An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 3, Central. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1970.
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38 PUDDLETOWN (7594)
Puddletown is a large parish of 7,185 acres, stretching from the bank of the R. Frome in the S. to the watershed between the Cheselbourne and Lyscombe Brooks in the N.; the R. Piddle flows through it from W. to E., midway between the S. and N. boundaries. Reading Beds in the S. give rise to the extensive area of Puddletown Heath. Although Puddletown village is now the only settlement of any size in the parish, this was not formerly the case. A series of small settlements lay along the course of the R. Piddle; named in order from W. to E. they were: Little Piddle, now in the adjacent parish of Piddlehinton; South Louvard, now called Higher Waterston; Waterston (22); Hyde, now called Druce Farm; Puddletown itself; and Bardolfeston (21), now deserted. In the N.E. quarter of the parish the small settlement of Cheselbourne Ford lay near the confluence of the Cheselbourne and the Devil's Brook; in the S., at the edge of the R. Frome meadows, is Ilsington.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary stands near the middle of Puddletown village and close to the E. boundary of the parish. The walls are of rubble, with some flint and brickwork, and with ashlar dressings; the roofs are covered with stone-slates, tiles and lead.
In the 12th century the church consisted of a Chancel, a Nave and a small West Tower. The S. respond of the 12th-century chancel arch is still standing; the S. wall of the nave has a chamfered plinth that is perhaps of the same date and the lower courses of the S.W. angle may be contemporary; the S. and W. walls of the 12th-century tower stand to a height of 11 ft. In the 13th century, transeptal North and South Chapels were added. Later in the same century or early in the 14th century the W. tower, and presumably also the western part of the nave, was widened by rebuilding the N. wall some 4 ft. further N.; at the same time the tower arch was rebuilt.
In the 15th century the church was extensively remodelled and enlarged. Probably in the first half of the century the second stage and part of the top stage of the W. tower were built. Somewhat later in the century the S. chapel was remodelled and provided with traceried windows and a new roof; this work was probably associated with the erection of monument (6), which doubtless stood originally in the middle of the chapel, and the work to the chapel may thus be dated c. 1460. A window on the N. side of the church corresponds with and is uniform with the S. window of the S. chapel, showing that the former N. chapel was remodelled at the same time; however, the North Aisle, which was built shortly afterwards, incorporates the N. wall of this chapel and obliterates its side walls. The North Porch is of the same date as the N. aisle, as too are the lower windows in the S. wall of the nave. At the end of the 15th century the clearstorey windows of the nave were added, the upper part of the top stage of the W. tower and the tower vice turret were built, the chancel was reconstructed, and a North-East Chapel was built at the E. end of the N. aisle. The rededication of the church in 1505 (Hutchins II, 620) probably marked the completion of these works.
The South Vestry was added in the 16th century, possibly in 1576, the date on a stone that is no longer in situ. In 1635 the church was refitted internally, the W. gallery was built, and pews were installed in the nave and N. aisle. In 1910 the chancel was restored and extended to the E., an eastern bay also being added to the N.E. chapel. The chancel arch and the pier at its N. abutment are restorations, probably of the 19th century.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (29 ft. by 20¼ ft.) has a modern E. wall with a reset 15th-century window of three cinquefoil-headed lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head. In the N. wall are two archways to the N.E. chapel. That to the E. is modern and that to the W. is of the late 15th century; they have moulded two-centred arches and shafted responds with moulded polygonal bases and foliate capitals; the W. respond is restored. On the S. wall, above the vestry roof, is a reset stone panel inscribed '2 Mai An. Dn. 1576'; below it is a blocked doorway with a segmental-pointed rear-arch and chamfered jambs; at the W. end of the wall is a square-headed recess with a squint to the S. chapel. The chancel arch (Plate 185) is two-centred and of one chamfered order; it is probably of 15th-century origin but it has been extensively restored. On the N. it springs from a three-quarter shaft attached to the rebuilt E. pier of the nave arcade; on the S. it springs from a 12th-century respond with an attached shaft with a moulded polygonal capital; the roll-moulding at the necking is original, but the bell of the capital was recut, probably in the 15th century, to correspond with the chamfered archivolt of the rebuilt arch.
The E. bay of the North-East Chapel, including the N. doorway, is modern; further W. is a window of c. 1500 with three cinquefoil-headed lights in a square casement-moulded surround. To the W. is a two-centred arch similar to the chancel arch; it springs from three-quarter shafts, that on the S. being attached to the E. pier of the nave arcade. The South Vestry, probably dated by the inscription of 1576 that is now reset in the S. wall of the chancel, has an E. window of three square-headed lights with a label. In the S. wall is a doorway with a chamfered four-centred head and continuous jambs.
The Nave (50¾ ft. by 22¼ ft.) has a 15th-century N. arcade of four bays, with moulded two-centred arches and shafted piers and responds; the capitals are foliate and some of them include human masks; the eastern bay has been rebuilt. In the S. wall, the opening to the S. chapel is a two-centred 15th-century archway with a stone panelled soffit and jambs, each panel with a trefoiled ogee at top and bottom. The panelling of the E. respond incorporates an ogee-headed doorway to the former rood-loft vice; the foot of the W. respond is masked by monument (5). Further W. are two square-headed 15th-century windows, each of three cinquefoil-headed lights, that to the E. with casementmoulded reveals and a label with head-stops. Between these windows is a 15th-century S. doorway with a wave-moulded segmental-pointed head and continuous jambs. The clearstorey windows are square-headed and are each of two lights with four-centred heads; there are seven windows on the N. side and six on the S.; the E. window on the S. side is displaced to the E., presumably to light the rood. The parapet above the S. clear-storey has a weathered string-course and a gargoyle in the form of a pig.
