3 ASKERSWELL (C.d.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a) XXXVIII, N.E. (b)XXXVIII, S.E.
c)XXXIX, N.W. d)XXXIX, S.W.)
Askerswell is a parish 4 m. E. of Bridport. Eggardon
Camp is the principal monument.
b(1) Parish Church of St. Michael stands in the
S.W. part of the parish, and was rebuilt in 1858 except
for the West Tower.This was built early in the 15th
century and is of coursed local rubble with dressings
of the same material.
Architectural Description—The West Tower (11 ft.
by 10 ft.) is of three stages (Plate 2) with a moulded
plinth, embattled parapet, pinnacles, gargoyles and a
S.E. stair-turret also embattled. The details are of early
15th-century date. The tower-arch is moulded and
two-centred, the reveals and soffit are panelled with
trefoil-headed panels, two in the width. The W. doorway has moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a
square head with blank shields and foliage in the
spandrels and the top moulding of the plinth is carried
round as a label; the W. window is of three trefoiled
ogee lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head
with moulded reveals and label. The second stage
has an inserted 16th-century S. window of one three-centred light. The bell-chamber has, in each wall,
a window of two trefoiled lights in a square head. The
ground stage has a moulded ceiling-beam, carved
with a crook and a rosary.
Fittings—Bells; five; 2nd by George Purdue,
1619. Bell-frame, old. Brass Indent: In tower—
slab, top part missing, with indent of foliated cross
and marginal inscription in separate capitals, slab
formed part of memorial to Thomas de Luda and
Eleanor his wife, c. 1320, formerly in Abbotsbury
Abbey, inscription records gift of Holywell to the
abbey, other half of slab now in the church of Whit-church Canonicorum. Door: In tower-staircase—
of nail-studded battens with strap-hinges, 17th-century
or earlier. Font (Plate 13): Circular convex bowl with
simple intersecting arcading, moulded rim and necking,
cylindrical stem with unfinished band of interlacing
ornament, square base with spur-ornaments, late 12th-century. Image: On W. wall of tower—carved stone
panel of the Crucifixion (Plate 10) with the Virgin and
St. John, 15th-century. Monuments: In vestry—(1) to
William Locke sen., rector, 1686, and William Locke
jun., rector, 1722, stone tablet with arched panel. In
churchyard—S. of chancel, (2) to Richard Oad, 1676–7,
headstone; E. of porch, (3) to Julian Jenkins, 1686,
Julian Jenkins, 1689, and Margaret, wife of Julian
Jenkins sen., 1704, table-tomb. Plate: includes a set
of a cup, a paten, a flagon, all of 1850, and an alms-dish
of the same date. Seating: In tower—two coffin-stools,
with turned legs, one stool with enriched rails, 17th-century.
Indent of the de Luda brass
in the Parishes of Askerwell
& Whitchurch Canonicorum
The following monuments, unless otherwise
described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys;
the walls are of rubble and the roofs are covered with
thatch or modern slate. Some of the buildings have
exposed ceiling-beams and original fireplaces.
b(2) House, two tenements, 30 yards S. of the church,
retains some original stone windows, one of three
lights and one with a label.
b(3) Court Farm, house 20 yards W. of the church,
retains three original stone-mullioned windows, two
b(4) Medway's Farm, house 200 yards N.W. of the
church, has later additions on the E. and S. The
doorway has moulded jambs and three-centred head.
b(5) House, on the N. side of the road 40 yards N. of
(4), retains a number of original stone-mullioned
windows, some of them blocked.
b(6) Cottage, 120 yards W.N.W. of (5), retains some
original stone windows and a doorway with moulded
jambs and carved paterae in the spandrels of the head.
b(7) Cottage, on the S. side of the road 40 yards S.W.
b(8) House, 640 yards W.N.W. of the church, was
built in the 16th century and has an 18th-century
addition on the S. Inside the building one room has
original moulded ceiling-beams and hollow-chamfered
b(9) Hembury Farm, house 230 yards N.W. of (8),
has been largely remodelled in the 18th century; on
the S. front is a stone with the initials and date, G.B.
a(10) House, on the N. side of the road at Spyway,
nearly ½ m. N.N.W. of the church, has been much
c(11) South Eggardon House, about ¾ m. N.N.E. of
the church, was built in the 16th century and extended
N. in the 17th and 18th centuries; of the two E. wings,
the northern is a 17th-century addition of two dates.
