37 TYNEHAM (8880)
(O.S. 6 ins. aSY 88 SE & part of SY 87 NE, bSY 97 NW & part of
SY 87 NE)
Tyneham, a parish of some 3,000 acres, lies at the W.
end of the Isle of Purbeck, 5 miles S.W. of Wareham.
It comprises a broad wooded valley between the high
ridges of Gold Down and Tyneham Cap to the S. and
the Purbeck Hills to the N. with a wide area of open
heathland further N. The valley, cut into Wealden
Beds, is drained westwards by a small stream flowing
to Worbarrow Bay; the ridge to the S., composed of
Purbeck Beds, is partly curtailed by the sea to form
Gad Cliff but further E. rises to over 600 ft. at Tyneham
Cap, beyond which the land slopes down on Kimmeridge Clay to the sea. The Chalk Purbeck Hills to the
N. also rise to over 600 ft. above O.D. and beyond them
the heathland stretching northwards is almost all on
Bagshot Beds and nearly level with a slight fall to the
N. Near Worbarrow Bay, the Kimmeridge shale and
perhaps also Purbeck marble were worked in the
Domesday Book lists four Tynehams, and these are
probably represented today by Tyneham itself, Baltington and N. Egliston Farms, all in the central valley, and
S. Egliston Farm to the S. of Tyneham Cap on the Kimmeridge Clay. All are associated with rectangular land
blocks, still bounded by continuous field lines; Baltington and N. Egliston also have earthwork remains of the
former settlements. By the late 13th century the appearance of West or Church Tyneham, together with East
Tyneham, in documents indicates that another settlement, on the site of Tyneham House, was in existence.
All these settlements are surrounded by a remarkable
series of strip fields. (See plan, in pocket.)
At the foot of the N. slope of the Purbeck Hills is a
series of small farms, known collectively as Povington.
It has been suggested that four of these were already in
existence in 1086 as four villein farms which together
with the demesne farm make up the Domesday Book
entry for Povington (W. G. Hoskins and L. Dudley
Stamp, Common Land in England and Wales (1963), 19
and fig. 3).
Tyneham village consists only of the church, the
Rectory and a few late cottages now standing derelict,
the whole parish having been taken over as an army
battle-range area. Tyneham House, the principal
monument, is of considerable interest but also stands
derelict and falling into ruin.
a(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary has walls of
rubble and roofs covered with stone slates. The Nave
and North Transept are of mediaeval origin and the
piscina in the latter suggests a date not later than c. 1300;
the church was restored in 1744 (Hutchins I, 624) and
the W. wall of the nave rebuilt. Early in the 19th
century the chancel arch and the archway to the N.
transept were rebuilt and enlarged; the South Transept
was built probably a little later in the 19th century, by
the Rev. William Bond, Rector, who died in 1852; the
S. wall of the nave was also rebuilt and the former S.
porch, perhaps of the 14th century, was taken down and
rebuilt as a West Porch. Benjamin Ferry was the architect
for at least a part of this work (The Builder XXXIX (1880),
283). The Chancel is modern.
The Parish Church of Saint Mary, Tyneham
Architectural Description—The Nave (31 ft. by 13½ ft.)
has a chancel arch, two-centred and hollow chamfered, springing from square responds with moulded imposts. Above the
chancel arch the wall is carried up to a bell-cote with two
arched openings under a coped stone capping from which
pinnacles or finials have been broken off. The archway to the
N. transept is similar to that to the chancel and further W.
is a blocked doorway with chamfered lintel of the 17th-century. In the S. wall, the mid 19th-century archway to the
S. transept is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the
outer continuous and the inner springing from semi-octagonal
responds with moulded caps and chamfered bases. Further W.
is a mid 19th-century window of two lights in a square head in
the 14th-century style. The mid 19th-century W. doorway
has an angled two-centred head of two chamfered orders.