The North Aisle (12¼ ft. wide) has three windows in the N. wall; the easternmost is of the mid 15th century and is uniform with the S. window of the S. chapel (see below); the other two windows are of c. 1500 and are of three trefoil-headed lights in surrounds with triangular heads and chamfered jambs; the surrounds were restored in brickwork in the 18th century and in plaster under the N. wall-plate are the initials and date 'W.T., R.A., 1751'. The N. doorway has a double chamfered four-centred head and continuous jambs. In the W. wall is a square-headed window of c. 1500, of three cinquefoil-headed lights with a casement-moulded surround.
The South Chapel (18 ft. square) has in the E. wall, and now opening into the vestry, a square-headed, casement-moulded mid 15th-century window of three cinquefoil-headed lights; the lower part of the opening has been altered to make way for a square-headed 18th-century doorway. In the gabled S. wall is a two-centred mid 15th-century window of five lights with vertical tracery above, with details similar to those of the E. window. In the W. wall is a square-headed three-light window uniform with that to the E. but still entire.
The West Tower (12½ ft. square) is of three stages, with an embattled parapet, pinnacles and gargoyles, and an embattled and pinnacled vice turret of four stages, rising above the parapet (Plate 187). At the N.W. and S.W. corners are large two-stage diagonal buttresses, probably of the 14th century. The tower arch is of the late 13th or early 14th century and is two-centred and of two continuous chamfered orders; above it on the E. face is a heavy stone corbel. The N. wall was partly refaced with brick and flint in the 18th century and it contains a small square-headed doorway of that period. Standing to a height of 11 ft. in the W. and S. walls of the lower stage are the remains of the 12th-century tower, with pilaster buttresses at the angles; one buttress remains on the W. wall and traces of two others are seen at the S.W. corner. The W. window is modern. The second stage has, on the E. wall, the weathering of a former nave roof, more steeply pitched than the present roof; cutting through it is a modern window. The bell-chamber has a 15th-century window of one trefoil-headed light in each of the E., N. and W. sides. The upper part of the third stage, and all four stages of the vice turret are of ashlar and date from the end of the 15th century.
The North Porch has an outer archway with a two-centred head of one wave-moulded order with continuous jambs; at the N.E. and N.W. corners are restored diagonal buttresses of two weathered stages. The South Porch is similar to the N. porch but without buttresses; it has been extensively rebuilt.
The nave Roof is of the early 16th century (Plate 20); it is low-pitched and of seven bays, with moulded curved braces to the principals; each bay is divided into twelve panels by one transverse and five longitudinal members, with mouldings; each panel is sub-divided by moulded diagonal ribs into four triangular panels with trefoil cusping. In the E. bay only, foliate bosses mask the intersections of the moulded members; they include one with a Tudor rose, one with the letter I and one with a T. The N. wall-plate has a frieze of quatrefoils; that on the S. is plain. The roof of the S. chapel is of the 15th century and of two bays, with moulded arch-braced collar-beam trusses, moulded purlins and moulded wall-plates, the latter in part restored.
Fittings—Bells: six; 1st modern, 2nd by Thomas Purdue, inscribed 'John Goodings care twice cause me heare, T.P., Anno Domini 1674, W.G., I.H., C.W.'; 3rd by William Knight 1728; 4th by John Wallis, inscribed 'Serve the Lord IW 1599'; 5th old but not inscribed; 6th recast 1897. Brackets: In S. chapel, polygonal, with mouldings, two on E. wall, one on S. wall, 15th century. Brasses and Indents. Brasses: In chancel, reset on S. wall, (1) of Roger Cheverell, 1517, inscription plate (19 ins. by 4½ ins.) with black-letter inscription, also two shields-of-arms, Cheverell impaling Ravis, and Cheverell impaling a defaced coat, also half figure of man, hands in prayer; on chancel floor, (2) of George Henry Sale, 1821, inscription plate (8 ins. by 12 ins.); (3) of Susan Charlotte, wife of Alexander Cunningham, 1804, inscription plate (6 ins. by 4 ins.). In S. chapel, on E. wall, (4) of Christopher Martyn, 1524, inscription plate (1¾ ft. by 1½ ft.) with kneeling figure in armour and tabard, at prayer-desk (Plate 40), also with Trinity, inscription and two shields-of-arms of Martyn, set in stone slab with traceried head, partly cut away for plate; on S. wall (5) of Nicholas Martyn, see monument (8). Indents: In chancel, on N., for inscription plate, 12 ins. by 7½ ins.; in S. chapel, for shield and inscription plate, 21 ins. by 4 ins.
Candlesticks: In chancel, of brass, with plain standards and circular dishes, four mounted on posts of communion rails, two mounted on pews below chancel arch, 17th century. Chairs: In chancel, one with scrolled front legs, turned stretchers and turned back supports, late 17th century with repairs and modern armrests, crown finial reset; another with turned front legs and supports to arms, panelled and carved back, and cresting carved with pair of hounds, 17th century. Chests: In S. chapel, one of oak, with lid of half-octagonal section, iron straps and three locks, late 17th or early 18th century; another with moulded rails, ball feet, and shaped panels, those on front with carved figures, 18th century, foreign. Communion Rails: forming three sides of enclosure, with turned balusters and turned posts with ball-finials, c. 1635 (Plate 23). Communion Table: with turned legs, moulded rails and shaped brackets, c. 1635; also small square table, 18th century. Coffin-stools: two, of oak, with turned legs and moulded rails and tops, late 17th century. Consecration Cross: Reset in S. wall of N.E. chapel, circular stone with plain cross in relief, perhaps 12th century. Doors: In N. doorway, (1) of oak, in two thicknesses, outside with bevelled planks with hollow-chamfered cover fillets, inside with horizontal battens and wooden box lock; with iron strap-hinges, studding and ring-handle with escutcheon; early 16th century. In N. porch, (2) oak gates with fielded panels below and turned balusters above, top rail with iron spikes; 18th century. In S. doorway, (3) of nail-studded oak planks with restored hollow-chamfered cover fillets, strap-hinges, two ring-handles and heavy wrought-iron draw-bar; early 16th century. In S. porch, (4) gates similar to (2), restored. In tower vice turret, (5) of oak planks, with shaped escutcheon for former handle; late 15th century. In doorway to rood-loft vice, (6) of nail-studded oak planks, with moulded cover fillets and iron strap-hinges; early 16th century, restored.
