35 OKEFORD FITZPAINE (8010)
(O.S. 6 ins.ST 81 SW, 71 SE, 80 NW, 70 NE)
The parish covers 3,742 acres, extending from the
Chalk escarpment in the S., at over 800 ft. above sealevel, across Greensand, Gault and Kimmeridge Clays,
between 200 ft. and 300 ft., to the Stour river terraces
in the N. at an altitude of 150 ft. In the N.W., Banbury
Common is an area of Plateau Gravel which rises to
360 ft. The middle part of the parish is drained by the
northward-flowing Darknoll Brook, the E. part by the
Cookwell Brook, flowing E., and the W. part by
numerous streams which drain W. to the Divelish
Brook. The parish includes three settlements: Okeford
and Belchalwell are springline villages at the foot of the
Chalk escarpment; Fiddleford stands by a ford over the
The history of the present parish is unusually complicated. As well as Okeford Fitzpaine with its open
fields (36) the parish now includes the nucleus of the old
parish of Belchalwell and four of its five separated parts;
it also includes Banbury Common, which was formerly
in Child Okeford, and the part of Fiddleford which lies
E. of the Darknoll Brook.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Andrew stands on
a knoll in the S.E. quarter of the village and has walls
of Greensand and Marnhull limestone, both materials
occurring as rubble, squared rubble and ashlar. The
roofs are covered with modern tiles. The Chancel was
rebuilt in 1772 and again in 1865; the Nave and Aisles
are largely of 1865, but they retain elements of a 15th-century structure. The West Tower is of the mid 15th
century, but it incorporates, in the ground stage, a 14th-century tower arch and a W. window of the same date;
for some unknown reason the tower was specially
designed to accommodate these features.
The church is of interest for the unusual tower arch.
The pulpit is an elaborate work of the 15th century, but
Architectural Description—The chancel, N. vestry and chancel
arch are entirely of 1865. In the Nave (50 ft. by 21 ft.), the fourbay N. arcade is 19th-century work in the style of the late 15th
or early 16th century. The four-centred arches are of three
orders; the inner and outer orders are ogee-moulded and the
intermediate order is a wide hollow chamfer; the latter is
continuous on the piers and the former rise from attached shafts
with moulded capitals and polygonal bases. In the E. and W.
responds the shafting ceases 1½ ft. below the springing, and
below that level are vertical wave-mouldings with rounded
base stops and moulded and chamfered cappings; in the W.
respond these mouldings include 15th-century material but the
whole of the E. respond is of the 19th century. To the W. of the
W. respond the N. wall is of old material, rebuilt, with a 19th-century two-light window. The S. arcade is uniform with that
to the N.; the wave-moulded E. respond is partly of mediaeval
material and it includes a small moulded bracket on the N. face;
in the W. respond the mouldings of the arcade are continuous.
The North Aisle (41½ ft. by 11 ft.) has been extensively restored,
but with the re-use of old material. In the E. wall is a three-light
window of uncertain date, now blocked. The lower part of the
N. wall, with one diagonal and two square-set weathered buttresses, is of the 15th century; above are two casement-moulded
four-centred windows, each of three ogee-headed lights with
cinquefoil cusping and vertical tracery; these windows are of
15th-century origin but heavily restored. The N. doorway is also
of the 15th century but restored; it has a two-centred head with
two wave-moulded orders and continuous jambs; the moulded
label has square stops. The W. wall of the N. aisle is largely of
1865 but the square-set buttress appears to be mediaeval. The
South Aisle (41½ ft. by 11 ft.) is largely of 1865 but the original
foundations are probably reused and the walls include old
material; the lower part of the E. wall, with two chamfered
plinths, is of the 15th century. In the S. wall, the two-stage ashlar
buttress at the E. end is of the 15th century but partly rebuilt; the
other buttresses include much original material, particularly on
the S. face. The eastern and central windows of the S. wall are
uniform with those of the N. aisle and include some reused
mediaeval material. A stone reset over the eastern window head
has a lion mask in relief, flanked by initials and possibly a date,
now indecipherable. The western bay has an original doorway
with a moulded two-centred head, continuous jambs and a
moulded label with 19th-century stops; over it is reset a small
15th-century square-headed window of two cinquefoil-headed
lights with blind spandrels.
