. porch, of the 19th century although modelled on the former late 14th-century E. window; it has three main lights and six tracery lights and incorporates a reused late 14th-century rear arch, chamfered and two-centred and with spandrels pierced by quatrefoils, set on 19th-century springers.
The West Tower (15 ft. square) is of five storeys divided externally into four stages by weathered offsets and surmounted by a string-course and parapet. There is no tower arch, but in the E. wall is a wide recess in which is a late 19th-century doorway; in the N. wall is a modern doorway; in the W. wall is a 15th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head set in an older door opening. The second storey is reached by an external stairway leading to a restored doorway with two-centred head in the N. wall; this storey has small loop lights in N., S. and W. walls in the lower part of the second external stage; in the upper part of this storey the E. and W. walls retain the outline of the gable ends of the original tower roof and in the N. and S. walls are continuous chamfered stone corbels to carry the roof. There is no apparent change in the masonry between the 14th-century walling of the lower part and the 17th-century work above. In the upper part of the second stage are loop lights in each wall lighting the ringing chamber in the third storey; that to the E. opens into the nave. The third stage also has a loop light in each wall, those to the S. and W. masked by clock faces. The top stage contains the bell chamber and has in each wall a window of two uncusped lights with two-centred heads and filled with stone-slate louvres. The roof is carried on original timbers and covered with lead dated 1713.
Fittings—Bells: eight; 4th dated 1594, 5th dated 1612, both by John Wallis; 6th by Lester and Pack, 1764, recast 1888; 7th by John Wallis, 1621 recast 1940. Brasses and Indent. Brasses: in N. aisle—(1) to Susan, wife of Brune Cockram, 'Parson of Sanwch.', 1641; (2) to John Harve, 1510/11; in S. aisle—(3) to Thomas son of Anthony Serrell of Swanwhich, 1639; (4) to Henry Welles of Godlinstone, second son of Thomas Welles, 1607, and Mary (Pole) his first wife, sister and heir to John Pole of Godlinstone, 1560; in tower vestry— (5) to William Clavell and Margaret and Alice his wives, two female figures wearing gowns trimmed with ermine, flanking an indent for a male figure, and black-letter inscription, mid 15th-century; the brasses have been refixed. Indent: in nave, for a rectangular inscription plate. Coffin-lids: reset in pier of N. arcade, (1) with raised foliated cross on stepped Calvary; loose in N. transept, (2) top half of slab with elaborate cross head and with palmette ornament on chamfer; both early 14th-century. Font: of Purbeck stone, with hexagonal bowl, dated 1663, pedestal modern, (now in the church of St. Mark, Herston). Inscription: in N. aisle, on stone tablet, 'Lewis Cockram Iohn Allford church wardens 1684'.
Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: in chancel—on S. wall, (1) to the Rev. Sam. Gale, M.A., Rector, 1816, wall-tablet with pediment against a slate background, signed Skelton, York; (2) to the Rev. George Taylor, M.A., 1834, wall-tablet with shield-of-arms and crest; (3) to the Rev. William Taylor, 1823, sarcophagus-shaped tablet with pediment against a slate background, signed E. Gaffin, Regent Street, London; (4) to Louisa Caroline Josephine Coventry, 1841, white tablet against a black ground; (5) to Capt. Frederick Coventry of the 29th Regiment, 1846, uniform with last. In nave—on W. wall, (6) to John Chapman, merchant, 1733, Mary his daughter, 1749, and Susan Chapman, 1774, marble tablet with recessed stone sides, enriched cornice with cartouche of arms and finial above; (7) to Joseph Edmonds, Commander of the Defiance in 1758, died 1794, and Priscilla his wife, 1801, and their sons, James, Commander of the New Albion, 1794, and John, Commander of the Dorset, 1794, white marble tablet with stone surround and cornice supporting a sarcophagus between putti and below a shield-of-arms, all against a slate background, on the sarcophagus a panel depicting a naval engagement; (8) to Timothy Chinchen, 1766, Mary his wife, 1767, and Mary, wife of their son Timothy, 1790, marble tablet with cartouche of arms in moulded base below, and cornice and urn above; in N. aisle—on N. wall, (9) to Nathan Chinchen, 1840, marble tablet with draped urn against black ground, signed Gillingham and Son, Winton; (10) to Peter Marsh, merchant, 1811, and Hester his wife, 1845, marble tablet in rectangular frame; in N. transept—(11) to George Bissett, Cdr. R.N., 1843, sarcophagus-shaped marble tablet on black ground; in S. transept—(12) to Sarah, wife of Capt. M. Cole, R.N., 1788, and two children, oval tablet with ribands above and shell and cherub's head below. In churchyard —S. of tower, (13) to Katherine Henrietta, infant daughter of Timothy and Mary Chinchen, 1781, headstone (Plate 21) carved with cherubs blowing trumpets, a coronet, and a border of vine-scroll ornament. Floor-slabs: in nave—(1) to William Rose, Rector, 1690, and Dorothy his wife, 1705/6; (2) to William Rose, son of the last, 1700, with shield-of-arms; (3) to Thomas Cockram of Whitecliff, son of Brune Cockram, formerly Rector, 1716(?); (4) to William, son of John Taylor of the Island of Nevis, 1789; in N. aisle—(5) to Joan, wife of Thomas Chapman, 1727; (6) to Thomas Chapman, 1711. The inscriptions of (1) and (2) are badly worn but are recorded in Hutchins I, 678.