The North Transept (11½ ft. by 16 ft.) has in the E. wall an
original window of two uncusped lancet lights with a segmental rear arch and in the W. wall a window of three square-headed lights of the 17th century. The South Transept (11½ ft.
by 16½ ft.) has in the E. wall a three-light window with two-centred trefoiled openings in a square head and a label; on the
segmental rear arch is an inscription recording that William
Bond, Rector, built the transept. The doorway further S.
has a moulded two-centred head and a label and an inscription
on the segmental rear arch. Above the doorway is a quartered
shield-of-arms of Bond. In the S. wall is a window of the later
19th century. The West Porch (5¾ ft. by 7 ft.) is entered by an
archway with chamfered jambs and segmental-pointed head
of two chamfered orders.
The Roofs of the nave and N. transept are ceiled with segmental plaster vaults probably of 1744; the S. transept has an
elaborate roof of the late 19th century.
Fittings—Bells: two; 1st, inscribed 'in nomine domini', cast
in Salisbury, c. 1500; 2nd by R. Wells, Aldborne, 1784,
(removed to Steeple (1)). Gallery: at W. end of nave, with oak
panelled front with dentilled cornice, 18th-century, widened.
Glass: in N. transept—in centre light of W. window, a
medallion of the Virgin and Child, 15th-century, within a
later border of leaves, flowers, scroll-work and inscription,
(removed). Inscription: in nave, on front of gallery, framed
wood panel painted with quotation from Psalm XCVI, v. 9,
18th-century. Monuments: In nave—on N. wall, (1) to Elizabeth Tarrant, 1769, black marble tablet within a moulded
freestone architrave with side scrolls and pediment. In N.
transept—on N. wall, (2) to John Williams, 1627, and his wife
Jane, 1636, wall-monument with tablet framed within
columns, base and entablature, with achievements and cartouches of arms above and with shields-of-arms of Williams
painted on the tablet and the frieze, erected by his grandson
John Williams in 1641. In churchyard—N.W. of N. transept,
(3) to Jone wife of George Bur(t), 1714, headstone. Piscina:
in N. transept, with head cut to the shape of two trefoiled
arches, defaced and perhaps reset, of c. 1300. Plate: includes a
cup and cover-paten by Lawrence Stratford of Dorchester,
1574, (removed to Kimmeridge). Pulpit: forming three sides
of a rectangle, of enriched panelling in three heights, the middle
panels arcaded, two sides 17th-century, N. side together with
base and capping modern, (removed to Lulworth Camp).
Miscellanea: in N. transept—set in E. wall, (1) plain stone cross
with chamfered edges with remains of incised black-letter
inscription, perhaps 'IHS orate pro nobis', 15th-century;
loose, (2) fragment of stone cross, similar to (1) but without
a(2) Tyneham House (888801) (Plate 153), of two
storeys, part with attics and cellars, has walls of local
ashlar and rubble and roofs covered with stone slates.
The S.W. wing is of 14th-century origin and contains
parts of the original hall, with its service rooms, built
by the Russel family. In the second half of the 16th
century building operations were put in hand by Henry
Williams; the hall was divided into two floors and a
chimney inserted and a new doorway and windows
were formed. Hutchins records a doorway in the S.W.
wing inscribed H.W. 1567, which was destroyed in
1820. In 1583 the main range facing E. was built with
a staircase projection to the W. and, soon after, a new
kitchen wing was added to the N.W. In the 17th
century this N.W. wing was nearly doubled in width.
In 1820 the E. part of the S.W. wing was rebuilt and
the main range was widened to the W. and in 1914
this widening was refronted. The N. porch is mid 19th-century. (Hutchins I, 615.) (Largely demolished)
Tyneham House, Plan
The remains of the 14th-century hall are of much
interest. The simple architectural composition of the
late 16th-century front is given distinction by a contemporary entrance archway in a finely wrought surround of Classical inspiration in design.
