36 PIDDLEHINTON (7197)
(O.S. 6 ins. SY 69 NE, SY 79 NW)
Piddlehinton has an area of nearly 3,000 acres,
entirely on Chalk. The R. Piddle flows from N. to S.
through the centre of the parish, and on either side of it
the land rises gently to Chalk ridges some 400 ft. above
sea-level. The parish contains five original settlements:
from N. to S., Piddlehinton, Combe Deveral, Little
Piddle, Muston and N. Louvard. Of these, Piddlehinton,
Muston and Combe Deveral have long been part of the
parish, but the territory of Little Piddle was part of
Puddletown parish until 1885.
(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary (Plate 184)
stands near the middle of the village. The walls are
partly of ashlar and partly of banded flint and rubble
with ashlar dressings. The roofs are covered partly with
slates and partly with stone-slates. An early 14th-century
coffin-lid suggests that a church existed at that period,
but the present building is considerably later. The
South Tower and South Aisle are of the second half
of the 15th century, the tower being somewhat earlier
than the aisle; the Chancel, the N. colonnade of the
Nave and the South Porch are of the early 16th century.
In 1867 the nave was lengthened, the North Aisle was
enlarged and the North Porch was added.
The tower is handsomely decorated and well-preserved, and the chancel contains sedilia of unusual
Architectural Description—The Chancel (20¾ ft. by 13¾ ft.)
has a restored E. window of three cinquefoil-headed lights with
vertical tracery in a moulded two-centred head, ogee-moulded
outside and casement-moulded inside, with continuous jambs;
above is a moulded label with head-stops. The N. and S. walls
each have two partly restored windows of two cinquefoil-headed
lights in square surrounds, with mouldings similar to the E.
window; between the two N. windows is a doorway with a
heavily moulded two-centred head and continuous jambs under
a square label with head-stops and foliate spandrels; the rear
arch is three-centred and moulded, with continuous jambs. In
the S. wall is a square-headed squint from the S. tower. The
two-centred chancel arch is of two moulded orders separated
by a hollow-chamfer; the responds have continuous hollow-chamfers flanked by attached shafts with moulded caps and bases.
The chancel has a vaulted plaster ceiling of the late 18th or early
19th century, with moulded ribs and shaped bosses.
Piddlehinton, the Parish Church of St. Mary
The Nave (49½ ft. by 13 ft.) has an early 16th-century N.
arcade, originally of three bays but with a fourth bay added,
on the W., in 1867. The arches are of depressed two-centred
form and comprise two moulded orders flanking wide hollow-chamfers; the latter are continuous on the piers and responds,
but the moulded orders spring from attached shafts with moulded
caps and bases. The original W. respond has been rebuilt on the
W. side of the added bay. In the S. wall, W. of the tower arch
(see below), is a segmental-pointed archway to the S. aisle. The
arch has two ogee mouldings separated by a wave moulding;
the inner ogee springs from attached shafts with moulded and
crudely carved leaf capitals; the other mouldings are continuous
on the responds, but the outer ogee is interrupted by capitals
similar to those of the shafts; at the apex, on the S. side, is a
crowned angel with wings displayed.
The South Tower (11¼ ft. square) is of three stages, with a
moulded plinth, weathered and hollow-chamfered string-courses
between the stages, and an embattled parapet with a continuous
moulded coping; at each corner of the parapet is a large gargoyle
and a pinnacle with panelled sides and a crocketed finial. On the
E. side of the tower is a square vice turret, staged in correspondence with the tower stages. Weathered angle buttresses occur
in the two lower stages on all four sides of the tower. The tower
arch is two-centred and of two ogee-moulded orders separated
by a wide hollow-chamfer which is continuous on the responds;
the ogee mouldings spring from attached shafts with moulded
and enriched capitals, with delicate leaf and acorn carving, and
polygonal bases. In the E. wall is the square-headed squint to
the chancel, and the vice doorway with a chamfered four-centred head and continuous jambs. In the W. wall is a chamfered
two-centred archway to the S. aisle. In the S. wall is a window
of three cinquefoil-headed lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head, with a label with head-stops. The second stage has
rectangular loops in the E. and W. walls. The top stage has, in
each wall, a belfry window of two cinquefoil-headed lights with
a quatrefoil in a two-centred head, under a label with head-stops.
