6 GUSSAGE ALL SAINTS (9910)
(O.S. 6 ins., ST 91 SE, SU 01 SW, SU 01 NW, SU 00 NW)
Covering an area of some 2,430 acres, the parish
occupies the valley of the Gussage Brook immediately
above its junction with the R. Allen, which forms the
E. boundary. The outline of the parish is a rough
parallelogram with an irregular projection on the N.;
the Roman road from Old Sarum to Badbury Rings
forms the straight W. boundary. The land is entirely
Chalk, rising from 150 ft. above O.D. in the S. to
390 ft. in the N.
A small woodland area in Edmondsham and a larger
area in Holt, the latter centred on the Domesday settlement of Manitone (V.C.H., Dorset iii, 86), were detached
parts of Gussage All Saints until late in the 19th century.
The northward-projecting part of the parish centres
on Wyke Farm, which must be an early settlement
although it is undocumented and has no noteworthy
buildings. The eastern third of the main parallelogram
formerly comprised three land-blocks: Brockington,
Bowerswain and Loverley, all in existence by the end
of the 12th century. Brockington retains earthwork
traces of an extensive village. The central and western
parts of the parallelogram were the lands of Gussage
All Saints village, the houses being built beside the
(1) The Parish Church of All Saints, in the N.W.
of the village, has flint and rubble walls with ashlar
dressings, and tile-covered roofs (Plate 3). The Chancel,
Nave and the lower part of the South Tower are of the
early 14th century; the upper stages of the tower are
of the 15th century. The church was restored and re-roofed in 1864, and at this time a new chancel arch was
built and the N. vestry was added.
Gussage All Saints, the Parish Church of All Saints
Architectural Description— The Chancel has an E. window of
three gradated cinquefoil-headed lights with pierced spandrel
lights under a two-centred head; the rear-arch is segmental-pointed with septfoil cusping. The buttresses are of two stages
with weathered offsets. The N. wall has a window of two
trefoil-headed lights with a cusped spandrel light under a two-centred head, with a segmental-pointed rear-arch with cinquefoil cusping. The archway to the N. vestry is said to incorporate
stones from the original chancel arch (Dorset Procs., XVII (1896),
84); it is segmental-pointed and of three chamfered orders. The
S. wall has two windows uniform with that on the N. and,
between them, a doorway with a chamfered two-centred head,
continuous jambs and a chamfered segmental-pointed rear-arch.
The Nave has three N. windows similar to those on N. and
S. of the chancel, but with cinquefoil-headed lights. The blocked
N. doorway has a two-centred head with continuous jambs,
rounded in section, and a chamfered segmental-pointed rear-arch. The buttresses are of ashlar and have two weathered stages
and heavily chamfered plinths. Inside, a moulded string-course
at window-sill level on the N. wall is carried as a label across the
rear-arch of the N. doorway; similar string-courses occur on the
E., W. and S. sides of the nave. The S. wall has windows uniform
with those on the N., and similar buttresses, but with double
chamfered plinths. The S. doorway has a two-centred head of
two orders, the outer order chamfered, the inner rounded, with
continuous jambs; the segmental-pointed rear-arch is chamfered.
The W. wall of the nave has a window uniform with that on the
E. of the chancel, and buttresses similar to those on the S. of the
The South Tower is of three stages defined by weathered and
moulded string-courses; the lower stage is original, the upper
stages are of 15th-century date. The lower stage, with angle
buttresses of two stages with weathered offsets and double
chamfered plinths, is two-storeyed, the lower storey forming a
South Porch with an archway with a two-centred head of two
chamfered orders, continuous jambs and shaped stops. The upper
storey of the lower stage is a ringing chamber with E., W. and
S. lancet windows. The three-stage vice turret, added in the 15th
century, terminates in the second stage of the tower and has a
weathered head. The doorway at the foot of the vice, with a
chamfered two-centred head, is of 1864; previously the stair was
entered from the porch. The second stage of the tower has ashlar
and flint banding; on the N. is a square-headed window. The
third stage, of ashlar, has in each face a belfry window of two
trefoil-headed lights with a central quatrefoil above, in a two-centred head with a label. The corners of the third stage have
pilasters which continue as pinnacles in the restored embattled
parapet and end in crocketed finials.
