16 MARGARET MARSH (8218)
(O.S. 6 ins., ST 81 NW, ST 82 SW)
This parish, barely 550 acres in extent, comprises two
roughly triangular areas joined at a narrow neck. The
land is all Kimmeridge Clay, between 150 ft. and 230 ft.
above sea-level; it drains into a small rivulet which
flows S.W. to join the Key Brook on the S.W.
boundary. The S.W. triangular area, formerly a
parochial chapelry of Iwerne Minster, is probably
mentioned in a document of 1310 (Hutchins III, 556).
The smaller N.E. triangle, Gore Farm, once part of
St. James's parish, Shaftesbury, was recorded in 1282
(1) The Parish Church of St. Margaret has walls
of ashlar and rubble and tile-covered roofs. The
Chancel, Nave and South Porch were rebuilt in 1872.
The West Tower dates from the 15th century.
Architectural Description—The West Tower is of ashlar
and has a moulded plinth, three stages defined by moulded,
weathered and hollow-chamfered string-courses, and an
embattled parapet with a moulded coping. The corners of
the lower stages have diagonal buttresses with weathered
offsets at the level of the string-courses; the top stage has plain
corner pilasters, perhaps originally with pinnacles, now gone.
An octagonal vice turret occupies the E. part of the N. wall and
is staged in correspondence with the main stages; beside the
turret the top string-course has a gargoyle. The tower arch
is two-centred and of two chamfered orders with continuous
jambs. The doorway to the vice has a chamfered four-centred
head and chamfered jambs. The W. doorway has a four-centred head of two chamfered orders under a moulded label,
and continuous jambs; above, the W. window is of three
trefoil ogee-headed lights under vertical tracery in a two-centred head. The string-course between the two lower stages
of the tower forms a label over the window. In the second
stage, the S. wall of the tower has a window of two trefoil-headed lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head;
the lights are closed by stone slabs with lozenge perforation.
The belfry in the third stage has, in each wall, a window
uniform with that in the second stage.
Fittings—Chest: of cast-iron, inscribed 'Margaret Marsh
register chest, John Scammell, 1813, C.W.'. Font: with
round bowl, hollow-chamfered and roll-moulded below, on
plain cylindrical shaft, and with base as for a Tuscan column;
bowl c. 1300, base 18th century. Glass: reset in W. window,
fragments including crown, fleurs-de-lis, and black-letter inscription 'Margaret' and '. . . Yong' qui hanc fenestra'
mill'imo qui'ge'tesimo xli'; 15th and 16th century. Graffiti:
on responds of tower arch, initials and dates, 1696 and later.
Monuments: In churchyard, on E. wall of S. porch, (1) of
William Bennett, 1756, headstone with shield-of-arms of
Bennett. Some 4 yds. S. of chancel, (2) of William Bennett,
1792, headstone similar to the foregoing. Some 10 yds. S. of
porch, table-tombs with panelled sides and moulded tops:
(3) of William Yetman, 1678, (4) of Lucy Fry, formerly wife
of William Yetman, (5) anonymous, probably 18th century.
Plate: includes Elizabethan silver cup of similar form to that
of Gillingham, but smaller, with maker's mark, four lozenges
arranged lozenge-wise, and italic inscription 'This Plate Belong
to Margrit Mash Church'.
(2) Church Farm (82371867), house, with walls of squared
rubble and with tiled roofs, is of the 16th century and was
originally single-storeyed with an attic, but it was heightened
to two storeys, probably in the 18th century. The S. range has
two rooms with hollow-chamfered intersecting ceiling beams;
originally they were separated by a through-passage, but the
W. partition has been removed. The W. room appears always
to have been unheated; the E. room has a blocked open fireplace. The N. range has hollow-chamfered beams with shouldered stops, and the N. room, no doubt the kitchen, has a
blocked open fireplace. An oven formerly projected from the
N. wall, but the projection has been removed and the cavity
has been filled in. It is probable that a staircase formerly
occupied one of the spaces beside the N. fireplace, but nothing
is seen of it today. The W. wall of the N. range appears to
have been rebuilt.