Okeford Fitzpaine, the Parish Church of St. Andrew
The West Tower is of Greensand ashlar. Between the plinth and
the embattled parapet are two main stages, separated by a hollow-chamfered string-course. The N.W. and S.W. corners have
diagonal buttresses of six stages with weathered offsets; above
the nave roof the N.E. and S.E. corners have corresponding
buttresses of three stages; that to the S.E. is incorporated
in the vice turret, which is square in plan and roofed with
weathered ashlar. The modern papapet rises above a hollow-chamfered string-course; until recently a small crocketed
pinnacle decorated the central merlon on each side. Projecting
from the N. and S. sides of the tower in the eastern part of
the lower stage are rectangular bays which continue the line
of the nave walls. The heavily moulded tower plinth continues
around these bays and they have single-stage square-set and
diagonal buttresses in correspondence with the lowest stage of
the tower buttresses. The N. bay is roofed with weathered ashlar
a little below the level of the nave roof; the vice turret rises
above the southern bay. Internally, the tower arch is flanked by
narrow side arches, the three arches being carried on two octagonal
columns with moulded caps and bases, probably of the 14th
century (Plate 180). The three arches are two-centred and of two
chamfered orders on the E. face, with a third chamfered member
forming a continuous label. Another narrow arch runs W. from
each column and terminates on a moulded impost with a capital
and a polygonal attached shaft below. The S. column is now
joined to the adjacent wall by masonry which underpins the
vice turret, and the vice doorway occupies the upper half of the
S. arch. Immediately behind the tower arch is the deep splayed
recess of the W. window, with a tapering pointed barrel-vault.
The W. window, of the 14th century and perhaps reset, has
three ogee-headed lights with trefoil cusping, and curvilinear
tracery above. It is set some 2 ft. behind the W. face of the
tower, and the masonry above it is carried on a two-centred
arch, resembling a rear arch, but external (Plate 181). Near the
top of the lower stage the N. and S. walls of the tower have
rectangular loop lights to the ringing chamber. In the top stage
the N., E. and W. sides have each a small square-headed belfry
window of two two-centred trefoil-headed lights with a central
quatrefoil above, under a two-centred head with blind spandrels.
Fittings—Bells: six; 1st. modern, others by T. Mears, 1820.
Benefactors' Table: In vestry, on W. wall, stone tablet of 1844
recording charity of Thomas White, Robert Watts, Richard
Raynold and Edith White, 1706, and further transactions of
1844 (set out in Hutchins IV, 335) Chest: In vestry, of oak
with scrolled corner feet and moulded lid and base, late 18th
century. Communion Table: In N. aisle, at E. end, oak communion table with cabriole legs, foliate enrichment and carved
front rail (Plate 45); 18th century. Glass: In N. aisle, in N.
window of E. bay, fragments of 15th and 16th-century glass
including black-letter inscription' . . . lac plague wi . . .', two
initials 'R', monogram 'IH', fleurs-de-lis, part of a shield checky
sable and argent, part of a dome.
Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In S. aisle, on S. wall;
(1) of Mary Sarah (Avarne) Hunter, 1839, pedimented white
marble tablet by Marshall of Blandford; (2) of Rev. Duke
Butler, 1779, his wife Mary (Freke), 1786, his brother, and his
infant son, wall-monument of grey and white marbles with
shaped apron with arms of Butler impaling Freke, elliptical-headed inscription panel, drapery, rosettes, Doric entablature,
cherub's head and urn finial; (3) of Rev. Robert Hunter, 1815,
and his wife Marion (Anderson), 1848, white marble tablet with
scallop finial. In churchyard, ten paces N. of porch, (4) 17th-century table-tomb with moulded plinth and top, moulded side
panels, and end panels with skull and crossbones, drapery and
defaced shields, with secondary inscription of Joseph Mitchell,
1849. Floor-slab: Centrally at E. end of nave, of Thomas Phillips,
1651, his wife Susanna, 1677, and their son Joseph, 1681,
Purbeck marble slab with incised surround of columns, arch
Niches: In N. aisle, reset in E. wall; two niche canopies, one
with concave rib-vaulted soffit, two cusped arches meeting at
bird or seraph pendant, pinnacled centre and side standards,
and cusped gables with crocketed finials; the other with convex
fan-ribbed soffit, two cusped arches meeting at angel pendant,
and gables and standards as before. Plate: includes silver cup and
cover-paten by Lawrence Stratford with engraved band of
foliate strapwork, cover-paten inscribed '1574'; silver paten with
hallmarks of 1704, inscribed 'The gift of Jane ye wife of John
Freke Rector of this Parish of Ockford Fitzpain to be used only
in ye Sacrament of ye Lords Supper. Decbr 25th Ano. Dom.
