3 COLEHILL (0201)
(O.S. 6 ins., SU 00 SW, SZ 09 NW)
The parish of Colehill, covering 2,400 acres, was
formed out of Wimborne and Hampreston in 1894.
The low-lying N.W. part of the area, on London Clay,
is drained by tributaries of the R. Allen, which forms
the W. boundary. The larger E. part, where there are
many modern houses, is on Bagshot Sands and Gravels
and rises to 200 ft. above O.D. on a pronounced E.-W.
ridge. The S. part occupies a terrace of the R. Stour.
Wilksworth farm (Wedechesworde) was in existence
in 1086 (V.C.H., Dorset iii, 110–11); the present farm-house retains part of a late mediaeval roof.
(1) Wilksworth Farm (00740190), house, in the
N.W. of the parish, appears to date from c. 1500, but
it was much altered in the 17th and 18th centuries. The
building, originally of rubble with squared rubble
quoins, has been extensively refaced in brickwork.
The S. front has four gabled bays, all different in size, with
segmental-headed 18th-century windows and a doorway,
irregularly disposed. The wall on the W. of the doorway is of
rubble; elsewhere it is brick-faced. Incorporated in the E. end
of the S. range is a large rubble chimneybreast with heavy
quoins. The other elevations display no noteworthy features.
Inside, the ground-floor rooms have deeply chamfered beams
of c. 1600, and fireplace-surrounds and panelling of c. 1700. The
stairs, with square newel posts, turned balusters and moulded
handrails, are of c. 1700. In the attic, 12 ft. from the W. wall,
the original S. range, some 17 ft. wide, is spanned by a chamfered
arch-braced collar-beam roof truss of c. 1500. Although this
truss is the only part to survive, the original roof is likely to have
extended from the W. to the E. end of the range. The chamfered
arch-brace suggests that the W. part of the range was formerly
an open-roofed hall. The large E. chimneybreast presumably
served the kitchen, which probably had a chamber above it. In
c. 1600 a two-storeyed wing was built at right-angles to the
original range and extending 12 ft. N.; the roof of the wing
was carried through to terminate at a gable in the S. front, its
ridge thus crossing that of the original roof. The central chimney-stack, standing within the former hall and on the W. of the
cross-wing, is likely also to be of c. 1600.
(2) Leigh House (03139998), mainly of three storeys, with
rendered walls and slate-covered roofs, is of the early 19th
century. The S. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a
central doorway and large sashed windows; the central first-floor
window is round-headed. A two-storeyed service wing on the
N. has brick walls and a tiled roof and probably is of 18th-century origin.
(3) Cottage (00980252), of one storey with attics, with brick
walls and tiled roofs, is of the early 19th century and appears to
have been built as a lodge at the entrance to the High Hall
estate (Pamphill (7)). The windows have triangular heads and
the barge-boards are elaborately cusped (Plate 31).
Monuments (4–9), Round Barrows
There are six barrows in the parish; one of them,
either (7), (8) or (9), was excavated by J. H. Austen in
1845 with no resulting finds (C.T.D., Pt. 2, No. 32).
(4) Bell (02320110), on the summit of Barrow Firs, a gravel
hill about 240 ft. above O.D., comprises a mound 44 ft. in diam.
and 5½ ft. high. A berm 10 ft. wide is surrounded by a ditch
10 ft. wide and 1 ft. deep.
(5) Bowl (02330112), 20 yds. N. of (4), is covered by trees;
the top of the mound has been disturbed. Diam. 29 ft., ht. 2 ft.;
there are traces of a surrounding ditch.
(6) Bowl (02350111), immediately E.N.E. of (4); diam. 35 ft.,
ht. 2½ ft., with slight traces of a ditch.
(7) Bowl (04030104), over 200 ft. above O.D. near the crest
of Canon Hill, on heathland; diam. 30 ft., ht. 2½ ft.
(8) Bowl (04360104), on the ridge top 350 yds. E. of (7);
diam. 52 ft., ht. 4 ft., with slight traces of a ditch. The centre
of the mound has been dug into.
(9) Bell (04620094), 300 yds. E.S.E. of (8), lies on lower
ground and is much overgrown; diam. of mound 75 ft., ht. 9 ft.
A berm up to 8 ft. wide is surrounded by a ditch 7 ft. wide and
1 ft. deep.