5 EDMONDSHAM (0711)
(O.S. 6 ins., SU 01 SE, SU 01 SW, SU 00 NE)
The parish, covering 1,800 acres, occupies a narrow
strip of land on the edge of the eastern heathland. The
western third of the area is on Chalk, sloping down from
over 300 ft. above O.D. in the N.W. to about 150 ft.
in the S.E. The central third, on Reading Beds, is
occupied by the valley of the Edmondsham Brook
which flows S.E. to meet the R. Crane. To N. and S.
of the brook and also E. of the Crane, an undulating
and well-wooded area of London Clay lies between
130 ft. and 300 ft. above O.D. In the E. extremity of
the parish Bagshot Beds give rise to heathland on
Pistle Down. Until late in the 19th century land S. of the
Edmondsham Brook was a detached part of Gussage
All Saints. The village stands at the junction of the
Reading Beds and the Chalk, near the source of the
Edmondsham village (Medesham), the major settlement, is recorded in Domesday (V.C.H., Dorset iii, 68,
101) and it is likely that more than one of the farms
dispersed in the E. of the parish were in existence by
1086 since Domesday has three distinct entries. Westworth Farm, at one time a possession of Bindon Abbey,
may have been one of them, and Romford was possibly
(1) The Parish Church of St. Nicholas, on the W.
of the village, has walls of Heathstone rubble and flint,
with ashlar dressings of Greensand and Heathstone;
the roofs are tiled. That the Chancel and Nave are of
early 12th-century origin is suggested by the former
narrow round-headed chancel arch, removed in 1862
(Faculty Petition, Sarum Dioc. Regy.), and by the
round head of a window of c. 1100 reused as building
material in the N. wall of the aisle. A North Aisle was
added late in the 12th century, and towards the end of
the 14th century it was widened and extended east-wards. The Tower was built at the W. end of the aisle
early in the 15th century. In 1862 the church was
extensively restored. The E. wall of the nave was wholly
rebuilt and a new chancel arch was formed; a new S.
doorway was formed in the nave and the N. porch was
taken down and rebuilt on the S.; the E. wall of the N.
aisle also was rebuilt.
Architectural Description—The Chancel has windows,
chancel-arch and S. doorway of 1862. The N. arch, of 14th-century origin but extensively restored, is two-centred and of
two chamfered orders; it springs from chamfered imposts on
responds chamfered to correspond with the arch. The N. arcade
of the Nave is of the late 12th century; the ashlar pier and
responds have chamfered arrises and plain chamfered imposts;
the chamfered two-centred arches are rendered. The S. wall
appears to have been rebuilt in the 15th century; the eastern
window, of three trefoil-headed lights under a square head with
a label, is of 15th-century origin, but much restored. The S.
doorway and the window adjacent to it on the W. are of 1862.
The W. wall is of 1862.
Edmondsham, the Parish Church of St. Nicholas
The North Aisle has a modern E. window. Of the two N.
windows, that on the E. is of the 15th century and has two
trefoil-headed lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head
under a reused 14th-century label with bishop and king head-stops. The western N. window is of the 16th century and has
three trefoil-headed lights in a square head. The N. doorway
has a chamfered two-centred head and continuous jambs; the
head was renewed in 1862.
The North-West Tower is of three stages with a chamfered
plinth, moulded and weathered string-courses, and a plain
parapet with corner pinnacles. The two lower stages have
square-set N. buttresses of three weathered stages. In plan the
belfry stage is somewhat smaller than the lower stages. The
tower arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders. The
W. window is similar to that on the E. in the N. wall of the
aisle, but with a 15th-century label. In the second stage is a N.
window of one cinquefoil-headed light under a square label. A
similar opening occurs in each side of the belfry stage.
The late 14th-century Roof of the N. aisle, with arch-braced
trussed rafters, was removed in 1956.