Plate: includes a fine gilt set of cup, paten and flagon of 1692 (Plates 25, 26), the cup inscribed 'The gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Toope wife of Mr. Abraham Story Cittizen & Mason of London. An Dom 1693'; a paten perhaps of 1708; alms-dish, of pewter, stamped IG MS, perhaps 17th-century. Sundial: loose in N. transept, rectangular stone block with dials cut on four faces, 17th-century. Tables of the Decalogue: in chancel, flanking E. window, two panels in arched frames with panelled side pilasters, 18th-century reset. Miscellanea: loose in N. transept—architectural fragments including part of an early 13th-century foliated capital for a clustered pier, many fragments of 13th-century shafts, parts of two cusped window heads, perhaps 15th-century, and other pieces of dressed stone.
b(2) The Church of All Saints, Ulwell Road (029800), is modern but contains a stone Font of 1751 (Plate 9) formerly in Melcombe Horsey church; payment for carriage of the new font from Blandford is recorded in the Melcombe churchwardens' accounts in D.C.R.O.
The circular bowl is moulded below a band of bay-leaf and riband ornament; the stem is fluted and has a band of acanthus ornament at the top; it stands on a small ogeemoulded base. The oak cover is modern but finishes with a pineapple finial from an 18th-century cover.
a(3) Congregational Chapel, with walls of coursed, squared rubble and slated roof, was built in 1837 to replace a chapel of 1705 on the same site; the builders were Smedmore and Spencer and 'Mr. Geo. Gollop of Poole drew the plans' (Dorset Quarter Sessions Orders, 16 Jan. 1705/6, 17 July 1706; W. Densham and J. Ogle Congregational Churches of Dorset (1899), 311). In the late 19th century a new chapel was built to the E. and the building of 1837 converted to a schoolroom.
The S. front has a central square porch rising the full height of the building; plinth, string-course and parapet of the main wall are continued round the porch. In the porch are two doorways with semicircular fanlights and keystones inscribed 'Built 1705' and 'Rebuilt 1837'; above the doorways is a window with semicircular head; the other windows have low segmental heads. The Meeting Room (36½ ft. by 32 ft.) contains a gallery round the S., E. and W. sides carried on iron columns of quatrefoil section and approached by a staircase in the porch; along the S. wall only is a second gallery at a higher level. Fittings—Monument: on W. wall, to Samuel Marsh, deacon, 1841, and Margaret his wife, 1807, and their children.
a(4) Town Hall (275 yds. E.) is a stone building of two lofty storeys erected in 1882, incorporating in the middle of the main elevation a frontispiece (Plate 156) brought from the Mercers' Hall, London, which was designed by Edward Jarman after the Fire of 1666 and built by his successor John Oliver. (fn. 1)
The lower part is rusticated and has a central doorway, round-headed and with continuous moulded and enriched jambs and scrolled keystone; to each side are pilasters with panels filled with banded foliage and supporting heavily enriched brackets carrying a balcony; between the brackets are cupids and swags flanking a female bust; the upper part is in fine ashlar and has two Ionic pilasters carrying a broken segmental pediment; outside the main pilasters, half pilasters are finished to scrolls at the bottom; a central round-headed window is flanked by small pilasters with a hood above carried on console brackets. Flanking the central window are niches and inscription panels—'Old front of Mercers' Hall designed by Sir Christopher Wren' (sic); 'Erected by George Burt Sheriff of London and Middlesex 1878'; 'Cheapside 1670'; 'Swanage 1882'; and above is an oval window with carved wreath surround. The attic storey has a niche, rising out of the broken pediment, flanked by circular windows with carved wreath surrounds with a dentilled cornice and balustraded parapet above. The balcony has a wrought iron balustrade with fluted and enriched balusters and panels of foliage with the date 1670.
