Pages 110-114

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 1, West. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1952.

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41 FOLKE (E.b.)

(O.S. 6 in. (a)XII, N.W. (b)XII, S.W.)

Folke is a parish 3 m. S.E. of Sherborne. The church, Manor House, West Hall and Font le Roi are the principal monuments.


a(1) Parish Church of St. Lawrence stands in the N.W. corner of the parish. The walls are of local rubble with freestone dressings and the roofs are covered with stone slates. The church was entirely rebuilt in 1628 as recorded in the parish register. It was extensively restored in 1875

The church with many of its fittings is an interesting example of 17th-century work

Architectural Description—The Chancel (19 ft. by 16 ft.) has an E. window of four four-centred lights, the middle pair rather higher than the others, with a moulded label. The N. and S. walls have each a similar window of three lights with the middle light taller than the others; the N. doorway has moulded jambs and elliptical arch under a square moulded label with returned stops. The plastered chancel-arch is semi-circular and of one chamfered order with a key-stone; it springs from moulded and dentilled corbels.

The Nave (41 ft. by 16 ft.) has N. (Plate 114) and S. arcades of three bays with two-centred arches of one moulded order with a sunk soffit enriched with carved paterae; the central arch has a carved pendant; the octagonal piers have moulded and dentilled capitals and moulded bases and a concave panel in each face with a round head; the responds have attached half-piers; W. of the arcade, on each side, is a doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred arch; the N. doorway has a label with returned stops.

The North Aisle (9¾ ft. wide) has, in the E. and W. walls, a window of two four-centred lights with a label. In the N. wall are two windows similar to the side windows of the chancel. The aisle has an embattled parapet.

The South Aisle (9¾ ft. wide) is similar in treatment and openings to the N. aisle, but there is no W. window.

The West Tower (9¾ ft. square) is of two stages and three storeys, finished with an embattled parapet and pinnacles. The offsets of the buttresses and the bell-chamber windows may be reused materials. The tower-arch is two-centred and of one continuous moulded order. In the N. wall is a blocked window with a round head and in the S. wall is a doorway, perhaps modern, with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label with returned stops. The floor of the second storey has been raised about 4 ft. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of one pointed light fitted with a stone trellis grille.

The South Porch, now a vestry, has an embattled parapet. The outer archway is semi-circular and of one moulded order with a label; the moulded responds have moulded imposts. In the W. wall is a modern window.

Folke, Parish Church of St Lawrence

Fittings—Bells: five; 4th by William Bilbie of Chewstoke, 1777; 5th, 1638, given by William Hurd, died 1631, from the Wiseman foundry; bell-frame old. Brass: attached to lectern, to William Hemerford, S.T.B., rector, 1583, inscription only. Chest: In nave —with panelled front and ends, moulded styles and rails, 17th-century. Communion Rails: with turned balusters and side-posts with acorn-tops, moulded upper rail, 17th-century. Communion Table: with turned legs and enriched upper and lower rails, 17th-century, marble top with moulded edge, date uncertain. Font (Plate 35): octagonal bowl with bands of Greek wave-ornament, gadroons and conventional foliage, twisted circular stem with moulded capital and base, 17th-century. Cover, of oak with seven (formerly eight) scrolled supports to central post and small intermediate knobs, 17th-century. Hatchment (Plate 25): in N. aisle—on S. wall, achievement-of-arms of Henning painted on panel with carved and gilt frame, dated 1658. Hour-glass Stand: On S.E. respond behind pulpit, of wrought-iron, 17th or 18th-century. Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In chancel—on S. wall, (1) to Rev. Robert Frome, 1833, Jane, his wife, 1830, Emily and Mary, their daughters, 1812 and 1863, and Arundell Frome, mother of Robert, 1790, black and white marble wall-monument with shield-of-arms, by C. Thomas. In S. aisle—on S. wall, (2) to Walter Rideout, 1643, tablet with arched panel and painted emblems of mortality; (3) to Ann, wife of William Notley, 1797, William Notley, 1837, and William, their son, 1841, black and white marble wall monument by G. Crawford of Sherborne; (4) to Erle Hawker, 1805, oval wall-tablet of marble with shield-of-arms. In churchyard—W. of tower, (5) to John Daggel, late 17th-century, headstone. Floor-slab: In chancel—under communion-table, to Katherin, wife of Abraham Forrester, rector, 1563, enriched slab. Painting: In nave—on N. wall, the Resurrection, in oils on canvas, 18th-century. Panelling: Incorporated in various modern fittings, parts of 17th-century panelling. Plate: includes a stand-paten of 1706, given by Susana widow of Thomas Chafe, with a lozenge-of-arms, and a paten of 1846 given in 1847. Pulpit: octagonal with moulded and dentilled cornice, each face with two panels divided by an enriched moulding, upper panels with enriched design, lower panels with reeded decoration, mid 17th-century. Screen: under chancel-arch —of oak and of three bays divided by fluted Ionic pilasters on W. face supporting a cornice, on the cornice is a large scrolled and carved centre-piece flanked by two pierced pinnacles and two flat finials, each bay of screen with enriched pointed arch having turned pendants, and strapwork and conventional leaves in the spandrels; gates with close lower panels and open arched panels above with an enriched frieze and iron grilles, early 17th-century, gates rather later. In middle bay of N. arcade—oak screen (Plate 114) with pointed arch and pendant similar to chancel-screen, enriched side-posts with scrolled supports and cornice supporting scrolled cresting with a crest of a dog, a fleur-de-lis and pinnacles, early 17th-century. Seating: In aisles—a number of bench-ends with" fluted enrichments and shell-cresting flanked by modern acornfinials, 17th-century.

