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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14 KINGTON MAGNA (7623)
The parish, extending to nearly 2,000 acres, is divided into two parts, Kington and Nyland, by the R. Cale. Kington in the N.E. occupies some two-thirds of the total area, with land on Oxford Clay rising gently from the Cale at about 180 ft. above sea-level, to 300 ft.; further N.E. the land ascends steeply to 400 ft. on the Corallian Limestone escarpment. The village of Kington Magna stands at the foot of the escarpment, with the parish church prominently sited on the rising ground to the E.; until the enclosure of the open fields Kington probably was the only settlement in this part of the parish. Enclosure appears to have taken place in the 17th century, and several outlying farms came into existence as a result.
As its name implies, Nyland, in the S.W., is an island of Oxford Clay surrounded by the alluvium and marshland of the Cale and the Bow Brook. The settlement is mentioned in Domesday (V.C.H., Dorset, iii, 84, 91), but neither Higher nor Lower Nyland now contains any monument of note.
(1) The Parish Church of All Saints (fn. 1) has walls of rubble with ashlar dressings, and tiled roofs. The West Tower is of the late 15th century. The Chancel, Nave, North and South Aisles, and the South Porch were rebuilt in 1862, the architect being Charles Turner of Southampton (Faculty, Sarum Dioc. Regy., 1861).
Architectural Description—The massive West Tower (Plate 1) is of three main stages, with a moulded plinth, weathered and hollow-chamfered string-courses between the stages, and an embattled parapet with moulded coping. At the N.W. and S.W. corners are diagonal buttresses of four weathered stages, that on the N.W. partly restored and having an additional weathered offset half-way up the second stage; the tops of the buttresses coincide with the string-course between the second and third tower stages. The N.E. corner has a square-set buttress of five stages, the top stage extending into the top tower stage, or belfry; this buttress was rebuilt, using old material, in 1862. The S.E. corner has a rectangular vice turret with a weathered stone head. The tower arch, rebuilt in 1862, is two-centred and of two orders, the inner order wave-moulded, the outer order hollow-chamfered; both orders die into plain chamfered responds. The doorway to the vice turret has a chamfered four-centred head and chamfered jambs. The W. doorway has an ogee-moulded and hollow-chamfered four centred head with continuous jambs and run-out stops, and a moulded label with square stops with foliate centres. The W. window, of 1862, has three ogee-headed lights and curvilinear tracery in a two-centred head; the jambs are those of an earlier window, of which the head and sill were lower than at present. In the second stage the S. wall of the tower has a small window with a moulded trefoil head. The doorway at the top of the vice has a chamfered four-centred head and chamfered jambs with broach stops. In the top stage the N., S. and W. sides have belfry windows of two trefoil-headed lights, with trefoil tracery lights in two-centred heads under moulded labels with square stops; a former E. belfry window has been blocked.
Fittings—Bells: five; treble modern; 2nd and 3rd by John Wallis, both inscribed 'Love God IW 1608'; 4th inscribed 'I sound to bid the sick repent in hoe of life when breath is spent' reading from right to left, also 8461, presumably 1648; tenor with 'Sancte Georgi ora pro nobis' in fine crowned Lombardic letters, second half of the 14th century. Bell-frame: with two heavily chamfered beams, mediaeval. Chest: In vestry, of oak, with panelled front and sides, and enriched stiles and rails, 17th century. Communion Table: In vestry, of oak, with turned legs, moulded stretchers, enriched rails and scrolled brackets, 17th century, top modern.
Piscina: In S. aisle, reset in S. wall, with trefoil head and label with finial, bowl cut away, 14th century. Royal Arms: In tower, painted on wood panel with moulded surround, Stuart arms with cypher C R, 17th century. Miscellanea: In nave, standing on floor, fragments of window tracery, 14th century.
(2) Methodist Chapel (76522284), with squared rubble walls and a tiled roof, dates from 1851. The gabled S. front is of three bays, with a central doorway with a two-centred head and shafted jambs, flanked by plain windows with two-centred heads and surmounted by a third such window. In the gable is a stone inscribed '1851 Primitive Methodist Chapel, T. Tanner Mason'.
(3) Manor Farm (76842308), house, of two storeys with attics, with rubble walls with ashlar dressings and with stoneslated and tiled roofs, is of the mid 17th century. The N. front has a chamfered plinth and a weathered and hollow-chamfered first-floor string-course. Inside a modern porch, on the W. of the projecting stair bay, is a doorway with a four-centred head with double ovolo mouldings, continuous jambs and chamfered stops. The stone windows are of two, three and four square-headed lights with recessed and hollow-chamfered surrounds; the three-light window in the stair bay is at mezzanine level, showing that the stairs are in the original position. The S. elevation is partly hidden by later additions, but plinth, string-course and several stone windows remain exposed. Inside, the original fireplaces are blocked and the stairs have been renewed; of original fittings only two chamfered beams are visible.
(4) Prospect Cottage (76772317), of two storeys, with rubble walls and a tiled roof, is of 17th-century origin, but was altered in the 18th century. The S. front is of four bays, with a plain doorway and with sashed windows uniform in each storey; the flat window-heads have stone voussoirs with projecting keystones. In the S. wall the outline of an earlier gable suggests that the cottage was originally single-storeyed. Adjacent on the W. is a Barn, with rubble walls and a tiled roof, also of 17th-century origin.
(5) House (76612315), of two storeys, with rubble walls and tiled roofs with stone-slated verges, is of the late 17th century. The W. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a central doorway and wooden three-light casement windows. Inside, a stop-chamfered beam is exposed.