1704'; silver flagon 11½ ins. high with hallmarks of 1683, arms
of Baker and inscription 'The Gift of Mrs. Joan Baker of Hamwood in the Parish of Trull in the County of Somerset Virgin
to the Parishioners of the Parish of Ockford Fitzpain in the
County of Dorset, to be by them us'd in the Sacrament of the
Lord's Supper: in Memory of Her Forever. Ano. Dni. 1684'
(according to Hutchins, IV, 332, this is inscribed on a cup 13 ins.
high). Pulpit: of stone, with nine sides, each with a trefoil ogee-headed niche flanked by pinnacled standards, all with crocketed
finials, 15th century (Plate 46); embattled and moulded cornice,
embattled and foliate base with arcaded pedestal, stairs and
figures in niches, all 19th century. During the 18th century the
original part was used as a font. Seating: In N. aisle, eleven late
17th-century oak pews with panelled backs in two heights, with
moulded stiles and rails, and roll-moulded top rails; all pews
except two to E. with reeded bench-ends, the others plain; in
two pews to W., top rails and stiles with chip-carving. Sundial:
On S.W. buttress of tower, rectangular stone dial with arabic
numerals and date 1671; iron gnomon with shaped edge.
Miscellanea: In S. aisle, (1) five oak panels carved with cusped
quatrefoils enclosing foliate centres, fields painted black and red,
15th century, probably from former rood-loft (Hutchins IV, 331).
In N. aisle, near doorway, (2) remains of late 15th-century
Purbeck marble font, octagonal, with trefoil-headed panels;
(3) two corbels, one carved to represent head and shoulders of
angel bearing scroll with embossed black-letter inscription; the
other a seraph. Reset in churchyard wall, (4) several mediaeval
fragments, including chamfered two-centred loop-head; convex
stone panel with beaded margins; stone block with cable and
chevron carving; cable-moulded shaft with nail-head and plain
(2) The Church of St. Aldhelm (79250981),
formerly the parish church of Belchalwell, stands in
the S. part of Okeford Fitzpaine just over 1 m. S.W. of
(1). It has walls of flint, rubble and ashlar and is roofed
with modern tiles, except for the tower which is roofed
with lead. The Nave is of late 12th-century origin; the
Chancel, North Aisle, South Tower and South Porch were
added in the 15th century; the N. aisle and the E. wall
of the chancel were largely rebuilt at the end of the
19th century, as also were the W. wall of the nave and
the W. wall of the S. porch.
The south doorway, of c. 1190, is well preserved and
richly embellished with chevron and dog-tooth
St. Aldhelm's Church, Belchalwell
Architectural Description—The Chancel (19⅓ ft. by 13 ft.) has
an E. wall of banded flint and ashlar, rebuilt at the end of the
19th century, with a restored 15th-century E. window of three
cinquefoil ogee-headed lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head, casement-moulded inside and out. The N. wall is
of coursed rubble and has two late 15th-century square-headed
windows, each of two cinquefoil lights with blind spandrels
under a hollow-chamfered label with square stops. The S. wall
has similar windows flanking a doorway with a chamfered
segmental-pointed head, continuous jambs and run-out stops.
The western window has a broad splay to accommodate a squint
from the tower; the E. end of the squint has a rough four-centred
head. There is no chancel arch. The Nave (34 ft. by 13¾ ft.) has
on the N. side a late 15th-century arcade of three bays with high
four-centred heads, each of two orders, the inner order ogeemoulded, the outer order a wide hollow-chamfer. The arches
spring from piers and responds with attached three-quarter
shafts, moulded capitals and bases of corresponding outline, the
latter with broach spurs. The S. wall has, high up at the E. end,
an old opening to a former rood-loft with a roughly chamfered
segmental head; to the W. is the tower arch. The S. doorway
(Plate 11) has two orders: a segmental-pointed tympanum arch
with a roll-moulded edge, and a two-centred outer arch with
chevron voussoirs; the label has undercut dog-tooth and nail-head enrichment and terminates in head-stops. The orders
spring from moulded abaci which surmount chamfered responds
for the inner order and three-quarter shafts with leaf capitals
for the outer order. The nave wall to the W. of the doorway is
probably of the 12th century, with flint and rubble masonry
lightly skimmed with plaster; a rough rectangular corbel-stone
near the eaves is perhaps in situ. The S.W. quoins and the W.
