21 SILTON (7829)
(O.S. 6 ins., ST 72 NE, ST 73 SE)
Silton covers some 1,225 acres near the N.W. extremity of the country and is divided into two parts by
the R. Stour, which here flows S.E. in a broad valley.
To the N.E. of the river the land is Kimmeridge Clay,
about 300 ft. above sea-level; to the S.W. the parish
lies on the dip-slope of the Corallian Limestone escarpment, with somewhat broken country at altitudes
between 300 ft. and 450 ft. The original settlement,
mentioned in Domesday (V.C.H., Dorset, iii, 92), lay
near the church on a low ridge between the Stour and
a small tributary brook on the S.W. Feltham Farm,
some ¾ m. to the N.W., existed in 1327 and was
probably a secondary settlement. At present, habitation
is principally in the N. and N.W. of the parish, where
there are scattered cottages of the late 18th and early
19th century; many of these dwellings were built on
waste land which remained unenclosed until 1862
(Enclosure Award and Map; O.S., 1811). This exten
sion of settlement was probably associated with the 18th
and 19th-century textile industry (see Bourton, p. 3).
(1) The Parish Church of St. Nicholas (Plate 62)
stands near the centre of the parish. The walls are of
rubble with ashlar dressings, and in places wholly
ashlar-faced; the roofs are tiled. The S. arcade of the
Nave is of the late 12th century; the Chancel was
largely rebuilt in the 15th century; the North Chapel,
the West Tower, the South Aisle and the South Porch
are of the early 16th century. For a description and
sketch of the church in 1820, see T. D. Powell, Topographical Collections (B.M. Add. MS. 17459), f. 121.
The church was restored in 1869. The N. chapel and
the 17th-century monument of Sir Hugh Wyndham
are the most noteworthy features.
Silton, the Parish Church of St. Nicholas
Architectural Description—The E. wall of the Chancel has a
chamfered plinth and, at the S.E. corner, a buttress of two stages
with weathered offsets. The E. window, of 1869, comprises
three cinquefoil-headed lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head. The archway to the N. chapel has a four-centred
head and continuous responds decorated with stone panelling
comprising moulded ribs and trefoil-headed panels set in pairs;
the responds have chamfered plinths continuous with the plinth
at the foot of a pierced stone screen which closes the opening.
The screen was originally of six lights, but the two eastern lights
have been blocked; each remaining light has a cinquefoil ogee
head under open quatrefoil spandrels; the archway above the
screen, no doubt originally open, has been walled up. The doorway to the N. chapel has a moulded four-centred head with
continuous jambs and a chamfered four-centred rear-arch.
Further W., the N. wall of the chancel has a 19th-century two-light window with vertical tracery. The S. wall of the chancel
has, on the E., a restored 15th-century window of two cinquefoil-headed lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred casement-moulded surround. Beneath the window sill is a weathered
string-course and below this the S. wall, more than 3 ft. thick, is
probably of the 12th century. Further W., the S. wall of the
chancel contains a restored archway, uniform and continuous
with the nave arcade; the arch, two-centred and of two chamfered orders, springs from a 19th-century moulded corbel
inserted in the E. respond. Piercing this respond is a rough squint
to the S. aisle, with a chamfered four-centred head and continuous jambs. The chancel arch, of 1869, is two-centred and of two-chamfered orders, the inner order springing from fluted corbels.
The North Chapel has ashlar walls with moulded and hollow-chamfered plinths and embattled parapets with hollow-chamfered string-courses and continuous moulded coping; the stringcourses have grotesque lion gargoyles at the N.W., N.E. and
S.E. corners. The buttresses are of two weathered stages. Above
the parapet and set back from the E. and W. wall-faces are
ashlar gables with weathered copings and cross-weathered apex
stones. The E. window is of three cinquefoil-headed lights under
a four-centred, casement-moulded head with continuous jambs;
the moulded label has square stops. The chapel has a stone fan
vault in which the ribs spring from corbels carved to represent
angels bearing shields. Each fan has two heights of trefoil-headed
stone panelling with ogee-moulded ribbing; at the centre of the
vault is a circular panel containing four roundels with quatrefoil
cusping; the intervening spandrels are also cusped. To the E. the
vaulting continues in the form of a four-centred arch with a
ribbed and panelled soffit.