a(5) Lock-up, immediately N. of Town Hall, with ashlar walls and stone-slated roof, is a small rectangular structure, 10 ft. by 8 ft., with a barrel-vaulted ceiling. It has a doorway in one end with a plain string-course and relieving arch above and a tablet inscribed 'Erected for the Prevention of Vice & Immorality by the Friends of Religion & good Order A.D. 1803'. The door is nail-studded and the one small window is fitted with a grill.
a(6) Lamp Standards, on The Parade and Beach Road (¼ m. to ½ m. W. and N.W.), are of cast iron and of the first half of the 19th century. Ten standards are inscribed 'SAINT GEORGE HANOVER SQUARE', whence they were brought in the late 19th century; each has a fluted drum at the base with a plaque of St. George and the Dragon, above which bands of monsters' heads, gadrooning, rosettes and foliage support the main fluted shafts (Plate 63). One standard has a square base splayed to an octagon with crowned monograms of George IV. Other standards, with octofoil shafts rising from foliage above banded bases are inscribed 'CITY OF LONDON'. (All removed)
a(7) Swanwick House, former Rectory, has rubble walls and roofs covered with stone slates. The S.E. part of the house was built in the 17th century, perhaps incorporating some mediaeval masonry in the E. end; the middle part was built in the early 18th century; W. and N.E. wings were added in the 19th century. The interior has been drastically altered and converted to two dwellings. The S. elevation has a symmetrical 18th-century centrepiece with plat-band and three windows to each floor with plain architraves and keystones; the central lower window was originally a doorway. In the E. end is a doorway with a triangular stone lintel inscribed 1667 W.R. July 10th; close to it are the remains of a blocked opening with chamfered trefoiled head. The initials and date are probably for William Rose, instituted as Rector in that year (cf. Monument (1), Floor-slab (1) under Fittings). Barn, 20 yds. S.E. of the house, with rubble walls and stone-slated roof, is probably of the 17th century but has been much altered, and the roof is modern.
a(8) Royal Victoria Hotel, originally the Manor House, and named after the visit of Princess Victoria in 1835 (Hutchins I, 657), stands at the E. end of High Street on sloping ground giving elevations of two and three storeys. The walls are rendered with stucco, the roofs covered with slates. It is of the first half of the 18th century, with flanking wings of the early 19th century and later additions.
The N. elevation is symmetrical and partly masked by a 19th-century glazed portico; the basement is here above ground. The middle part is recessed and has four giant Ionic pilasters to the two main storeys carrying an entablature and pediment with dentils. The central doorway has a rusticated and moulded architrave and keystone and a segmental pediment over. The first-floor windows have moulded stone architraves and retain the original sashes with thick glazing bars but the sashes of the original ground-floor windows have been reused in the glazed portico. To each side the elevation breaks forward and has plain hung-sash windows. Early 19th century wings project further on each side, each with a bay window on the inward-facing elevation and a window on the end elevation of three unequal lights separated by pilasters under a segmental head and with a wrought iron balcony. The S. elevation has a symmetrical middle part of two storeys with 18th-century windows set in moulded architraves with keystones and linked by plat-bands, and a central doorway with flat hood. Inside, the basement is mostly covered with brick vaulting carried on circular stone pillars; on the second floor some of the rooms retain 18th-century panelling, doors, dadorails and cornices. Stable, to S.W., of one storey and loft, has a rubble plinth and ashlar above; to the E. are four windows of one and two lights with architraves; the S. end has a square-headed doorway to the ground floor and a round-headed doorway to the loft, both with plain architraves.
a(9) Marine Villas (900 yds. E.), at approach to pier, two dwellings with brick walls rendered with stucco and low-pitched slated roof, are dated 1825 and were built as Baths, with Billiard and Coffee Rooms above, to the design of Charles Wallis of Dorchester (D.C.C. 10 March 1825).