Font: Tapering tub-shaped bowl with diaper of interlaced stems and acanthus leaves, 12th century (Plate 28); cover, octagonal pyramid, with panelled sides and ball finial, c. 1635. Graffito: On E. jamb of S. doorway, 'J.V. 1700' in oblong margin with pediment. Gallery: Across W. end of nave and N. aisle, parapet with deep carved frieze, shield with date 1635 at centre; above, turned balusters and central cartouche with shield-of-arms, France and England quarterly; on shield at centre of N. aisle 'Huc ades non videri sed audire et precari'; other shields with monograms G.H., I.D., F.E.F. and S.W.; gallery supported on bulbous oak Tuscan columns, on pedestals, and on chamfered posts with shaped brackets; stairs, in N. aisle, with turned balusters, and newels with ball-finials. Glass: In N. aisle, in tracery of five-light N. window, with yellow and black decoration, late 18th century; in adjacent window, fragments, mediaeval and 18th century.
Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel, reset on E. wall, (1) of William Bradish, , stone panel with strapwork surround, with arms (unidentified 12); on S. wall, (2) of Henry Hooton, 1721, stone cartouche with arms of Hooton impaling Arnold of Ilsington; (3) of Charlotte Susanna, wife of Alexander Cunningham, 1804, marble tablet; (4) of James Lukyn, 1671, stone wall-monument with Corinthian side-columns, entablature and newly repainted shield-of-arms. In S. chapel, under N. arch, (5) said to be of Sir William Martyn, 1503, but effigy perhaps earlier, Purbeck marble altar-tomb and canopy, with alabaster effigy (Plates 15, 29 and 189); altar-tomb with moulded slab and plinth, traceried panels enclosing blank shields at sides and E. end; canopy supported on moulded piers at angles, with flat arches, cusped and panelled frieze, and brattishing, soffit with traceried panelling; effigy in plate armour of c. 1470 with ogee-shaped sallet and collar of sun and roses, head on helm, feet on chained ape. In S.E. corner of S. chapel, (6) defaced reset tomb of a member of the Martyn family and his wife, c. 1460 (Plate 15); altar-tomb with N. side and W. end divided by small buttresses into panels with double trefoiled ogee heads, each panel with figure of angel holding blank shield (Plate 188), blue colour on background; similar S. side and E. end of tomb now reversed and reset on wall above; effigy represents man in plate armour with ape at foot, both arms and one leg missing; woman wears sideless coat-hardie and veiled head-dress, traces of red colour on gown. At centre of S. wall of S. chapel, (7) recess, altar-tomb and effigy, of Ham Hill stone, late 14th century (Plate 188); recess with septfoil ogee head and label; altar-tomb front divided into nine trefoil ogee-headed panels, one now masked, enclosing sculptures of Crucifixion, the Virgin, Mary Magdalene, St. Peter, perhaps St. Paul, and three other figures including one in armour; above, effigy in late 14th-century armour with bascinet and camail (Plate 189), feet on defaced beast. In S.W. corner of S. chapel, (8) of Nicholas Martyn, 1595, stone monument consisting of table on pedestals, and canopy with enriched soffit resting on fluted Ionic columns supporting flat arches, with enriched entablature, strapwork cresting and three chained ape finials (Plate 31); on wall at back, four brass plates (Plate 40) engraved with kneeling figure of man in armour with three sons, woman with seven daughters, inscription plate (16½ ins. by 9 ins.) and achievement-of-arms of Martyn impaling Wadham. Underneath foregoing monument, (9) Ham Hill stone effigies of man and woman, man cross-legged, in mail with long surcoat, shield and sword, defaced beast at feet; woman in gown and veil, head on cushion; much abraded, 13th century. In S. chapel, on W. wall, (10) of Sir John Brun (sic) of Athelhampton, 1639, Charles Brun his brother, 1637, and Charles Brun, son of last named, 1645, marble wall-monument with Doric side-columns, and entablature with broken segmental pediment; above, achievement-of-arms of Brune quartering [Rokesley], flanked on S. by cartouche of the same impaling a coat of six quarterings, and on N. by cartouche of Brune impaling Coker; on apron, shield-of-arms of Brune quartering [Rokesley], impaling another quartered coat. In nave, on S. wall, (11) of the Hon. Henry Dawnay, D.D., vicar, 1754, marble tablet with pediment. In churchyard, reset on E. wall of chancel, (12) of James Boswell, 1820, shaped wall-monument; six paces E. of chancel, (13) of Martha Purchase, 1735, and Robert Purchase, 1745, headstone with scrolls and emblems of mortality; four paces S. of S. chapel, (14) of George Edwards, 1743, headstone with scroll decoration. Floor-slabs: In chancel, on N., (1) of Mary Hayman, 1696. In nave, (2) defaced 17th-century slab. In S. chapel, (3) of John Brune, 17th century.
