An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 4, North. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1972.
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12 GILLINGHAM (8026)
Gillingham is a large parish, with an area of 7,738 acres. The land undulates gently at altitudes between 200 ft. and 450 ft. above the sea and is drained by the R. Stour and its tributaries, the Lodden and the Shreen Water. The E. half of the parish is on Kimmeridge Clay; in the W. it is partly on Oxford Clay and partly on Corallian Limestone.
The parish lies within the area of the mediaeval Royal Forest of Gillingham. Until the 19th century the lands which now form the parishes of Motcombe, East Stour, West Stour and Bourton were regarded as parts of Gillingham, which covered more than 15,000 acres. The town stands at the confluence of the three streams named above. Dispersed around it are a number of hamlets and farms: Domesday Book mentions Gillingham, Milton-on-Stour, and Wyndham Farm; a document of 1156 mentions Langham; (fn. 1) the settlements of Bugley, Eccliffe, Madjeston, Pierston, Sandley, Thorngrove and Wyke were certainly in existence early in the 14th century, and it is probable that some of them correspond with some of the nine Domesday entries for Gillingham (V.C.H., Dorset iii, 65 (bis), 74, 83, 90, 110 (ter), 113); others probably came into being with the gradual clearance of the Royal Forest, a process recorded in the Forest Eyres of 1258, (fn. 2) and which continued into the 17th century. (fn. 3)
In 1694 the town was devastated by fire, (fn. 4) and the Inventory has few entries for monuments of the 17th century or earlier. At the end of the 18th century silk weaving was an important local industry. (fn. 5)
(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary (Plate 4) stands near the middle of the town. It has walls generally of ashlar and roof-coverings of slate and of lead; in the chancel the walls are of coursed rubble with ashlar dressings. The Chancel and North Chapel are of early 14th-century origin, with restorations of 1840 (S.D.N.Q. XV (1917), 73, 208). The Nave, North and South Aisles, West Tower and North and South Porches were built in 1838. According to a letter of 1838 from the vicar (quoted by A. F. H. Wagner, The Church of St. Mary, Gillingham (1956), 17), the antecedent nave, only 12 ft. wide, was separated from the aisles by 'heavy Saxon or Norman arches only 11½ ft. in height, supported by large masses of stone which so shut out the aisles . . . as to render them . . . of little use', a description which suggests comparison with the pre-conquest nave at Canford (Dorset, II, 197). The value of the advowson, 40 shillings, in Domesday (V.C.H., Dorset iii, 83) suggests a foundation which might well be that of a Saxon minster; it was given to Shaftesbury Abbey in exchange for the land on which Corfe Castle was built (Dorset II, 58, notes 1, 2). The W. tower, originally within the area of the nave, but rebuilt in 1838 some 20 ft. further west, was heightened and considerably altered in 1908. The South Chapel was added in 1921.
Architectural Description—The Chancel retains a 14th-century moulded plinth, stout ashlar buttresses of three weathered stages and, on the N. and S., coved and moulded string-courses with 14th-century ball-flower ornament and some original gargoyles. The E. window, of 1840, has four cinquefoil-headed lights set two on each side of a large central mullion with curvilinear tracery in a two-centred head. The N. wall has two windows, each with two trefoil ogee-headed lights with a curvilinear central tracery light in a two-centred head; the stonework is of 1840, but possibly reproducing the original design. Adjacent, on the W., two 14th-century arches open into the N. chapel. They are uniform and of two chamfered orders; the outer orders continue on the E. and W. responds and end at broach stops; the inner orders spring from polygonal attached shafts with moulded capitals with ball-flower enrichment. Centrally the two arches rest on a Purbeck marble shaft with a moulded octagonal capital and a chamfered stone plinth. The plinth and capital are of the 19th century; the date of the shaft is uncertain. The S. side of the chancel has five windows uniform with those on the N.; the stonework is evidently of 1840, but windows of similar design are shown on a drawing made by James Buckler in 1829 (B.M. Add. MS. 36361, f. 144). In the three western bays the wall below the windows is pierced by modern openings to the S. chapel and vestry. The chancel arch, of 1840, is four-centred and of one chamfered order resting on moulded brackets with leaf enrichment.
The North Chapel is largely of 1840. The plinth is chamfered and the buttresses are uniform with those of the chancel; there is no string-course. The E. window has a two-centred head and three cinquefoil ogee-headed lights below vertical tracery. The N. wall has a window uniform with those in the side walls of the chancel; the two eastern bays have blocked windows with two-centred heads. The archway to the N. aisle has a chamfered two-centred head and continuous jambs.
The Nave has N. and S. arcades with two-centred arches of one chamfered order, carried on octagonal piers and responds with moulded capitals and plinths. Above, each wall has six single-light clearstorey windows with cinquefoil two-centred heads. The E. gable has a weathered coping and a large foliate finial.
The North and South Aisles have chamfered plinths and buttresses similar to those of the N. chapel. The E. window of the S. aisle was uniform with that of the N. chapel, but it now has a raised sill to make room for the archway to the S. chapel. The N. and S. windows are uniform with those of the chancel; the W. windows are uniform with the E. window of the N. chapel. The N. and S. doorways have chamfered two-centred heads and continuous jambs.
The North and South Porches have chamfered plinths, buttresses of two weathered stages, and gabled N. and S. fronts with shaped kneelers, weathered copings and foliate finials. The date 1838 is carved on the gable of the N. porch. Both porches have external doorways with chamfered two-centred heads and continuous jambs; above each doorway is a single-light window uniform with those of the clearstorey; the E. and W. walls have similar windows. Inside, the porches are two-storeyed, the upper storeys originally forming galleries which opened into the N. and S. aisles through wide archways with shallow four-centred heads; these openings are now walled up.