The Nave (Plate 6) has, at the centre of the N. wall, a recess
built in 1869 to accommodate monument (1), previously in the
chancel. On each side of the recess is a window with two ogee-headed lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head. A
diagonal buttress of two weathered stages at the N.E. corner of
the nave appears to be of 14th-century origin. The S. side of the
nave has a late 12th-century three-bay arcade, continuous with
the arch on the S. of the chancel; the piers have moulded
bases, cylindrical drums, fluted capitals (Plate 9) and moulded
The South Aisle has S.E. and S.W. buttresses of two weathered
stages. The gabled E. wall contains a three-light window with a
casement-moulded two-centred head and continuous jambs; the
tracery is of 1869. In the gable is a fragment of mediaeval carving,
perhaps a former apex stone. The S. wall has three restored
windows, each of two ogee-headed lights with vertical tracery
in a casement-moulded two-centred head with continuous
jambs. The S. doorway has a roll-moulded and casementmoulded four-centred head with continuous jambs and run-out
stops; the roll-moulding ends in miniature bases; the rear-arch is
four-centred and chamfered. The W. wall has a 19th-century
two-light window with a four-centred head.
The West Tower is of two stages, with a moulded plinth and
a weathered and hollow-chamfered string-course; above is an
embattled parapet with a moulded string-course with corner
gargoyles and small angle pinnacles; the pinnacles are perhaps
of the 17th century. The N.E., N.W. and S.W. corners have
buttresses of four weathered stages; the S.E. corner has a stair
turret with a weathered head just above the base of the upper
stage. The tower arch is two-centred and of two chamfered
orders, the outer order continuing on the responds, the inner
order resting on half-round shafts with moulded bases and
capitals; carved on each capital is a shield with the arms of Carent,
with a crescent for difference. High up in the N. side of the lower
stage is a small square-headed window. In the W. side of the
lower stage is a restored three-light window with a casementmoulded two-centred head and continuous jambs. The doorway
to the stair has a chamfered four-centred head and continuous
jambs; adjacent on the W. is an external doorway of similar
form, perhaps of the 17th century. In the top stage each face of
the tower has a belfry window of two trefoil-headed lights, with
a quatrefoil in a two-centred head under a moulded label; the
lights are closed by perforated stone slabs.
The South Porch has a moulded four-centred arch with continuous jambs and a moulded square surround with a label with
head stops; the spandrels have carved leaf decoration (Plate 10).
Inside, on either side, are stone benches with chamfered tops.
The Roofs of the nave, S. aisle and S. porch are of the early
16th century, with restoration and painted enrichment of 1869.
They are of wagon type, but the plaster infilling between the
ribs has been removed. The principal transverse and longitudinal members are moulded and each intersection is covered
by a heavy leaf boss; the wall-plates are hollow-chamfered and
enriched at intervals with leaf bosses and shields. In the porch
the wall-plates incorporate small attached capitals. The moulded
transverse members divide the nave roof into four bays, the aisle
roof into six bays, and the porch roof into two bays. The roof of
the chancel is a 19th-century replica of the nave roof.
Fittings—Bells: five; 1st modern; 2nd inscribed 'The gift of
Judge Wyndham 1657 I.L.'; 3rd inscribed 'Dominus W. Bidyck
I.G. rector duo fecerunt' in Lombardic letters, probably early
15th century (John Gardener, rector 1412–33); 4th inscribed
'Anno Domini 1633 I.L.', with royal arms; 5th inscribed 'John
Ellis, John Burputt C.W. Anno Domini 1702, T.K. B.F.'.