Paintings: In nave, on S. wall, representing open book held by hands, with passage from Revelation xxii, 18, 19 in black-letter, 17th century, restored; over S. doorway, remains of large panel of Royal Arms, with flanking columns, defaced motto below, traces of lion and unicorn supporters, rose and thistle, garter, probably 17th century, centre obliterated by monument (11); below rear-arch of S. doorway, text; on W. wall, behind organ, Royal Arms, 1753. In N. aisle, on N. wall, panel with cherub-heads and scroll-work containing Lord's Prayer, late 17th or early 18th century, restored. Plate: includes silver cup and stand-paten, both of 1638, cup with dedicatory inscription of William Bradish, vicar; silver salver of 1763, with three feet, given by J. A. Templer, vicar, 1829; two plated alms-dishes with scratched dates 1834 and 1835; silver flagon, with hallmark of 1767; also two pewter flagons given by Henry Arnold, 1641; and a brass alms-dish with the Annunciation, German, 16th-century. Pulpit: Of oak, octagonal, with panelled plinth, main height of arcaded panels alternating with coupled columns, panelled frieze and moulded cornice (Plate 47), c. 1635; back standard and sounding-board modern. Below pulpit, reading desk with panelled enclosure, and clerk's desk, c. 1635. Screen: Between E. end of monument (5) and E. respond of archway to S. chapel, stone doorway with moulded four-centred head and continuous jambs, late 15th century. Seating: In nave and N. aisle, complete furnishing of panelled oak box-pews of c. 1635; front pews in nave with higher sides and open balustrade cresting, doors with carved cresting; on E. front of each block of pews, open bench with turned uprights and ball finials. In tower, two benches with turned legs, 17th century. In gallery, oak benches with ball finials, 17th century. In N. porch, two heavy oak wall benches supported on small columns with moulded caps, 17th century. In S. porch, benches as in N. porch, restored; also loose bench formerly in gallery. Sundial: On S. wall of S. chapel, over E. buttress, scratch-dial.
Miscellanea: Reset in external face of E. wall of N.E. chapel, 12th-century carvings, two with chevron ornament, one with nail-head enrichment; also fragments of 12th-century attached shafting. In N.E. chapel, reset on S. wall, fragment of carved stone cross (8½ ins. by 7½ ins.) with interlace enrichment, 9th-10th century; beast-head corbel, 12th century; small headless alabaster figure of woman, 15th century. In chancel, processional cross in gilded wood, with scroll-work and cherub heads, continental, probably 18th century. In vestry, round stone panel with carved eagle, perhaps c. 1800; part of carved wooden figure, perhaps from roof, 15th century; two clarinets and one flute, probably 18th century.
(2) Ilsington House (75999435), 100 yds. E. of the church, is of two storeys; the walls are rendered and the roofs are slate-covered and of low pitch. The house was built late in the 17th century but the character of the exterior was entirely changed early in the 19th century when the original walling, probably of brick with stone dressings, was rendered with stucco, the windows were given stucco architraves, the glazing was altered, and an iron balcony and balustrading were added on the S. More recently a porch has been added on the N., and there are extensive modern additions on the W.
All main elevations have a continuous frieze and a boldly moulded modillion cornice; the N. and S. fronts are symmetrically designed. The N. front has broad wings projecting a short distance at either end, and a narrow bay of shallow projection with a curved pediment in the centre; the wings and the central feature have rusticated stone quoins. Masking the lower part of the central feature is a modern stone porch. The eleven windows on each floor are uniform and of broad proportions; they have moulded architraves with key-blocks and the sashes have slender glazing-bars. The chimneystacks are high and wide and have paired panels on the N. and S. sides. The S. front is divided into five bays by Doric pilasters with a marked taper; the two middle pilasters are set close together to form a central feature, with a curved pediment and round-headed openings on the ground and first floors. The other six windows on each floor have moulded architraves and key-blocks; they are taller in proportion than those of the N. front. In the 19th century, probably when the S. front was rendered, a cast-iron balcony on iron supports was added; it serves the central room on the first floor and is approached from the ground by flanking flights of stairs; stairs and balcony have delicate Gothic balustrading.
The interior was considerably altered in the 18th and 19th centuries. The principal reception rooms are on the first floor, ranged along the S. front, and are approached by an 18th-century oak staircase with turned balusters and a moulded handrail. The stair-hall is panelled and some of the panelling with bolection mouldings is original. Many rooms have enriched plaster cornices and two have fireplace surrounds dating from the first half of the 19th century. The Boudoir chimney-piece is of white marble with porphyry panels enriched with ormolu. Three panels of the frieze have cameo-like reliefs of figure-subjects in white marble; the centre panel depicts three women in Classical dress with Cupid and a child in a cradle, the side panels have dancing nymphs. The Drawing-room chimneypiece is similar except that the carved panels are of red marble. In the W. part of the house is an original staircase with spiral turned balusters on the landing, turned balusters on the stairs and a moulded handrail.
The forecourt N. of the house is bounded on the W. by a high brick wall with a moulded coping, terminating in a brick pier with a moulded plinth and capping and a ball-finial; much of the wall is probably contemporary with the house and the rest is of the 18th century. A corresponding wall to the E. has been destroyed.