The West Tower is of three stages. In the lower stages it has three-stage buttresses with weathered offsets. At the base is a chamfered plinth. The lower stages are defined on the W. side by a moulded and hollow-chamfered string-course; in the N. and S. sides there is no division into stages. The tower arch is two-centred and of one chamfered order with continuous responds. In the E. wall, above the nave roof, the intermediate stage of the tower has a round window of 1908. On the N. side is a vice turret of 1908, with a gabled head of weathered stonework and several square-headed loops; the turret partly masks a blind recess with a two-centred head; above, level with the round window of the E. wall is a shallow circular recess.
The W. doorway, remodelled in 1908, has a two-centred head with wave-mouldings which die into plain jambs. The W. window is of 1838 and has three trefoil ogee-headed lights, with curvilinear tracery in a two-centred head. In the second stage is a small square-headed window of two ogee-headed lights and, above, a round window of 1908. The S. face of the tower has a large blind recess, as on the N., and a clock at the level where round windows appear on the other sides. The top stage, with belfry windows, embattled parapets and corner pinnacles was rebuilt in 1908 (Faculty, Sarum Dioc. Regy.).
The Roof of the nave has tie-beam trusses with cusped scissorbracing, and curved braces resting on head-corbels. In the tower, the floor of the ringing chamber rests on reset 16th-century moulded beams with hollow-chamfers enriched with leaf bosses; the beams are arranged to form six compartments with 19th-century traceried panels.
Fittings—Altar: Loose, against S. wall of tower, broken slab of Purbeck stone, chamfered on under side, with three surviving consecration crosses, mediaeval. Bells: eight and sanctus; 1st and 2nd modern; 3rd by William Cockey, inscribed 'Thos. Freke Esq., Mr. Edward Reeves, Ch. Wds. 1726 W.C.'; 4th by John Wallis, inscribed 'Voce mea ad Dominum, IW, 1607', recast 1909; 5th by Thomas and James Bilbie, with churchwardens' names: 'Ambrose Heale, John Read, 1793, Thomas Mathews, John Jupe, 1794–5'; 6th by William Cockey, 1722, Thomas Freke and Henry Jukes, churchwardens, recast 1894; 7th by Kingston of Bridgwater, 1826, J. Read and T. Matthews, churchwardens; tenor with same inscription as 3rd and 'Wm. Cockey Bell Founder 1726'; sanctus inscribed '† GABREEL', probably c. 1350.
Chest: of oak, with moulded lid and with chip-carving on rail, early 17th century. Coffin Lid: forming step from chancel to N. chapel, of Purbeck stone, mediaeval. Coffin Stools: pair, with turned legs and moulded rails, late 17th century; also one with turned legs and fretted top, c. 1700. Communion Table: In N. chapel, with heavy turned legs, moulded stretchers, and moulded rails, 17th century, top hinged to form locker. Font: of Purbeck stone, with octagonal bowl, hollow-chamfered on under side and decorated on each face with cusped hexagonal panel, much worn and fissured horizontally, resting on octagonal stem with quatrefoil panel in each face and with moulded octagonal base, 15th century. Hatchment: with arms of Dirdoe impaling White and escutcheon of White, 18th century. Inscriptions and Scratchings: see Royal Arms.
Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel, on N. wall, (1) of Sir Henry Dirdoe, 1724, and others of his family, marble monument (Plates 17 and 20) with scrolled brackets, apron with arms of Dirdoe impaling White, panel with Latin inscription flanked by composite pilasters, rounded pediment enclosing relief of cherub heads, and urn finial; on upper fillet of apron, 'Iohn Bastard & Co. Fet' (Gunnis, Country Life, 1948, p. 1283); (2) of John Pern, vicar, 1770, and others of his family, marble wall tablet with pilasters, broken pediment, urn finial, and apron with arms of Pern impaling Fisher; on S. wall, (3) of Jane (Card) Dawson, 1812, tablet with verses, by T. King of Bath. In N. chapel, on N. wall, (4) of Mrs. Frances Dirdoe, 1733, large marble wall monument (Plates 43 and 20) with inscription on dado, above, gadrooned sarcophagus surmounted by relief of Three Graces, flanking panels with flower enrichment, open pediment and cartouche-of-arms of Dirdoe impaling White; (5) of Edward Read, 1779, and others of his family, white marble tablet with slate surround (Plate 17), scrolled cheek-pieces, draped urn finial, and apron with shield-of-arms of Read, by Lancashire of Bath; tablet below records benefactions and later amendment thereof. Also in N. chapel, (6) of [Thomas and] John Jesop, , 1625, stone table-tomb (Plate 42) with panelled sides with strap work decoration and enriched capping; above, recumbent effigies of two bearded men in academic dress: N. effigy, presumably Thomas, in round-headed recess with panelled back wall and panelled intrados, inscription on central panel reported by Hutchins (III, 639) now gone; on each spandrel, shield-of-arms of Jesop; above, strapwork frieze and cornice surmounted by shaped panel with reclining angels and small figure of Time with scythe and shield: S. effigy, presumably of John, vicar of Gillingham, spanned by independent stone arch with, below, marble inscription tablet with scrolled border (Plate 23) and, above, cartouche-of-arms of Jesop; adjacent, four detached pinnacles evidently from same monument. In nave, reset over N. arcade, (7) of Edward Sly, 1795, and others of his family, 1805–37, marble tablet in form of sarcophagus with urn finial; reset over S. arcade, (8) of Christian (Helme) Broome, 1720, and others of Broome and Cox families, tablet with pilasters, surmounted by urn and tree, with lozenge-of-arms, by King of Bath, 1812. In nave, reset over tower arch, (9) of Edward Davenant, 1679, vicar, slate tablet with painted Latin inscription, flanked by draped scrolls, on foliate ledge and apron with flower festoon and shield-of-arms of Davenant, above, broken pediment with putti and achievement-of-arms of Davenant quartering two other coats, impaling Grove; (10) of John Tinney, 1728, white marble tablet between Corinthian pilasters, with cherub-head apron, and broken curved pediment with urn and lamp finials. In N. aisle, reset on N. wall, (11) of John Matthews, 1820, and Hester Matthews, 1829, marble tablet by Osmond of Sarum; (12) of Mary (Goddard) Helyar, 1750, marble tablet with broken pediment and shaped apron, with lozenge-of-arms of Helyar with escutcheon of Goddard. In S. aisle, on S. wall, (13) of Thomas Godwin and Sarah his daughter, both 1814, marble tablet with urn, by Langley of Hinton; (14) of Mary Read, 1764, marble cartouche with baroque drapery (Plate 18). In N. porch, (15) of John Harris, 1791, and Rachel his wife, 1812, tablet by Phripp of Gillingham; (16) of Ambrose Heal, 1812, and Rachel (Harris) Heal, 1827, tablet by Phripp. Floor-slab: In chancel, on S., of . .muell A. .ent, 1702.
