14 KINGTON MAGNA (7623)
(O.S. 6 ins., ST 72 SW, ST 72 SE)
The parish, extending to nearly 2,000 acres, is divided
into two parts, Kington and Nyland, by the R. Cale.
Kington in the N.E. occupies some two-thirds of the
total area, with land on Oxford Clay rising gently from
the Cale at about 180 ft. above sea-level, to 300 ft.;
further N.E. the land ascends steeply to 400 ft. on the
Corallian Limestone escarpment. The village of Kington Magna stands at the foot of the escarpment, with
the parish church prominently sited on the rising ground
to the E.; until the enclosure of the open fields Kington
probably was the only settlement in this part of the
parish. Enclosure appears to have taken place in the
17th century, and several outlying farms came into
existence as a result.
As its name implies, Nyland, in the S.W., is an island
of Oxford Clay surrounded by the alluvium and marshland of the Cale and the Bow Brook. The settlement
is mentioned in Domesday (V.C.H., Dorset, iii, 84, 91),
but neither Higher nor Lower Nyland now contains
any monument of note.
(1) The Parish Church of All Saints (fn. 1) has walls
of rubble with ashlar dressings, and tiled roofs. The
West Tower is of the late 15th century. The Chancel,
Nave, North and South Aisles, and the South Porch were
rebuilt in 1862, the architect being Charles Turner of
Southampton (Faculty, Sarum Dioc. Regy., 1861).
Architectural Description—The massive West Tower (Plate
1) is of three main stages, with a moulded plinth, weathered and
hollow-chamfered string-courses between the stages, and an
embattled parapet with moulded coping. At the N.W. and
S.W. corners are diagonal buttresses of four weathered stages,
that on the N.W. partly restored and having an additional
weathered offset half-way up the second stage; the tops of the
buttresses coincide with the string-course between the second
and third tower stages. The N.E. corner has a square-set
buttress of five stages, the top stage extending into the top tower
stage, or belfry; this buttress was rebuilt, using old material,
in 1862. The S.E. corner has a rectangular vice turret with a
weathered stone head. The tower arch, rebuilt in 1862, is two-centred and of two orders, the inner order wave-moulded, the
outer order hollow-chamfered; both orders die into plain
chamfered responds. The doorway to the vice turret has a
chamfered four-centred head and chamfered jambs. The W.
doorway has an ogee-moulded and hollow-chamfered four
centred head with continuous jambs and run-out stops, and a
moulded label with square stops with foliate centres. The W.
window, of 1862, has three ogee-headed lights and curvilinear
tracery in a two-centred head; the jambs are those of an earlier
window, of which the head and sill were lower than at present.
In the second stage the S. wall of the tower has a small window
with a moulded trefoil head. The doorway at the top of the
vice has a chamfered four-centred head and chamfered jambs
with broach stops. In the top stage the N., S. and W. sides have
belfry windows of two trefoil-headed lights, with trefoil tracery
lights in two-centred heads under moulded labels with square
stops; a former E. belfry window has been blocked.
Fittings—Bells: five; treble modern; 2nd and 3rd by John
Wallis, both inscribed 'Love God IW 1608'; 4th inscribed 'I
sound to bid the sick repent in hoe of life when breath is spent'
reading from right to left, also 8461, presumably 1648; tenor
with 'Sancte Georgi ora pro nobis' in fine crowned Lombardic
letters, second half of the 14th century. Bell-frame: with two
heavily chamfered beams, mediaeval. Chest: In vestry, of oak,
with panelled front and sides, and enriched stiles and rails, 17th
century. Communion Table: In vestry, of oak, with turned
legs, moulded stretchers, enriched rails and scrolled brackets, 17th
century, top modern.
Monument: In tower, on N. wall, of John Dowding, 1747,
and others of his family, round-headed slate tablet on gadrooned
Piscina: In S. aisle, reset in S. wall, with trefoil head and label
with finial, bowl cut away, 14th century. Royal Arms: In
tower, painted on wood panel with moulded surround, Stuart
arms with cypher C R, 17th century. Miscellanea: In nave,
standing on floor, fragments of window tracery, 14th century.