(3) Waterston House (73509514), about 1½ m. W.N.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics. The walls are of ashlar, coursed rubble, diapered brickwork, and rough-cast rendering; the dressings are of Ham Hill stone; the roofs are tiled, with stone-slate verges. The house was built probably in the second quarter of the 17th century, during the ownership of the Earl of Suffolk, to whom the property had passed early in the century; he sold it in 1641 to Sir John Strangways. In 1863 the house was severely damaged by fire and rebuilt. Of the 17th-century house only the S. front and part of the E. front remain; little evidence is left of the original plan. Further alterations were made in the present century and the gardens were redesigned by Morley Horder. A gabled bay in the E. front has an elaborate wrought stone frontispiece with figuresculptures, dated 1586; it has been reset in this position and in character is dissociated from any other feature of the present house.
The S. front (Plate 52) up to first-floor level is of brickwork with a diaper pattern in dark headers, above it is faced with rough-cast; the level of the first floor is marked by a terra-cotta string-course with 'nail-head' ornament; the rusticated quoins are of brick and the other dressings are of Ham Hill stone. The elevation is symmetrical and comprises three tall bays finishing in gables with continuous moulded copings and shaft finials; between the gables and on either side are small round-headed rainwater outlets with fluted soffits, through which the tiled roof verges continue, to finish in overhanging eaves. The middle bay has a projecting rectangular porch on the ground floor, and a half round turret in the first and attic storeys. The porch (Plate 136) has a round-headed archway with a moulded architrave and imposts; the soffit, key-block and jambs are ornamented with 'jewels'. The archway is flanked by free-standing Roman-Doric columns on pedestals enriched with strapwork, which support an entablature with a jewelled frieze. Above the entablature the bay becomes half-round in plan and is faced, up to first-floor level, with a chequer-work of brick and ashlar blocks; two of the blocks have pierced frets. On the first floor the half-round bay contains a seven-light window with square-headed openings and square stone mullions with carved enrichment on the face; the lintel is treated as an enriched frieze with a continuous cornice above. At the top of the half-round bay is a balustraded parapet. The gable behind the balustrade has a small single-light window with a round head and a straight upper cornice supported on consoles; over this in the wall-face is a semicircular panel with radial fluting, and flanking the window are shell-headed niches. Within the porch, the entrance doorway has a round head on moulded imposts, and moulded jambs with large broach-stops; the oak plank door has wrought-iron strap-hinges and has been restored. Bordering the half-round centre bay of the S. front are rusticated quoins which, with angle-quoins at the corners of the façade, define each lateral bay of the elevation as a secondary symmetrical composition. In each of these, on the ground floor, is a restored two-light transomed stone window with square openings and with rusticated brick side-pilasters with moulded brick caps, the cap-mouldings being carried across the window-head. On the first floor is an original two-light transomed stone window with a pedimented entablature supported on shaped stone brackets; the frieze, flush with the wall-face, isolates the pediment, in the tympanum of which is a shell-headed panel; in the gable is a two-light stone window with a straight label supported on consoles, and a fluted shell above.
The E. front has a projecting gabled bay near the centre and another to the S., the latter being the end of the S. range; between these two bays the E. front has modern facing and has probably been almost entirely rebuilt; the range to the N. is wholly modern. The S. bay is rendered; it has rusticated quoins and a restored two-light mullioned and transomed stone window on the ground floor, another on the first floor, and a small two light window in the gable; in the parapet of the N. return wall is a round-headed rainwater outlet, as on the S. front. The centre bay has restored ashlar facing and in it is reset an elaborate symmetrical architectural composition of three stages carved in freestone (Plate 190). At the centre of the bottom stage is a restored round-headed doorway flanked by semicircular niches with shell heads, beyond which fluted Roman-Doric columns on pedestals support an enriched entablature. In the second stage Ionic columns on pedestals support a second enriched entablature; between them, in the centre and breaking through the entablature is a three-light window with mullions in the form of Ionic colonettes; these stand on a moulded and bracketed sill supported on pilasters. Flanking the window and somewhat lower down are round-headed panels with moulded and enriched architraves, moulded imposts, and jambs decorated with floriate studs. The panels frame figures carved in high relief; that on the N. wears plate armour, has his right hand on his chest and in the other hand holds a palm branch; that on the S. is similarly attired, is bearded, and holds a palm branch in his right hand and a staff in his left. The top stage is narrower than those below; at the centre is a shallow niche, with a surround generally similar to that of the second-stage panels, containing a figure of Justice on a gadrooned and fluted pedestal. On either side are slender Corinthian columns which support a pyramidal composition based on the divisions of an entablature; it comprises an architrave enriched with strapwork, a heightened frieze with curved ends supported by rampant lions and with a central bull's-eye window with an enriched surround, and a small pedimented cornice; a roundel flanked by orbs in the tympanum of the pediment is inscribed 1586. The whole bay is finished with a gable with a moulded coping, flanked by restored cylindrical stone chimney-stacks with moulded cappings. The return walls are of rubble and flint, that to the N. with two modern windows. All the brick chimneystacks in the house are modern. The W. front is entirely modern or refaced.
Inside, little remains that is original; one room on the ground floor retains a stone fireplace-surround with a shallow four-centred opening, gadrooned and tapered side-pilasters with Doric capitals, and a heavy entablature (Plate 75).
A number of architectural features, perhaps from the destroyed parts of the house, have been reused in the garden. They include four enriched round-headed archways, two in the modern walls flanking the S. front and two, with a stone column between, forming a loggia in the E. end of the gatehouse; also two pilasters in the form of grotesque terminal-figures with strapwork decoration, and a shell-headed niche with gadrooned and tapered side-pilasters.
