Pages 114-117

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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In this section

42 FRAMPTON (D.d.)

(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXXIX, N.E. (b)XXXIX, S.E. (c)XL, N.W. (d)XL, S.W.)

Frampton is a parish and village 5 m. N.W. of Dorchester. The church and the bridge over the Frome are the principal monuments. There was formerly a Cell here of the Benedictine abbey of S. Etienne of Caen, on the site of Frampton Court; there are no remains.


a(1) Parish Church of St. Mary stands in the N. part of the parish. The walls are of local rubble with freestone dressings except the S. aisle which is of brick; the roofs are covered with slates. The chancel-arch and the S. arcade of the Nave were rebuilt in the second half of the 15th century. The West Tower was rebuilt in 1695 by Robert Browne who later also added the North Aisle and a vestry; the chancel was rebuilt in 1747–8. The church was extensively restored and partly rebuilt in the 19th century, the Chancel was rebuilt in 1862, the South Aisle in 1871 and the N. arcade in 1878–9, when the aisle was reconditioned and the parapet added; B. Ferrey was the architect for some, probably all, of this work. The Porch and Vestry are modern.

The Browne monuments are noteworthy.

Architectural Description—The Chancel is modern except for the two-centred 15th-century chancel-arch which is moulded and springs from moulded and shafted responds; the capitals have carved foliage and the initials M. and IHC.

The Nave (53½ ft. by 20½ ft.) has a modern N. arcade. To the E. of it is the trefoiled head of a blocked 15th-century window. The 15th-century S.arcade is of three bays similar to the chancel arch; the capitals are carved with foliage and initials as on the chancel-arch and the responds have each two squatting figures, those on the W. respond holding a quoit (Plate 4).

The North Aisle (19¾ ft. wide) has no ancient features except the early 18th-century middle window in the N. wall (Plate 115), which has a round head and impost-blocks.

The West Tower (14 ft. square) was built in 1695 and is of two stages and three storeys with an embattled parapet and angle and intermediate pinnacles (Plate 100); the octagonal stair-turret rises above the parapet and has pinnacles at the angles. The free angles of the tower have square plinths on which stand superimposed Tuscan columns forming angle-buttresses and repeated on the E. angles of the tower. The tower-arch is two-centred and of one continuous moulded order. In the S. wall is a reset doorway of c. 1500, now blocked, with moulded jambs, four-centred arch and cusped spandrels; above it is a stone tablet with an achievement-of-arms of Browne; it formerly bore an inscription recording the rebuilding of the tower. The W. window is of c. 1500 reset and perhaps altered; it is of four pointed lights with uncusped tracery in a segmental pointed head with a label with returned stops. The second storey has a loop-light in each face. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two square-headed lights.