The South Aisle (7 ft. wide) has a diagonal buttress of two
weathered stages at the S.W. corner and, above it, a large
gargoyle; the low-pitched roof is masked by a parapet with a
moulded string-course and a weathered coping. The S. doorway
has a moulded four-centred head and continuous jambs; further
W. is a window of three cinquefoil-headed lights in a square
casement-moulded surround. The roof has moulded beams
forming six panels; it is probably of 1756, the date on a stone
The South Porch, now a vestry, has been partly restored; the
blocked outer archway has a moulded four-centred head and
continuous jambs; at the S.W. corner is a weathered diagonal
buttress of one stage.
Fittings—Bells: five; 1st by Thomas Purdue, 1683; 2nd by
W. Knight, 1721; 3rd with 'Sit Nomen Domini Benedicictum'
(sic) in black-letter; 4th inscribed 'Mayster Thomas Harlow'
in Lombardic letters and, below, 'I.S. Nos Thome Meritus
Mereamur Gaudia Lucis' in black-letter; 5th by Roger Purdue,
1633. Brasses: In chancel, reset on N. wall, (1) of John Chapman,
1494, black-letter inscription plate (13 ins. by 1¾ ins.); (2) fragment depicting lower part of robed figure with belt and staff;
(3) of Wyllyam Goldynge, parson, 1567, inscription in Roman
capitals on plate (12 ins. by 6½ ins.); reset on S. wall, (4) of
Thomas Browne, parson, 1617, plate (14 ins. by 13 ins.) depicting
gowned man in tall hat carrying staff and book, with Latin
verses and epitaph (Plate 41). Coffin-lid: In N. porch, tapering
slab with moulded edge and remains of cross, early 14th century,
broken at end. Coffin-stools: two, with turned legs, late 17th
century. Doors: In tower vice, of planks, with strap-hinges and
old box-lock, 16th century, moulded outer fillet later; in S.
porch, of planks with strap-hinges, 17th century. Glass: In
chancel, in E. window, of Good Shepherd, St. Peter and St.
Mary, by E. R. Suffling, London, c. 1845.
Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel, on N.
wall, (1) of Henry Allen, vicar of Beeding, Sussex, his wife and
sister, early 18th-century marble wall-monument with scrolls,
broken pediment and urn; (2) of Thomas Meggs, 1819, Susan
his wife, 1819, and Harry Meggs, 1821, marble tablet with arms;
(3) of John, son of Thomas Clavering, 1644, Martha (South)
his mother, died of plague 1664, and her husband Thomas
Clavering, rector, 1665, painted wooden tablet with pediment
and shield-of-arms of Clavering impaling South of Swallowcliff.
In chancel, on S. wall, (4) of Priscilla Hannah Sanger, 1755,
marble tablet with broken pediment, urn and cherub; (5) of
Philip Montagu, rector, 1782, marble tablet. In tower, on E. wall,
(6) of Susan Crewe (Meggs), wife of Andrew Layton, 1797,
marble tablet; (7) of Mary Baker, 1760, Martha Montagu, 1769
and Jane Iles, 1828, marble tablet by Gray of Weymouth. In
N. aisle, on N. wall, (8) of William Churchill, 1847, marble
tablet by Lester of Dorchester. In S. aisle, on S. wall, (9) of
John Kellaway, 1725, Elizabeth, 1768, and Nicholas Kellaway,
1783, marble tablet with broken pediment and urn finial; below,
(10) of Dorothy Kellaway, 1781, oval tablet; on W. wall, (11) of
Mary Kellaway, 1712, Christopher and Samuell her sons, 1715,
and her husband Nicholas, 1746, stone and slate tablet with scrolls,
pediment and carved apron. In churchyard, on S. wall of S.
aisle, (12) of Thomas Rawlins, 1747, and Anna his wife, 1751,
carved stone cartouche (Plate 32) with emblems; E. of chancel,
(13) large 17th-century table-tomb with pilastered and arcaded
sides, heavily moulded cornice and weathered top; inscription
defaced. Floor-slabs: In N. porch, (1) of Elizabeth Hooke, 16 ...;
(2) of John Hooke, rector, 1700; (3) of . . . Cole, 1708.