Brass: In chancel, on screen to N. chapel, plate (9¾ ins. by 8 ins.),
with inscription of Sir Hugh Wyndham, 1684, in italic lettering
(Plate 14). Chair: of oak, modern assembly of carved 16th-century
woodwork brought from elsewhere. Chest: for registers, of
cast-iron, dated 1813. Communion Table: In N. chapel, of oak,
with turned baluster legs and scrolled side rails, other rails plain;
17th century. Door: In S. doorway, with oak planks in two layers,
iron strap-hinges, studs, escutcheon-plate and latch; c. 1600.
Monuments: In nave, reset on N. wall, (1) of Sir Hugh Wyndham, Kt., Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, 1684 (Plate 65);
white and grey marble monument, probably earliest known
work by Nost (Oxford History of English Art, VIII, 250), erected
in 1692, with statue of judge on gadrooned pedestal within
round-headed niche, on either side mourning women (Plate 20)
bearing skull and hourglass; group of figures flanked by composite columns with spiral shafts supporting segmental marble
canopy and, above, three cartouches-of-arms—at centre, Wyndham impaling Woodhouse, on E., Wyndham implaing Fleming,
on W., Wyndham implaing Minn; whole composition on
panelled plinth with wreath, palms, scales and sword, and centre
panel with epitaph. In S. aisle, on N. wall, (2) of Isaac Maggs
and others of same family 1774 to 1818, white marble tablet by
Osmund of Sarum; on S. wall, (3) of Dorothy (Morin) Kingeswell, 1638, stone tablet (Plate 23) with billet-moulded surround
under moulded cornice, with shield-of-arms of Kingeswell
implaing Morin; (4) of Samuel Davis, 1833, marble tablet in
stone surround with Gothic enrichment, by Chapman of Frome;
(5) of Silas Benjafield, 1843, marble tablet by Osmund of Sarum.
In tower, on N. wall, (6) of John White, 1809 and others of
same family, marble tablet by Osmund of Sarum. In churchyard,
immediately E. of S. porch, (7) of Edward Punn, 1639, table-tomb with heavy moulded top; 2 paces from S.E. angle of S.
aisle, (8) of William Boulting and others of his family, 1764–89,
rectangular stone pedestal with weathered head; adjacent, (9) of
Augustine Browne, 1618, table-tomb.
Piscinae: In chancel, on S. wall, with chamfered ogee-headed
recess with trefoil cusping, 15th century; in N. chapel on S. wall,
with chamfered four-centred recess, shelf at half height, and
corbelled polygonal basin, c. 1500; in S. aisle, on S. wall, with
hollow-chamfered ogee-headed recess with trefoil cusping, 15th
century. Plate: includes silver cup of 1744 or 1746, stand-paten
of same date, and stand-paten of 1722; also silver-plated flagon
of c. 1800. Sedile: In chancel, below S. window, with hollow-chamfered and ogee-moulded square-headed surround, seat
missing, much restored, 15th century. Sundial: on S. side of
tower, rectangular stone plate with incised Roman numerals and
wrought-iron gnomon, 1790. Tables of Creed, etc.: In chancel,
on E. wall, two Purbeck marble panels with Creed and Patercoster in incised and gilded lettering, late 17th or early 18th
century (Plate 23).
(2) Bridge (78093042), across the R. Stour, has a single
segmental arch of squared rubble, and a rubble parapet; it
probably is of the mid 19th century.
(3) Bridge (78772945), across the R. Stour, has two semicircular ashlar arches and brick parapet walls. An inscription in
the N. parapet records that the bridge was built in 1820.
(4) The Rectory (78132939), 120 yds. W. of (1), is two-storeyed and has walls of ashlar and rubble, and slated roofs. The
principal range is of the 18th century and there are 19th-century
additions at the rear. At the centre of the S.E. front is a projecting
two-storeyed gabled bay with a round-headed doorway on the
ground floor, a sashed window above and a small casement
window in the attic. In the lateral bays of the S.W. front the
fenestration is asymmetrical and in part masked, but it is probable that the façade originally was symmetrical and of three
bays. Inside, several rooms have 18th-century ceiling beams of
shallow cross-section; one room has an 18th-century fireplace
surround, with stone jambs with moulded panelling and a
panelled and shouldered lintel shaped at the centre to represent
a fluted keystone.