wall of the nave are largely of the 19th century but the central
W. buttress incorporates 15th-century material. The North
Aisle (31⅓ ft. by 8 ft.) has a late 15th-century E. window of three
lights, with four-centred heads and vertical tracery in a casementmoulded segmental-headed surround. The rebuilt N. wall has
two restored and reset 15th-century square-headed two-light
windows flanking a blocked doorway with a chamfered four-centred head and continuous jambs. The gabled W. wall has
The South Tower (9½ ft. by 9¼ ft.) is of the late 15th century
and has walls of Greensand ashlar in two main stages, with
a moulded plinth, a hollow-chamfered intermediate string-course and an embattled parapet with a moulded coping and
a moulded string-course. Three-stage diagonal buttresses occur
at each corner, those on the N. truncated in the lower part
by the nave; above them are corner standards with moulded
bases and grotesque gargoyles at the intersection of the parapet
string-course. The octagonal vice turret is in the N. part of the
E. side and originally served the rood-loft as well as the ringing
chamber; it terminates, a little above the intermediate string-course, in a weathered stone roof with a gargoyle finial. Internally,
the vice doorway has a hollow-chamfered four-centred head,
continuous jambs and broach stops; adjacent on the N. is the
W. end of the blocked squint to the chancel. To the S. of the
vice, the lower stage of the E. wall of the tower has a window
of two cinquefoil-headed lights in an ogee-moulded square-headed surround with a label. The tower arch, in the N. wall,
is two-centred and has a panelled soffit and responds, with
trefoil-headed panels and hollow-chamfered ribs terminating at
moulded bases; the soffit and responds are outlined with wave
mouldings. In the S. wall of the tower is a large window with a
casement-moulded two-centred head under a hollow-chamfered
label with carved head-stops; in its present form it is probably of
the 18th century but the internal splays and the hollow-chamfered
rear arch are of the 15th century. In the upper stage the E., S.
and W. faces of the tower have square-headed belfry windows
of two cinquefoil lights in casement-moulded surrounds under
square labels. The N. face has a similar opening but of one
light. The South Porch (7½ ft. by 8½ ft.) has a lean-to roof against
the W. side of the tower. At the S.W. corner is a small diagonal
buttress of one stage with a weathered head. The S. archway is
two-centred, with an ogee roll-moulding flanked inside and out
by wide wave-mouldings; the roll-moulding rises from attached
shafts, the wave-mouldings are continuous on the responds. The
W. wall has a small loop. Inside, the porch has stone wallbenches to E. and W.
The Roofs are largely modern but the chancel retains some
lengths of mediaeval ogee-moulded wall-plate; part of one truss
may also be old.
Fittings—Bell: inscribed 'James Wells Aldbourn Wilts Fecit
1809'. Communion Table: of oak with turned legs, moulded and
enriched top rail and plain bottom rail, 17th century, with
modern extensions at each end and modern board. Door: To
tower vice, with three beaded vertical oak planks, shaped iron
strap-hinges and iron studs, probably 17th century. Graffiti: On
lead roof of tower, mid 18th century and later.
Monument and Floor-slab. Monument: In churchyard, two
paces from S. porch, table-tomb with moulded top, illegible
inscription, 17th or 18th century. Floor-slab: In N. aisle, near
centre of arcade, of Merry Bugg . . ., Purbeck marble slab with
worn inscription. Niche: In N. aisle, on N. side of E. respond of
arcade, with chamfered four-centred head and continuous jambs,
15th century. Painting: On W. arch of arcade, scroll-work in red,
mouldings in red and yellow. Plate: includes silver cup with
hallmark of 1765 and inscription of 1766. Pulpit: of panelled
oak in three heights on four sides of hexagonal plan; top height
with arabesques, lower heights of paired plain panels with
moulded stiles and rails, 17th-century; base and cornice mouldings modern. Sundial: On S.W. buttress of tower, square stone
dial with iron gnomon; dial with sun-face and rays in low relief,
perhaps 18th century.
(3) Methodist Church (80391108), ¼ m. N.W. of (1), has
a date stone of 1820. The N. façade is of brick and the other
walls are rendered; the roof is slated. At the centre of the
N. front is a doorway with a hollow-chamfered two-centred
stone head, continuous jambs and a weathered hollow-chamfered
label. Higher up, on either side of the doorway, are round-headed windows, each of two hollow-chamfered trefoil-headed
two-centred lights with a cusped trefoil in the central spandrel;
these windows have labels similar to that of the doorway. The
date inscription is on a round stone panel in the half-hipped N.
1 Okeford Fitzpaine Village
(4) Cross, remains, 160 yds. N.W. of (1), are of
ashlar and comprise a chamfered plinth and two square
steps on which rests an octagonal cross-base, chamfered
on top and with broach stops occupying the corners of
the square. The tenon of the cross-shaft still lodges in a
square mortice at the centre of the octagon, but the rest
(5) The Rectory, 100 yds. N.W. of (1), is two
storied and has rendered walls above ashlar and rubble
plinths; the roofs are tiled, with stone-slate verges. The
main block, with a symmetrical E. front of five bays,
was probably built by the Rev. Duke Butler about the
middle of the 18th century (Hutchins IV, 334). To the
N.W. is an earlier kitchen wing, with brick walls; it
contains a large fireplace with a chamfered bressummer.
(6) St. Loe's Farm (80681090), house, 120 yds. N.W.
of (1), is of one and two storeys and has walls in part of
timber framework with brick infilling, in part of rubble,
and in part of banded flint and rubble; the roofs are
thatched. The house is of early 16th-century origin, with
additions of the later 16th century and of 1638.