(3) Marsh Farm (82141894), house, of two storeys with an
attic, has rubble walls and thatched and tiled roofs. The
original range is of the 17th century, and there are 19th-century additions on the W. and S. The three-light first-floor
window in the gabled N. wall is original; other windows
are of the 18th century. The exposed parts of the S. and W.
walls in the original range have chamfered first-floor stringcourses. Inside, a stop-chamfered beam is exposed in the S.
room of the original range.
(4) Higher Farm (82621902), house, of two storeys
with rubble walls and thatched roofs, is of 15th-century
origin. Many of the original roof timbers remain in situ,
masked by the present roof, which is superimposed.
From details of the timbers the original plan of the house
can be deduced; it comprised a two-bay hall, open to
the roof, a two-storeyed service bay on the S.W., and
another bay on the N.E. In the 16th century the hall
was chambered over and an open fireplace and chimney-stack were built in the S.W. bay, leaving the S.W. end
of the former hall as a through-passage. To the S.W.
of the 16th-century chimney-stack the roof has been
rebuilt. All windows have been renewed. The N.E.
bay has been rearranged and retains no old features;
its widening on the N.W. certainly is not original.
Inside, the inserted 16th-century floor rests on intersecting
beams with deep, slightly hollowed chamfers; the first floor
over the kitchen rests on large joists, square in section, perhaps
original. The fireplace inserted in the hall has been blocked
up; there is no fireplace in the chamber above. The accompanying drawing shows the original roof members, but omits
the present roof; there are indications that the principals are
crucks, but they cannot now be traced below first-floor level.
An open truss with arched braces spanned the hall, and a truss
corresponding with the N.E. end of the hall was closed with
studding. The principals supported two chamfered purlins
on each side, with curved windbracing. Above the present
first-floor ceilings the roof timbers are encrusted with soot,
showing that originally there was an open hearth; in part of
the roof an original wattle lining is attached to the underside
of the common rafters.
(5) Jopp's Farm (82751953), house, with walls of rubble
and ashlar and with a thatched roof, is of the early 17th century.
The plan, formerly of class F, has been altered by the removal
of partitions and the insertion of a staircase. The N., E. and
W. elevations have stone windows of three square-headed
lights with recessed and hollow-chamfered surrounds; the
gabled S. wall retains a small loop with two round-headed
openings lighting a newel stair on the W. side of the S. chimney-stack. Inside, the large central fireplace has ashlar jambs and
a chamfered timber bressummer; the S. fireplace is similar,
but smaller. On the first floor, the S. chimney-stack serves a
small fireplace with a four-centred head. Several stop-chamfered beams are exposed. Plank-and-muntin partitions, now
dismantled, had muntins with moulded edges. A scratching
on one of the ashlar window-sills includes the date 1647.
(6) Margaret Marsh Farm (81931934), house, of two storeys
with rubble walls and a modern slated roof, dates from the
early 17th century. Inside, the N. ground-floor room has a
nine-panel ceiling with chamfered intersecting beams. Several
rooms on the first floor retain original oak panelling. In the
N. chamber a modern fireplace surround incorporates 17th-century oak pilasters carved with male and female figures; they
spring from strapwork pedestals and support crude Ionic
Margaret Marsh Farm
(7) Gore Farm (83442056), house, now of two storeys but
originally single-storeyed with attics, has squared rubble walls
and tiled and slated roofs (Plate 31). It dates from the 16th
century and was heightened and enlarged on the S. probably
in the 18th century. The continuous footing courses suggest
that the S. bay occupies the site of an original building. Inside,
the surviving original range has a plan of class T. The rooms
have heavy and elaborately moulded oak main beams and
wall-plates, and moulded cross-beams. The open fireplaces
are blocked; externally, the N. fireplace has a large chimneybreast with four weathered offsets; the adjacent oven has a