(6) House (76512297), of two storeys, with rubble walls and stone-slated roofs, is probably of early 17th-century origin, but was much altered in the 18th century. The plan is a half-H, with the main range on the S. and with subsidiary wings projecting N. at the rear; the narrow yard which formerly lay between the wings was filled in, perhaps in the 18th century. The 18th-century S. front is symmetrical and of five bays, with a central doorway and with sashed windows in both storeys; one former ground-floor window has become a doorway, and two of the first-floor openings have been blocked. The door is of oak planks, heavily studded and hung on wrought-iron strap-hinges. In the lower storey of the N. elevation, both wings retain stone casement windows of four square-headed lights with sunk-chamfered jambs and heads; the window in the western wing has a casement-moulded surround. In the upper storey the casement windows have wooden frames and leaded glazing. Inside, some rooms have chamfered ceiling beams with splayed stops.
(7) Lower Farm (75832265), house, of two and three storeys (Plate 53), has walls of coursed rubble with dressings of lighter coloured ashlar, and is roofed partly with stone-slates and partly with tiles; it dates from late in the 17th century. The original plan comprises a main E.–W. range, facing S., with a wing projecting from the centre of the N. side; the wing now is partly enclosed in 19th-century and later extensions. The S. front is symmetrical and of five bays; at the base is a square plinth and at first-floor level is a weathered and ogee-moulded string-course; the corners have ashlar quoins. The ground-floor and first-floor windows are uniform, each being of two transomed square-headed lights with recessed and hollow-chamfered jambs, heads and mullions; some original wrought-iron casements with quadrant stays remain. At the centre is a square-headed ashlar doorway with a moulded and eared architrave flanked by Roman-Doric pilasters; it is now in a porch, but originally may have been in the plane of the façade. The gabled E. wall of the range has a small blocked window with a moulded square-headed surround; it is set at mezzanine level and indicates the former position of a small stair beside the chimneybreast. The N. wing has casement windows of three square-headed lights at ground-floor, mezzanine and upper first-floor levels, suggesting that the wing originally contained a second staircase. The gabled W. wall has two blocked bull's-eye windows in the upper storey. Inside, the house has been much altered and the original disposition of rooms is lost; it may have resembled that of Motcombe (3). The chimneystacks on the gabled E. and E. walls of the S. range are original, although the fireplaces are blocked. A 17th-century staircase, probably in the N. wing originally, has been moved to the S. range; it is of oak, with heavily moulded close strings, stout turned balusters, square newel posts, and handrails rounded on top and moulded on one side only.
(8) House (76542321), of two storeys, with brick walls and a slate-covered roof, is of the late 18th century. The S. front is of four bays, with a doorway and elliptical-headed sashed windows on the ground floor, similar sashed windows in the upper storey and a plain plat-band at first-floor level.
(16) Cottages (76282275), four adjoining, comprise two on the W. which have now been combined to make one dwelling; inside is an open fireplace with a wooden newel staircase on the S. The cottages on the E. are of the late 18th or early 19th century.
(21) Lawrence Farm (77372303), house, of two storeys, with walls partly of rubble and partly of brickwork and with a tiled roof, is of the late 17th or early 18th century, with a later 18th-century extension on the N. Inside, there are stop-chamfered beams and two open fireplaces.
(22) Bowden Farm (77312359), house, of two storeys with rubble walls and a tiled roof, was built at three periods: the middle part of the range is of the 17th century, the N. part is of the 18th, and the S. part is of the late 19th century.
(23) Folly Farm (77282383), house, of two storeys, with rubble walls and a tiled roof, is of 17th-century origin. The original building, in the N.E. part of the range, has low casement windows with heavy timber surrounds and appears formerly to have been single-storeyed. The S.W. part of the range and the upper storey of the N.E. part were added at the end of the 18th or early in the 19th century.
On the S. side the arches are of the 17th century and have chamfered ashlar voussoirs with the chamfers dying into plain responds. (In April 1631 repairs to the bridge were ordered at Quarter Sessions.) On the N. side the arches have rubble voussoirs springing from ashlar responds and cut-waters, the latter with pyramidal heads; this side of the bridge appears to have been rebuilt in 1792 (contract, D.C.R.O.). Reset in the N. parapet wall is a stone inscribed 1670, probably recording the completion of repairs ordered at Quarter Sessions in July 1669.
(29) Nyland Manor Farm (74782183), house, of two storeys, with rubble walls and slate-covered roofs, dates from c. 1800. The E. front is nearly symmetrical and of five bays, with a central doorway flanked by sashed windows of three lights on the ground floor, and single-light sashed windows in the upper storey. Adjacent on the S.E. is a 19th-century Barn.
(30) Higher Farm (73882217), house, of two storeys with rubble walls and a tiled roof, is of the 17th century; until 1947 the roof was thatched. Set in the S. front is an inscription tablet with 'T.D. 1632' above and 'I.D. 1723' below. The N. elevation retains casement windows of three square-headed lights with chamfered timber surrounds. Inside, some rooms have chamfered beams with splayed stops. One room has an open fireplace with an oven.
(31) Cottage (74952181), of two storeys with rubble walls and a slate-covered roof, is of the early 18th century. Inside are some chamfered beams of shallow cross-section and a blocked open fireplace.
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
(34) Cultivation Remains. Of the open fields of Kington and Nyland little is known; those of Kington must have been enclosed by the end of the 17th century, when the house (7) of Lower Farm was built. Traces of ridge-and-furrow of the fields occur here and there around the village (R.A.F., V.A.P. CPE/UK 2018: 3168).