Fittings—Bells: five; treble modern, 2nd with 'Feare God,
I.W. 1621' in Roman capitals, 3rd with 'Sancta Anna Ora Po
(sic) Nobis', 4th with 'Sane Te Petre Ora Pro Nobis', 5th with
'In Ter Sede Pia Pronobis Virgo Maria'; 3rd, 4th and 5th, black-letter, from Salisbury foundry, mid 15th-century. Brasses: In
nave floor, on E., plate (19 ins. by 4 ins.) with Latin black-letter
inscription of Isabella Whitwod, 1508; adjacent on W., plate
(11½ ins. by 4½ ins.) with English black-letter inscription of
Richard Pane, 1574. Chair: of oak, with turned and moulded
front legs and stretchers, carved and moulded rails, shaped arm
rests, panelled back now reversed, and shaped cresting, mid 17th
century. Door: at foot of tower stair, plain oak with strap-hinges, perhaps 15th century. Font: Purbeck marble, with
octagonal bowl, moulded below, on cylindrical stem and hollow
chamfered cylindrical stone base; early 14th century.
Monument and Floor-slab. Monument: In nave, in N. wall (Plate
12), shallow recess with crocketed ogee head with foliate and
hollow-chamfered cusping, subcusping and ball-flower enrichment, flanked by pinnacles with gabled and crocketed finials,
14th century (Dorset Procs., XVII (1896), 84). Floor-slab: In nave,
of John Brewer, 1805, Sarah his wife, 1816, and others of their
Organ: By Walker, in mahogany case with round-headed
openings flanked by pilasters with swags, with moulded entablature and central cartouche with shields-of-arms probably
of Willis and Calandrine; late 18th century, said to have been
used by Sir James Turle.
Piscinae: In chancel in S. wall, restored bowl in recess with
cinquefoil two-centred head, continuous jambs and shaped
stops; in nave, near E. end of N. wall, bowl in recess with trefoil
two-centred head, continuous jambs and shaped stops, sill
restored; near E. end of S. wall, similar to the foregoing; all
early 14th century.
Plate: includes silver cup, probably late 16th century, with
strapwork band on bowl and trellis pattern above knop,
inscribed 'The Cope of Alhollone Guysshedge Parrishe'; stand-paten with assay marks of 1784, baluster shaped stem and donor's
inscription of 1833; also two pewter alms-dishes, probably early
Recess: see Monument.
Bridge over the R. Allen, see Horton (2).
(2) Ton Bridge (00351013), of brick, with two segmental
arches, is of early 19th-century date.
(3) Gussage House (99931073), formerly the rectory,
is two-storeyed with cellars and attics and has brick
walls and tiled roofs. It was built by Colonel Joshua
Churchill at the end of the 17th century (Hutchins III,
491). Alterations and additions are of the 18th century
The four-bay W. front (Plate 29) has a brick plat-band, stucco
quoins, a moulded wooden cornice and symmetrically arranged
sashed windows. The brickwork between the two middle
windows is evidently later than the rest of the front, suggesting
that originally this was the principal façade, with a central
doorway. The side windows, now somewhat narrower than
formerly, may originally have had stone surrounds. The N.
front, containing the present main doorway, has details similar
to the W. front, but is asymmetrical; the brickwork of the N.
wall of the kitchen wing appears to be of the 18th century. The
E. front is rendered. The two-bay S. front, with quoins as on the
W., is hung with mathematical tiles.
Inside, the fittings are largely of the 19th century, but the oak
stairs are original, with square newel-posts with restored ball
finials and turned pendants, moulded close strings, turned
balusters and moulded handrails, all of stout proportions. The
first-floor landing retains round-headed archways with panelled
pilasters, moulded archivolts and pulvinated entablatures,
(4) Manor House (99891087), of two storeys with a cellar
and attics, has walls partly of brick and partly of banded brick
and flint with stone quoins, and tiled roofs. The W. range of
the H-shaped plan is of the early 18th century; the middle range
is a later 18th-century addition and the E. range is of the 19th
century. Inside, a ground-floor room of the W. range has a
stop-chamfered ceiling beam. A small late 18th-century spiral
stair has plain balusters and a moulded mahogany handrail.