The S. elevation has slightly projecting end bays each having a tall blind recess with semicircular head of two orders; the centre part has, symmetrically arranged, two doorways under a wrought-iron trelliswork porch between two round-headed windows and four rectangular hung-sash windows above; a third doorway also has a wrought-iron trellis porch. The other elevations are symmetrically designed, with hungsash windows.
a(10) Grosvenor Hotel (1,000 yds. E.) is a late 19th-century building with older fragments, brought from elsewhere, in the grounds:—Ionic Columns, three, one incomplete, of Portland stone, about 16 ft. high, perhaps 18th-century. Windows, reset in a length of stone wall, two, of one and two two-centred lights in square heads with sunk spandrels and moulded labels, 17th-century. Window, adjoining last, of two cinque-foiled lights with sunk spandrels in a square head, 15th-century, said to have been brought from Kingston Church, see Corfe Castle (2).
a(11) Newton Manor (020789) includes part of a late 17th-century house of one storey and attics, now forming the N. kitchen wing, a late 17th-century barn converted to a dining hall, an 18th-century house joining the two last and of three storeys with attics, an 18th-century cottage at the W. end of the barn, and later additions.
The main part of the house was refronted in the late 19th century in ashlar with the addition of an embattled parapet and embattled porch. The N. wing retains an original window with moulded stone jambs, head and label, but the mullions are missing. The barn which forms the main part of the W. wing has been drastically altered, with modern stone-mullioned windows and central lantern. At the W. end of the barn the 18th-century cottage, which forms the W. end of the wing, is of one storey and has a restored 17th-century stone-mullioned window reset in the S. wall.
The interior has been much altered but contains a number of fittings brought from elsewhere in the late 19th century by Sir Charles Robinson, Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum: these include a staircase with scrolled balusters of the 17th or early 18th century and several doors, all of foreign origin; a pair of late 18th-century doors, said to have come from Wareham, with the upper panels glazed behind iron bars and fleurs-de-lys; and pieces of carved frieze-work with the dates 1656 and 1658. Outbuilding, immediately S. of house, is of the late 17th or early 18th century and has a reset 17th-century stone-mullioned window; over the doorway is a reset carved stone shield with helmet and mantling of the late 17th century (Plate 61), the shield bearing faintly the painted arms of Colt or Culliford quartering Chapman; over the E. gable is a weather-vane in the form of a winged fish, perhaps from Billingsgate Market (Notes and Queries, 13th Series, 1 (1923), 298).
b(12) Godlingston Manor (015802), of one storey and attics and two storeys, was built probably c. 1300 on a rectangular plan with a rounded tower at the W. end (Plate 157), presumably as a defensible place. In the early 17th century the main part of the house was drastically altered: the N. wall was rebuilt and a turret staircase added to provide access to an upper floor then inserted over the hall, and an E. cross wing was built. In the mid 18th century a kitchen wing was added to the N.; this was extended W. later in the same century. In the late 19th century the cross wing was rebuilt after a fire and the mediaeval building was remodelled inside.
The main S. front has a doorway of c. 1300 with chamfered and trefoiled two-centred head and continuous jambs with shaped stops; Hutchins (I, 669) records a similar doorway, without trefoiling, opposite in the N. wall. The square-headed windows with stone mullions are mainly of the early 17th century. The W. tower, of two storeys with a conical roof, is lit through loops; a doorway to the S. has been blocked and the N. doorway inserted or altered. The tower has stone nesting boxes above the level of the former first-floor ceiling.
a(13) South Barn Farmhouse (028778), originally a barn, bears a date-stone Rd. Talbot 1824; it has been converted to a dwelling, with modern stone-mullioned windows. Stable, of the early 19th century, has two semicircular windows in the S. elevation and a round-headed window in the E. gable; the loft floor is carried on cast-iron columns.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of two storeys or two storeys and attics, with rubble walls and stone-slated roofs, and are of the late 18th century. The majority are designed on a two-room plan giving a symmetrical front elevation with central entrance and chimneys in the end gables.
a(16) House, No. 6, of two storeys with a semi-basement, has walls of ashlar and is dated 1793. The front elevation has a platband at first-floor level and central doorway with pedimental timber door-case between hung-sash windows with segmental-arched heads; an open passageway is entered under a round arch with keystone inscribed W.C. 1793 1940.