The original range, of class F plan, is single-storied with
dormer-windowed attics. Above plinths of coursed flint and
squared rubble the walls are of timber framework. A timber-framed building with weather-boarded walls, at the S.E. end of
the range, has recently been demolished; it was of the 16th
century and, although lately a barn, appears originally to have
been a dwelling; inside it, a timber-framed partition with
wattle-and-daub infilling retained mortices for floor-joists and
a doorway with a chamfered four-centred head. Towards the
end of the 16th century, an open fireplace was built on the N.W.
of the through-passage in the original range and the range was
extended to the N.W. by the addition of a two-storied bay with
a gabled N.W. wall of coursed rubble. In 1638 this bay was
enlarged to N.E. and S.W., making the plan T-shaped; the N.E.
enlargement is of rubble; that on the S.W., facing the road, is
of banded rubble and flint, with squared rubble quoins; the
N.E. and S.W. walls are gabled. Immediately above the five-light S.W. ground-floor window, a weathered and hollow-chamfered string-course traverses the façade of 1638 and is
returned as far as the chimney-stack on the N.W. wall. On the
first floor, above the five-light window, is one of four lights,
with modern woodwork but retaining above it fragments of a
weathered ashlar label with returned stops. A date-stone of 1638
in the S.E. wall of the enlargement lies above a square-headed
doorway with moulded timber jambs and lintel and with a
beaded plank door hung on wrought-iron strap-hinges; this
doorway was originally external and probably was the main
entrance to the house, although a single-storied addition has now
brought it inside the building.
St. Loe's Farm House, Okeford Fitzpaine
Inside, there are plank-and-muntin partitions in both storeys,
and several doorways have chamfered surrounds with ornamental
stops, shouldered abutments, and heads with raised centres. The
ground-floor fireplace in the late 16th-century N.W. extension
has a carved surround with moulded timber jambs and a four-centred head with cusped tracery panelling on the bressummer.
Above, in the first-floor chamber, the chimney-piece has a panel
of 17th-century moulded plaster work with oak-leaf scrolls and
large strawberries. The roof of the original range has jointed
(7) House (80551104), 300 yds. N.W. of (1), has two parts:
to the E. is a single-storied range with walls of timber-framing,
with brick nogging, above rubble plinths; at right angles, to
W. and N., is a two-storied range with walls of banded flint
and rubble, with ashlar dressings. The roofs are thatched. While
both parts are probably of the 17th century, the E. range is the
earlier. The gabled N. front of the W. range has a blocked
ground floor window of two square headed lights with chamfered and hollow-chamfered stone jambs and head, and a
weathered label. The E. side of the W. range has a similar
window of three lights on each floor the upper one without a
label. The W. side of the range is of coursed rubble with squared
rubble quoins and has one blocked window on each floor. The
N. side of the E. range has three modern casement windows on the
ground floor and an attic dormer window above; the S. side
is masked by a modern outbuilding. Inside, the E. range has
heavily chamfered ceiling beams and wall-plates, and a fireplace
with a chamfered four-centred timber bressummer. Another
beam in the E. range is stop-chamfered and rests on chamfered
wall-posts. A plank-and-muntin partition has beaded decoration.
(8) Cottage (80671088), 100 yds. N.W. of (1), is single-storied with dormer-windowed attics and has timber-frame
walls above rubble plinths, and a thatched roof. It is probably of
the 17th century and may originally have been two tenements.
Inside, are heavily chamfered ceiling beams.
(9) Cottage (80791114), at the S. end of a range of buildings
350 yds. N. of the parish church, is two-storied and has walls of
rubble on the ground floor and of timber-framing on the first
floor; the roof is thatched. The timber members of the W. and
S. walls are set vertically and close together, with herring-bone
brick nogging; on the E. side the timbers are set more nearly in
squares (Plate 60). All windows are modern. The N. part of the
range is of the early 19th century; the S. part is probably of the
(10) Etheridge's Farm (80061127), house, is in two parts. The
W. part of the main range is of one storey with dormerwindowed attics and has rubble walls; the E. part is two-storied
and has brick walls; in both parts the roof is thatched. The W.
part is of the 17th century, the E. part is of the late 18th century.
All windows are modern casements. Near the W. end of the S.
front of the 18th-century range is a projecting two-storied brick
porch with a segmental brick arch and a tiled roof.
(11) Cottage (79461079), ¾ m. W. of (1), is single-storied
with dormer-windowed attics and has walls of rubble and cob
and thatched roofs. It is perhaps of the late 17th or early 18th
Unless otherwise described the following are 18th-century cottages with rubble walls and thatched roofs.