(4) The Vicarage (75939435), 50 yds. E. of the church, is of three and two storeys, with attics and cellars. The walls are of brick, casing timber-framing in the oldest portion; the roofs are partly slated and partly tiled, with stone-slate verges. The S. part of the E. range dates probably from the early 17th century; the vestibule and the two main rooms of the W. wing were added c. 1722 (Hutchins II, 625), and the stair-hall was built shortly afterwards. Later in the 18th century the timber-framed original range was cased in brick and it was heightened to three storeys early in the 19th century. The N. part of the E. range has been extensively remodelled and is now largely of the 19th century. There are modern single-storey additions beside the stair-hall.
The S. front has the projecting gabled end of the encased early block on the E.; the rest, comprising the front of the W. wing, is built of bricks in slightly varying shades with dressings in a uniform red; it has a chamfered plinth, a moulded string-course at first-floor level and a coved plaster cornice. The bay adjoining the E. range projects 4 ins. and contains the entrance, with a porch which was added probably in the second quarter of the 18th century; the porch has a wooden cornice and a round-headed outer doorway with fanlight, fluted side-pilasters, moulded archivolt and key-block; the glazed inner door is of the 19th century. The sashed window on the first floor has a segmental gauged brick head with a key-block and a shaped apron. The other four sashed windows on each floor are grouped two and two; they have flat gauged brick heads with key-blocks, and shaped aprons. The two dormers have two-light casement windows; that to the E. is placed centrally over the projecting bay and has a rusticated surround, the other has a moulded architrave. The large W. chimney-stack is original; it has a moulded string, partly of stone, and a moulded capping; the centre of each face is recessed. The W. end of the W. wing has plinth, string and cornice carried round from the S. front and on each floor are two round-headed recesses with brick arches, stone key-blocks, imposts and sills, and shaped brick aprons. The hipped dormer window is similar to the W. dormer on the S. front. The lower part of the N. side of the W. wing is concealed by modern additions; the stair bay has a stone plinth and a moulded wood cornice and contains a window with a segmental arched head with a keystone; above is a dormer window similar to the W. dormer on the S. front. The E. front of the E. range has a stone plinth and an 18th-century three-light casement window near the S. end; the N. end is much patched. In the gabled N. end of the heightened 17th-century portion of the range, part of the angle-post and tie-beam of the original timber-framing is visible above the lower building adjoining it on the N.
Inside, the S. room of the E. range has a 17th-century timber ceiling divided into sixteen panels by moulded beams and wall-plates; the walls are lined with moulded and fielded panels, with a moulded dado-rail, of c. 1725; the moulded stone fireplace surround is of the same date. The drawing-room in the W. wing has a moulded and enriched dado-rail and a fireplace surround with a carved frieze, both of the late 18th century; the windows have original shutters with ovolo-moulded and fielded panels, and bolection-moulded architraves with moulded pedestalbases. The dining-room, W. of the drawing-room, has a dado with fielded panels, doorways with moulded architraves and panelled reveals and soffits, and window surrounds similar to those of the drawing-room; all these are of the early 18th century. The early 19th-century fireplace surround is of marble with brackets carrying the shelf. The staircase, of c. 1725, has cut strings with plain brackets, turned balusters with small square blocks, and a moulded handrail mitred over the intermediate newels and finishing in a volute at the bottom; the wall has a panelled dado with pilasters opposite the newels. The first floor of the W. wing contains some contemporary panelling and two contemporary fireplace surrounds.
(5) Range of buildings (75839440), comprising two tenements and a shop, 60 yds. N.W. of (1), is of two storeys with attics. The walls are of cob with plaster rendering and the roofs are thatched. The range was built in the second half of the 18th century; a pump in one of the tenements is dated 1772 and this may well be the date of the building. Before the end of the 18th century an improvement was made by the addition of a first-floor bay-window at the W. end, and early in the 19th century a shop-window was inserted in the S. front (Plate 61).
The bay-window is three-sided, with a flat front and splayed convex sides, supported on two free-standing and two engaged Roman-Doric columns of wood; it has a Venetian window in the front, square-headed windows in the sides, all sashed, and a crowning entablature with a fluted frieze; in the ground-floor wall behind the columns are two late 19th-century terra-cotta roundels depicting the heads of a man and a woman.
Inside, the room with the bay-window contains contemporary fittings of unusually high quality for their setting; they include a cupboard with segmental-headed, glazed and panelled mahogany double doors, flanked by pilasters with moulded bases and caps supporting a moulded archivolt; also a wood pelmet to the window with a moulded border and painted decoration of oak-leaves and floral sprays in black, white and gold.
(6) Range of four tenements (75909431), 30 yds. S.E. of the church, has walls of Flemish-bond brickwork with vitrified headers; it retains two original casement windows with iron frames and leaded quarries, and an original chimney-stack.
(9) Cottage, 30 yds. N.W. of the foregoing, has walls in Flemish-bond brickwork incorporating vitrified headers; it retains on the first floor two original casement windows with iron frames and catches. Inside there is an exposed stop-chamfered ceiling beam.
(11) Post Office, adjoining (10), 330 yds. W. of the church, has brick walls and slate covered roofs; it was built in the first half of the 18th century. The N. front is symmetrical and has a flat string at first-floor level consisting of bricks on edge. The central doorway has a flat hood supported on shaped brackets; the sashed windows have flat gauged-brick heads with key-blocks and flush frames; the window over the door is false.
(12) Prince of Wales Inn (75599440), ¼ m. W. of the church, was burnt down in 1930 and rebuilt. Some 16th-century moulded ceiling-beams and a boss carved with a Tudor rose have been incorporated in the new structure.