The carved pedestal-base of a 15th-century Cross (Plate 12) said to have been found built into the chimney of a house at Bishop's Down in this parish is now in the museum at Sherborne Castle in Castleton parish (q.v.).


a(2) Folke Manor House (Plate 118), immediately W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. The general plan of the house is L-shaped with the wings extending towards the E. and S. The E. wing was built late in the 15th or early in the 16th century. The S. wing with its porch and staircase was built early in the 17th century and at the same period the W. end of the E. wing was rebuilt and a low N.E. wing added. This last has been heightened. The external features of the house are nearly all of 17th-century or later date; the windows are of one, two or three lights and most of the larger windows are transomed. The reset doorway on the E. front has a four-centred head and above it is a late 15th-century window of two pointed lights removed from the older E. wing. The porch, on this side, has a round-headed doorway in the S. wall with a carved keystone. At the S. end of the S. wing is a doorway with a four-centred head and a two-storeyed bay-window; the upper window has three transomed lights on the face and one on each return; the lower window has been altered. Inside the building, the Hall in the S. wing has a 17th-century fireplace with moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head; in the S.W. angle are two doorways with oak frames and triangular heads. The drawing-room, to the S., is lined with 17th-century panelling and has a fireplace of the same period; this has moulded jambs and flat four-centred arch in a square head and is flanked by fluted stone pilasters supporting a continuous entablature. The room over has a smaller but similar fireplace and there are fireplaces with four-centred heads in other rooms. The 17th-century staircase (Plate 119) has heavy turned balusters, moulded handrails and square newels carried up as round posts. The E. wing would appear to have formed the late mediæval house. On the ground floor the middle part of the ceiling is rather higher than the rest and presumably represents the hall; the ceiling-beams are moulded and form sixteen panels. The slightly lower eastern part of the wing seems to have been the solar and also has moulded beams, that between the two portions has carved paterae towards the former hall and no doubt formed the head-beam of a partition. The corresponding beam on the W. of the former hall is moulded towards the W. and chamfered towards the E.; this end was presumably the kitchen and a partition is probably that at the back of the former screens; beyond this the beams are chamfered; a doorway in the partition has a flat triangular head and is fitted with an old door. The roof retains five original trusses with curved braces under the collars; there are curved wind-braces to the purlins.

Manor House in the Parish of Folke

In a field, N.E. of the house, is a small round Moat enclosing an island about 25 yards in diameter. Some ponds and banks suggest that this was a manorial site before the present one.