Architectural Description—The symmetrical E. front is of
ashlar and has a moulded plinth and moulded string-courses
above the windows to the main storeys; the wall is carried up
into three gables containing attic windows; in the middle is a
gabled porch. The entrance (Plate 150) has moulded jambs
and moulded semicircular head springing from moulded
imposts; the head is flanked by panelled brackets carrying a
pediment and in the spandrels so formed cartouches with
shields-of-arms of Bond have been added; in the pediment is
a cartouche carved with the date 1583. The ground-floor
windows were altered to take hung sashes in the early 19th
century, but the upper windows are of three lights with stone
mullions and, in the dormers, with labels. The N. and S. ends
of the main range are gabled; only the N. end has a plinth; the
windows are of three lights uniform with those in the E.
front but all have labels. There are similar windows in the
N.W. wing and in the 17th-century addition and also one,
reset, in the E. end of the S.W. wing. Further W. the S.W.
wing has a 16th-century N. doorway with four-centred head
flanked by plain shields and a two-light window of the same
Tyneham House, South-West Wing
Inside the main range the ground-floor rooms were refitted
in the 18th century and retain some panelling, dado rails and
cornices of that date. On the first floor one of the rooms is
lined with late 16th-century panelling in five heights with
frieze, decorated with strapwork, and cornice. The fireplace
has an early 18th-century bolection-moulded surround framed
by late 16th-century flanking pilasters and overmantel of
carved panelling (16th-century panelling and overmantel removed
to Dorset County Museum c. 1952). The 16th-century N.W.
wing has heavy stop-chamfered ceiling beams and, in the S.
wall, a doorway with four-centred head. The staircase is
contained in a 16th-century projection from the main range and
turns round a timber-framed shaft in short straight flights.
In the S.W. wing the original hall has been divided by a
cross wall and chimney-stack, having a rebuilt 16th-century
segmental-pointed stone arch over the fireplace, and by an
inserted floor reached by a winding stone newel stair. Part of
an open truss over the hall remains and also the timber-framed
partition between the hall and service rooms, and the closed
truss above it. The open truss has an arch-braced collar beam,
the arch braces being cusped and supported on hammer
beams, and there is cusped infilling above the collar; only
part of this truss survives. The closed truss has the remains of
two doorways, presumably to service rooms, flanking a
central post, and to the N. behind the later stair are the posts
for a taller doorway which may have led to a staircase; under
tie beam and collar beam are curved braces and two small
struts form a V above the collar. Under the purlins are arched
wind braces, the lower ones cusped. (Ruinous)
Glass, reset in the D.C.M. Library, includes two roundels
enclosing shields-of-arms, (1) Garneys quartering Topsfield
and Church of Gislingham, impaling Tyrell (Plate 61), (2)
[Garneys] impaling Barney, 16th-century (the Bonds inherited
the Garneys estates in the 18th century); also two shields-of-arms of Bond quarterly impaling Biggs and Williams respectively and an achievement-of-arms of Bond quartering
Dummer and Garneys, mid 19th-century.
a(3) The Rectory (120 yds. W.), of two storeys, has stuccoed
walls with stone dressings and low-pitched roofs covered with
slates. It is a substantial house of the second quarter of the
19th century built on a rectangular plan with four bays to
each elevation except the N. which has a small re-entrant to
give light to the staircase. The doorway has a flat stone hood
carried on scrolled brackets and the windows have double-hung sashes. To the N. is a yard with contemporary stable
a(4) House, at South Egliston (899797), of two storeys with
walls of stone rubble and roofs covered with stone slates, was
built early in the 18th century on a T-shaped plan with two
panelled living rooms in the main S. part and the staircase
occupying part of the back wing. The original windows had
moulded stone architraves and were mostly of two lights with
stone mullions. Early in the 19th century the ground-floor
windows to the S. were enlarged to form French windows and
a loggia added. The S. part was then extended by the addition
of a third room on the W., fitted with original windows taken
from the back wing, and additional service rooms were added
later to the N.W. (Derelict)
a(5) House, at S. Egliston, W. of (4), consists of an 18th-century cottage of one storey and attic built on a two-room
plan and an early 19th-century addition to the W. of two full
storeys with a verandah to the S. The verandah roof is carried
on moulded timber standards and decorative timber arches
with trellis spandrels. There is a further addition of uncertain
date to the E. (Ruinous)
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
Settlement Remains and Fields (plan, in pocket)
cover much of the parish S. of the chalk ridge. On
Wealden Beds in the valley between this ridge and the
limestone heights to the S. are, from W. to E., remains
of settlements at Baltington, Tyneham and North
Egliston. Surviving boundary lines running almost
straight S.S.E. from the Ridgeway (from about 877809
and 888812) suggest a former division of the S. of the
parish into at least three blocks each associated with a
settlement. The approximate areas of the associated
land blocks appear to be: Baltington 325 acres, Tyneham 355 acres, and 567 acres for the two Eglistons
combined. In Domesday Book four parcels of land
were entered under variations of the name of Tyneham.