a(31) Houses, three, Nos. 88, 90 and 92, form an irregular building standing on sloping ground with a basement above ground at the rear and with the upper floor partly in the roof. The entrance to No. 92 has a late 18th-century timber door-case with fluted pilasters and open pediment over a blind fanlight; some of the hung-sash windows are modern.
a(32) Houses, five, forming a terrace with the end houses projecting, have walls rendered in stucco and slate-covered roofs; they are of c. 1830–40. The ground floor has later shop fronts; the first-floor windows have wrought-iron balconies.
a(36) Ship Hotel now includes a three-storey house immediately W. Both the original hotel and the adjoining house have walls rendered in stucco and roofs covered with modern slates and are of the early 19th century. The entrance porch has timber columns supporting a plain hood and is flanked by bay windows. The house has hung-sash windows regularly disposed and a later bay window added.
a(39) Cottages, three, Nos. 75, 77 and 79, now one shop, are of one and two storeys with attics. Nos. 77 and 79 were built in the 17th century, No. 75 was added early in the 18th century and extended towards the N. later in the same century. Inside the earlier cottages are stop-chamfered ceiling beams.
a(40) Purbeck House was built in the late 19th century by George Burt, nephew of the contractor John Mowlem, and in the outbuildings and the garden are a number of carvings and architectural fragments probably all from London (see also Monuments 4, 6).
Archway, of rusticated and vermiculated ashlar; round arch, 4 ft. span, with keystones carved with male heads; at the top a cornice with modillions and plain blocking course; originally erected at Grosvenor Place, Hyde Park Corner, 1844. Windows, fragments, cusped two-centred lights in two-centred heads, 15th-century. Columns, six, of cast iron, plain with simple moulded caps and bases, 8½ ft. high above cast-iron plinths; from Billingsgate Market by J. B. Bunning, of c. 1850. Statue (Plate 62) of male figure wearing long robe, provenance unknown, probably late 17th-century. Statues, two (Plate 62), part of a series of kings and queens which decorated the Royal Exchange before it was burnt down in 1836, (1) with head, arms and lower parts of legs missing, figure in armour with belt and large laminated tassets, with scarf across upper part of body; (2) with head and parts of arms and legs missing, figure in armour including skirt of mail and with cloak. A number of the Royal Exchange statues were auctioned in 1838 (Guildhall Library, Pam. 1620), those not appearing in the catalogue presumably being much damaged. Among these last, the Henry V as seen in engravings of the Exchange before the fire resembles (2). The Edward I, which is in the catalogue, bears some resemblance to (1). For neither of these is the sculptor known; probably late 17th-century. Busts of Shakespeare and (?) Milton, perhaps 18th-century. Head of young man, late 18th or early 19th-century. Mosaic of the Prince of Wales's feathers and motto against a red background within blue, green and white hexagonal border, 3¼ ft. across; said to have come from a lobby in the Palace of Westminster (to the Prince's Chamber?). Floor Tiles, in terrace, large number of miscellaneous broken fragments; some said to have come from the Palace of Westminster, a few possibly mediaeval.
a(43) The Black Swan and House, Nos. 159 and 161, were built in the 17th century but have been much altered and refitted with 19th-century hung-sash windows; the inn sign is carried on a bracket of fine scrolled wrought ironwork; inside are exposed stop-chamfered ceiling beams.
a(51) Rookery Court has semi-basements, walls rendered with stucco and slate-covered roof, and is of the second quarter of the 19th century. The main W. elevation is symmetrical; the central doorway has a reeded pilastered door-case with open pediment over a semicircular fanlight and panelled reveals and is approached by steps with original wrought-iron railings; the windows are widely spaced and those N. of the doorway are blind dummies.
a(52) Belvedere House and Belvedere Lodge, 140 yds. S. of (50), of three storeys with walls rendered in stucco and slate-covered roofs, were built as three houses, c. 1830. The elevations are divided by plain pilasters and plat-bands and the first-floor windows are set in round-headed recesses. Belvedere House has a wrought-iron balcony above the entrance doorway.
a(53) Durlston Cottage, 300 yds. S. of (50), has walls rendered with stucco, roof covered with slates, and is of the mid 19th century. The front elevation is symmetrical; the central doorway with semicircular fanlight is flanked by two-storey bay windows.
a(54) Herston House, N. of High Street (018790), has walls covered with stucco and is of the early 18th century, but much altered. It is T-shaped on plan; none of the front windows is original; a chimney-stack projects from the front elevation.