Niches: In chancel gable, above E. window, small recess with
two-centred head; in chancel, flanking E. window, two niches
formerly with brackets and canopies, now shaved off; in S. wall,
recess with chamfered ogee head and sunk circles in spandrels,
stone shelf at half-height; all early 16th century. Plate: includes
late 16th or early 17th-century silver cup and cover-paten,
silver alms-dish of 1674, dated 1685, silver spoon of 1796, and
18th-century pewter flagon and dish. Sedilia: In chancel, on S.
side, recess with stone seat, side-standards, overhanging cornice,
and stone panelled back with three trefoil ogee heads and tracery
to panels; late 15th century, reset. Sundials: On S.E. buttress of
tower, with iron gnomon and date 1794. On stone pedestal 5
paces S. of tower, bronze plate with shaped gnomon by Isaacke
Symmes, inscription 'W.G.N. 1908–38' added; probably 18th
century. On S.E. buttress of tower, two scratch-dials. Miscellanea:
On top of E. churchyard wall, moulded stone with square
socket, 15th century.
(2) Bridge (71519719), over R. Piddle, 100 yds.
N.W. of (1), has a single round arch of ashlar and is
dated 1834 on the N. parapet.
(3) Muston Manor (72309600), house, 1,500 yds.
S.E. of the church, is two-storied with dormerwindowed attics; the S. front is of brickwork with
ashlar dressings, the other walls are of banded rubble
and flint; the roof is covered with modern tiles. The
house is of 17th-century origin but the interior has been
much altered and there are modern additions to E. and
The S. front is approximately symmetrical and of five bays,
the middle bay being set forward as a gabled two-storied porch.
The outer porch arch is of stone with an elliptical ogee-moulded
head, continuous jambs and chamfered run-out stops; above the
arch is a recessed stone panel. To the W. of the porch the ground
floor has two stone windows each of four square-headed lights
with chamfered and hollow-chamfered surrounds; above them
on the first floor are two similar three-light windows. To the E.
of the porch the ground floor has only one four-light window
but the first floor has two, of three lights, as before. The window
in the gabled upper storey of the porch is similar and of three
The W. front is divided into two parts by a vertical ashlar
offset; the S. part is of banded flint and rubble, the N. part is of
banded flint and brick; all openings are modern and the upper
parts of the walls have been rebuilt. On the N. front the gabled
W. bay is of brick, with 17th-century stone-mullioned three-light windows on the ground and first floors; the first-floor
opening has a brick label; the rest of the N. front and the entire
E. part of the house are modern. Inside, the S.E. room has a
17th-century stone fireplace surround, recently brought from
Waterston Manor, Puddletown. It has a moulded square head
with rounded shoulders and continuous jambs; the moulded
stone cornice is modern. The N.W. room has a large ceiling
beam, chamfered for part of its length and unwrought for the
rest. In the hall is a painting of the four seasons by Thornhill;
it was formerly a ceiling panel at Colliton House, Dorchester.
To the E. of the house is an 18th-century Granary on staddlestones; the walls are of brick and the roof is tiled.
(4) The Rectory (71459710), 130 yds. S.W. of (1),
is of two storeys with dormer-windowed attics and has
walls of banded brick and flint, and banded flint and
ashlar; the roofs are tiled, with stone-slate verges. The
house was built in 1753.
The N. front, of banded brick and flint with brick quoins, is
symmetrical and of three bays. The round-headed central
doorway, with a rusticated stone surround, is flanked by segmental-headed sashed windows and there are three corresponding windows on the first floor; each window-head has a stone
keystone and the eaves have a moulded stone cornice. The gabled
W. wall is rendered. The S. front is of banded flint and ashlar
and was originally symmetrical and of five bays, but the two W.
bays have been masked by a 19th-century two-storied bow
window. The doorway has a moulded stone architrave, keystone
and cornice; the keystone is inscribed 'P.M. 1753', presumably
for Philip Montagu, rector 1751–82. The original windows on
both floors have moulded stone architraves with keystones; that
over the doorway has an eared architrave, shaped above the sill.
