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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ROYAL COMMISSION ON THE ANCIENT AND HISTORICAL MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS OF ENGLAND
Report to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
We, the undersigned Commissioners, appointed to make an Inventory of the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions connected with or illustrative of the contemporary culture, civilisation and conditions of life of the people of England, excluding Monmouthshire, from the earliest times to the year 1714, and of such further Monuments and Constructions subsequent to that year as may seem in our discretion to be worthy of mention therein, and to specify those which seem most worthy of preservation, do humbly submit to Your Majesty the following Report, being the twenty-sixth Report on the work of the Commission since its first appointment.
2. With regret we have to record the retirement from the Commission upon expiry of term of office of Professor John Grahame Douglas Clark, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and the resignation of Arthur Stanley Oswald, Esquire.
3. We have to thank Your Majesty for the appointment to the Commission of Sir John Betjeman, Knight, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and of John Nowell Linton Myres, Esquire, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries; also for the reappointment of Courtenay Arthur Ralegh Radford, Esquire, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and of Sir John Newenham Summerson, Knight, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects. These appointments and reappointments took place on 1st January 1970 under the terms of Your Majesty's Warrant dated 31st December 1969.
4. We have pleasure in reporting the completion of our Survey of the Monuments in the northern part of the County of Dorset, an area comprising thirty-four parishes, containing 857 Monuments of sufficient significance to demand separate enumeration and some 200 minor Monuments.
5. Following our usual practice we have prepared a full, illustrated Inventory of the Monuments in North Dorset, which will be issued as a non-Parliamentary publication (Dorset IV). As in the Inventory of Central Dorset (Dorset III), accompanying the twenty-fifth Report, we have adopted the terminal date 1850 for the Monuments included in the Inventory.
6. The methods adopted in previous Inventories have in general been adhered to and attention has again been paid to topography and to the form and development of the landscape in which the Monuments are set. Introductory notes are designed to suggest the natural features of each parish and to indicate the history of settlement.
7. The method of presenting 'Celtic' Field Groups and associated Monuments follows that of Dorset III. Since many of these Monuments extend beyond the boundaries of a parish they are described extraparochially in a part of the Inventory following the Inventory by parishes.
8. Important entries in the Inventory of North Dorset have been submitted in draft to the incumbents of parishes and to the owners of houses, as appropriate, and we believe that no significant Monument dating from before the year 1850 has been omitted.
9. Our special thanks are due to incumbents and churchwardens and to owners and occupiers who have allowed access by our staff to the Monuments in their charge or ownership. We are indebted to the Directors and Curators of many institutions for their ready assistance to us, particularly to Mr. R. N. R. Peers, Curator of the Dorset County Museum, to Miss M. Holmes, the County Archivist, and to Miss P. K. Stewart, assistant Diocesan Archivist in Salisbury. We have to record our indebtedness to the Director General of the Ordnance Survey for access to his archaeological records, for assistance in the preparation and printing of maps, and for valuable work done by the Air Surveyors of his Department. We have also to thank the Director in Aerial Photography in the University of Cambridge for air photographs taken specially for us.
(1) The Parish Church of St. John, in which the chancel and nave are of 14th-century origin and the N. aisle is of the 15th century; the chancel contains an interesting late 14th-century tomb with a recumbent effigy.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary, an important monument retaining a mid 12th-century nave and N. aisle, and probably part of a S. tower, also a late 12th-century S. aisle, a 13th-century N. transept, a 14th-century chancel, W. tower and S. porch, and a 15th-century spire.
(1) The Abbey Church, razed to the ground at the Dissolution, but retaining the foundations of an important late 11th-century church with 12th-century and 14th-century additions, together with the valuable collection of architectural fragments recovered during the excavation of the Monument.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Nicholas, largely rebuilt in the 15th century, but incorporating a late 12th-century nave arcade; within the nave is the important monument by Nost of Sir Hugh Wyndham (1692).
Note: The rapid and widespread destruction of field monuments continues to be a cause of anxiety. All field monuments listed in the Inventory of North Dorset should be treated with care, not only on account of their increasing rarity, but also because the extent and impressiveness of surface remains do not by themselves indicate a monument's archaeological importance; this can be revealed only by excavation. Destruction should never be allowed until competent archaeological investigation has taken place.
11. Our criteria in compiling the foregoing lists have been architectural and archaeological importance (subject to the reservation expressed in the note to Earthworks above), rarity, and the degree of loss that would result from destruction, always bearing in mind the extent to which the Monuments are connected with or are illustrative of the culture, civilisation and conditions of life of the people, as required by Your Majesty's Warrant. We have taken no account of such circumstances as cost of maintenance, usefulness for present-day purposes, or difficulty of preservation.
12. We wish to express our appreciation of the work done by our executive staff in the production of this Inventory: by the editor, Mr. G. U. S. Corbett, and by our investigators, Messrs. R. W. McDowall, N. Drinkwater, H. C. Bowen, T. W. French, W. E. Mercer, J. E. Williams, C. F. Stell, D. J. Bonney, C. C. Taylor, Dr. B. E. A. Jones, and Mr. J. N. Hampton; also by our illustrators, Mr. A. L. Pope and Mrs. G. M. Lardner-Dennys, and by our photographers, Messrs. W. C. Light, R. E. W. Parsons, and C. J. Bassham. The index was compiled by Miss M. Meek.
13. We also wish to acknowledge the valuable and constant assistance rendered by our Secretary and General Editor, Mr. A. R. Dufty, whom Your Majesty has lately been pleased to appoint a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.