(13) House (75519443), 360 yds. W. of the church, is partly of two and partly of three storeys; some of the walls are rendered and others are of brick. The house was built in the first half of the 19th century. The S. front has plat-bands at first and second-floor levels and a small cornice and parapet. The windows are sashed. Inside there are enriched plaster cornices.
(15) Tudor Cottage, adjoining the foregoing on the N., has walls of banded flint and squared rubble with ashlar dressings, and a thatched roof. The main range was probably built in 1573 and there are modern additions on the W. The E. front is of two bays with a central doorway. The doorway has a moulded four-centred head and continuous jambs with scroll stops; on either side is a window of four hollow-chamfered square-headed lights under a label with returned stops; a stone over the S. window is inscribed 'R.B. 1573'. The upper part of the E. front, with two three-light windows, is probably restoration work of the 19th century. The gabled N. wall has a small mullioned and transomed 19th-century window; the S. wall is masked by an adjacent house, and the W. wall is masked by modern additions. Inside, a central through-passage, now occupied by the stairs which are secondary, leads to a blocked W. doorway; the passage walls are not original and there is insufficient evidence to determine the original ground plan; however the fireplaces show that there must always have been two rooms. The N. room has a fireplace at the centre of the N. wall, with chamfered stone jambs corbelled out at the top to receive a chamfered stone bressummer with rounded shoulders; the ceiling has two stop-chamfered beams and there is a blocked doorway in the W. wall. The S. room has a fireplace in the S. wall, similar to that of the N. room except that the bressummer is of wood; again there are two stop-chamfered beams. A blocked doorway in the upper storey has a four-centred head.
(16) Cottage (75829439), 50 yds. N.W. of the church, has rendered walls; the street front is divided into bays by thin pilasters. The entrance doorway has a flat hood on shaped brackets and a door with six moulded and fielded panels. The windows are sashed, each with a wide centre light flanked by two narrow lights.
(18) Druce Higher Barn (74559743), over 2 m. N.E. of the church, is of the early 19th century and has walls of Englishbonded brickwork. The barn was originally of nine bays with weathered buttresses, but the two E. bays are now in ruins and the W. bay has a floor and chimneys inserted, converting it into a cottage.
(19) Ilsington Farm (75629192), house, 1½ m. S. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; it was built in the 19th century but it appears to incorporate elements of an older building. The N. front is symmetrical; in the centre is a boldly projecting two-storied porch in which the porch arch is round-headed, with a moulded stone head and jambs, and a keystone. The chimneys are lofty and massive, comprising separate diagonal shafts with linked caps standing on square bases, they are built of small bricks, perhaps from an older building. Inside is a reset doorsurround with moulded timber head and jambs, and a cupboard with a door made up of linen-fold panelling.
(20) Hastings Farm (76109179), house, 15/8 m. S. of the church, has ground-floor walls faced with English-bonded brickwork, with three courses of stretchers to one of headers, and cob walls on the first floor. In the cob above the main doorway of the E. front is a stone inscribed 'A.H. 1652', a probable date for the building. The plan is a straight range of three rooms, with windows to E. and W. and fireplaces in the gabled N. and S. walls, the middle room being unheated. The present partitions are modern and details of the original ground plan are lost. The windows are of the 19th century.
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
(21) Settlement Remains (766947) of the deserted village of Bardolfeston lie on the N. side of the Piddle valley between 150 ft. and 230 ft. above O.D., on Chalk and River Gravel, just over ½ m. N.E. of (1).
The village, together with (22) and Athelhampton (above, p. 8), may well be included in Domesday among the various entries for 'Piddle'. The uncertainty of the Domesday identification makes it impossible to ascertain the recorded population of 1086. Only seven taxpayers are recorded in the 1327 and 1333 Subsidy Rolls and, since the village had had a church and was formerly the nucleus of a separate parish (Hutchins II, 616), the 14th-century population figures, together with the earthwork remains, indicate that the settlement was already declining at this date; nevertheless there may still have been people living there in the 16th century, for it paid a subsidy of 18s. 4d. in 1512 (S. & D., N. & Q., III, (1892–3), 193). From a Chancery Deposition of 1636 (P.R.O., C21/C17/21) it appears that the settlement was completely deserted by the 17th century; it is not recorded in the Hearth Tax returns.
The remains, covering 15 acres, are well preserved, but the village certainly extended further S. and has been destroyed in the construction of water-meadows; there has also been extensive quarrying in the N.E. part of the site (Plate 183).
The most prominent feature is a broad hollow-way running S.W.–N.E. across the site; it is up to 40 ft. wide, and is 6 ft. deep at the N.E. end. For most of its length the way is flanked by house-sites, rectangular areas measuring from 20 ft. by 12 ft. to 40 ft. by 18 ft.; they are bounded by banks or walls of flint rubble, up to 2 ft. high. Most houses had opposed entrances and at least two of them have traces of a scarped subdivision on the uphill side of the cross-passage. Eleven certain house-sites exist and the remains of four platforms along the hollow-way may represent other houses. Behind several of the sites are irregular areas or 'yards', within some of which are further platforms or scoops, perhaps the sites of outbuildings.
The hollow-way and houses lie diagonally across a feature which may represent an earlier stage of development; it consists of a roughly L-shaped area, partly bounded by a low bank, having within it traces of subdivisions bounded by scarps and banks.
According to local tradition the Church stood to the S. of the village, in the present water-meadows. Some 50 yds. S. of the earthworks there is a roughly rectangular area, 30 yds. by 70 yds., orientated S.E.–N.W., around which the water-meadow channels have been laid.