Panelling: In chancel, reset in communion table, eleven oak panels with trefoil-headed, cusped and crocketed enrichment, similar to those described under Seating. In tower, reset on N. wall, fragments of 17th-century oak panelling with carved frieze. Piscina: In chancel, with chamfered two-centred head with trefoil cusping, two stone shelves, and octagonal stone basin with drain-hole, 14th century, restored. Plate: includes Elizabethan silver cup and cover-paten (Plate 24), cup with trumpet-shaped stem, knop, and flared bowl with simple incised strapwork, cover-paten inscribed on foot GYLLYNGAM 1574, maker's mark, a disc filled with pellets, no date-letter; silver cup with baluster stem and plain bowl with date-letter of 1633; silver stand-paten with date-letter of 1663 and dedicatory inscription of Robert Thorne; silver flagon (Plate 25) with date-letter of 1681 and dedicatory inscription of Dorothy Dirdoe, 1678; stand-paten with date-letter of 1714; silver flagon with date-letter of 1735, dedicatory inscription of Frances Dirdoe, 1733, and lozenge-of-arms of Dirdoe impaling White. Recess: In chancel, in N. wall, tomb-recess with chamfered two-centred head and moulded sill, 19th century, probably repeating mediæval feature. Royal Arms: (Frontispiece) of wood, carved in the round and painted on both sides; probably the 'King's Arms' made in 1618 (S.D.N.Q., XV (1914), 25); inscribed on base 'painted and gilded by Thos. Matthews, A. Head and I. Read C.W., 1792'; scratched on unicorn 'EI, 1733', also 19th-century graffiti.
Seating: of oak, reset in nave and N. and S. aisles (Plate 22), includes twenty-nine square-headed bench-ends with moulded edges ending at splayed stops, carved to represent traceried panelling with foliate spandrels; also twelve similar, but ogee-headed bench-ends with poppy-head finials representing roses, fleurs-de-lys, leopard mask etc.; many bench-ends fitted to modern seats, made up with original top rails with roll and hollow-chamfered mouldings; two seats complete with original panelled backs, each with sixteen trefoil-headed panels with cusped and crocketed enrichment, set in groups of four between traceried stiles; 16th century, made up with modern work. In N. and S. aisles, panelled pews, formerly with doors, probably 1838. Sedilia: In chancel, below S. windows, with three chamfered and trefoiled two-centred heads in chamfered square surround; recesses blocked, seats missing; 14th century, restored. Miscellanea: (1) bassoon, probably late 18th or early 19th century; (2) clarinet by Astor Horwood, c. 1815; (3) organ, 1841, rebuilt 1874; (4) remains of pillory with oak board bound in iron, with hinges, probably 18th century.
(2) Carved Stones, two, built into the N. wall of the late 19th-century vicarage, are probably of the 9th century and presumably from a cross-shaft. The exposed face of the larger fragment (Plate 3) measures 30 ins. by 18 ins. and retains a considerable area of closely woven two-strand interlace ornament. The back and sides of this stone are said also to have carved decoration, but this is no longer seen. The smaller fragment measures 4 ins. by 3 ins. and is much eroded; it retains vestiges of interlace ornament. (S.D.N.Q., XV (1917), 233.)
(3) Bridge (80782652), carrying High Street across the Shreen Water, is of ashlar and has two semicircular arches with a cut-water on the N. side only; the parapet walls have rounded copings. One stone is inscribed 'County Bridge 1800'.
(4) Footbridge (80602646), spanning the R. Stour, 150 yds. S. of (1), is of ashlar and has three semicircular arches and small triangular cutwaters on the west. Iron railings take the place of parapet walls. The date 1821 is boldly carved on the W. face. (Demolished, 1967.)
(6) Lodden Bridge (81452613), carrying the Shaftesbury road over the R. Lodden, is of squared rubble and has two semicircular arches. It probably is of the late 18th or early 19th century. The parapets are modern.
