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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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 thirty-first Report on the work of the Commission since its appointment.
2. We have pleasure in reporting the completion of our recording of the Monuments in the eastern part of the County of Dorset, an area of twenty-five civil parishes wherein we have identified 842 distinct Monuments, 4 Roman Roads and extensive remains of Prehistoric Agriculture. Our Survey of Dorset is now ended.
3. Following our usual practice we have prepared an illustrated Inventory of the Monuments of East Dorset, which will be issued as a non-Parliamentary publication (Dorset V). As in the Inventory of North Dorset (Dorset IV), accompanying the twenty-sixth Report, it has been our policy to include all significant Monuments and Constructions dating from before 1850. The methods adopted in previous Inventories have in general been adhered to, and special attention has been paid to topography and to the form and development of the landscape in which the Monuments are set.
4. Important entries in the Inventory of East Dorset have been submitted in draft to the incumbents of churches and to the owners of land and houses, as appropriate, and we believe that no significant Monument dating from before the year 1850 has been omitted.
5. Our method of presenting 'Celtic' Field Groups and associated Monuments remains as in Dorset IV. Since many of these Monuments extend beyond the boundaries of a single parish they are described extra-parochially in a section of the Inventory following the inventory by parishes. For similar reasons we have been unwilling to subordinate the discussion of ancient roads to the parochial structure, and the final volume of the Dorset Inventory therefore contains a general synopsis of Roman Roads in the County.
7. Our thanks are due to incumbents and churchwardens and to the owners and occupiers of land and houses who have allowed us and members of our staff to investigate the Monuments in their charge or ownership. We are indebted to the Directors and Curators of several institutions for ready assistance: notably Mr. R. N. R. Peers, Curator of the Dorset County Museum, Miss M. Holmes, the County Archivist, and Miss P. K. Stewart, assistant Diocesan Archivist in Salisbury. We have to thank the Director General of the Ordnance Survey for access to archaeological records held by his Department. Cambridge University Committee for Aerial Photography has supplied many indispensable photographs. For help in questions of geology we are indebted to Dr. F. W. Anderson, formerly of the Geological Survey.
Note. The rapid and widespread destruction of field monuments continues to be a cause of anxiety. All field monuments listed in the Inventory of East 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.
9. In compiling the foregoing lists our criteria have been architectural and archaeological importance, rarity, and the degree of loss that would result from destruction, always bearing in mind the extent to which the Monuments are connected with the contemporary culture, civilisation and conditions of life of the people of England, as commanded in 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.
10. We desire to commend the good work done by our executive staff in the preparation of this Inventory: by the editor, Mr. G. U. S. Corbett, PH.D., F.S.A., and by our investigators, Messrs. R. W. McDowall, O.B.E., F.S.A., N. Drinkwater, O.B.E., T.D., A.R.I.B.A., F.S.A., H. C. Bowen, O.B.E., M.A., F.S.A., R. A. H. Farrar, M.A., F.S.A., W. E. J. Mercer, F.S.A., J. E. Williams, E.R.D., A.R.C.A., F.S.A., C. F. Stell, M.A., A.R.I.B.A., F.S.A., D. J. Bonney, B.A., F.S.A., C. C. Taylor, B.A., F.S.A., J. A. Reeves, F.S.A., J. N. Hampton, F.S.A., and N. J. Moore, M.A., M.PHIL.; by our illustrators, Mr. A. L. Pope, A.R.C.A., A.R.E., and Mrs. G. M. Lardner-Dennys; and by our photographers, Messrs. F. T. Power, W. C. Light and R. E. W. Parsons. We are also grateful for help given by our investigators, Messrs. S. T. D. Spittle, M.A., A.R.I.B.A., F.S.A., T. W. French, M.A., F.S.A., J. T. Smith, M.A., F.S.A., Dr. R. M. Butler, M.A., F.S.A., Dr. B. E. A. Jones, M.A., and Mrs. V. G. Swan, B.A.; and by our illustrators, Messrs. W. Masiewicz, F.S.I.A., R. F. Meads and P. A. Spencer. The index was compiled by Mrs. H. M. Green.
11. We wish to acknowledge the valuable assistance rendered to us, while the five volumes of the Dorset Inventory were in preparation, by our former Secretary and General Editor, Mr. A. R. Dufty, C.B.E., A.R.I.B.A., F.S.A., who recently left our Service to become the Master of The Armouries in Your Majesty's Royal Fortress of The Tower of London. As Secretary and General Editor we now welcome our former Investigator, Mr. R. W. McDowall, O.B.E., F.S.A.