There are some stone-mullioned windows and in the
S.E. wing are some reused stone windows with labels
and two late mediaeval carved panels, one with a cross
formy in a circle and the other with a quatrefoil in a
circle and a patera in the middle. Inside the original
part of the house is a muntin and plank partition and
original moulded ceiling-beams; one room has a
fireplace with moulded jambs and head. The inner
doorway of the porch has a four-centred head with the
scratched initials and date R.W. 1642. On the first
floor one room has moulded ceiling-beams formerly
making sixteen panels, but in part cut away.
c(12) Eggardon Camp, hill-fort (Plate 71), partly in
Powerstock parish, occupies the summit of a hill 800 ft.
high, 1½ m. N.E. of the church. The area is over 20
acres, or nearly 36 acres including the defences but
excluding the outwork on the S.W.
The hill-fort has a comparatively level enclosure but
the ground falls rapidly on the N.E., S., S.W. and W.,
though to the E. and N.W. it is nearly level. The
defences, except on the E. and N.W., consist of three
ramparts with two medial ditches; on the W., N.E.
and E. sides there is an open area of varying width
between the two outer lines. At the N.W. and E. ends,
where the ground is practically level and the two
entrances to the camp are situated, a different treatment
is adopted. The former has an additional outer line
of rampart, ditch and counterscarp bank, across the
back of the ridge and merging into the main outer line
of defence. As will be seen from the plan the entrances
through these ramparts are so arranged as to traverse
the defences diagonally. There are two entrances
through the middle rampart; the central entrance has
an inturn on the N. side but the ditch has been cut
through in front of it, probably when the second
entrance to the N. was formed. This entrance is
approached by a sunk track along the edge of the
ridge to the N.W. The outermost line is stopped
short of this approach and is therefore presumably an
addition to the plan, contemporary with the building
or extension of the outermost rampart on both sides
of the ridge.
At the E. end, the main rampart is higher than elsewhere and has an outer ditch and a slight counterscarp
bank. The entrance through the outer line is in the
S.E. angle and is flanked by inturned ramparts. Here
also the entrances are made to traverse the defences
diagonally, additional strength being obtained by the
formation of two ramparts with a medial ditch across
the enclosure between the two systems. The outer
entrance was approached both from the ridge and also
by a diagonal track up the S. escarpment of the hill;
where this track approaches the entrance it is screened
by a short length of outer bank and ditch. On the S.
side of the fort an extensive landslip carried away the
whole of the defences on the middle of this face; this
was remedied by digging a wide ditch in the eastern
part of the fallen material and reinstating the outer ditch
and bank below it. Neither of these works, however,
being at a lower level, make connection with the earlier
defences. As part of the same work a further bank
was thrown up at the foot of the hill and covering
roughly the same lateral extent as the landslip. Through
this bank the diagonal approach to the S.E. entrance
turns outwards and southwards.
Although no reconstruction of the history of the
site is possible without further excavation, evidence
of a structural sequence has been noted both at the
N.W. end and on the S.Side. In the case of the former,
the alteration of the position of the outer entrance
coincided with the addition of an outer enclosure. On
the S. side, the rebuilding of much of the outer defences,
due to the landslip, doubtless explains the presence of
the unusual outer line of considerable strength in the
valley below it. There is no visible evidence that the
multiple defences were preceded by a simpler system.
Within the enclosure are two large mounds, probably
barrows, that marked " A " on plan having a diameter
of 42 ft. and a height of about 2 ft.; while mound "B"
has a diameter of about 42 ft. and a height of 4½ ft.
Both have been considerably damaged. There are also
a number of small somewhat irregular mounds. Their
dimensions are as follows:—(1) disturbed in centre,
diam. 23 ft., height 9 in. (2) irregular oval 6 ft. by
5 ft., 6 in. high, possibly natural. (3) oval, diams.
6 ft.by 5½ ft., height about 8 in. (4) roughly circular,
12 ft. diam., height about 9 in. (5) roughly circular,
10½ ft. diam., height about 9 in. (6) rectangular,
19½ ft. by 9 ft., height about 9 in. (7) rectangular,
45 ft. by 9 ft. and 1 ft. high, possibly a portion of a
bank. There are also, where shown on plan, traces
of banks, perhaps of former enclosures, but they are
now somewhat fragmentary and it is impossible to say
whether they are original. It is perhaps significant
that, as far as can now be seen these banks do not
appear to impinge on any trace of a pit.