(2) Methodist Chapel (76522284), with squared rubble
walls and a tiled roof, dates from 1851. The gabled S. front is
of three bays, with a central doorway with a two-centred head
and shafted jambs, flanked by plain windows with two-centred
heads and surmounted by a third such window. In the gable is
a stone inscribed '1851 Primitive Methodist Chapel, T. Tanner
(3) Manor Farm (76842308), house, of two storeys with
attics, with rubble walls with ashlar dressings and with stoneslated and tiled roofs, is of the mid 17th century. The N. front
has a chamfered plinth and a weathered and hollow-chamfered
first-floor string-course. Inside a modern porch, on the W. of
the projecting stair bay, is a doorway with a four-centred head
with double ovolo mouldings, continuous jambs and chamfered
stops. The stone windows are of two, three and four square-headed lights with recessed and hollow-chamfered surrounds;
the three-light window in the stair bay is at mezzanine level,
showing that the stairs are in the original position. The S.
elevation is partly hidden by later additions, but plinth, string-course and several stone windows remain exposed. Inside, the
original fireplaces are blocked and the stairs have been renewed;
of original fittings only two chamfered beams are visible.
(4) Prospect Cottage (76772317), of two storeys, with
rubble walls and a tiled roof, is of 17th-century origin, but was
altered in the 18th century. The S. front is of four bays, with
a plain doorway and with sashed windows uniform in each
storey; the flat window-heads have stone voussoirs with projecting keystones. In the S. wall the outline of an earlier gable
suggests that the cottage was originally single-storeyed. Adjacent on the W. is a Barn, with rubble walls and a tiled roof, also
of 17th-century origin.
(5) House (76612315), of two storeys, with rubble walls and
tiled roofs with stone-slated verges, is of the late 17th century.
The W. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a central
doorway and wooden three-light casement windows. Inside,
a stop-chamfered beam is exposed.
(6) House (76512297), of two storeys, with rubble walls and
stone-slated roofs, is probably of early 17th-century origin, but
was much altered in the 18th century. The plan is a half-H, with
the main range on the S. and with subsidiary wings projecting
N. at the rear; the narrow yard which formerly lay between
the wings was filled in, perhaps in the 18th century. The 18th-century S. front is symmetrical and of five bays, with a central
doorway and with sashed windows in both storeys; one former
ground-floor window has become a doorway, and two of the
first-floor openings have been blocked. The door is of oak
planks, heavily studded and hung on wrought-iron strap-hinges. In the lower storey of the N. elevation, both wings
retain stone casement windows of four square-headed lights with
sunk-chamfered jambs and heads; the window in the western
wing has a casement-moulded surround. In the upper storey
the casement windows have wooden frames and leaded glazing.
Inside, some rooms have chamfered ceiling beams with splayed
(7) Lower Farm (75832265), house, of two and three storeys
(Plate 53), has walls of coursed rubble with dressings of lighter
coloured ashlar, and is roofed partly with stone-slates and partly
with tiles; it dates from late in the 17th century. The original
plan comprises a main E.–W. range, facing S., with a wing projecting from the centre of the N. side; the wing now is partly
enclosed in 19th-century and later extensions. The S. front is
symmetrical and of five bays; at the base is a square plinth and
at first-floor level is a weathered and ogee-moulded string-course; the corners have ashlar quoins. The ground-floor and
first-floor windows are uniform, each being of two transomed
square-headed lights with recessed and hollow-chamfered
jambs, heads and mullions; some original wrought-iron casements with quadrant stays remain. At the centre is a square-headed ashlar doorway with a moulded and eared architrave
flanked by Roman-Doric pilasters; it is now in a porch, but
originally may have been in the plane of the façade. The
gabled E. wall of the range has a small blocked window with a
moulded square-headed surround; it is set at mezzanine level
and indicates the former position of a small stair beside the
chimneybreast. The N. wing has casement windows of three
square-headed lights at ground-floor, mezzanine and upper
first-floor levels, suggesting that the wing originally contained
a second staircase. The gabled W. wall has two blocked bull's-eye windows in the upper storey. Inside, the house has been
much altered and the original disposition of rooms is lost; it
may have resembled that of Motcombe (3). The chimneystacks on the gabled E. and E. walls of the S. range are original,
although the fireplaces are blocked. A 17th-century staircase,
probably in the N. wing originally, has been moved to the S.
range; it is of oak, with heavily moulded close strings, stout
turned balusters, square newel posts, and handrails rounded on
top and moulded on one side only.
(8) House (76542321), of two storeys, with brick walls and
a slate-covered roof, is of the late 18th century. The S. front is
of four bays, with a doorway and elliptical-headed sashed
windows on the ground floor, similar sashed windows in the
upper storey and a plain plat-band at first-floor level.
Unless otherwise described, the following monuments are two-storeyed, with rubble walls and tiled
roofs, and are of 18th-century origin.
(9) Cottages (76632318), two adjoining, have been much
altered from their original form.
(10) House (76552316), with a N. front of three bays, has
wood-framed casement windows of two and of three lights.