Frampton, the Parish Church of St. Mary

Fittings—Bells: six and sanctus, 2nd and 3rd by Lewis Cockey [1694]; sanctus probably same date; 5th by William Knight, 1733. Glass: In chancel—in E. window, in memory of Francis John Browne, 1833, three lights containing figure subjects: the Annunciation, Adoration and Crucifixion; in N. windows, figure subjects in memory of members of the Sheridan family, 1847 and 1843; in S. windows, figure subjects in memory of the Grant family, 1833 and 1835. Locker: In S. aisle, in S. wall, recess of Purbeck marble with trefoiled head and shelf, late 13th-century, reset. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—in N. wall, (1) to Sir John Brown, Rear-Admiral, 1627, and Joan (Portman) his wife, 1634, modern altar-tomb and recess with original freestone effigies (Plate 24) of man in armour and wife in costume of period, heads on books, at back of recess, achievement-of-arms and, at foot of recess, panel with three painted shields-of-arms (one defaced), all reset; in S. wall, (2) to Joane (Browne), wife of Robert Coker, 1653, and William their infant son, modern recess and altar-tomb with original shrouded form of stone, achievement and two shields-of-arms all painted and reset at back of recess. In N. aisle (Plate 115)—on E. wall, (3) to Frances Browne (Browne), 1740, white and varicoloured marble wall-monument, dated 1751, with urn against obelisk-shaped backing and cartouche containing painted shield-of-arms; (4) to John Browne, 1750 (Plate 69), marble wall-monument with bust, side-columns, pediment and flying cherub holding cartouche-of-arms; (5) to Susanna Browne, 1790, varicoloured marble wall-monument with oval inscription tablet in coffer-shaped frame with lozenge-of-arms on pyramidal slab above; on N. wall, (6) to Ann, daughter of Robert Browne, 1714 (Plate 21), marble tablet with side-pilasters, bust on plaque, cherub-heads and lozenge-of-arms; (7) to John Browne, 1771, varicoloured marble wall-monument with side-pilasters, frieze, cornice, cartouche-of-arms and relief panel carved with figure of a woman seated before an urn; (8) to Robert Browne, 1734, builder of the tower of the church in 1695, of his mansion-house in 1704, the vicarage, vestry and N. aisle of the church, monument with coupled Corinthian columns supporting a coffered arch with a cartouche-of-arms; (9) to Robert, son of George Browne, 1772, varicoloured marble wall-monument with cornice, cartouche-of-arms on a pyramidal slab and relief panel carved with seated figure of a woman leaning against an urn; (10) to Robert, son of Robert and Frances Browne, 1757, white marble wall-tablet with frame and cornice of grey marble; on W. wall, (11) to Francis John Browne, 1833, white marble stele-shaped wall-tablet with pedestal, torches, sarcophagus and shield-of-arms; (12) to Frances, daughter of Rev. John Richards, wife of Francis John Browne, 1806, white marble wall-monument with side-pilasters, cornice, shield-of-arms and pedestal containing a sarcophagus, by Westmacott, London. In S. aisle—over S. door, (13) to Rev. William Butler, 1843, white marble wall-tablet with crest. In tower—on N. wall, (14) to Thomas, son of Richard Brinsley Sheridan and his first wife Elizabeth Anne Linley, 1817, white marble wall-tablet with four-centred head. In churchyard—E. of chancel, (15) to John Turner, 1711, headstone; (16) to Martha Turner, early 18th-century, headstone. Floor-slabs: In E. wall of vestry—(1) to Hester Nelson, 1637; (2) to H.N., 1638. Plate: includes a cup of 1578 and a cup of 1591 also a large flagon of 1720 engraved with the arms of Browne. Pulpit: of stone, octagonal with moulded base and capping and buttressed angles all recut, six faces with figures under trefoiled and crocketted heads of (a) the Virgin and Child, modern, (b) Franciscan with cross and book, head modern, (c) Franciscan with monstrance and book, (d) female saint with two small figures, (e) and (f) modern, 15th-century, much restored. Seating: In N. aisle—two coffin-stools with turned legs, late 17th-century. Miscellanea: In vestry—over S. doorway, 15th-century carving of Crucifixion and on S. wall fragments of mediæval slip-tiles.


c(2) Bridge (Plate 113) over the Frome, 730 yards S.E. of the church, in three spans, is faced with Portland stone with brick soffits to the arches. It was built late in the 18th century. The middle arch and smaller flanking arches have segmental heads with moulded archivolts and circular panels in the spandrels; the piers have rounded cut-waters capped with reeded halfdomes. The parapet is balustraded, with panelled dies over the piers, and there is a continuous cornice at road-level. The curving approach-walls end in cylindrical moulded stone pedestals.

a(3) Frampton Court stood 330 yards S.S.W. of the church. The house built by Robert Browne in 1704 and enlarged by the Sheridans in the 19th century was pulled down seventeen years ago and a new house built further W., 430 yards S.W. of the church. Two ranges of outbuildings of the old house at right-angles to one another remain, they are mid 19th-century, the walls are of brick with Portland stone facing and the roofs are slate-covered. Some of the old material is incorporated in the new house: on the E. front a stone cartouche-of-arms of Sheridan with a scutcheon of Browne quartering Grant, on the N. front a smaller shield of the same arms and, inside, a staircase made up with thick turned balusters of 17th-century style.

Monuments (4–9)

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

a(4) House, on the N. side of the road 400 yards E.S.E. of the church, retains some original stonemullioned windows and a doorway with a four-centred head. Inside the building, the N. room has original plaster decoration on the ceiling of curved ribs with fleurs-de-lis and other ornaments; the fireplace has moulded jambs and four-centred head.

a(5) Cottage, 510 yards S.W. of the church, was built c. 1700.

a(6) Southover Farm, house 120 yards W.N.W. of (5), retains a stone panel in the N. wall with the date 1666.

a(7) Cottage, on the N.E. side of the road ½ m. W. of the church.

a(8) Cottage opposite (7).

a(9) Cottage, immediately S.E. of (8), retains an original muntin and plank partition.


c(10) Barrows, in Long Plantation over ½ m. E. of the church, were two in number. They have been recently destroyed for a new road but were previously excavated by Messrs. Oliver, Selby and Kirk.