The eaves have a stone cornice similar to that of the N. front.
The E. elevation has a large round-headed window lighting the
stairs, and a rainwater head with initials and date as before.
Inside, the open-string stairs are of pine with turned newel
posts and balusters, and moulded handrails. An 18th-century
plan in the present rector's possession shows that the former
rectory stood to the E. of the present site; some of its walls are
perhaps incorporated in outhouses to the E.
A Cottage, 60 yds. W. of the rectory, is of banded flint and
rubble with a thatched roof and dates probably from the 17th
(5) Little Puddle Farm (71669653), house, 700 yds. S. of
(1), is single-storied with dormer-windowed attics and has
walls of rendered rubble, and thatched roofs. It is of the late
17th century and comprises a long range, facing S.E., with a
projecting gabled porch at the centre of the range. Several
casement windows have moulded wood mullions. Inside, there
are some plank-and-muntin partitions. A Granary on staddle
stones to the S. has rendered walls and a tiled roof; a Barn with
brick walls and an iron roof is probably of 18th-century origin.
(6) The New Inn (71389755), 450 yds. N.W. of (1), is of two
storeys and has rendered walls and thatched roofs; it is probably
of the late 18th or early 19th century.
(7) East Farm (71349768), house, 650 yds. N.W. of (1), is
two-storied and has walls of banded flint and squared rubble, and
thatched roofs. It is probably of the first half of the 17th century,
albeit of two periods. The E. front (Plate 57), with four irregular
bays, has masonry of two kinds; in the three bays to the N.
the banding shows two courses of flint to one of squared
rubble, in the bay to the S. it shows three flint courses to one
rather wider band of rubble. A stone let into the N. part,
near the eaves, bears the date 1622; the differently coursed
S. part appears to be a little later. Reset over the S. ground-floor window is a fragment of mediaeval cusped tracery.
All windows are wooden casements; those on the first floor
in the N. part of the E. front have stone lintels and, directly
over the lintels, attic dormer windows. The N. wall has masonry
similar to that of the N. part of the E. front; the gabled S.
wall is mainly of flint and rubble with occasional bands of
ashlar and with ashlar quoins; it appears to have been rebuilt,
probably in the 18th or 19th century. At the rear of the house
is a single-storied wing, with cob walls and a thatched roof,
that is probably of the 18th century. To the S. is a Barn with
brick walls and a thatched roof; it too is probably of the 18th
(8) Cottage (71399713), 160 yds. W. of (1), is single-storied
with dormer-windowed attics and has walls in part of banded
flint and ashlar and in part rendered, and thatched roofs. It is
probably of the late 17th century. Inside, one room has an
exposed stop-chamfered beam and there is evidence of a former
open fireplace, now blocked.
(9) Cottages (71479720), two adjacent, 100 yds. N.W. of
(1), are single-storied with dormer-windowed attics and have
walls of banded flint and brick, rendered in the upper part, and
thatched roofs. They are probably of the 18th century. Inside
are chamfered ceiling beams and traces of a former open fire-place, now blocked; one tenement retains a late plank-and-muntin
(10) Cottage, opposite the foregoing, on the S. side of the
road, is two-storied with walls of banded flint and squared
rubble, and slated roofs. It is of 16th-century origin but was
refronted in 1866. At the apex of the gabled central bay on the
N. front is a stone window of two small trefoil-headed lights;
lower in the same gable are three carved stone panels with
quatrefoils enclosing bosses; below each first-floor window of
the central bay is a smaller quatrefoil, pierced to make a ventilator,
and in the centre, at the same level, is a panel inscribed 'C.M.
1866'. Inside, an original fireplace has a moulded four-centred
head with trefoil spandrels.