(12) Cottages, pair (80481107), are two-storied and were
probably built early in the 18th century. The E. cottage has
heavily chamfered beams and wall-plates. (Demolished.)
(13) Cottage, 10 yds. E. of the foregoing, has a symmetrical
N. front with a central doorway flanked by square-headed
casement windows, and three casement windows in the attic.
(14) Cottage (80051115) was originally of the 18th century but
has recently been rebuilt and only the gabled E. wall survives.
Inside, the kitchen has an open fireplace with a chamfered
bressummer, from the centre of which protrudes a wooden
corbel supporting a heavily chamfered ceiling beam.
(15) Cottage (80501108) is two-storied with a slated roof. The
gabled E. wall contains a stone inscribed 'John Pope 1785'.
(16) Cottage (80661104) appears to be partly of the late 18th
century but the S. end is modern.
(17) Cottages, two adjoining (80731090), have now been
converted into one house. The S. front has a plinth of coursed
rubble with brick refacing above it; the E. end wall is of banded
flint and rubble; the N. wall has rubble in the lower storey and
(18) Cottage (80801098) is of the late 18th century.
(19) Cottage, immediately west of (5), has walls of rubble and
cob, partly rendered.
(20) Cottage (80601085) has rendered walls; it probably dates
from the 18th century but has been modernised. Inside, the
S. room has an open fireplace with a heavy timber bressummer.
(21) Cottages, three adjoining (80531069), have brick walls.
The S. tenement is of the 19th and the others are of the 18th
century. On the E. front the ground-floor windows have casements and the first-floor windows are sashed.
(22) Cottages, two adjoining (80561080), have walls of rubble
and brick, partly rendered.
(23) Cottage, immediately S. of the foregoing, is hung with
mathematical tiles on the E. front and has a central doorway
flanked by sashed windows, and corresponding windows on the
(24) Cottage (80551077), 30 yds. S. of the foregoing, dates
from the late 18th century. Inside, the N. room has an open
fireplace and two stop-chamfered beams.
The following are of the 18th century:
(25) Barn, 20 yds. S.E. of (24), has walls of brick and squared
rubble, and thatched roofs.
(26) Barn, 30 yds. S.W. of the foregoing, has walls of coursed
rubble, brick and cob, and a thatched roof.
(27) Barn (80571083) has walls of coursed rubble, cob and
brick, and a thatched roof.
Monuments of the first half of the 19th century in Okeford village
include the following: House, immediately S. of (4), of two
storeys with rendered walls and a slated roof; the symmetrical
three-bay W. front has labels over the ground-floor openings
and a date stone of 1837 over the central doorway. Early 19th-century Cottages are noted at 80531107, 80561104, 80791133,
80651099; the Post Office and an adjoining House (80661094) and
Mill Cottages (81141100) are of the same period. A Cottage 50
yds. S.W. of the church is dated 1823. A cottage immediately
W. of (4) has, reset, an old oak Door with a two-centred head
that is said to have belonged formerly to the village lock-up.
(28) Lowbrook Farm (78950943), house, 540 yds. S.W. of
(2), has timber-frame walls on rubble plinths and is roofed with
thatch. To the W. is a modern extension. The original building
is of the late 16th or early 17th century and was single-storied;
an upper storey was added perhaps in the 18th century. Inside,
large fireplaces placed back-to-back under a central chimney-stack have been blocked up. At the W. end of the old part a
doorway that now opens into the modern extension has a rough
(29) Belleaze Farm (78700989), house, 600 yds. W. of (2),
is single-storied with dormer-windowed attics and has rubble
walls and thatched roofs. Inside, there is a crude plank-and-muntin partition and one stop-chamfered beam. (Derelict.)
(30) House (79730918), ½ m. S.E. of (2), is two-storied, with
walls of coursed rubble and brick, and thatched roofs. It is of
mid 17th-century origin but the S.E. front has been rebuilt in
brick, and heightened. Inside, a ground-floor room has deeply-chamfered intersecting beams dividing half of the ceiling into
six panels; the other half has chamfered wall-plates but no
beams. Another room retains the timber bressummer of a
(31) Barn and Outbuildings (79660900), 100 yds. S.W. of
the foregoing, have walls of rubble, brick and cob, and thatched
roofs. The barn is of the late 17th or early 18th century with
some 19th-century brick repairs. The outbuildings are of the
(32) Earl's Farm (79800914), house, 100 yds. N.E. of (30), is
two-storied and has brick walls and thatched roofs. It dates from
c. 1800 and has a symmetrical five-bay N.W. front with a central
doorway, sashed windows and a plat-band at the level of the
(33) Old Farm (80531310), house, nearly 1½ m. N.
of (1), is of two storeys, with rubble and timber-framed
walls above rubble plinths, and thatched roofs. It dates
from the late 16th century, with additions and alterations
of the 17th and 18th centuries. A jointed cruck is
exposed in the gabled N. wall and there are others in an
The plan of the farmhouse is T-shaped, with the 16th-century
range at the head of the T, facing W.; the E. range, the stem
of the T, is mainly of the 17th century. The W. front is an 18th-century addition to the 16th-century range; it is of coursed
rubble and has a central doorway, three-light casement windows
on both floors to the N., and modern bay-windows to the S.
