10 CAUNDLE MARSH (6814)
(O.S. 6 ins. ST 61 NE, ST 61 SE)
The parish, of about 1,000 acres, lies W. of Bishop's
Caundle and Stourton Caundle, in a shallow basin
that drains S. to the Caundle Brook. To the E. the
land is on Forest Marble and rises to 400 ft. above sealevel; to the W. it is on Oxford Clay and attains only
250 ft.; the N. part of the parish is on Forest Marble
and Cornbrash Beds. Large parts of the area remained
open common until finally enclosed in 1845. (fn. 1) Until
1886 five detached 'islands' of Bishop's Caundle lay
inside Caundle Marsh. They were enclosed by 1727 (fn. 2)
but their outline still revealed that they had once been
strips in the Caundle Marsh open fields. Secondary
settlements, each with its own enclosed fields, developed
in the waste beyond the open fields; examples are
Ashcombe Farm (7) which certainly existed in the 14th
century and perhaps earlier, (fn. 3) and probably Prytown
Farm (3), which was one of the detached parts of
(1) The Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul
was entirely rebuilt in 1857 to the design of R. H.
Shout. Altar, communion rails, pulpit, lectern, font
and other fittings are skilfully carved in Ham Hill
stone. Two monuments from an older church are
incorporated in the present building.
Fittings—Monument and Floor-slab. Monument: In chancel,
built into N. wall, of John Brit, 1587, recessed table-tomb
spanned by low four-centred moulded arch; stone front of tomb
chest stands flush with chancel wall; front divided into three
panels, lateral ones oblong with lozenge infilling, middle one
square with shield-of-arms, on a chevron between three bugle-horns,
two daggers and a nail, presumably variant of Brett (Coker, 156);
moulded edge of tomb with plain band inscribed Here Lieth
The Bodie of John Brit Gentleman Anno Domini 1587; the
word 'gentleman' replaces another, obliterated. Floor-slab: In
S.E. part of nave, of William Gollop, 1691, Purbeck marble slab
with added inscription to William Gollop, 1802, Plate: includes
silver cup and paten with hallmarks of 1712, both inscribed 'the
gift of Mrs Jane Hoare relict of Henry Hoare Esqr. late of
Stourton, to ye parish of Caundlemarsh, Com. Dorset'; also
stand-paten, probably 18th century, and paten of 1712, both
with same inscription as cup.
(2) Manor Farm (67841323), house, immediately E.
of the church, is built of roughly coursed rubble with
ashlar dressings and has two storeys with attics. The
roofs are tiled, with stone-slate verges, except for one
slope which is wholly stone-slated. The middle part of
the dog-leg plan is the oldest, dating probably from the
15th century and comprising the N. and S. walls of a
hall. To W. and N. is a 16th-century wing, possibly in
place of an original solar and undercroft. To the E.,
a 17th-century wing occupies the probable place of the
eastern part of the original house and also extends S.
The stone fireplace and chimney-stack in the 15th-century building are of the 17th century.
Of the original house only the W. part survives. It was
entered from the N. through a doorway which is still the
main entrance; its wide chamfered jambs are surmounted by a
hollow-chamfered segmental-pointed door-head that seems to
be secondary. Opposite this opening, in the S. wall, are traces
of a second doorway now walled up. A fireplace and chimney-stack are inserted in place of the through-passage which, presumably, lay between the N. and S. doorways; it has narrowchamfered stone jambs and a reset wide-chamfered stone head
that was originally four-centred. The W. end of the 15th-century building is indicated by a vertical joint on the outside
of the N. wall, near the junction of the 16th-century N.W.
wing; the E. extremity is lost in the construction of the 17th-century wing. The stone mullioned three-light window in the
original S. wall is of the 17th century and the window in the
N. wall is of the 19th century. Doorways on each floor of the
original house give access to the 16th-century W. extension.
The 16th-century extension has, in the S. wall, a narrow
doorway with a chamfered four-centred head, continuous
jambs and a square label; adjacent is a partly blocked window
of four four-centred lights with hollow-chamfered jambs and
mullions; on the first floor is a similar window. Inside, the 16th-century range contains two unheated ground-floor rooms; to
the N. an unconnected through-passage, with external doorways with four-centred heads to E. and W., proves that the
range formerly extended further northwards. The first floor has
two rooms and there are other chambers in the attic. A window
with ovolo-moulded mullions is probably a 17th-century
insertion; a fireplace on the first floor is probably of the 18th
The 17th-century E. wing is now divided into several compartments but it originally had only two ground-floor rooms,
with fireplaces in the gabled end walls. The area of the former
N. room is spanned by three chamfered beams, and a chamfered
half-beam marks the position of the former partition; the
former S. room was spanned by a single transverse beam. The
stairs retain some 17th-century turned balusters and a moulded
handrail. The external walls of the E. wing have been extensively
refaced and all openings appear to be of the 19th century.