(11) Cottage, 50 yds. N.W. of the church, of two storeys
with rendered walls and thatched roofs, is of the late 18th or
early 19th century.
Other buildings of the first half of the 19th century include
a range of Cottages with rubble walls and thatched roofs at
71649729, Bourne Farm (72979730), West Lodge (71329771), and a
House at 71679708.
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
(12) Settlement Remains of Little Piddle (718966)
lie on both sides of the valley in the vicinity of (5).
Little Piddle is first recorded in Domesday Book, when
it was divided into two manors (D.B. Vol. I, f. 75a and
77b). Until 1885 these manors remained separate land
units, each with its own open-field system (14) and in
different parishes; the N. manor, known as Combe
Deveral, was part of Piddlehinton while the S. manor
was in Puddletown (Tithe Map 1842). Domesday Book
records a population of 19 persons for the settlement,
and a late 13th-century I.P.M. lists 4 custumers and 11
cottars for the manor of Little Piddle (S. & D. N. & Q.,
IX, (1904–5), 147). The 1333 Subsidy Rolls record
7 taxpayers for Little Piddle manor only (Combe
Deveral manor presumably being listed under Piddlehinton), perhaps indicating a reduction of population
by this period. Desertion had almost certainly taken
place by 1539 as only two men are recorded on the
Muster Rolls of that year (L. & P., Henry VIII, Vol. 14,
Pt. I, 267–9), and by 1662 only two households are
listed (Meekings, 12. See also Dorset Procs., LXXXVIII
The division of the settlement into two manors is not manifest
in the earthwork remains. The earthworks cover 32 acres and
were probably completely enclosed by a boundary bank and
ditch, but these features have been much damaged, on the E.
side by a modern road and in the valley bottom by watermeadows. The bank, where preserved, is up to 20 ft. wide and
2½ ft. high, with an external ditch 15 ft. to 20 ft. wide; within
it the remains are much disturbed. On the E. side of the river
there are a number of long closes, running down the valley side
and bounded by low banks; they may be the crofts of houses
which formerly lay in the valley bottom. Two rectangular areas
that are probably the sites of houses lie 130 yds. E.N.E. of (5);
they are bounded by low banks.
On the W. side of the river, the farm house, outbuildings,
gardens and water-meadows associated with (5) have largely
destroyed the remains, although stubs of banks projecting from
the boundary bank suggest that long closes once existed.
(13) Settlement Remains (727958), part of the
former hamlet of North Louvard, lie in the S. of the
parish, 300 yds. E.S.E. of (3) on the N.E. bank of the
R. Piddle. The settlement is one of the unidentified
'Piddles' in Domesday; its subsequent history is difficult
to ascertain as it is usually recorded together with
South Louvard, another Domesday 'Piddle' which is
now Higher Waterston in Puddletown (Hutchins II,
618; see also Tithe Maps of Piddlehinton (1840) and of
Puddletown (1842)). In 1327 only seven taxpayers were
recorded, and these probably came from both N. and
S. Louvard. By 1662 the northern settlement must have
been completely deserted, since the only house listed for
Louvard (Meekings, 12) is certainly Higher Waterston
(see Dorset Procs., loc. cit., 212).
Piddlehinton. (12) Settlement Remains of Little Piddle
The remains cover some 5 acres and comprise three well-preserved closes, 60 yds. long and 30 yds. wide, bounded by
scarps and banks up to 3 ft. high, with internal subdivisions.
Building platforms, possibly house-sites, 20 ft. by 40 ft., lie at
the S.W. or lower ends of the closes. There are traces of at least
three more closes to the N.W., all of them very much disturbed;
another close has been largely destroyed by the modern road
on the S.E.
(14) Cultivation Remains. The open fields of Piddlehinton
remained unenclosed until 1835 (Enclosure Map and Award,
D.C.R.O.). On either side of Coombe Bottom (710971) are
slight traces of contour strip lynchets, mostly ploughed out and
now visible only on air photographs (R.A.F. CPE/UK 1974:
1368). In the E., these strip lynchets run into and over 'Celtic'
fields (see below, Group (35), p. 322). Until 1835 all the strips lay
in West Water Field.