(5) Manor Farm (99821088), house, of two storeys with
walls partly of banded brick and flint and partly of brick, and
with slated roofs, is of 17th-century origin with late 18th-century
and 19th-century additions. Inside, the 17th-century house has
a class-I plan. The 18th-century room added at the S. end of the
range has, reset, a 17th-century beam with deep chamfers and
run-out stops. In the N. part of the original range is a 17th-century beam with shaped stops.
(6) Bowerswain Farm (00910995), house, of two storeys with
brick walls and tiled roofs, is of the late 18th century. The N.
front is symmetrical and of three bays, with plain sashed windows in the upper storey and with a central doorway flanked by
19th-century bay windows below. Inside, the plan is of class T.
(7) Brockington Farm (01911072), house, of two storeys
with attics, has brick walls and tiled roofs; it is of late 18th-century origin. The original range has uniform N.W. and S.E.
fronts, each of three bays, with central doorways and sashed
windows symmetrically disposed; in both fronts the doorways
have flat hoods supported by freestanding wooden columns; on
the S.E. the ground-floor rooms have 19th-century bay windows.
The plan is of class T. Additions on the N.E. of the original
range are of the 19th century.
(8) Brockington Cottage (01781061), single-storeyed with
an attic, has brick and flint walls and a thatched roof; it is of the
mid 18th century.
Unless described otherwise, these are late 18th-century
cottages of one storey with attics, with brick walls and
(9) Cottage (99711076), with a class-T plan, has in the S. room
of the original range an open fireplace with an oven adjacent,
and a chamfered beam. A two-storeyed extension at the N. end
of the range is of c. 1840.
(10) Cottages (99801071), two adjacent, were burned down in
1967; the E. tenement had cob walls above a brick plinth; that
on the W. had brick walls.
(11) Cottage (99921077), has rendered walls.
(12) Cottage (99951077), of two storeys with brick walls and
tiled roofs, has a symmetrical S. front of three bays with a
central doorway; it is perhaps of c. 1770. Inside, the plan is of
class T. The stairs have moulded close strings, turned balusters
and moulded handrails.
(13) Barn (00201061), with walls of ashlar, brick, flint and
cob, has a roof with tie-beam trusses; it is of the late 18th century.
(14) Cottage (00261053), of two storeys, with walls of light
timber framework with brick nogging, is of the early 19th
century and has a class-T plan.
(15) Cottage (00271050), with walls partly of cob, is of c. 1800.
(16) Cottage (00301054), with walls partly of cob, is of the
early 19th century.
(17) Richmond Cottage (00341040) has characteristics similar to
(18) Amen Cottage (00471036), with cob walls, has a class-S
plan with 19th-century additions on the N. and S.
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
(19) Settlement Remains of Brockington (020108) lie on
the N.W. bank of the R. Allen in the extreme E. of the parish
No separate record occurs in the 14th-century Subsidy Rolls
or in the 17th-century Hearth Tax Returns and it is impossible
to assess the population or date of desertion. The remains indicate
that before desertion the settlement grew at some period into a
small hamlet (plan opp. p. 113).
The remains include a well-defined hollow-way which
extends N.E. from (7) for some 220 yds. and meets a similar
hollow-way approaching from the S.E. Flanking the hollowways, and bounded by low banks and scarps, are nine or possibly
ten rectangular closes, most of them with low rectangular scoops
or platforms, the sites of former buildings. On the N.E. of the
site, and also on the W., the remains have been obliterated by
ploughing and by the passage of modern farm machinery.
Roman and Prehistoric
The Dorset Cursus (Gussage St. Michael (9)) crosses
the N. of the parish, and the Roman Road from Old
Sarum to Badbury Rings (see pp. xxxii–iii) forms much
of the W. boundary.
(20) Iron Age Settlement (998101), about 250 ft.
above O.D., lies on a gentle N.E. slope near the flat
top of the ridge between the Gussage and the Crichel
brooks, overlooking the former. The site, which has
long been levelled by cultivation, was discovered from
the air. During 1972 it was completely excavated
(Plate 54) under the direction of Dr. G. J. Wainwright
(Antiquity, XLVII (1973), 109–30).
The settlement lies within an enclosure of just under 3. acres,
roughly circular in plan except on the N.W. side which is
notably irregular. It measures about 400 ft. across overall and is
defined by a ditch 6 ft. wide and 4 ft. deep, formerly with an
external bank; this earthwork appears to be of two main
structural phases. Two pairs of ditches resembling antennae, one
pair a replacement of the other, converged on the S.E. entrance
and provided a funnelled approach, probably for stock. This
entrance had been covered by an elaborate timber gateway
which was remodelled at least once. There are faint traces of
'Celtic' fields near the enclosure, particularly along the N.E.