(5) The Rookery (78703038), house, of two storeys with
rubble walls and tiled roofs, appears to be of the 18th century.
In the three-bay S. front the ground-floor openings are modern;
the upper storey has original casement windows of three lights
with two-centred heads under square labels with returned stops.
Inside, the plan is of class T. The W. room has a cornice with
cable and egg-and-dart mouldings; the room has been enlarged
westwards in a modern addition. The E. ground-floor room has
a late 18th-century chimneypiece with carton-pierre enrichment.
(6) Manor Farm (78252925), house and outbuildings, is two-storeyed and has walls of ashlar and of rubble, and slated and
tiled roofs. The present farmhouse is of the 19th century; it has
a symmetrical S. front of ashlar, in three bays with a central
doorway and with sashed windows. Adjacent on the E. is an
18th-century cottage with a rubble S. front of two bays. Further
E. is a 17th-century building, presumably the former farmhouse,
now used as a dairy; it has walls of coursed rubble and a centrally
placed ashlar chimney-stack with moulded capping.
A Barn with rubble walls and tiled roofs, some 30 yds. S. of the
farmhouse, is probably of the 17th century. The plan is a rectangle, with doorway bays projecting N. and S. The roof has
tie-beam trusses with braced collar-beams. Adjacent on the E.
and S. are 18th-century farm buildings; the stables on the S.
contain oak stalls with shaped finials to the partition posts.
(7) Bagmore Farm (78613016), house, is two-storeyed and has
rubble walls and tiled roofs; it dates from c. 1700 and is said to
have been used for cloth-weaving during the 18th century. Inside,
one room contains an open fireplace with a deeply chamfered
and cambered oak bressummer; another room has deeply
chamfered ceiling beams.
(8) Waterloo Mill (78782948), of two storeys with lofts and
substructures, presumably dates from c. 1815; it has walls of
rubble with squared rubble quoins, and some brickwork, and is
roofed with slates (Plate 31). The gabled W. wall flanks the R.
Stour and contains a circular opening for the former mill-wheel
shaft. A stable and carthouse adjoins the mill on the E. A contemporary Cottage, some 20 yds. N.E. of the mill, is two-storeyed
and has rubble walls and a thatched roof. The S.E. front is of
two bays with a central doorway.
(9) Cottage (78283059), with rubble walls and a thatched
roof, was formerly two dwellings. The N. tenement is singlestoreyed with an attic and dates from late in the 17th century;
that on the S. is two-storeyed and was added in the 18th century.
Inside, the N. room has an open fireplace with a deeply
(10) Cottages (78373062), two adjacent and at rightangles to
one another, are two-storeyed and have rubble walls; they are
roofed partly with thatch and partly with iron. The N. tenement
is of the late 17th century and was originally single-storeyed; the
W. tenement was added in the 18th century. On the first floor in
the S. front is a stone window of two square-headed lights.
Monuments of the late 18th and early 19th century include the
following dwellings; unless described otherwise they are two-storeyed and have rubble walls, occasionally rendered, and roofcoverings of thatch, tile or iron: Feltham Farm (77423005), house,
with a symmetrical S. front of three bays; Card's Farm (77953063),
two adjoining cottages, now combined; Cottages (78533017),
two adjacent, now combined; Cottages (78493020), two adjacent,
now combined; Cottage (78083053); Cottage (78073057), originally single-storeyed, but heightened with brickwork; Cottage
(78103008), with an approximately symmetrical W. front of
three bays; Cottages (78023028), two adjacent; Cottages
(78023022), two adjacent; Cottages (78043061), pair, now combined; Cottages (78193100), range of four, set in pairs, with a
chimney-stack at each end of the range and with a double
chimney-stack at the centre; Cottage (78413052), originally singlestoreyed, but now heightened in brickwork.