Since Povington, about 1,754 acres in the N. of the
parish, appeared separately, these parcels presumably
lay in the S. half and probably relate to Baltington,
Tyneham, North Egliston and South Egliston.
Strip fields, of which about 200 acres remain, are
described below after the settlements to which they
probably belonged. They are mostly strip lynchets of
contour or up-and-down type and occur on many
varieties of subsoil. There is some broad ridge-andfurrow on the clay. There are what may be lazy-beds
at N. Egliston, as well as much narrow rig on the
higher ground. The extant strip fields were pasture at
the time of the Tithe Map (1841). Iron Age and Romano-British occupation was extensive and some of the strip
fields overlie 'Celtic' fields (see Ancient Field Group (19),
and Plate 197). A Bronze Age barrow (14), even
though near Tyneham church and apparently on the
edge of an open field furlong, remained undisturbed
until excavated in 1860. (Hutchins 1, 614, 628; Fägersten,
137; R.A.F. V.A.P. CPE/UK 1821 : 5420–5.)
a(6) Settlement Remains at Baltington (877804) cover 5
acres E. and S. of the derelict farm. Tracks, partly hollowed
and partly terraced, run around and between enclosures, mostly
lying on either side of a broad gully falling S., and there are
some flattened plots. A scarp 4 ft. high, presumably due to
cultivation, marks the N. limit of the remains. The slopes N.
of this were arable in 1773 and 1841 (I. Taylor, Estate Map
(c. 1773), in D.C.R.O.; Tithe Map (1841)).
a(7) Strip Fields (873797 to 880798) overlie 'Celtic' fields
600 yds. S. of Baltington. Two blocks basically of contour
strip-lynchet type are separated by a small area of steeper
natural slope on which 'Celtic' fields are relatively undisturbed.
The total area is about 13 acres.
a(8) Settlement Remains, formerly part of Tyneham
(879800 to 882803), cover 3 acres or more S. from a point
100 yds. S. of the church. Eight long, narrow closes are
bounded to the S. by an almost straight bank about 25 ft.
wide and an outer ditch about 15 ft. across and 1½ ft. deep with
a flat bottom 3 ft. wide. The closes are separated by banks
12 ft. to 15 ft. broad and 9 ins. to 2 ft. high or by scarps mostly
about 2 ft. high, suggesting that some had been extensively
ploughed. Widths vary from 27 ft. to 66 ft. and two complete
closes are 180 ft. and 255 ft. long, giving areas of 1/5 acre and
2/5 acre. A further close contiguous on the S.E., at 88268022,
may have had others, almost destroyed, W. of it. Six plots
330 yds. W.S.W. of this, 42 ft. to 48 ft. wide by up to 150 ft.,
are divided by low, spread banks about 13 ft. across; these may
be the ends of further closes conceivably connected with the
a(9) Strip Fields occur in four main areas around Tyneham
village. (a) Strip lynchets (87788079 to 88158057) cover about
30 acres N.W. and N. of the church. The central and least
disturbed of three blocks has strips 150 yds. by 13 yds. to
18 yds., risers mostly 1 ft. to 2 ft. high, with the most northerly
6 ft. high, and quarter-round ends at the E. The W. boundary
apparently runs in part along a raised area, perhaps the course
of the original road into Tyneham from the N. The E. part
was known until recently as 'Church Furlong' (L. M. G. Bond,
Tyneham (1956), 76).
