AN INVENTORY OF
THE ANCIENT AND HISTORICAL MONUMENTS
IN EAST DORSET
Arranged by Parishes
The group of four figures following each parish heading gives the position of the parish church on the National
Grid, permitting easy location of the place on the one-inch O.S. map at the end of the volume. The next line indicates
the sheets of the six-inch O.S. map (edition of 1960) which relate to the parish. Each Monument in the Inventory is
located by a six or eight-figure reference to the National Grid.
In architectural descriptions of churches, the parts of the building are taken in the order E. to W. and N. to S.; in
descriptions of houses the exterior precedes the interior. Architectural plans have a uniform scale of 24 ft. to the inch,
except for a few key-plans at approximately 48 ft. to the inch. Hatching symbols used to indicate dating are uniform
throughout the volume. Construction since 1850 is termed modern.
Information now impossible to verify and derived from literary sources, usually Hutchins, is enclosed in square
brackets. The date given in the description of a funerary monument is that of the death of the person first commemorated; if known, the date of erection of the monument is added; surnames in round brackets are maiden names.
Apart from Roman Roads and 'Celtic' Field Groups which are described separately (the former in the Sectional
Preface, the latter at the end of the Inventory), the Ancient and Historical Monuments of East Dorset are listed
below under the names of the twenty-five civil parishes in which they occur.
1 ALDERHOLT (1012)
(O.S. 6 ins., SU 01 SE, SU 11 SW)
Alderholt, with an area of 3,768 acres, is the easternmost parish in the county, forming a promontory into
Hampshire. Bagshot Sands in the S. and S.E. of the
parish result in extensive heathlands which rise more
than 300 ft. above sea-level; the N. part is on London
Clay, except for a narrow strip of Reading Beds along
the N. border. These formations give rise to gently
undulating, heavily forested land, draining N.E. to the
The parish came into existence in the 19th century,
before which the land was part of Cranborne. Little is
known of the history of the area. The pattern of scattered
settlement in the N., with winding lanes, isolated
cottages and farmsteads and small irregular fields,
probably indicates slow extension of settlement accompanied by gradual clearance of forest and waste. In the
E., where the field boundaries are rectilinear, the land
was enclosed from the heathland in 1858 (Hutchins III,
383; Enclosure Award, 1858, D.C.R.O.).
(1) The Parish Church of St. James, near the
middle of the parish, comprises Chancel, Nave and
Vestry; the walls are of Heathstone rubble and the
roofs are slated and tiled. The nave was built in 1849
and the chancel and vestry were added in 1922.
Fitting—Plate: includes a communion cup of the usual
Elizabethan form, with the Exeter assay mark of 1576; it was
acquired after 1850.
The Church, Plan
(2) Ebenezer Chapel (09061211), at Cripplestyle,
nearly 1 mile S.W. of (1), has walls of cob and of brick,
and a thatched roof. It is of considerable interest as a
little changed example of a simple rural meeting-house
of the early 19th century. The building was opened for
worship in 1807 and was extended eastwards and provided with galleries at two periods during the 19th
century. In 1888 it was superseded by a new chapel
some 300 yds. to the N., but the old building continues
to be used occasionally. The E. front, which alone is
brick-faced, has a segmental-headed doorway and in
the upper part a plain three-light window with timber
surrounds and leaded glazing. The S. windows, similar
to that on the E., have two-centred heads and are each
of two pointed lights with a spandrel light. The corresponding N. windows are also similar, but square-headed
to allow room for the soffit of the gallery inside; the
window beside the gallery stairs is segmental-headed.
Inside, the fittings are extremely plain. The hexagonal
pulpit on the W. is of deal, with panelled sides and with
a plain flight of stairs with a moulded handrail. The
galleries rest on chamfered wooden posts. The E.
gallery has a panelled front; that on the N. is boarded.
(3) Alderholt Park (11411338), house, of two storeys with
attics, has brick walls and slate-covered roofs. It was advertised
as new-built in Salisbury Journal, Dec. 17th, 1810, but it is not
shown on O.S. 1811. The plan is of class U. The early 19th-century E. front appears to have been symmetrical and of three
bays, with a round-headed central doorway and square-headed
three-light sashed windows. Later in the 19th century the house
was extended on the S. and W., the windows were altered and
the roof was rebuilt.
(4) Home Farm (12031361), house, of one storey with attics,
has walls partly of brick and partly timber-framed, and a
thatched roof. The original building, a cottage with a class-I
plan, is of the 17th century; a room at the S. end of the range
was added later in the same century. Above the ground-floor
window heads the walls are of timber framework. Inside, some
chamfered beams are exposed.
(5) Cottage (11981359), of one storey with attics, is built
with materials similar to the foregoing and is of the 17th century.
(6) Cottage (11891392), of two storeys, with brick walls and
a tiled roof, is of the first half of the 18th century.
(7) Cottages (12451328), two adjacent, of two storeys with
brick walls and tiled roofs, were built in 1709. The building was
originally a single dwelling, with a class-T plan. The S. front
was symmetrical and of three bays, with a first-floor plat-band,
square-headed casement windows in both storeys and a central
doorway; a date-stone is set over the central doorway. For
conversion into two tenements a doorway was inserted on the
E. of the central opening. Inside, the two ground-floor rooms
have chamfered beams with ogee stops. The original stairs are
on the S. of the E. chimneybreast.
(8) Cottages (12501330), two adjacent, are single-storeyed
with attics and have rendered walls and thatched roofs; they are
of the late 18th century.
(9) Cottages (12631263), pair, of two storeys with cob and
brick walls and with thatched roofs, are of the late 18th century.
The plans are uniform and of class S.
(10) House (10811396), of two storeys with brick walls and a
tiled roof, was built c. 1800. The S. front is symmetrical and of
three bays, with a central doorway and with sashed windows in
each storey. The plan is of class T.
(11) Cottages (08321341), pair, with brick walls and tiled
roofs, are of the late 18th century and have recently been combined as a single dwelling. The N. front has a plat-band and a
moulded brick cornice.
(12) Enclosure and Platform (09281105), in Telegraph
Plantation, 2/3 mile S. of (2), lie just above the 300 ft. contour on
a prominent hill and are the remains of a station in the early
19th-century semaphore telegraph between London, Portsmouth
and Plymouth (Dorset Procs., XI (1890), 135). The station is
represented by a low bank, much damaged by trees, bounding
an area 40 yds. by 50 yds. At the centre of the area is a platform
30 ft. square. (Cf. Chalbury (4), p. 3.)
(13) Bowl Barrow (10711047), on Cranborne Common,
lies at 225 ft. above O.D. on a low spur of the Bagshot Beds; it
is 36 ft. in diameter and 2½ ft. high.
A former barrow on the parish boundary with Verwood
(09631063) has been destroyed by afforestation, and one on the
E. of the village (12171253) has perished in the construction of
houses. 'King Barrow' (09431225) is a natural mound.