a(3) West Hall (Plate 116), ½ m. S.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are covered with stone slates. It is of irregular plan but the main block is L-shaped with the wings extending towards the N.E. and S.E. The N.E. wing was built probably in the 15th century when the property belonged to the Hymerford family. It passed to the family of Moleyns late in the 16th century and, early in the 17th century, the S.E. wing with the staircase-wing was built and the Dining Room block added at the S.W. end of the N.E. wing. Some alterations were made by Thomas Chafe in 1671 and early in the 18th century the Drawing Room was added next to the staircase-wing. The house has been restored and there are extensive modern additions to the N.W. Apart from later additions the plan and development of the house is similar to that at Folke Manor House. The windows generally are of the 17th century and of one to four lights and mostly with labels. The two storeyed porch on the N.E. front has an outer entrance with moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head; the inner doorway has been largely restored. The 18th-century block, at the S. angle, has windows with plain architraves and key-blocks. The Dining Room block has 17th-century mullion and transom windows; the adjoining narrow wing has two two-light windows with rounded heads to the lights; the doorway in the main block has a four-centred head. Inside the building, the hall in the S.E. wing has a restored fireplace and the recess on one side of it has a ceiling painted as a sky with clouds etc., probably of the 17th century; in the windows are some roundels of 17th-century glass including a shield-of-arms of Wadham; in the S. angle of the room are two 17th-century stone archways with moulded jambs, round heads, imposts and key-stones; at the N.W. end of the room is a restored panelled partition of the same date and of five bays. In the vestibule at the back is an 18th-century staircase with a cut string and carved brackets; the walls have panelling of the same date; N.E. of the staircase is some earlier panelling of the muntin and plank type. The Ante-room, S.E. of the hall, has a restored fireplace and is lined with 17th-century panelling. The 18th-century Drawing Room is lined with bolection-moulded panelling with a cornice and dado-rail; the fireplace and doorways have bolection-moulded surrounds; the room behind the fireplace is lined with plainer panelling. The 17th-century staircase (Plate 119) has turned balusters, moulded rails and strings and square newels supporting posts to the flight above; the upper flights have balusters on both sides of the staircase; the walls of the two lower flights have plaster cornices and an arcaded frieze between them. The cellar, below this part of the house, has an 18th-century brick vault with a central pier and responds with moulded imposts. The rooms on the first floor, over the hall etc., have timber-framed partitions and have some 17th-century doors and panelling. The room over the Drawing Room has 18th-century panelling similar to that below. The Dining Room has a reset fireplace with a four-centred arch resting on moulded corbels; on the E. side is a moulded bracket. The N.E. wing has some reset panelling in the passage on the ground floor. On the first floor are remains of 17th-century partitions and one room has a bolection-moulded surround to the fireplace; above it is a plaster achievement-of-arms of Chafe quartering Moleyns with the date 1671 (Plate 56). The roof of this wing is of the 15th century and has curved and moulded braces under the collars and curved and foiled wind-braces to the purlins; two trusses have later king-posts.

West Hall in the Parish of Folke

The Gardens have brick walls erected in 1717, the date appearing in black headers. The Outbuilding, N. of the N.E. wing, is of the 17th century and has a doorway with a four-centred head and a three-light window. The modern Stables incorporate a 17th-century two-light window. The Cottage, N. of the stables was built probably early in the 18th century.

a(4) Font le Roi, house about 1,400 yards N.E. of the church, is of two storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are tiled. The N.E. wing, now farmbuildings, is of mediæval origin and was built as a gate-house probably in the 15th century. The house, which adjoins it on the S.W., was built c. 1600, but has been much altered in the 18th century. The W. front of the house has two gabled bays of which the northern has an original three-light window; the southern bay has a six-light window of which the side lights are blocked; above it is a three-light window. The entrance-archway has a timber lintel but adjoining it is a 15th-century doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head. Inside the building, the S.W. room has an original plaster ceiling, restored in 1938; it has moulded ribs forming an elaborate geometrical design, with conventional foliage-enrichments.

Monuments (5–17)

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are thatched or covered with modern materials. Some of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams.

a(5) Cottage, on the E. side of the road, 1,200 yards N.N.E. of the church, in Allweston, has exposed timber-framing.

a(6) Cottage, 70 yards N.E. of (5), is now decayed and uninhabited.

a(7–10) Cottages, in Munden's Lane, Allweston, all with exposed timber-framing.

a(11) Folke Cottage, 250 yards N.N.W. of the church, has a later extension on the E.

a(12) Cottage, nearly 1 m. E.S.E. of the church, with exposed timber-framing.

b(13–14) Cottages, nearly 1 m. S.E. of the church, similar to (12).

b(15) Chaffey's Farm, house 1 m. S.E. of the church, was built early in the 18th century and the front has a stone with the inscription "R.P., I. Chafy, 1702 M."

b(16) Ryall's Farm, house 200 yards S.E. of (15), has tiled roofs; there is a modern extension to the west. The segmental window-heads are 18th-century renewals.

b(17) Densham Farm, house ½ m. S.E. of (15), has a large addition on the S. On the porch of this addition is a reset stone with the initials and date N.M.G. 1725.


b(18) Bank, on the S. side of the river Cam 1¼ m. S.S.E. of the church, extends for about 270 yards and is 22 ft. wide and 5 ft. high. Its purpose is uncertain.