Within the enclosure were numerous pits, especially storage
pits, gullies, and post-hole structures of a prosperous settlement
which appears to have been founded relatively early in the Iron
Age and which terminated c. A.D. 80. No major house structures
were discovered, but evidence for these may well have been
removed by the heavy ploughing which the site has suffered. A
circular ditched enclosure, about 100 ft. across and with an
entrance on the S.E., lies within and adjoins the main enclosure
on the N.E.; it was built in the last few decades before the Roman
conquest. Large quantities of domestic rubbish including personal ornaments were found in the pits and ditches, as well as
numerous articulated animal skeletons, agricultural implements,
grain and seeds. A number of human burials were found, the
bodies having been thrown casually into pits and ditches along
with domestic rubbish. Industrial debris from a bronze-smith's
workshop, where equestrian equipment was made, was found
in two pits and an adjacent 'working hollow' just S. of the entrance. Several thousand fragments of clay moulds for decorated
terret rings, bridle-bits and linch-pins were recovered, together
with crucibles, modelling tools, scrap metal and an ingot.
(21) Linear Dyke, now almost totally levelled by ploughing,
is visible on air photographs (58/RAF/3250: 0057–8; C.U.A.P.,
ANC 47–49) running N.E. from about ST 998119 towards
Tenantry Down. It survives as an earthwork for some 65 yards
in a belt of scrub around SU 00681224, where it appears to end,
but the ditch has almost certainly been enlarged here to accommodate a small building. At this point the ditch is 25 ft. wide
and at least 4 ft. deep, with a bank 18 ft. wide and 1½ ft. high
along the S.E. side. The dyke cannot be traced through the belt
of scrub, but air photographs suggest that it may have continued
on to Tenantry Down, as far as SU 01161237. 'Celtic' fields
(Group (82), p. 118) appear to run up to the dyke on its N.W.
Monuments (22–62), Round Barrows
Forty-one round barrows, the majority disposed in
three groups, are detectable within the parish. They
nearly all lie in the N., on the S.W. slopes of a low ridge
between 200 ft. and 350 ft. above O.D. Most of them
have been severely damaged or levelled by ploughing.
(22) Bowl (00131291), immediately W. of Harley Wood, has
been damaged by ploughing; diam. 34 ft., ht. 1 ft.
Drive Plantation Group (Plate 55) comprises at least eleven
round barrows, of which three and a long barrow lie in Wimborne St. Giles (see p. 101). Those in Gussage All Saints have
been levelled and are visible only as ring-ditches on air photographs (C.U.A.P., ANE 34, 35; N.M.R., SU 0015/6). They lie
E. of the plantation on a gentle W. slope, between 220 ft. and
260 ft. above O.D. The majority appear to be in the order of
50 ft. in diameter, except (29) which measures over 100 ft. Mapreferences are approximate.
(23) Barrow (01011461).
(24) Barrow (01101460).
(25) Barrow (01081463).
(26) Barrow (01111467).
(27) Barrow (01141464).
(28) Barrow (01191469).
(29) Barrow (01251455).
(30) Bowl (01321463), on the parish boundary with Wimborne
St. Giles, has been totally levelled by ploughing.
The Cursus Group consists of some twelve barrows scattered
on either side of the junction of the Dorset Cursus and the
Roman road, Ackling Dyke (Plate 48); two of the group are in
Wimborne St. Giles ((66) and (67)). The barrows of this group
lie just N. of Drive Plantation Group and occupy a comparable
situation. Most have been damaged by ploughing, and some
have been totally levelled and are visible only on air photographs
(58/RAF/3250: 0086; N.M.R., SU 0015/1/327; C.U.A.P.,
(31) Bowl (00891490), W. of Drive Plantation, adjoins the
parish boundary with Gussage St. Michael; diam. 65 ft., ht.
(32) Barrow (00961498), appearing on air photographs as a ringditch, is cut on the S.E. by Ackling Dyke; diam. about 120 ft.
(33) Bowl (01171498), E. of Drive Plantation and now levelled
by ploughing; former diam. 100 ft., ht. 1 ft.
