2 ARNE (9788)
(O.S. 6 ins. aSY 88NE, bSY 98 SW, cSY 98 NW, dSY 98 SE, eSY 98 NE)
The large modern parish of Arne, covering some 6,500
acres, excluding extensive mud flats, lies on the S. side
of Poole Harbour and extends to the S. and W. of
Wareham. Except for areas of river gravel along the
rivers Piddle and Frome W. of Wareham it consists
entirely of rolling heathland, produced by the underlying Bagshot Beds, nowhere much over 100 ft. above
The present parish is a late 19th-century grouping of
the mediaeval parish of Arne with that part of Wareham
Holy Trinity parish outside the town and part of
Wareham Lady St. Mary parish. The old parish of
Arne covering about 2,700 acres occupied the large
peninsula projecting N. into Poole Harbour and the
adjacent heathland to the S.E. The village lies on the
E. side of a low hill in the centre of the peninsula and
is probably a late settlement on the heathland. It is not
recorded until 1285 (Fägersten, 129) though the church
indicates an origin of c. 1200. The lack of alterations in
the latter implies a continuing small population. Slepe
and Ridge are also probably late settlements in the area.
The former parish of Holy Trinity, outside Wareham,
consisted of two parts. One was a roughly rectangular
block of land S. of the town covering some 1,500 acres,
in the centre of which lay Stoborough, a settlement
recorded in Domesday Book; there are no buildings in
the present village older than the 18th century and this
may be the result of its destruction during the Civil
War. (fn. 1) The other part was a long narrow strip of
heathland, S. of the old parish of Arne, which was the
land of Middlebere, a group of small farms on the edge
of Poole Harbour first recorded in 1376 (Fägersten, 130).
The part of Wareham Lady St. Mary parish now joined
with Arne lies to the W. of Wareham town, between
the rivers Piddle and Frome. It is centred on the tiny
Domesday settlement of Worgret, lying on a river
terrace of the Frome.
Of nineteen barrows in the parish only one, the
'King's Barrow' at Stoborough, is of note, probably
dating from the Wessex Culture of the Early Bronze
Age. There is evidence of an extensive salt industry
alongside Poole Harbour during the Roman period.
Arne church and the complex of undated dykes on
Worgret Heath are the principal monuments.
e(1) The Parish Church of St. Nicholas stands
in the N.E. of the parish. The walls are mainly of
roughly squared and faced carstone; the roofs are
covered with tiles and stone slates. The building consists
of a single-cell Chancel and Nave built late in the 12th or
early in the 13th century and a South Porch, which is also
of mediaeval origin. The upper part of the W. end of
the nave was partitioned off in the 16th or 17th century
to form a bell-chamber. The church was restored in the
mid 19th century and again in 1952 after war damage.
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel and Nave (49¼ ft.
by 16 ft.) are structurally undivided. All the buttresses are
19th-century additions or reconstructions. In the E. wall is a
window of three graduated lancet lights of c. 1200. Of the
three windows in the N. wall, the two more easterly are lancet
lights of c. 1200; the third is of the same date, but has a square
head, probably so formed when the belfry was inserted. The
partly restored N. doorway, now blocked, also of c. 1200, has
a two-centred head and continuously chamfered jambs. In the
S. wall are three windows, the first and third being lancets
similar to those in the N. wall; that in the middle is of the
late 14th century and of two trefoiled lights in a square head.
The S. doorway is renewed except for parts of the chamfered
jambs. In the W. wall is a 16th or 17th-century square-headed
window lighting the belfry.
The South Porch (6¼ ft. by 6½ ft.), though possibly of 13th-century origin, has been rebuilt. It has an outer archway with
two-centred head of one re-dressed chamfered order.
The Roof is in five bays divided by collar-beam trusses
supporting two purlins each side; some of the main timbers
are of the 16th or 17th century. The W. bay contains the belfry.
Fittings—Altar: slab with five incised crosses, mediaeval.
Bell: inaccessible, said to be by Chapman and Mears, 1782.