(7) Kingscourt Bridge (81772623), on the parish boundary with Motcombe, is of roughly squared rubble and has a single semicircular arch. The parapets are of brickwork, in English bond, with a rounded ashlar coping. The bridge probably is of c. 1800.
(9) Lock-up (80652651), 70 yds. S. of (1), is a small single-storey building (19½ ft. by 10¾ ft.), of squared rubble with a tiled roof. It probably is of the early 19th century. A narrow doorway in the S. side has a four-centred head under a simple pitched label; there are no other openings. The interior is lined with brickwork.
(10) Free School, remains of, now incorporated in a shop, stand on the S. side of High Street, some 60 yds. S. of (1). The only notable feature is the late 16th-century ceiling of a ground-floor room, with heavy ogee-moulded and hollow-chamfered oak wall-plates and similarly moulded cross-beams forming a ceiling of four panels. The walls are rendered and no original openings are identifiable. The site is identified as the Free School on the O.S. map of 1884; presumably it corresponds with the school mentioned by Hutchins (III, 619).
(11) Town Mills (80792659), 150 yds. E. of (1), have walls of squared and coursed rubble with ashlar quoins; the roofs are tiled (Plate 47). The W. range is of the 18th century; adjacent on the E. is an early 19th-century extension, and further N.E. is an 18th-century cottage. Between the cottage and the 19th-century extension, and adjoining both, is a late 19th-century house.
The W. range is of three storeys with dormer-windowed attics. The S. front has four bays of square-headed two-light casement windows with timber lintels and leaded glazing. The W. front has four bays of similar windows and, on the ground floor, a doorway and other casement windows. The N. and E. elevations are similar and respectively of three and of six bays. The southern part of the E. elevation is masked by the E. extension.
The E. extension has a S. front of four bays with segmental-headed two-light casement windows, and doorways on the ground and first floors. A ground-floor opening adjacent to the W. range gives access to a narrow compartment containing the mill-wheel, presumably originally in the open. A stone marking a flood-level of 1768, in the S. front of the 19th-century E. extension, must be reset.
Inside, the W. range has a single large room in each storey. The floors rest on elm beams, chamfered and with splayed stops, housed in the E. and W. walls and supported in the middle on oak columns with Roman-Doric mouldings. The E. range contains no noteworthy features.
(12) House (80752693), some 400 yds. N. of (1), is of two storeys with attics and has rubble walls and a tiled roof. Although masked by modern industrial buildings the range appears to be of mid or late 16th-century origin. The main ground-floor room, now divided, has two large intersecting beams and corresponding wall-plates with elaborate double ovolo mouldings, forming a ceiling of four panels. The open fireplace on the S. is blocked. On the N. of the room is a plank-and-muntin partition; the modern stairs beside it perhaps take the place of a former through-passage. Presumably the N. rooms were originally service rooms; the N. fireplace is modern. In the first-floor rooms the ceilings rest on heavy chamfered tie-beams; the S. chamber has a small fireplace. The original roof is of five bays, with four collar and tie-beam trusses supporting three rows of purlins; there are mortices for two heights of wind-bracing, now gone.
(13) Lime Tree House, 50 yds. N.E. of (1) is two-storeyed with attics and has walls of squared rubble with ashlar dressings, and tiled roofs; it dates from about the middle of the 18th century. The W. front is of five bays, with a central doorway and symmetrically disposed windows with moulded ashlar architraves and plain keystones. The doorway has an eared architrave, a plain frieze and a moulded cornice. The windows have modern casements, but no doubt were originally sashed.
Inside, the plan is of class U. The hallway is spanned by a moulded stone arch with a keystone. The stairs have cut strings with carved spandrels, turned balusters and moulded handrails. One front room has a moulded stone fireplace surround with an eared architrave and a cornice on scrolled brackets.
(14) Harwood House (81032638), 480 yds. E. of (1), is of two storeys with attics and has walls of coursed rubble and of brick, and slated roofs; it dates probably from the first half of the 17th century. In 1694 the N. gable was partly rebuilt in brickwork, and in the 19th century the house was given new roofs and new windows and the E. front was rendered.
The E. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a central doorway flanked by casement windows of three lights, corresponding windows on the first floor, and a two-light window over the doorway. The ends of the façade are marked by stucco Doric pilasters, a 19th-century feature often seen in Gillingham. Above first-floor level the gabled N. wall of the E. range is of brick; at the apex is a chimney-stack with a terracotta plaque inscribed '1694 W.C.'. Inside, the plan is of class T. One room has a lightly chamfered ceiling beam. The stairs have carved spandrels and a late 18th-century balustrade, perhaps brought from elsewhere.
(15) Knapp House (80332645), 350 yds. S.W. of (1), is of two storeys with attics; it has walls of ashlar and of rubble, and tiled roofs. It dates probably from the second half of the 18th century, but it has been much altered. The E. front is ashlar-faced and has sashed windows with moulded architraves in six irregularly spaced bays. The doorway, in the third bay from the S., has moulded jambs and a broken pediment; in front of the doorway is a modern stone porch. The gabled S. wall of the original range is faced with modern ashlar; the W. front is largely masked by later additions and the N. end of the range is concealed by a 19th-century extension.
Inside, the original plan is obscured by later modifications; two of the windows in the E. front are blocked by later chimneybreasts. The stairs formerly had an oval window, now blocked. Some rooms have chamfered beams and moulded cornices, and there are areas of 18th-century panelling.
(16) Cottage (80582645), 150 yds. S.W. of (1), is two-storeyed and has coursed rubble walls and a thatched roof; it dates probably from the 17th century. The gabled W. wall has a large external chimneybreast. Inside, the W. fireplace is partly blocked up, but above, on the first floor, is a fireplace with a chamfered four-centred timber bressummer, and chamfered stone jambs with broach stops. Some chamfered ceiling beams appear to be of the 18th or 19th century.