a(58) House, No. 16 Bell Street, 25 yds. S. of (57), is L-shaped on plan; it has a plat-band at first-floor level and wide segmental arches with keystones probably designed to span shopwindows; a two-storey bay window was added in the 19th century.
a(71) Belle Vue Farm, house (015783), of three storeys, has a date-stone now covered but said to be inscribed 1833. The front elevation is very plain with central doorway and hung-sash windows diminishing in height towards the top. Barn, Stable and Cottage, 50 yds. N., are contemporary with the house.
b(76) Cottage, No. 59 (02228079), has a symmetrical elevation with central entrance; the two ground-floor rooms have exposed ceiling beams and original open fireplaces, one now blocked with a modern grate.
b(77) Cottage, No. 63 (02448069), now two tenements, is of one storey with attics and of the late 17th century with an 18th-century brick wing added; one original window remains, of three stone-mullioned lights with a label.
b(78) Whitecliff Farmhouse (02968074) is an irregular L-shaped building with a main range running E.-W. and a back wing to the S. at the E. end; set at an angle at the W. end of the main range is an irregular projection, providing a living room on the ground floor. This W. projection is the oldest part of the house and is of the early 17th century; it was presumably built as an addition to an earlier house which was replaced by the present main range later in the same century, perhaps in 1683, this date being carved on a stone reset in a barn. The back wing was built in two stages in the 18th century and the lack of any clear division between the 17th and 18th-century work suggests that the northern part of the back wing as well as the main range is a rebuilding of an earlier structure. The main range and the W. projection have modern stone-mullioned windows replacing similar 17th-century windows shown in a photograph in Reminiscences of English Country Life by J. D. White, privately printed in U.S.A. c. 1928. The interior has been modernised and has modern ceiling beams and fireplaces in 17th-century style.
a,b(79) Strip Fields (see opp.), flat divided by banks and a few strip lynchets, cover about 60 acres associated with Swanage and Herston S. of the town and a small area by Whitecliff Farm N. of the town. Between the two main groups of remains, damaged by quarrying and later ploughing, are others less well-defined and also two minor groups. Mere-stones remain in group (a) in the former South Field and Common Ware (Tithe Map (1840)). (R.A.F. V.A.P. CPE/UK 1821: 2396, 3392–4.)
(a) S. of Swanage (028771 to 028777) remains cover some 20 acres on a N.-facing slope. Complete strips are up to 220 yds. long and about 24 yds. wide between the crests of stony banks 12 ft. across and up to 1½ ft. high. All run out on to other strips at right angles to them. They correspond to divisions of the South Field in 1840. To the S. are traces of similar strips over about 10 acres of the Common Ware, outside the open fields of 1840. Along the S.-facing slope to the S. are two groups of strip lynchets with treads 3 yds. and 7 yds. wide and risers up to 3 ft. high. Strips to the W. of these on the coastal shelf are up to 280 yds. long and 7 yds. to 10 yds. wide divided by slight scarps.
Two mere-stones remain in the former South Field, one at the N. end of a bank between two strips and the other between two furlongs at the edge of a track. Both are of dressed limestone, 12 ins. high, on end and uninscribed. In the Common Ware are five stones at intervals of 65 yds. in a slightly curved W. to E. line; two appear to be on the line of banks between strips. The stones are 1 ft. high, 1 ft. long and 6 ins. thick, with the long axes aligned on the strips. On each stone the flat top is inscribed 'B' and the flat S. face is scored with a regular design of diagonal strokes (Plate 64).
(d) N.W. of Whitecliff Farm (around 029808) are three damaged contour strip lynchets, one with a riser up to 12 ft. high. Air photographs suggest that mediaeval cultivation once extended to the foot of Ballard Down. The farm (Monument 78) is the site of a settlement mentioned in Domesday Book (Hutchins I, 657; Fägersten, 128).
a(80) Signal Station, remains of (025771; Fig. opposite), lie on the crest of the ridge above the strip fields of (79a). An irregular walled enclosure, about 180 ft. by 75 ft., contains stone foundations of five small buildings, a sixth building butting on to the outside of the wall at the N.W. corner. The central site, a shallow rectangular depression about 21 ft. by 18 ft. with indications of an entrance at the N.W. corner, is probably that of the building used for signalling. The site is marked 'Signal' on O.S. 1 in. map, 1811. Visibility from it is limited inland, but good out to sea.