Frome Vauchurch

Pages 118-119

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


(O.S. 6 in. XXX, S.E.)

Frome Vauchurch is a small parish 5 m. W.S.W. of Cerne Abbas. The church is the principal monument.


(1) Parish Church (dedication unknown) stands on the E. side of the parish. The walls are of local rubble and flint with freestone dressings; the roofs are tiled. The church, consisting of Chancel and Nave is of 12th-century origin but has been much rebuilt mainly in the 17th century; the South Porch was added probably in the 16th or 17th century. Much of the evidence is concealed by the plastering of the walls. The church was restored in 1879.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (19¼ ft. by 10¼ ft.) has three modern windows in the E. wall. In the N. wall is a plastered window of one round-headed light, probably of the 12th century. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern similar to the N. window but with the aperture widened in the 17th century; the western window is a 13th-century lancet-light. The chancel-arch has plain responds cut back and chamfered 12th-century imposts with axe-worked diapering, the arch has probably been rebuilt; N. of the arch is an opening to the pulpit, cut probably in the 17th century, it has a two-centred head.

The Church, Plan

The Nave (27 ft. by 11¾ ft.) has, in the N. wall, a 17th-century window of two round-headed lights; the late 12th-century N. doorway has plain jambs and moulded imposts; the segmental arch has a semi-circular moulded label with dog-tooth ornament; the doorway is now partly blocked and has a modern window in the opening. In the S. wall are three windows, the easternmost of the 17th century and of two segmental-headed lights; the second window is of the same period and of one elliptical-headed light; the westernmost window is a single round-headed light of 12th-century origin; the S. doorway, of 16th or 17th-century date, has chamfered jambs and segmental head. In the W. wall are two modern windows; on the gable is a small 17th-century bell-cote with one segmental-headed opening and a moulded capping.

The South Porch is probably of the 16th or 17th century and is faced with bands of stone and flint. The outer archway has hollow-chamfered jambs and rebuilt elliptical head, with a label and reused defaced head-stops.

Fittings—Bell: one, dated 1631, by one of the Purdues. Font: square bowl with chamfered angles and lower edge, cylindrical stem and moulded base with spur-ornaments, late 12th-century. Monuments: In churchyard—S. of chancel, (1) to Mary Bridle, 1709, table-tomb; S.W. of nave, (2) to William Goare, 1660, and Mary, wife of William Goare jun., 1695, others later, table-tomb; (3) to William Goare, late 17th-century, table-tomb. Piscina: In chancel—modern recess and set in it a scalloped capital with a square drain in the top, possibly late 12th-century. Plate: includes Elizabethan cup and cover-paten, the former with band of engraved ornament and the latter with the date 1574. Pulpit: of oak and of two and a half sides of a hexagon, enriched angles, two ranges of enriched arched panels with enriched entablature, human faces at angles, early 17th-century.


Monuments (2–4)

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. Some of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams.

(2) Cottage, on the N.E. side of the road 150 yards S.E. of the church.

(3) Cottage, 10 yards S.E. of (2).

(4) Cottage, on the N.E. side of the road 120 yards N.W. of the church.