(17) Madjeston Farm House (80692512) has walls of coursed rubble and ashlar, and slated roofs. The three-storeyed S. range and N. wing are of the first half of the 19th century; a two-storeyed extension of the N. wing appears to be formed from a pair of 18th-century cottages. The ashlar-faced S. front of the main range is symmetrical and of three bays, with large sashed windows and with a central doorway sheltered by an ashlar porch with Roman-Doric columns.
Unless otherwise described, the following monuments are of the 18th century and are two-storeyed, or single-storeyed with dormer-windowed attics, and have coursed rubble walls and tiled or slated roofs.
(18) The Phoenix Hotel, 50 yds. S. of (1), had originally a half H-shaped plan, but this has been obscured by later additions. The N. front is rendered; at the centre is a former carriageway with an elliptical arch, now partly blocked. Inside, one bedroom has an 18th-century stone fireplace surround with panelled decorations and an enriched cornice.
(19) House, 40 yds. S.W. of the foregoing, on the S. side of The Square, is perhaps of 17th-century origin; in the 19th century the western part was converted into a shop. The large W. ground-floor room, now divided into two, has heavy chamfered ceiling beams.
(21) Houses, adjoining the foregoing on the E., now comprise two shops and a cottage, but they originally consisted of an 18th-century house with a three-bay N. front and, adjacent on the E., a 17th-century cottage. The cottage contains a heavily chamfered beam.
(23) Newbury House (81142626), 3/8 m. S.E. of (1), is of two storeys and has rendered walls and slated roofs. It was built probably in the first half of the 19th century and has a symmetrical E. front of five bays, with a central doorway flanked by sashed windows and with five corresponding windows on the first floor. To N. and S. are slightly lower wings, perhaps of somewhat later date than the main range.
(24) House (81162636), 600 yds. E. of (1), is two-storeyed and has walls of coursed, squared rubble, and tiled roofs (Plate 30); it dates from the late 18th or early 19th century. The S. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a doorway flanked by sashed windows and with uniform windows on the first floor. Each window has a plain pitched label. The ends of the façade are defined by stone pilasters with moulded capitals; the first floor is marked by a plat-band. The doorway is sheltered by a tent-shaped metal hood supported on wrought-iron uprights with scrolled trellis work. Inside, one room has an original fireplace surround with festoon enrichment.
(25) The Royal Hotel (81112640) is of the first half of the 19th century. The S. front is rendered and divided into three bays by shallow pilasters; the centre bay is gabled. The doorway in the centre bay has a porch with cast-iron columns, probably a later addition.
(26) House (81062648) has a S. front of three bays, with a central doorway flanked by three-light casement windows, and with corresponding windows of two and of three lights in the upper storey. It probably is of the 18th century.
(27) Cottage (80952648), with coursed rubble walls and a thatched roof, is perhaps of the late 17th century. The W. front is of three bays, with a central doorway flanked by three-light casement windows and with corresponding openings in the upper storey. Inside, the S. room has a large open fireplace, and there are several chamfered ceiling beams with splayed stops.
(28) House (80672661), 30 yds. N.E. of (1), has a W. front of five bays, with a central doorway and with casement windows of two and of three lights. Centrally in the upper storey is a bull's-eye window. Inside, several rooms have chamfered beams, and one ground-floor room contains a wooden alcove cupboard with architectural enrichment and shaped shelves.
(31) House (80642667), has a symmetrical S. front of three bays, with a round-headed doorway flanked by sashed three-light windows on the ground floor and with three large single-light windows on the first floor. The keystone of the central window is dated 1842.
(37) House (80662654), 35 yds. S. of (1), has a S. front of three bays, with a central doorway flanked by sashed windows of three lights, and with corresponding windows on the first floor. The façade is rendered and ornamented with pilasters at the angles.
(39) House (80522651), 140 yds. S.W. of (1), incorporates at the rear a service wing which may be of 17th-century origin. The S. front of the 18th-century main range is of four bays, with sashed windows with moulded architraves and projecting keystones in both storeys. The service wing has casement windows of four lights with leaded glazing. Inside, both parts of the house have chamfered beams.
(40) House (80462650), 200 yds. S.W. of (1), has a symmetrical S. front of three bays, with a central doorway flanked by three-light casement windows and with corresponding openings in the upper storey. The house is probably of early 18th-century origin.
(44) Cottage (81682620), 100 yds. N.W. of the foregoing, is of one storey with an attic and has a thatched roof. Inside, the ceilings have chamfered beams and there is a large open fireplace, now blocked.
(45) Cottage (81702616), 100 yds. S.W. of (7), has a thatched roof; it dates probably from the first half of the 18th century. Inside, the main room has a large open fireplace with an unwrought bressummer, and chamfered ceiling beams with splayed stops. Some 17th-century panelling has been brought from elsewhere.
(47) Madjeston Farm Cottages (80722510), 30 yds. E. of (17), are now two tenements but originally were a single farmhouse. The S. front is partly of ashlar with brick dressings and partly of rubble. Inside, one room has a panelled dado and a shell-headed recess with fluted pilasters.
(50) Cottages (80692686), three adjoining, 300 yds. N. of (1), are of the early 18th century. The rubble walls have ashlar quoins. Inside, some rooms have lightly chamfered beams and blocked open fireplaces.