Contour strip lynchets (714965) of the open fields of Combe
Deveral manor lie on the N. side of Little Piddle Bottom, 400
yds. W. of (5). The remains are all ploughed out and are only
visible on air photographs (R.A.F. CPE/UK 1974: 1367).
A two-field system was in existence at Little Piddle (formerly
in Puddletown parish) in the 13th century (S. & D. N. & Q.,
IX, (1904–5), 147). Contour strip lynchets remain in two
places, S.W. and S. of (5), (716964 and 718962); they are
damaged by ploughing but have low risers 1 ft. to 3 ft. high.
Roman and Prehistoric
'Celtic' Fields, see p. 322f., Groups (35), (36), (45).
Monuments (15–23), Round Barrows
Of the nine round barrows in the parish, five (15–19) are in
the S.W. and the others are scattered along the E. boundary.
In 1881 Edward Cunnington opened three barrows at Little
Piddle (Cunnington MS. Nos. 43–45). No. 43, either (16) or
(17), contained a primary cremation under a central cairn and
seven secondary cremations, five with urns (four 'bucket' and
one globular) and two without urns (Ant.J. XIII (1933), 446;
Arch.J. CXIX (1962), 58). No. 44, either (15) or (16), covered a
primary cremation under a cairn. No. 45, probably (18), yielded
from a central flint cairn five urns (four 'bucket' and one globular)
containing cremations; two of the urns were upright and were
covered with stone slabs, the others were inverted (Arch.J.
CXIX (1962), 57). An unidentified barrow opened by C. Hall
on Piddlehinton Down contained an urn beneath a flint cairn
(C.T.D., Pt. 3, No. 96; Barrow Diggers, 92 and Pl. 9, fig. 4). Two
urns 'of an almost globular shape' were recovered from a barrow
disturbed by the construction of a road on Piddlehinton Down
(Hutchins II, 807). The nine barrows are as follows:
(15) Bowl (69509571), on Little Piddle Down near the top of
a ridge. Much ploughed. Diam. 54 ft., ht. 1 ft.
(16) Bowl (69549567), 70 yds. S.E. of (15). Ploughed. Diam.
70 ft., ht. 4 ft. Traces of ditch.
(17) Bowl (69819550), 340 yds. S.E. of (16). Heavily ploughed.
Diam. 45 ft., ht. 3½ ft.
(18) Bowl (70389582), on Little Puddle Hill on the summit of
a ridge; base of mound damaged by ploughing. A 'Celtic' field
lynchet runs up to the barrow, on either side, and clearly has
respected it. Diam. 37 ft., ht. 5½ ft.
(19) Bowl (70419580), 40 yds. E.S.E. of (18), is planted with
fir trees and its base has been damaged by ploughing. Diam.
55 ft., ht. 9 ft.
(20) Bowl (73569663), 200 yds. E. of Muston Copse, lies
below the crest of a hill on a gentle E. slope at just over 300 ft.
above O.D.; it is traversed by a hedge and the northern third of
the mound has been ploughed away. Diam. about 45 ft., ht.
(21) Bowl (72789719), 300 yds. W.S.W. of Bourne Farm, at
about 325 ft. above O.D. Almost completely ploughed out.
(22) Bowl (73679832), on top of the hill at over 300 ft. above
O.D. within Dole's Hill Plantation. Diam. 65 ft., ht. 4 ft.
(23) Bowl (73639863), 320 yds. N. of (22), on the summit of
the same hill. Scrub-covered. Diam. 40 ft., ht. 3 ft.
(24) Enclosure (69709664), now destroyed by ploughing,
formerly lay immediately W. of New Buildings, on the crest of
an E.–W. spur at 420 ft. above O.D.; it consisted of a rectangular
area of approximately ½ acre, bounded by a bank and an external ditch on the W., S. and E. sides, and by a ditch only on the
N. There was no entrance. Faint traces of 'Celtic' fields (see
Group (35)) occur in the vicinity (R.A.F. CPE/UK 1974: 1369).