Fittings—Bells: three; 1st by John Danton, with 'Prayse God,
1626, I.D., F.B.'; 2nd by Roger Purdue, 1674; 3rd by Clement
Tosiear, 1702. Chest: plain oak, early 18th century. Coffin-Stool:
of oak, late 17th century. Font: with gadrooned stone bowl and
conical oak cover with ball finial, 18th century.
Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In N. aisle, (1) on N.
wall, of Thomas Hussey, 1684, marble tablet with moulded
surround and shield-of-arms of Hussey impaling Paulet. In
churchyard, N. of aisle, (2) of John Willis, 1675, table-tomb.
Floor-slabs: In N. aisle, reset against S., E. and N. walls, eight
Purbeck marble slabs formerly associated with vault of the
Hussey family—on S. wall, (1) of Thomas Hussey, 1684, with
cartouche-of-arms of Hussey impaling Paulet; on E. wall, (2) of
Thomas Hussey, 1745, with arms of Hussey impaling Sturt;
(3) of John Fry Hussey, 1760, with arms of Hussey and Fry
quarterly, impaling Abbis; (4) of John Fry Hussey, 1765, with
arms of Hussey quartering Fry; (5) of William Bower, 1782,
with arms of Bower with inescutcheon of Hussey quartering
Fry; on N. wall, (6) of Robert Hussey, , with arms of
Hussey with crescent for difference; (7) of John Fry, 1726, with
arms of Fry impaling Hussey; (8) of Mrs. Philadelphia Fry
Hussey, , with lozenge-of-arms of Fry quartering Hussey.
In tower (9) of John Cunditt, 1668; (10) of Elizabeth Clark,
1739; (11) of Thomas Clark, 1683, and others of same family.
Plate: includes silver cup and cover-paten of usual Elizabethan
form with donor's inscription of Thomas Hussey, 1685; silver
flagon (Plate 23) with assay marks of 1759; and plain stand-paten,
perhaps late 17th century.
Royal Arms: painted on panel, of George III, 1788. Table of
Decalogue: painted on two panels with two-centred heads and
gilt borders, early 19th century. Miscellanea: In N. aisle, reset in
N.E. corner, carved stone niche-head with three-sided canopy
with angle shafts, crocketed finials and brattishing, soffit with
vault ribbing, late 15th century. On tower, in N. parapet, lead
gargoyle with lion mask, perhaps 18th century.
(2) Methodist Chapel (06501137), with brick walls and a
slate-covered roof, has a date-stone of 1848. The plan is rectangular, with the doorway in the gabled N. wall.
(3) Pinnocks Moor Bridge (07561083), of brick with three
round-headed arches flanked by pilasters and with a weathered
stone capping to the parapets, is of the first half of the 19th
(4) Edmondsham House (06141160), of three storeys
and a cellar, has rendered brick walls with stone dressings; the roofs are tiled. The date 1589 on the finials
of the middle gable in the S.W. front probably
records the completion of the main part of the house.
The S.E. and N.W. wings were added early in the
18th century. During the 19th century the principal
windows of the 16th-century façade were remodelled
and the interior of the house was extensively altered.
The S.W. front (Plate 28) is rendered. At the centre, the
symmetrical five-bay façade of the 16th-century house is three-storeyed, with a chamfered plinth and with moulded stringcourses between the storeys. The three projecting bays have
curvilinear gables with ball finials. The central porch, of ashlar,
has a round-headed opening with a panelled archivolt and jambs
with moulded capitals; above is a carved stone cartouche-of-arms of Hussey, with mantling and scroll-work. The windows
are of three and four square-headed casement lights, those of the
two lower storeys transomed. The stone window surrounds
have ogee mouldings and recessed fascias; the sides of the
projecting lateral bays have panelled stonework in correspondence with the window lights. Flanking the 16th-century façade
on the N.W. and S.E., the end walls of the 18th-century wings
are two-storeyed, with curvilinear gables with vase finials, and
with large sashed windows in each storey; those of the upper
storey are round-headed. Recesses in the gables correspond with
the third-storey windows of the original façade. The 18th-century openings have plain architraves, impost-blocks and
In the two-storeyed N.W. front (Plate 29), the three middle
bays form a slightly projecting pavilion defined by a pediment
and french quoins; the centre bay of the pavilion is emphasised
by rustication; the tympanum has a blind lunette.