(55) Malthouse Farm (81272705), house, has walls of ashlar and of rubble, and tiled roofs; it dates from early in the 18th century. In the S. front, of five bays, the central casement window is modern and evidently replaces a former doorway. Inside, some rooms have lightly chamfered beams.
Monuments of the first half of the 19th century are as follows —In Gillingham town: a House (80672653) adjacent to (10); a range of four Houses (80832649) in High Street; a pair of Houses adjacent to the foregoing on the E.; another House (80882647) in High Street; a House (81122635) 50 yds. S. of (25); a Cottage 50 yds. N.W. of (25); a Cottage (80652668) 80 yds. N. of (1); a pair of Cottages (80542671) 150 yds. N.W. of (1); a House adjacent to the foregoing on the N.W.; a Cottage (80232678) at Rolls Bridge Farm; Church Cottage, 25 yds. N. of (1), probably dating from the time of the rebuilding of the church in 1838 and having windows and a doorway with four-centred heads and labels; a pair of Cottages adjacent to (35), on the W.; a range of three Cottages 30 yds. W. of (1); a pair of Cottages 15 yds. S.W. of (1); a House (80352653) 90 yds. N. of (15); a pair of Cottages 80 yds. N.W. of the foregoing; Lodden Bridge Farmhouse (81392616); Grosvenor Cottage (81592611); a Cottage (80452696); Portland Cottages (80682675); a Range (80682683) of five cottages.—At Ham Common: a pair of Cottages (81742598) 270 yds. S. of (7); a pair of Cottages 80 yds. N.W. and a Farmhouse 50 yds E. of the foregoing; a pair of Cottages (82132537) 250 yds. S.E. of (46); a Cottage (82192527) 120 yds. S.E. of the foregoing.—At Bay: a Cottage (81092695); a pair of Cottages (81112696); a pair of Cottages (81162694); Rose Cottage (81192700), perhaps of c. 1800; a Cottage (81422716).
(58) Wyke Hall (79212671), house, nearly 1 m. W. of (1), is of two storeys with attics and has rendered walls and tiled roofs. The building has a 17th-century nucleus, but the greater part is of the mid-19th century and probably is dated by a rainwater head of 1853.
The E. front of the original building has four irregularly spaced bays with windows of two, three and four square-headed lights in chamfered stone surrounds with labels. Between the two southern bays is the main doorway, with a late 19th-century stone porch with an embattled parapet and corner pinnacles; above the porch is a stone carved with the arms of Farquhar, the family which acquired the house early in the 19th century. The 17th-century E. front is extended to N. and S. with additions, of the 19th century and later, incorporating reset 17th-century windows. The 19th-century S. front has mullioned and transomed windows with cinquefoil-headed lights. The N. and W. fronts have no notable features.
Inside, the drawing-room has a 19th-century moulded plaster ceiling in the style of the early 17th century, with the arms of Farquhar; the late 17th-century stone fireplace surround is decorated with cable mouldings. The dining-room has reset and restored 17th-century panelling with a carved frieze. The windows of the 19th-century hall have fragments of 17th-century heraldic glass, mainly Flemish or German; one cartouche with arms is dated 1651. Several first-floor rooms have 18th-century pine panelling and one room has 17th-century oak panelling with fluted Ionic pilasters; the chimneypiece in this room is carved with caryatid figures and strapwork, extensively restored.
A late 18th or early 19th-century Summerhouse in the garden has walls of ashlar and brick, and a tiled roof. The S. front is of three bays defined by Doric pilasters; at the centre is a round-headed doorway with a small pediment; the side bays have round-headed windows. A date-stone loose in the garden bears the initials T.F., perhaps for Thomas Freke (Hutchins III, 626), and the date 171..
(59) Higher Langham House (77212586), near the W. boundary of the parish, is of two storeys and has walls of rubble with ashlar dressings and is roofed with tiles (Plate 45). The central part of the house was built in 1770; a 19th-century wing extends to the E., and a corresponding wing on the W. is of more recent date.
The S. front of the 18th-century range is symmetrical and of three bays. At the centre of the lower storey is a doorway with a rusticated ashlar architrave and a pediment; on each side are sashed windows with moulded architraves with keystones; on the first floor are three similar windows. At each end of the S. façade the eaves are supported on brackets in the form of triglyphs. The roof culminates in two large brick chimneystacks, on each of which is a date-stone inscribed 'WB 1770'. The N front has been extensively altered and the E. and W. ends of the original range are masked by the later wings.
Inside, the principal 18th-century rooms have moulded and enriched cornices. The fireplace in the hall has a stone surround with an enriched architrave, fret and leaf ornament on the frieze and an enriched cornice. The stairs have close strings, latticed balustrades and panelled oak dadoes.
(60) Bainly House (76802744), on the W. boundary of the parish, is of two storeys with a basement and attics. The walls are of coursed rubble with ashlar dressings; the roof is slate-covered. The house dates from about the middle of the 18th century and has a class-T plan. The S. front (Plate 45) is symmetrical and of three bays. The central bay is of ashlar; the side bays are of rubble with rusticated ashlar quoins at the corners; a plain plat-band occurs at first-floor level. At the centre on the gound floor is a round-headed doorway flanked by fluted pilasters which support an open pediment; on the first floor is a Palladian window with moulded entablatures to the flanking lights and with a moulded architrave to the round-headed central light. The lateral bays of the S. front have sashed windows with moulded architraves. The N. elevation has sashed windows uniform with those of the S. front, some of them blind and others now blocked. The gabled E. and W. walls are of rubble with ashlar quoins. In the E. gable is an attic window of two square-headed lights. Each gable culminates in a brick chimney-stack. Inside, few original features remain. The curvature of the stairs brings the half-landing at the top of the lower flight to the centre-line of the stair-well; short flights then run E. and W. to the first-floor rooms. The service rooms are in the basement.
