An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 5, East. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1975.
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19 VERWOOD (0809)
The parish, covering nearly 3,700 acres, lies entirely on Bagshot Beds which give rise to extensive heathland and slopes generally southwards from 300 ft. down to 50 ft. above O.D. The land is drained by the R. Crane, flowing S.E. across the centre of the area.
Until late in the 19th century Verwood was part of Cranborne. The history of the area is one of late settlement; Potterne Farm is not recorded until 1283 nor Verwood itself until 1329. Eastworth Farm is probably another mediaeval settlement, the Horsith mentioned in documents from 1249 onwards (Hutchins III, 386). The slow clearance and enclosure of the heathland continued throughout the mediaeval period and later, but it seems to have accelerated in the late 18th century; even by 1811, however, settlement was largely confined to the W. and N.W. of the parish (O.S. 1811). The 19th century saw further construction of small cottages in these areas, probably in consequence of a pottery industry which made use of local clay; settlement also extended to Three Legged Cross in the S.W.; all this was on land already enclosed by 1811. The hamlet of Ebblake in the E. of the parish is of mid 19th-century origin.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Michael and All Angels (08490872). The Parochial Act Book (1792– 1843) records the consecration of a Chapel in 1829; its walls may still exist within the present fabric, masked by additions of 1870 and later (Faculties, 1870–95, Sarum Dioc. Regy.).
(2) Wools Bridge (10090471), carrying the road from Wimborne to Ringwood across the R. Crane, has two brick arches with ashlar keystones; it is of early 19th-century origin and has subsequently been widened.
(4) Verwood Manor Farm (08860749), house, of two storeys, has brick walls with stone dressings and a tiled roof. It dates from the early 18th century and has a class-T plan, but it was refitted and enlarged late in the 19th century.
(5) Woolsbridge Farm (09720498), house, of one storey with attics, has walls of brick, partly rendered, and a thatched roof. Of early 18th-century origin with a class-I plan, it was extended westwards in the 18th and again in the 19th century.
(6) Verwood Farm (08160798), house, of one storey with an attic, has brick walls and a thatched roof. It has a class-T plan and dates from the first half of the 18th century, with additions on the N. and W.
(7) Burrow's Farm (08811027), house, of two storeys with rendered brick walls, has an iron-covered roof. It is of early or mid 18th-century origin and formerly had a class-T plan. Inside, the main ceiling beams and the cambered fireplace bressummer are chamfered, with ogee stops.
(8) Eastworth Farm (08390969), house, has a late 18th-century nucleus of two storeys, with brick walls and a tiled roof. The S. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a plinth and a first-floor plat-band. The house was formerly an inn.
(9) Hayward's Farm (08140824), house, of two storeys, originated in the 18th century as a cob-walled cottage with a class-J plan. In the mid 19th century it was extended, heightened, and faced on the S. with brickwork. A ground-floor fireplace recently concealed is said to have the date 1703 carved on the bressummer.
(10) Potterne House (09520746), formerly a farmhouse with cob walls and tiled roofs, dates from early in the 18th century. It comprises a two-storeyed front range with a tile-hung upper storey, and two rear ranges at right-angles to the front of one storey with attics. There are recent additions on the N. and E. and the house has been modernised, but the interior retains chamfered ceiling beams. Several doors have Land H-shaped iron hinges, and fielded panels.
(11) Cottage (08600928), single-storeyed with cob walls and a thatched roof, is of 17th-century origin. It has a central chimney-stack, and a chamfered and cambered fireplace bressummer inscribed W 1674 M and IB 1743. Enlarged in the 19th century, the cottage has recently been extensively modernised.
(12) Holly Cottage (08760840), of one storey with attics, has brick walls and a thatched roof and dates from the 18th century. The original class-T plan has been extended. Two chamfered ceiling beams have angled stops.
(13) Cottage (08080923), of one storey with attics, with cob walls and a thatched roof, is of 17th-century origin, but it has been extensively altered and enlarged; the plan was originally of class J. The chimney-stack retains two square shafts set diagonally on broached bases, with projecting courses at cap and base.
(14) Cottage (08450882), of one storey with attics, has cob walls and a thatched roof. It is probably of 18th-century origin, but it has been much altered; the original plan appears to have been of class T. A deeply chamfered beam is probably from elsewhere.
(18) Cottage (08310700), of one storey with attics, has cob walls and a tiled roof. It was formerly of class J and is of late 17th or early 18th-century origin, but it has been much altered; timber-framed partitions, 17th-century panelling and additional ceiling beams have been brought from elsewhere. The fireplace at the N. end of the range has a stout cambered bressummer.
Unless otherwise described, the following cottages are single-storeyed with attics and have cob walls, thatched roofs and class-S plans. They date from late in the 18th to about the middle of the 19th century.
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
(57) Closes (093064–101117), sixteen or more, now deserted, cover some 60 acres on Lower Common. They vary in area from 2 to 10 acres, are roughly rectangular and are bounded by low banks and ditches. Twelve closes form a compact group around 099060, but they are not all contemporary. Single closes exist in the W. in fragmentary condition. Since none is shown on O.S. 1811 the closes appear to have been abandoned before that date.
Seven barrows form a scatter on Boveridge Heath in the extreme N. of the parish. With the exception of Stephen's Castle (58) they all lie in a plantation on a slight rise in the heath. One, described as an oval barrow and probably Monument (64), was excavated in 1828 and yielded four leaf-shaped flint arrowheads, but no trace of a burial (C.T.D., Pt. 2, No. 19 and p. 27; Arch., XLIII (1880), 414).
(58) Stephen's Castle, bowl barrow (09110970), lies on a low spur on heathland N. of the village; diam. 32 ft., ht. 3 ft. A cremation under an inverted barrel urn was found when the barrow was opened in 1828 (C.T.D., Pt. 2, No. 18; Arch. J., CXIX (1962), 54).