a(11) Barrow, on the W. edge of the parish over ¾ m. W. of the church, has been much damaged. It would appear to have been about 42 ft. in diam. and 4½ ft. high.

a(12) Bowl Barrows, near the W. boundary of the parish and 1½ m. S.W. of the church, are three in number. The easternmost (a) is about 54 ft. in diam. and 4½ ft. high. The second (b), 175 yards W. of (a), is about 60 ft. in diam. and 5 ft. high. The third (c), 70 yards S.W. of (b), is 57 ft. in diam. and 6 ft. high.

b(13) Barrow and Mounds, on a spur on the E. side of West Hill Bottom and 1¾ m. S.W. of the church. (a), a barrow, is about 40 ft. in diam. and 2½ ft. high, it has been much disturbed; (b), mound, possibly the remains of a barrow, 75 yards E. of (a), is oval, 45 ft. by 26 ft. and 4 ft. high; (c), mound, possibly a barrow, 19 yards S.S.E. of (b), is 21 ft. in diam. and 2 ft. high.

b(14) Barrows, on Town Hill, nearly 1¾ m. S.S.W. of the church, are two in number. The northern, 70 yards S.W. of Town Hill Barn, of doubtful origin but perhaps the remains of a barrow, is of irregular form 60 ft. long, 24 ft. wide and 3 ft. high. The southern, 300 yards S. of Town Hill Barn, is a bowl barrow 50 ft. in diam. and 5¼ ft. high.

b(15) Bowl Barrow, near the S. border of the parish and 330 yards S.S.E. of Little Hogleaze Barn, is 70 ft. in diam. and 3½ ft. high.

b(16) Barrows, to the W. of the road and near the S.E. angle of the parish, are four in number. The westernmost (a), a bowl barrow, 910 yards W. of Heaveclose Barn, is 41 ft. in diam. and 3 ft. high. The second (b), a bowl barrow, 420 yards E. of (a), is 50 ft. in diam. and 4 ft. high; it has been much disturbed by rabbits. The third (c), 260 yards W.S.W. of Heaveclose Barn, is 38 ft. in diam. and 1 ft. high. The easternmost (d), 35 yards S.S.E. of (c), is 29 ft. in diam. and 1 ft. high.

b(17) Long Barrow, 1½ m. S. of the church and 320 yards N.W. of Hampton Plantation, is 140 ft. long and appears to be wider towards the E.; at a point 45 ft. from this end it is 60 ft. wide and 3 ft. high. Its axis is on a line of about 125 degrees. The work has been much ploughed over and spread. (No. 151 in O.S. Map of Neolithic Wessex.)

d(18) Barrow, 500 yards E. of (17) and 90 yards E. of the Enclosure (23), is about 50 ft. in diam. and 4½ ft. high; it has been disturbed in the middle.

b(19) Barrow, over 1¼ m. S. of the church and 500 yards S.S.E. of New Littlewood Farm, is 40 ft. in diam. and 4½ ft. high. It has been much disturbed.

b(20) Enclosure, in Town Hill Slip Plantation over 1½ m. S.W. of the church and immediately N.W. of Town Hill Barn, consists of a semi-circular bank with a diam. of 96 ft. The bank is 3 to 5 ft. high above the ground outside and the surface inside is about 1½ ft. high.

b(21) Ditch etc., to the N. of (16 b). The ditch is about 230 yards long and has traces of a bank on both sides. Further indeterminate banks and hollows lie to the S.

a and b (22) Field-Systems of Celtic type have left remains in the S.W. part of the parish. They occur on Great Hogleaze, on the E. side of West Hill Bottom and on the N. side of Compton Bottom.

d(23) Enclosure, in a small valley, N. of Hampton Plantations and 1½ m. S.S.E. of the church, is roughly rectangular 140 by 55 yards with a bank and outer ditch on the W. side and ends; on the E. side there is a berm only. There are no traces of walls within the enclosure except a short bank carried across the S.W. angle. It would appear to have been a farm-settlement, similar to those in Little Bredy.

a(24) Earthworks, to the S. of the road from monument (6) to Drinkwater Osier Beds near monument (8), and beyond, consist of a series of banks, scarps and enclosures, probably representing a mediæval village-site.

a(25) Lynchets on a N.W. slope, in and beyond Lanchard's Plantation about ¾ m. W.S.W. of the church. The system extends for about 300 yards and is well defined.

a(26) Lynchets, on a S.E. slope nearly 1¾ m. S.W. of the church and S. of (12), form three terraces from 22 yards to 32 yards wide.