(61) House (79532660), of two storeys with rendered walls and tiled roofs, dates probably from the second half of the 18th century. The S. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a central doorway under a porch with stone Tuscan columns. The windows in both storeys are sashed. Inside, the plan is of class U.
(62) House (79502659), of two storeys with rubble walls and a tiled roof, is of the late 18th century. The S. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a central doorway and segmental-headed casement windows of two and of three lights. Adjacent on the W. is a slightly lower service range of one bay.
(63) Wyke Farm (79132668), house, nearly 1 m. W. of (1), is two-storeyed and has walls of Flemish-bonded brickwork, and tiled roofs. The original range, with a class-T plan, dates from about 1700; rubble-walled extensions on the N., E. and S. are of the 19th century and later. The windows of the three-bay W. front have segmental brick heads and wrought-iron casements with leaded glazing. Inside, the N. room has a large open fireplace with a cambered oak bressummer; to one side is an oven, to the other a shell-headed wooden recess with shaped shelves. The ground-floor rooms have deeply chamfered beams.
An octagonal Granary and dovecote (Plate 31), about 20 paces S. of the house, has walls of Flemish-bonded brickwork and is roofed with slates and lead. The walls rise from timber sill-beams on staddle-stones. The building probably is of the early 19th century.
Monuments of the first half of the 19th century in Wyke, Langham and Bugley are as follows—Two Cottages at Eccliffe (79892543); Thorngrove House (79382577), a three-storeyed building of rubble and ashlar, with tiled roofs, dating mainly from the late 19th century; Springfield (78662478), of two storeys, with rendered walls and slated roofs and with a symmetrical S. front of three bays, the centre bay gabled; Westbrook Old Farm (78312548); Westbrook Farm Cottage (78352552), perhaps partly of the late 18th century; Hay House Farm (77512593); Wyke Brewery (79572661), with walls of coursed rubble with ashlar dressings, and tiled roofs.
(75) Ivy Cottage (79732818), two-storeyed, with rubble walls and thatched roofs, dates from early in the 18th century. Inside, there is an open fireplace with a cambered bressummer and, above, a panel of moulded plasterwork with Tudor rose and pomegranate decoration; the panel dates probably from the late 16th century and is reset (cf. Bourton (21)).
(76) The Old House (79642819), extensively rebuilt in the first half of the 19th century, retains elements of a late 17th-century building. The 19th-century house is of two storeys, with walls of squared and coursed rubble, and roof-coverings of tile and slate. The E. front has stone windows of two and three transomed lights with plain labels; near the centre is an ashlar porch with a heavy moulded entablature supported on two octagonal stone columns with moulded capitals and with recessed panels on each face of the shafts. The N. front incorporates walls, perhaps of 17th-century origin, with chamfered square-headed stone windows of two and of three lights.
Inside, one ground-floor room and an adjacent passage have heavily moulded ceiling beams of late 16th or early 17th-century origin, probably reset. The fireplace in the same room has a cambered and ovolo-moulded stone lintel carved in low relief with a blank shield flanked by winged horse-headed monsters and foliate scroll-work, probably of the early 17th-century; above is a moulded cornice of a somewhat later date, with simple acanthus enrichment. Other rooms contain 17th-century oak panelling.
(77) Lower Bowridge Hill Farm (81212823), house, of two storeys with coursed rubble walls and tiled roofs, dates probably from the 17th century. The S. front, of two bays with a central doorway, has stone windows of three and of four square-headed lights with chamfered surrounds. The doorway is square-headed and has a moulded surround.
(78) Pierston Farm (79462849), house, of two storeys with coursed rubble walls and tiled roofs, is of the late 18th century, with 19th-century additions. The four-bay S. front has an ashlar plat-band at first-floor level. The westernmost bay has a single sashed window in each storey; the other three bays are symmetrical, comprising a five-sided two-storeyed 19th-century porch, with sashed windows of three lights on either side of it. The eaves are decorated with shaped and fretted fascia boards. Adjacent, on the S., is a Barn of late 18th-century date.
(79) Bowridge Hill Farm (81412784), house, of two storeys, with coursed rubble walls and thatched roofs, dates from early in the 18th century. The S. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a central doorway and with three-light sashed windows in the flanking bays and above the doorway. Above the E. gable is an ashlar chimney-stack with a date-stone of 1722. A Barn some 50 yds. N. of the house has rubble walls and a slate-covered roof; a date-stone inscribed 'John Coombes, 20th Sept. 1844' is set in the E. gable.
(81) Cottages (80422986), two adjoining, are single-storeyed with dormer-windowed attics and date from early in the 18th century; they have recently been combined to form a single dwelling. Inside, there are large open fireplaces with chamfered and cambered bressummers against the N. and S. end walls.
(86) Cottages (80382757), two adjoining, have each a S. front of two bays with a central doorway. The W. cottage is of the late 17th century and is of one storey with an attic; that on the E. is two-storeyed.
(95) Cottages (80362713), three adjacent, wherein the E. tenement, of the late 18th century, is an addition to the other two dwellings. Inside, each tenement has only one room on each floor. The stairs are beside the fireplaces.