At the S. end of this range is a single-storied 18th-century
extension; it has a modern ground-floor window but in the
attic under the thatched roof is an old three-light window with
a heavy chamfered oak surround. The N. end of the range shows
the original 16th-century timber-framing, with horizontal and
vertical members above a rubble plinth; the in-filling is rendered.
The N.W. corner was rebuilt when the 18th-century W. front
was added but the N.E. corner retains the curved corner-post
of an original jointed cruck; ground and first-floor casement
windows are modern. The original timber framing is exposed
on the E. return of the range, where it is capped by a chamfered
eaves plate. In this wall are two blocked windows with chamfered timber surrounds; one consists of two very narrow lights,
the other is of three lights. The 17th-century E. range is of one
storey with dormer-windowed attics and has walls of rubble.
Inside, the house has been much altered and the original plan
is lost. The N. ground-floor room of the W. range has deeply
chamfered intersecting beams and wall-plates making a six-panel ceiling. The fireplace has a wooden bressummer with a
raised centre and double ovolo mouldings; the jambs are of
stone. The next room to the S. has a moulded beam with chamfered stops, and a fireplace with an ovolo-moulded head. Further
S., in the 18th-century extension, is a plank-and-muntin partition, perhaps of 17th-century origin. The kitchen in the E.
range has a chamfered beam and a corner fireplace with a
chamfered four-centred head and continuous jambs. On the
first floor, the stairs which are largely modern include part of
a late 17th-century balustrade with turned balusters and a
moulded newel-post with an acorn finial. Some first-floor rooms
have chamfered beams and there are three fireplaces with
chamfered and moulded surrounds with raised centres. The
chamber in the E. range retains fragments of moulded plasterwork.
The Barn S. of the farmhouse is of weather-boarded timber-framed construction; the roof includes two jointed cruck trusses,
(34) House (80511337), 300 yds. N. of the foregoing, is
single-storied with dormer-windowed attics and has timber-framed walls above rubble plinths, and thatched roofs. It appears
to be of the late 16th or early 17th century except for the gabled
S. wall and the S. part of the E. wall, which are of 19th-century
brickwork. A doorway in the older part of the E. wall has a
moulded, square-headed oak surround and a plank door with
wrought-iron strap-hinges; all other openings are modern.
Inside, a ground-floor room has two ovolo-moulded ceiling
(35) Cottages, two adjacent, immediately N. of the foregoing, are two-storied, with walls of coursed rubble and brick,
and thatched roofs. The N. cottage is of the first half of the 18th
century, with original rubble side walls and a modern N. wall
of brick; the S. cottage is of the early 19th century and has all
walls of brick.
(36) Cottage, 200 yds. N.W. of the foregoing, is single-storied, with cob walls and thatched roofs and is of the late 18th
Buildings of the first half of the 19th century in the part of
Fiddleford that lies in Okeford Fitzpaine include a House at
80521324, with a symmetrical W. front and a small brick gazebo
in the garden to the E., and Cottages at 80611289, and 70 yds.
to the S.E. of that location.
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
(37) Cultivation Remains. Nothing is known of the open
fields of Okeford Fitzpaine. Ridge-and-furrow of these fields
exists N. of the village (805113), where there are the remains of
ridges 12 yds. wide with reversed-S curves cut by existing
hedges. To the W., S. and E. of Garlands Farm (783107, 785105
and 789107), air photographs show traces of butting furlongs
(R.A.F. CPE/UK 1974: 2175–77). Contour strip lynchets up to
200 yds. long survive S.W. of Hibbett Bottom (803093).