Chair: of oak, elaborately carved and with marquetry panel
in back, scrolled armrests, turned legs and stretchers, 17th-century, restored and with modern work. Communion Rails:
with turned and two square balusters alternately, top rail
inscribed in Roman capitals: I WILL RECEIVE THE CUP OF
SALVATION AND CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD WITH
THANKSGIVING (cf. Ps. cxvi, 12), late 17th-century, restored and
made up with modern material, given in memory of Brook
Kitchin, died 1940. Font: octagonal bowl with two quatre-foiled vesica-shaped panels in each face, elaborately moulded
underside, plain octagonal stem and chamfered base on step,
14th-century; octagonal pyramidal wood cover with carved
finial, mid 19th-century.
Monument and Floor-slabs. Monument: in chancel—on N.
wall, to Thomas Hyde, 1795, and Frances his wife, 1812,
marble oval tablet. Floor-slabs: in chancel, (1) to Mary, wife
of Thomas Baker jun., 1673/4, and Thomas Baker, 1685, and
Mary his wife; (2) to John Vye, 1676; (3) to Edward Vye,
1682/3, and Lewis Cockram, 1738. Organ: panelled lower
stage, with brass candle branches; upper part with pipes
enclosed in wide central pierced panel with four-centred
cusped and sub-cusped head with shields in the spandrels
and flanking battlemented towers of pipes with narrow
pierced panels with four-centred cusped and sub-cusped heads;
inscribed 'Presented by Louisa Countess of Eldon AD 1842';
restored in later 19th century. Painting: in nave—on S. wall
over doorway, repetitive stencilled design in red, perhaps
pomegranates, early 16th-century; on W. wall, vestiges of
indeterminate mediaeval paintings (now painted over). Piscina:
in chancel, recess with actuely pointed head and round drain,
mediaeval. Reading-desk: modern, but incorporating panel with
initials and date, N C 1657.
d(2) Sharford Bridge, over the river Corfe (966848),
on the S.E. boundary of the parish and half in Corfe Castle
parish, is rubble-built and in two spans with rough two-centred
arches. It may date from the 17th or 18th century.
Railway Bridge, at Worgret, see p. 417.
Unless otherwise described the houses are of one
storey with attics, the walls are of cob on rubble plinths
and the roofs are thatched. The interiors are plain.
e(3) Middlebere Farm (968863) is an early 17th-century
house of squared and coursed rubble with a plan comprising
two rooms. The S. room was the hall, entered by a doorway
alongside the fireplace. A plank and muntin partition divides
this room from the N. room, the parlour, where the chamfered
ceiling beam has more elaborate stops than has that in the hall.
An original staircase probably occupied the same position as
the present one. In the early 18th century a through passage
and two small rooms were added at the S. end, of brick on a
rubble plinth; then or slightly later a round-headed semi-circular niche was inserted W. of the parlour fireplace, where
formerly may have stood a second staircase. In the 19th
century a cottage was added at the N. end.
c(4) Stoborough Farm, house, was built in the late 16th
or early 17th century with a hall and an inner room. The hall
fireplace stood against the N. gable wall with the doorway
on one side and a staircase on the other. The three windows
were refitted in the 18th century with wooden frames in the
original openings; the house no doubt was built with another
window on the E. side of the hall. Early in the 18th century
a through passage and third room were added, with a staircase
flanking the new chimney-stack. In the 19th century the house
was turned into two cottages; the 17th-century staircase was
then removed and replaced by a straight flight in the inner
room, and this last was divided to provide a scullery for the
S. cottage. (Demolished)
e(5) Old Dairy House (200 yds. N.N.W.), of coursed
rubble, was built in the late 16th century when it probably
had a hall and an inner room; the chamfered stone jambs of
the fireplace, with pyramidal stops, are of this date. The back
wall was rebuilt in the 18th century in brickwork in header
bond with glazed headers. This house and Monument (6)
have been extensively rebuilt after wartime damage.
e(6) House (30 yds. N.) was built about the middle of the
18th century. The walls are mainly of brickwork in Flemish
bond with blue headers but incorporate some rubble walling
of earlier date (see Monument 5).