(34) Bowl (00801512), some 70 yds. N. of the Cursus, on the
boundary with Gussage St. Michael, has been pared by ploughing on either side; former diam. 75 ft., ht. 5 ft.
(35) Barrow (00961514), appearing as a ring-ditch on air photographs, lies between the banks of the Cursus; diam. about 95 ft.
(36) Bowl (00921519), immediately N. of the Cursus, has
been damaged by ploughing; former diam. 95 ft., ht. 8 ft.
(37) Bowl (01021519), between the banks of the Cursus, has
been pared by ploughing; former diam. 70 ft., ht. 5 ft.
(38) Bowl (01181518), in Drive Plantation; diam. 75 ft., ht.
(39) Bowl (01241523), in Drive Plantation on the boundary
with Wimborne St. Giles; diam. 78 ft., ht. 3½ ft.
(40) Bowl (01251519), just E. of Drive Plantation, is now
levelled by ploughing; former diam. 55 ft., ht. under 1 ft.
Wyke Down Group comprises seventeen barrows, including
at least one disc barrow and one bell barrow, in a compact
cluster on the gentle S. slope of the down, about 250 ft. above
O.D. (Plate 48). All have been damaged by ploughing, most of
them severely, and some are visible only on air photographs
(58/RAF/3250: 0086; C.U.A.P., NK 4, YN 28; N.M.R.,
(41) Bowl (00731529), on the boundary with Gussage St.
Michael, has been damaged by ploughing on two sides; former
diam. 75 ft., ht. 2½ ft.
(42) Bowl (00781537) appears from air photographs to have
a dark, turf core; former diam. 70 ft., ht. 3 ft.
(43) Barrow (00741537), possibly a disc-barrow (Dorset
Barrows, 168; Gussage All Saints 25c), now appears on air
photographs as a ring-ditch about 100 ft. in diam.
(44) Bell (00731541), now pared away by ploughing; mound
formerly 65 ft. in diam. and 5 ft. high, with a berm 12 ft. wide
and a broad ditch beyond.
(45) Bowl (00791542); former diam. 70 ft., ht. 3 ft.
(46) Bowl (00711546); former diam. 90 ft.
(47) Bowl (00711550); diam. 65 ft., ht. 7 ft.
(48) Bowl (00751548); diam. about 120 ft.
(49) Disc (00801548); mound, formerly 40 ft. in diam. and
1 ft. high with a berm 45 ft. across, with a surrounding ditch
20 ft. wide and with an outer bank of similar width.
(50) Bowl (00831550), adjacent to (49) on the N.E., has been
totally levelled by ploughing; diam. about 60 ft.
(51) Bowl (00861551), N. E. of (50) and in similar condition;
diam. about 60 ft.
(52) Bowl (00691554), now quite flat; former diam. 27 ft.,
ht. 1 ft.
(53) Bowl (00711556), ploughed flat; former diam. about
(54) Bowl (00741555), ploughed flat; former diam. 50 ft., ht.
(55) Bowl (00651554), ploughed flat; former diam. 27 ft., ht.
under 1 ft.
(56) Bowl (00661556), ploughed flat; former diam. 27 ft., ht.
(57) Bowl (00681558), ploughed flat; former diam. 27 ft., ht.
Three barrows, now flattened by ploughing, lie in a line
250 yds. N.E. of Wyke Down Group, at a slightly higher level
on the same slope.
(58) Bowl (00851574); former diam. 33 ft., ht. under 1 ft.
(59) Bowl (00861576); former diam. 33 ft., ht. under 1 ft.
(60) Bowl (00881577); former diam. 30 ft., ht. under 1 ft.
Two barrows in the extreme N. of the parish form part of
the Handley Hill group (Wimborne St. Giles (87–9)).
(61) Bowl (01361623), damaged by ploughing; former diam.
34 ft., ht. 3 ft.
(62) Bowl (01391626), some 30 yds. N.E. of (61), is probably
the Berendes beorh of an Anglo-Saxon charter concerned with
the boundaries of Handley (Dorset Procs., 58 (1936), 116).
Almost certainly it is the barrow opened by Cunnington, c.
1800, wherein at a considerable depth he found an urn covered
with large quantities of ashes and charred wood, within a
circular cist. It is 95 ft. in diameter and 9 ft. high.