Ridge-and-furrow of the former open fields of Fiddleford,
arranged in end-on and butting furlongs underlying existing
field boundaries, can be seen on air photographs N., E. and S.E.
of Fiddleford (R.A.F. CPE/UK 1974: 1159–60); they extend
into Sturminster Newton parish (see Sturminster Newton
Roman and Prehistoric
Okeford Fitzpaine. (38) Banbury Hill-fort
(38) Banbury (790120), an Iron Age univallate hill-fort of
3 acres on the summit of a low, flat-topped hill (Plate 182), rises
to 361 ft. above O.D.; it lies on an isolated patch of Plateau
Gravel, within a broad belt of Kimmeridge Clay. Though never
very massive, its defences have been reduced in the past by
cultivation. Where best preserved they consist of a bank 50 ft.
across rising 2 ft. above the interior and 6 ft. above the ditch
bottom, the ditch being 25 ft. across and 1 ft. deep. In places,
particularly along the S. side, the bank is no more than a scarp,
3 ft. high, and for much of the circumference the external ditch
is no longer visible. The entrance gap, on the W. side, is
protected by a flanking arm linked to the main rampart and
consisting of a scarp up to 5 ft. high, with traces of an external
ditch; the arm curves oddly, in an opposite arc to that of the
main rampart, so that the access-way from the S. is at one point
only 7 ft. wide. There has been slight quarrying into the outwork. No traces of internal remains exist.
(39) Inhumation Burials, probably Romano-British, were
found in a chalk pit S. of the village (808102); several were
found with the feet to the E. and covered with tabular flints.
Hoards of 70 to 80 Durotrigian silver coins were found near this
site in 1753 and 1788 (Dorset Procs. IV (1880), 91–4; Hutchins IV,
'Celtic' Fields, see p. 339, Group (57).
Monuments (40–42), Cross-dykes
Three cross-dykes lie on spurs which extend N. from
the Chalk escarpment in the S. of the parish.
(40) Cross-dyke (80240909–80310911), 70 yds. in length, runs
W.S.W.–E.N.E. across the spine of a spur sloping N.N.W. It
lies, with its ditch uphill, at over 700 ft. above O.D. but well
down the slope of the spur, which steepens about 50 yds. behind
it. In the centre, the bank is 24 ft. wide and 3 ft. high, the
ditch is 18 ft. wide and 2 ft. deep. Westwards the dyke curves
slightly S.W. and runs out well short of the shoulder of the
spur. To the E., the end is similarly sited and just cut by the
ditch of a modern hedge. Possibly 'Celtic' fields existed to the N.
There is no evidence of an original break, though it is cut by a
track and a path towards the centre.
(41) Cross-dyke (81060965–81280979), runs from W.S.W. to
E.N.E. across a spur, at just over 600 ft. above O.D., at the
foot of a steep slope which drops northwards from the Chalk
escarpment. It has been ploughed almost completely flat except
for a short length at the E. end, where a bank 2 ft. high lies on
the N. or downhill side of a slight depression. Its original length
was about 300 yds. It was perhaps a trackway, formerly linking
with Pound Lane.
(42) Cross-dyke (81580969–81809958), curving N.W.–E. at
over 600 ft. above O.D. across the base of a spur sloping N.N.E.,
faces up the rounded spur top towards higher ground and is
some 285 yds. long. The bank is 30 ft. wide and 6 ft. high; the
ditch is 27 ft. wide and 4 ft. deep. An entrance, possibly original
and slightly staggered, crossed by the parish boundary with
Shillingstone, occurs E. of centre; it has a causeway across the
ditch, though a way past the W. end and possibly also the E.
end is conceivable. At either end the dyke runs out just short of
the shoulder of the spur. 'Celtic' fields (Group 57) lie on either
side of the dyke and one long lynchet is crossed by the bank and
cut by the ditch.
Monuments (43–47), Round Barrows
In addition to two mounds (see (48)), five barrows lie
on the Chalk escarpment in the S. of the parish.
(43) Bowl (79940825) on Bell Hill, on the summit of the chalk
escarpment at over 800 ft. above O.D. Diam. 36 ft., ht. 2½ ft.
(44) Bowl (80040841), 205 yds. N.E. of (43), is thickly overgrown and the whole top of the mound has been removed.
Diam. 72 ft., ht. 3 ft.
(45) Bowl (80320872), 450 yds. N.E. of (44), lies on the almost
flat summit of Bell Hill; its centre has been dug into and it has
been heavily ploughed. Diam. 30 ft., ht. 1 ft.
(46) Bowl (80380875), 70 yds. N.E. of (45), has been much
ploughed. Diam. 33 ft., ht. 1 ft.
(47) Barrow? (81140996) on Okeford Hill, at just over 500 ft.
above O.D., lies on the spine of a spur sloping northward from
the Chalk escarpment. Diam. 60 ft., ht. 3 ft.
(48) Two low Mounds, (a) 81111014, (b) 81081023, lie just
below 500 ft. above O.D. near the level tip of a narrow spur
running northwards from Okeford Hill. Both mounds are
aligned E.–W. and are oval in plan, measuring 29 ft. by 21 ft.;
they stand up to 2 ft. high and have rounded cross-profiles. There
are traces of a ditch on the S. side of (a) and on the N. side of (b).
Suggested as pillow-mounds by Grinsell (Dorset Barrows, 121),
their purpose is unknown.