The settlement is one of the unidentified Piddles in Domesday Book. Although small, the population appears to have remained constant throughout the later mediaeval period. Eighteen taxpayers are recorded in 1327, twelve men are listed in the 1539 Muster Rolls (L. & P., Henry VIII, Vol. 14, Pt. I, pp. 267–9), and ten households were still listed in 1662 (Meekings, 12). Abandonment is likely to be the result of a slight movement of population rather than desertion. The remains cover about 4 acres and comprise at least six closes, 25 yds. to 30 yds. wide and 30 yds. to 35 yds. long, bounded by low banks and scarps up to 3½ ft. high. At the upper ends of the closes, near the road, platforms measuring 45 ft. by 30 ft. are probably house-sites. A terraceway 5 yds. to 7 yds. wide leaves the modern road 100 yds. W.N.W. of the remains and passes to the N. of them, below the closes.
The settlement had a recorded population of six in 1086 (D.B. Vol. I., f. 83b) and of four in 1327. By the early 16th century the population must have been very small indeed for in 1512 the settlement paid a subsidy of only 9s. 8d., little more than half the amount paid by Bardolfeston which then was almost deserted (S. & D., N. & Q., III, (1892–3), 193). By the middle of the 17th century only one house is recorded (Meekings, 12), and even that was in ruins (Hutchins II, 617).
The remains cover 14 acres and consist of a line of ten rectangular closes along the edge of the brook; they are up to 150 yds. long and 40 yds. wide and are bounded by banks 1½ ft. to 2 ft. high and 15 ft. wide. Disturbed areas at the lower ends indicate former house-sites. There are slight traces of other possible closes to the N. (Destroyed, 1965.)
(24) Cultivation Remains. With one exception, nothing is known of the various open field systems which probably existed in the parish. Immediately E. of the deserted village of Bardolfeston (768947), a furlong block of ridge-and-furrow covering 8 acres is the only remaining trace of the open fields of that village.
Roman and Prehistoric
Of the thirty round barrows which occur in the parish, monuments (25–37) and monument (47) lie on the heathland of the Reading Beds; the others are on Chalk. The most northerly of the 'Rainbarrows' (25) is almost certainly the one which was opened by Cunnington (Cunnington MS. No. 27; Dorset Procs. XXXVII (1916), 43); a cremation lay 8 ft. down, under a central cairn 12 ft. in diameter and 4 ft. high. Two (? three) bucket urns containing cremations from the 'Rainbarrows' are in D.C.M. (Dorset Procs. XXIX (1908), 136; Ant. J. XIII (1933), 446; Arch. J. CXIX (1962), 65). A barrow formerly existed at 73469104, near Norris Mill, but it was almost entirely carted away in 1872, being composed of sand and gravel; of twelve urns which were found in the top of it, two survive in D.C.M. (Cunnington MS. No. 5; Dorset Procs. XXIX (1908), 140; B.A.P. II, figs. 424, 424a; Arch. J. CXIX (1962), 65).
(25) Bowl (73469212), has been much damaged by a large hole dug into the centre and by a boundary bank which crosses the E. side of the mound. Part of the E. side has been cut away to make a ride at the edge of a plantation. Diam. 75 ft., ht. 7½ ft. Traces of ditch.
(28) Bowl (73769176), 365 yds. S.E. of (27), in Puddletown Forest, lies on top of a natural knoll at 250 ft. O.D. Shallow holes have been dug into the top of the mound and it has been much disturbed by rabbits. Diam. 95 ft., ht. 7½ ft. Traces of ditch.
(29) Bowl (74219166), 500 yds. E.S.E. of (28), on the S. edge of Puddletown Forest, lies at just under 200 ft. O.D. on ground sloping gently S. to the valley of the R. Frome. The mound is thickly overgrown and a track has cut away the base on the S. side. Traces of ditch.
(30) Bowl (74539150), 600 yds. E.N.E. of Duck Dairy House and below 150 ft. O.D., lies in the broad flat valley bottom of the R. Frome. The mound which is composed of alluvium is crossed by a field boundary, and W. of this boundary it is lower and much disturbed, especially by a modern track. The surrounding ditch, 12 ft. wide and 1 ft. deep, is well defined on the N. side. Diam. 120 ft., ht. 6 ft.
(31) Bowl (73309291), on the W. edge of Puddletown Forest, lies on the S. slope of a ridge just above 400 ft. O.D. The centre has been dug into and the whole mound is very much overgrown. Diam. 25 ft., ht. 3 ft.
Four barrows (32–35) lie in Puddletown Forest, along the top of a narrow E.–W. ridge; the first three are close together above 300 ft. O.D.; (35) is further E. at a slightly lower level. All have traces of ditches and are now planted with conifers.
Eleven barrows (37–47) lie scattered in the W. part of the parish between Stinsford and Piddlehinton; much of the land is covered with 'Celtic' fields, now much ploughed (Group (36)). The barrows lie between 300 ft. and 450 ft. O.D. on top of and along the N. slopes of Waterston Ridge and on the high ground N.W. of it. Monuments (41) and (42) are a continuation of the scatter of barrows at Fidler's Green (Stinsford (13–16)).
(47) Robin's Barrow, bowl (72419463), 680 yds. E.N.E. of (46), lies at the E. end of the ridge with a steep slope on the N. It has been severely mutilated by the insertion of a water tank and its outline is very irregular. Diam. 47 ft., ht. 4½ ft. (formerly).
Four barrows (48–51) lie in the N. of the parish, scattered along a N.–S. ridge above 300 ft. O.D., among the much ploughed remains of 'Celtic' fields (Group (45)). An air photograph (Camb. Univ. Colln. AGT 18) suggests the possibility of two more barrows, one immediately S.S.E. of (50), the other 115 yds. to the N.N.E. (74139703).