Monuments (7–27) are all in the W. half of the
parish, mostly in Stoborough village.
c(7) Cottages, three, were built in the 18th century with
rubble plinths and brick chimneys. (Demolished)
c(8) House, of two storeys, has over the front door a stone
inscribed RD 1745. The house at that date had walls of brickwork in Flemish bond on the W. and S. sides, the others being
of cob, and the roof, now tiled, was probably of thatch. The
original ground-floor windows have segmental heads. In the
early 19th century a cob Outhouse was added, and later the N.
wall was refaced in brick.
c(9) 'King's Arms', public house, was built in the 18th
century. It has a 3 ft. high rubble plinth.
c(10) Rose Cottage, of two storeys, was built in the 18th
century. It had a 3 ft. high rubble plinth, a tiled roof, and a
later tapering brick buttress on the W. side. (Demolished)
c(11) Cottage, of two storeys, had a 3 ft. high rubble
plinth and a tiled roof. It was built in the 18th century.
c(12) House, of two storeys with a slated roof, now
incorporating a shop, was built in the 18th century with two
three-sided bay windows flanking a central doorway. The N.
bay window was enlarged in the 19th century to form a shop-window.
c(13) Cottage, of two storeys with a tiled roof, was built
in the 18th century.
c(14) House, of two storeys and attics with a tiled roof,
was built in the 18th century. A shop was added in the 19th
century. (Partly rebuilt)
c(15) Cottages, two, of the 18th century, have a high
rubble plinth. The two brick chimneys are built back-to-back.
c(16) Cottage, of two storeys, is of the 18th century.
c(17) Cottage was built in the 18th century; at the W.
end is a later brick buttress.
c(18) Cottage, of brick with a tiled roof, was built in the
late 18th century and much altered in the 19th century.
c(19) Cottages, two, were built in the 18th century; the
front walls have been refaced in brick.
c(20) Cottages, two (924857), on S. side of Stoborough
Green, are of two storeys; they were built in the late 18th
century. The E. cottage incorporates part of an earlier rubble
Monuments (21–24) are on Stoborough Heath, S. of
c(21) Cottages, a pair (928854), of two storeys, were
built in the late 18th century. All the windows are fitted with
flush-framed sashes. At the S. end are two modern tapering
c(22) Cottage (927854), on W. side of Furzebrook Road,
is of two storeys. All the fittings are of the late 18th century,
but a large projecting chimney-stack at the N. end may be part
of an earlier building.
b(23) Halfway Inn (938841) was built in the late 18th
century. It has a brick plinth, and the S. wall has been partly
refaced in brick. To the E. is a 19th-century extension in
rubble with a stone-slated roof.
c(24) Cottages, a pair (920853), on E. side of road to
Steeple, of two storeys, were built in the early 19th century.
They have later gabled porches.
c(25) Redcliffe Farm, house (931866), of one storey with
semi-attics, is of local carstone rubble and has a tiled roof with
stone-slate verges. It was built probably in the 17th century
but no details of that period have survived the drastic 19th-century and modern alterations.
c(26) Manor House (907870), at Worgret, is of two
storeys with attics. The thickness of the walls of the main
block, slightly over 2 ft., may mean they are built of cob
behind a brick skin; the thinner walls of the back wing are
of brickwork in English bond. The roofs are covered with
tiles with stone slates at the verges. All the details are of c. 1825
and only the different wall thicknesses suggest that the house
may be of two builds. Most of the walls are faced with stucco.
The N. front has a central doorway behind a modern porch
between two tall sash windows and three windows on the
first floor. In the E. end is a french window with marginal
glazing. In the S. wing the dormer windows are round-headed. The ground plan comprises a central staircase hall
flanked by two rooms, the two walls dividing the three
containing the fireplaces; the first floor is similar on plan to
that below. The four flues are gathered into a central chimney-stack. On the ground floor, in the S. wall of the E. room is a
wide segmental-headed recess with a reeded architrave. The
back wing comprises a kitchen and pantry.
c(27) Worgret Farm, 25 yds. S.S.W. of (26), is of two
storeys with attics; it was built of brick and thatched in the
early 19th century.
(28–46) Round Barrows, p. 434.
(47) Mound, p. 481.
(48) Linear Dykes, on Worgret Heath and Wareham Common, p. 516.
(49–54) Roman Remains, p. 592.