(11) Cottage (76442327), with a thatched roof, has a symmetrical S.W. front.
(12) House (76472316), with a slated roof, has a symmetrical
S. front of three bays, with segmental-headed openings with
(13) Cottages (76402309), two adjoining, have segmental-headed openings, as in the foregoing.
(14) Cottages (76482296), range of three.
(15) House (76512284), of two storeys with an attic and with
a slate-covered roof, is of the late 18th century, but incorporated
in it is a Cottage of somewhat earlier 18th-century date.
(16) Cottages (76282275), four adjoining, comprise two on
the W. which have now been combined to make one dwelling;
inside is an open fireplace with a wooden newel staircase on the
S. The cottages on the E. are of the late 18th or early 19th
(17) Cottages (76582284), range of three.
(18) Cottages (76592300), four adjacent, include two on the
E. which may be of late 17th-century origin.
(19) Cottage (76852293), with a slate-covered roof, retains
two chamfered ceiling beams and an open fireplace with an oven,
now blocked up.
(20) Bye Farm (75982391), house, with slate-covered roofs,
comprises two parallel ranges. The symmetrical E. front is of
three bays, with a central doorway and sashed windows.
(21) Lawrence Farm (77372303), house, of two storeys, with
walls partly of rubble and partly of brickwork and with a tiled
roof, is of the late 17th or early 18th century, with a later 18th-century extension on the N. Inside, there are stop-chamfered
beams and two open fireplaces.
(22) Bowden Farm (77312359), house, of two storeys with
rubble walls and a tiled roof, was built at three periods: the
middle part of the range is of the 17th century, the N. part is of
the 18th, and the S. part is of the late 19th century.
(23) Folly Farm (77282383), house, of two storeys, with
rubble walls and a tiled roof, is of 17th-century origin. The
original building, in the N.E. part of the range, has low casement windows with heavy timber surrounds and appears formerly to have been single-storeyed. The S.W. part of the range
and the upper storey of the N.E. part were added at the end of
the 18th or early in the 19th century.
(24) Cottage (77292343), of two storeys, with rubble walls
and a tile-covered roof, is of the 18th century.
(25) Cottage (77312345) has characteristics similar to the
(26) Cottage (77272355), of two storeys, with rubble walls
and a slated roof, is of the first half of the 18th century. The S.
front is of two bays with a central doorway.
(27) Folly Cottage (77392402), similar to (24), contains a
large open fireplace on the E.
(28) Bridge (75722148), carrying the Shaftesbury-Sherborne road across the R. Cale, is of rubble and
ashlar and has four segmental-pointed arches.
On the S. side the arches are of the 17th century and have
chamfered ashlar voussoirs with the chamfers dying into plain
responds. (In April 1631 repairs to the bridge were ordered at
Quarter Sessions.) On the N. side the arches have rubble voussoirs springing from ashlar responds and cut-waters, the latter
with pyramidal heads; this side of the bridge appears to have
been rebuilt in 1792 (contract, D.C.R.O.). Reset in the N.
parapet wall is a stone inscribed 1670, probably recording the
completion of repairs ordered at Quarter Sessions in July 1669.
(29) Nyland Manor Farm (74782183), house, of two storeys,
with rubble walls and slate-covered roofs, dates from c. 1800.
The E. front is nearly symmetrical and of five bays, with a
central doorway flanked by sashed windows of three lights on the
ground floor, and single-light sashed windows in the upper
storey. Adjacent on the S.E. is a 19th-century Barn.
(30) Higher Farm (73882217), house, of two storeys with
rubble walls and a tiled roof, is of the 17th century; until 1947
the roof was thatched. Set in the S. front is an inscription tablet
with 'T.D. 1632' above and 'I.D. 1723' below. The N.
elevation retains casement windows of three square-headed
lights with chamfered timber surrounds. Inside, some rooms
have chamfered beams with splayed stops. One room has an
open fireplace with an oven.
(31) Cottage (74952181), of two storeys with rubble walls
and a slate-covered roof, is of the early 18th century. Inside are
some chamfered beams of shallow cross-section and a blocked
(32) Cottage (74072190), of two storeys with rubble walls
and a slate-covered roof, is of the 18th century. Inside, the N.
room has a large open fireplace.
(33) Lower Nyland Farm (75332172), house, is of the first
half of the 19th century.
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
(34) Cultivation Remains. Of the open fields of Kington
and Nyland little is known; those of Kington must have been
enclosed by the end of the 17th century, when the house (7) of
Lower Farm was built. Traces of ridge-and-furrow of the fields
occur here and there around the village (R.A.F., V.A.P.
CPE/UK 2018: 3168).