Eggardon Camp, Situated in the Parishes of Askerswell & Powerstock
The small octagonal enclosure, surrounded by a
slight bank, some 50 yards from the S.W. rampart, is
modern. It represents the site of a former coppice
planted to serve as a sea-mark.
The whole floor of the main enclosure is pitted with
shallow cup-like hollows in the turf about 4 to 5 yards
in diam. Generally speaking, there is no trace of their
having been arranged on any direct system beyond the
fact that they appear to have been kept clear of the
central trackway joining the two entrances. This
observation must, however, be qualified by the fact
that a modern trackway runs on this line.
During 1900 five of these hollows were excavated
(Dr. Colley March, Proc. Soc. Ant.,XVIII, p. 258).
They were pits varying in depth from 5 ft. 6 in. to
6 ft. 8 in. In them were found: a flint knife, flint saw,
scrapers and numerous flakes, etc.
The ridge on which the camp stands narrows, until
it ceases in a rapid fall about 600 yards N.W. of the
camp. On the top of this ridge about ¼ mile from the
outermost rampart of the camp and a few yards N.W.
of the O.S. Trig. point is a slight sinking of about
5 yards diam. and 2½ ft. deep with slight encircling
bank. About 20 yards W. of this is a rough transverse
ditch across the top of the ridge which here is only
about 23 yards in width, with an internal and external
c(13) Earthwork, on the S.E. side of the track 1 m.
N.E. of the church, occupies the top of a narrow ridge,
about 100 yards across. It consists of a length of
cross-dyke with a ditch on the N.E. side. The ditch
widens towards the N. and has a length of ditch crossing
it at right angles and a slight scarp to the S.E., suggesting
a former enclosure.
c(14) Dyke on Haydon Down, 1¼ m. E.N.E. of the
church and extending into Litton Cheney parish,
consists of a bank with a ditch on the N. side. It
extends for about 300 yards across the top of the ridge
and may have some connection with (13) above and a
dyke in Litton Cheney parish.
d(15) Earthworks on the S. edge of the parish nearly
1 m. E.S.E. of the church, consist of two dykes and a
third dyke about 650 yards to the W. cutting across the
ridge. All three dykes extend S. into Litton Cheney
parish. They run across the road on Askerswell Down.
The two eastern dykes extend for some 150 to 200 yards
and are about 100 yards apart; they have ditches on
the outward side, towards the E. and W. respectively.
The third dyke has the ditch on the E. side. There are
various other scarps and banks of minor imporatnce.
c(16) Mound, possibly a disturbed barrow, 30 yards
S.W. of (13), is about 51 ft. in diam. and 2 ft. high.
d(17) Bowl Barrow, on the N. side of the Bridport
road 1,070 yards E.S.E. of the church, is 26 ft. in diam.
and 2 ft. high.
d(18) Bowl Barrow, ¼ m. E.S.E. of (17), is 29 ft. in
diam. and 2½ ft. high.
Distribution Plan of Barrows South-East of Eggardon Camp
(Group No. 19 in text)
c(19) Group of Barrows, near the N.E. boundary
of the parish and ½ m. S.E. of (12), are five in number.
The most northerly (a), bowl barrow, is 30 ft. in diam.
and ¾ ft. high; (b), bowl barrow, 180 yards S.E. of (a),
is 60 ft. in diam. and 3¾ ft. high; (c), bowl barrow,
70 yards S.E. of (b), is 30 ft. in diam. and 1 ft. high;
(d), bowl barrow, 20 yards S. of (c), is 30 ft. in diam.
and 1 ft. high; (e), 40 yards S.W. of (d), is an oval
46 by 36 ft. and 1½ ft. high.
c(20) Earthworks, nearly ½ m. N.E. of the church,
consist of a series of scarps perhaps representing traces
of a Celtic field-system.
d(21) Lynchets, ½ m. E. of the church, extend for
500 to 600 ft. on the N. slope of the hill. The terraces,
where regular, are 9 to 10 yards in width with a fall of
5 to 10 ft.