Monuments of the first half of the 19th century in Milton-on-Stour and Peacemarsh are as follows—Woolfields Farm (79672796), house, originally two cottages; Newlands Farm (79682803), house; Cottages (79642802), pair, with a symmetrical S. front of three bays; Dairy House (79712813), comprising two cottages with dairies adjacent, perhaps of c. 1800; a Barn (79822833) with a date-stone of 1827 in the N. gable; Pierston House (79742847); Cottages (79912861), two adjacent, now combined; a Cottage (79803048), perhaps of c. 1800; a Cottage (80953000); Cottages (80952996), two adjacent, that on the W. being perhaps of the late 18th century; a Cottage (82572980); Forest Farm (82782992), house with a symmetrical S. front of three bays; Bowridge Hill Cottage (81532777); a Cottage (80692785); a Cottage (80672787), perhaps of c. 1800; a Cottage (80652793); a Cottage (80552793); Northmoor Farm (80432799); Cottages (80492757), two adjacent, of c. 1800; Cottages (80462742), two adjacent, now combined; Peacemarsh Terrace (80522744), a range of eight uniform tenements; a Cottage (80512740), of c. 1800; Houses (80532725), range of three, with the E. front of ashlar; Cottages (80322713), pair, of c. 1800.
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
(96) Settlement Remains (771260) of the hamlet of Langham lie some 200 yds. N. of Higher Langham Farm, on the W. side of a small stream; they cover about 10 acres. The settlement is first recorded in 1156 (Fägersten, 7) and probably is one of the several Gillinghams listed in Domesday; Eyton (123–4) suggests that it was the estate held by Ulwin (V.C.H. Dorset, iii, 110). Since Langham has always been recorded with Gillingham there are no records of population; O.S. 1811 shows that the remains had already been deserted by that date. The earthworks comprise at least five rectangular closes, up to 100 yds. long and from 20 yds. to 40 yds. wide, bounded by low banks and orientated N.–S.; low cross-banks divide them into paddocks. Disturbed areas at the southern ends of the closes indicate the sites of houses. The N. parts of the closes are covered with low ridges, up to 7 yds. wide. On the N. the area is bounded by a ditch or hollowway, 30 ft. wide, beyond which are traces of larger paddocks with low bank boundaries. Further E., on both sides of the stream, traces of banks and disturbed earthworks, now much depleted, may be the sites of former houses; they continue as far as Lower Langham Farm.
(97) Settlement Remains (800283) of Milton-on-Stour lie 240 yds. S.W. of Milton church and comprise at least four long closes, 50 yds. long and up to 40 yds. wide, bounded by banks 1 ft. high. At the northern ends of the closes are small plots, almost square, with traces of scarped platforms. Excavations by the Gillingham History Society in 1965–6 revealed, in the westernmost plot, two courses of a well-built limestone rubble wall, 1½ ft. thick; associated pottery was of the 12th and 13th centuries.
(98) Cultivation Remains are found in several places, but in the absence of documents cannot be associated with particular settlements. Early in the 17th century there appear to have been five open fields at Gillingham (P.R.O., LR2/214, f. 1–82). Ridge-and-furrow, perhaps of these fields, was formerly seen N. of the town (806269) and S.W. of the railway station (807255), (R.A.F., V.A.P., CPE/UK 1924: 2242). Strip lynchets, perhaps the remains of the open fields of Milton-onStour, are seen on air photographs and on the ground W. of the village (790285–788281); they lie along the valley of a small brook (R.A.F., V.A.P., CPE/UK 1924: 3238). Contour and cross-contour strip lynchets, perhaps the remains of the open fields of Langham, occur in three places (776270, 790264, 791254) on the N. and E. sides of Bainly Bottom.
(99) Deer Park, of some 760 acres, in the S.E. of the parish and extending into Motcombe, was already in existence in 1228; its history is well documented from that date until disparkment in 1628. The park is bounded by a bank, 20 ft. to 30 ft. wide and up to 3 ft. high, with shallow ditches on both sides (Dorset Procs., 87 (1965), 223–7).
Roman and Prehistoric
(100) Roman Occupation Debris (79952620) was found in 1869 and also in 1951 near Common Mead Lane, on an exposed ridge of Kimmeridge Clay, about 300 ft. above sea-level. Stone pitching and loose stones were found, together with 2nd-century samian ware, querns, nails and staples, a bronze spoon, a Constantinian coin, and bones of oxen, sheep, pigs and horses. Pottery noted in 1951 was Romano-British, except for a few fragments probably of Iron Age ware. (Hutchins III, 661–2; Dorset Procs., 73 (1951), 112.)
(101) Inhumation Burials (? about 778262), probably a subRoman Christian cemetery, were found while quarrying limestone near Langham, on level ground some 350 ft. above sea-level (Hutchins III, 662); the date of discovery is not recorded. At least a hundred extended skeletons were arranged at 2 ft. intervals about 3 ft. below the surface, with heads to the west. Two brooches and some small sherds of rough pottery were found.
(102) Longbury or Slaughter Barrow (78752723), a long barrow, lies N. of Bainly Bottom at an altitude of about 320 ft., on the Corallian Beds; it is orientated E.–W. and measures 130 ft. in length, 40 ft. in width and up to 6½ ft. in height. When opened in 1802 several skeletons, perhaps primary burials, were found on the original ground level; when opened again in 1855 several other skeletons were found, perhaps secondary or intrusive, and fragments of 'some very rude earthen vessel'. A small excavation in 1951–2 gave no significant results. In 1953 part of a secondary or intrusive skeleton was found in the upper part of the mound. (C.T.D., Pt. 3, No. 84; Notes & Queries, 1st series, XII (1855), 364; Hutchins III, 615 (note), 662; Dorset Procs. 73(1951), 113; 76 (1954), 96.)