(3) Prytown Farm (67941441), cottage, is single-storied with
dormer-windowed attics; it has rubble walls and thatched roofs
and it dates from the late 17th or early 18th century. The
gabled W. end has a stone coping on moulded kneelers and
culminates in a brick chimney; a second chimney-stack stands
near the middle of the range. The S. front is of four bays; to
the W. is a wooden casement window of three lights, next is
the doorway with a modern round head, to the E. are two
casement windows similar to the first.
(4) Sandy View (67671345) is a late 17th or early 18th-century cottage of coursed rubble in two storeys with a thatched
roof. The central doorway is flanked by pairs of casement
windows and there are four corresponding windows on the
(5) Cottages, pair (67841240), of rubble and cob, partly
rendered, and of two storeys with thatched roofs, are of the
late 17th or early 18th century. Each tenement has a central
doorway flanked by casement windows; a common chimney-stack rises above the party-wall.
(6) Cottages, two (68471427 and 68541430), of rubble with
thatched roofs, are probably of the late 17th century. The
narrow plots on which they stand were evidently encroachments
on the former roadway.
(7) Ashcombe Farm (67921506), house, is of two storeys;
the walls are rendered, with some ashlar dressings, and the roofs
are partly tiled and partly of stone slates. The gabled N. and
S. end walls have stone copings on shaped kneelers. A stone
mullioned window of four square-headed lights with chamfered
jambs occurs in the W. wall but all other openings are modern.
The main range, of three bays, is probably of the 17th century
and there are later extensions at the N. end and against the W.
(8) Marsh Court (67671383) is a two-storied house with
dormer-windowed attics; it has walls of coursed and squared
rubble with ashlar dressings; the roof is of stone slates. Although
the greater part of the house is modern it contains an 18th-century nucleus. The central doorway of the W. front and the
window above it appear to belong to the original structure.
The doorway is square-headed and has a pedimental stone
hood on scrolled brackets. The window is of two elliptical-headed lights with continuous ovolo-moulded jambs; it opens
in an ashlar panel flanked by scrolled cheek-pieces. A rebuilt
chimney-stack incorporates a stone inscribed D.G.M. 1731.
Two 18th-century mullioned windows are reset in the E.
front and in the S. side of the N.E. wing.
Unless described otherwise the following buildings
are of the 18th century and have walls of rubble and
cob in two storeys.
(9) Poll Bridge Farm (68131247), house, dates from the middle
of the century; until recently it had thatched roofs. The plan
is a half-H and the principal front, to the N., is symmetrical,
with a central doorway and a stone mullioned window of
three square-headed lights on either side; on the first floor are
three similar windows, except that the central window is of
Venetian form, the middle light having a false round head.
The N. range is gabled at each end but the two wings which
project to the S. have hipped roofs. The S. front of each wing
has a stone mullioned three-light window on the ground floor
and a modern window above. The interior has been extensively
modernised, but some chamfered beams are exposed.
(10) Holt Cottage (69001373) has walls of rubble and brick,
partly rendered, and a thatched roof. The original range was
extended to E. and W. in the 19th century; the cottage is now
(11) Tut Hill Farm (68571435), house, was originally two
cottages, that to the N.W. being probably earlier than the
other. The roofs are slate-covered.
(12) Yew Tree Farm (67401406), house, has rubble walls and
slated roofs. The S. front is symmetrical and of three bays,
with a central doorway and casement windows. The house
probably dates from the late 18th or early 19th century.
Monuments of the late 18th and early 19th centuries include a
house at West Hays Farm (67791308) in which a symmetrical
19th-century E. range of three bays is added to an 18th-century
nucleus; the casement windows of the E. front have geometrical lattices; also a house at Hawkins's Farm (68241343), a
two-storied rubble building with a tiled roof and casement
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
(13) Cultivation Remains: Nothing remains of the original
open fields; they were in existence in 1499 (S. & D.N. & Q.,
XIII, (1913) (203) and had already been enclosed by 1727 (Map of
Caundle Marsh, 1727, D.C.R.O.).
Ridge-and-furrow remains can be seen on air photographs
at a number of places: E. and S. of Ashcombe Farm (679150 to
679148), E. of Prytown Farm (681144), formerly in Bishop's
Caundle, and S.W. of West Hays Farm (676127); it is 5 yds. to
7 yds. wide with headlands of 8 yds. (R.A.F. CPE/UK 1974:
2151–2, 2193–5, 4150–2). These traces are confined to existing
fields that are associated with secondary settlements beyond the
original open fields of the parish.