The S.E. front, partly masked by later additions, has original
fenestration as in the N.W. front, but with no architectural
Inside, the 16th-century house has been much altered and its
original plan is lost; the former N.E. outer wall is identifiable
by its plinth. The staircase on the N.W. is of the 17th century,
with stout oak newel-posts with ball finials, plain strings,
moulded handrails and turned balusters. A smaller 17th-century
staircase has a moulded close string and profiled flat balusters.
The rooms were modernised in the 19th century (Hutchins III,
425) and contain no notable features.
(5) House (06201143), of two storeys with rendered walls and
a tiled roof, has a date-stone of 1734. The E. front is symmetrical
and of three bays, with a central porch with a round-headed
opening and with casement windows. The plan is of class T.
(6) The Old Rectory (06351138), of two storeys with brick
walls and tiled roofs, is mainly of c. 1900, but it incorporates an
18th-century W. range the walls of which are partly rendered
and partly tile-hung. Inside, no original fittings remain.
(7) House (06401138), of two storeys with attics, has brick
walls and a tiled roof. The N. elevation is of three bays, with
square-headed windows with keystones, a brick plat-band and
a brick dentil cornice. It is of the late 18th century.
(8) Cottage (07651082), single-storeyed with an attic, has
brick walls and a thatched roof; it is of the late 18th century.
(9) Cottage (07951052), single-storeyed with an attic, has
brick and cob walls and a thatched roof; it is of the late 18th
century and has a class-S plan.
(10) Cottage (08041032), single-storeyed with an attic, has
rendered walls and a thatched roof; it is of the early 19th
(11) Westworth Farm (07761030), cottage, of two storeys
with brick walls and a thatched roof, was advertised as new-built
in The Salisbury Journal, March 25th, 1816.
(12) Romford Mill (07550950), house and corn mill, of two
storeys with brick walls and slate-covered roofs, is of late 18th-century origin. The house, with a class-S plan, has an open
fireplace with a cambered and chamfered bressummer and an
oven. The mill retains a wooden water-wheel and some original
(13) Cottage, some 80 yds. S.W. of the foregoing, is two-storeyed and has walls of brick, timber framework and weather-boarding, and tiled and thatched roofs; it is of the 18th century.
The S. front is symmetrical and of two bays with a central
doorway. The plan is of class S and the first floor rests on chamfered beams with shaped stops.
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
(14) Ponds (076115), in Mill Copse, lie in the valley of a
stream which flows E. to the R. Crane. They cover 1½ acres and
comprise three embanked rectangles, now dry, separated by
cross-banks or dams which have been broken. The form suggests
fish-ponds although the name of the copse implies that they
(15) Bowl Barrow (04621155), among trees, on a broad
flat-topped Chalk ridge, lies at about 230 ft. above O.D. beside
the Cranborne-Wimborne road; diam. 100 ft., ht. 11 ft.
(16) Bell Barrow (04641160), now largely flattened by
ploughing, lies 45 yds. N.E. of (15). When excavated in 1959
a single cremation burial was found in a grave cut into the
Chalk, with the remains of a funeral pyre beside it. Associated
with the burial were artefacts of Wessex Culture type, an ogival
bronze dagger, a large perforated whetstone, and remains of
bone tweezers and of a decorated bone pin (P.P.S., XXIX, n.s.
(1963), 395–425). Diam. of mound 62 ft., width of berm 14 ft.;
ditch 5 ft. across and 4 ft. deep.
(17) Bowl Barrow (09461074), in a plantation on Pistle
Down near the Verwood boundary; diam. about 25 ft., ht. 2½ ft.