(b) Strip lynchets (88258045 to 88408085), poorly-developed,
cover at least 10 acres N.E. of the church.
(c) Strip lynchets and broad ridge-and-furrow (88398000 to
88428052) cover at least 27 acres E. and S.E. of the church.
The Tyneham to Egliston road seems to cut them. The broad
rig W. of Tyneham House crosses scarps up to 5 ft. high,
probably the remains of 'Celtic' fields.
(d) Strip lynchets (88037981 to 88907988) occur over 'Celtic'
fields of Ancient Field Group (19) in an area of about 20
acres S. of (c). They have been carefully arranged to fit into
the 'Celtic' pattern, crossing smoothly over some of the old
lynchets (Plate 197). S. of Tyneham Great Wood a lynchet
falling N. is up to 12 ft. high. To the W. the remains occur in
an area with sharp natural folds, producing an unusually
a(10) Settlement Remains at North Egliston (895806)
consist of about 7 acres of small scarped platforms E. and S.
of the derelict farm. 'Chapel Close' is traditionally the site
of a chapel dedicated to St. Margaret. Only the farm and two
cottages existed in Shipp's time (c. 1860) (Hutchins I, 619–20).
A platform (x), 108 ft. to 126 ft. by some 108 ft., bears nine
parallel E. to W. ridges, apparently built up by digging, with
'furrows' 3 ft. to 4 ft. wide; they are probably lazy-beds of a
a(11) Strip Fields (896809, 89458053–89998022) cover some
10 acres N.E. of North Egliston and 16 acres to the S.E. Some
are bounded by low narrow banks but all are disturbed.
a,b(12) Strip Fields, probably belonging to South Egliston,
occur in two groups.
(a) Strip lynchets (891797 to 897793) cover about 35 acres
on the slopes of Tyneham Cap and S. of it. Three are 7 yds.
to 30 yds. wide with risers 4 ft. to 18 ft. high; the lowest,
curving N.W., is about 440 yds. long and probably originally
consisted of two strips placed end to end. A bank some 18 ft.
wide and 4 ft. high with a possible ditch on the W., 21 ft.
across, runs N.W. to S.E., returning E. at both ends though
very disturbed. Its relationship to the strip lynchets is uncertain
but they are probably contemporary.
(b) Strip fields (898791 to 901800) cover about 50 acres
N.E. and S. of South Egliston. To the N. are strip lynchets
up to 330 yds. long, gently curved in plan and running up a
slope of 15° with treads 6 yds. to 15 yds. wide and risers 4 ft.
high. To the S. are furlongs of broad ridge-and-furrow up to
17 yds. wide. There is also extensive narrow rig on ground
shown as still being arable on the Tithe Map of 1841.
a(13) Earthworks, on Worbarrow Tout (870796), of unknown origin, were recorded in the 18th and 19th centuries
but are now partly destroyed. (a) A 'rampart', on the seaward
side of the low isthmus joining the small peninsula to the
mainland, survives near the foot of a 14° slope as a ditch or
berm about 16 ft. across behind a low downhill bank of
similar width. (b) A ditch across the slope midway between
(a) and (c) is just detectable as a slight terrace. (c) A 'circular
embankment' on the summit of the peninsula, about 100 ft.
above the sea, was apparently slight and was 're-formed and
made into a kind of battery' in the 18th or early 19th century;
it was destroyed in the war of 1939–45. (W. Miles, Deverel
Barrow (1826), 35; Hutchins I, 619.)
Other Earthworks and Allied Monuments
(14–37) Round Barrows, p. 454.
(38) Mound, p. 482.
(39–45) Roman Burials and Industrial Sites, p. 612.
Ancient Field Groups (17, 19), p. 629.