Pages 119-121

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. XXXI, S.W.)

Godmanstone is a small parish 5 m. N.N.W. of Dorchester. The church is the principal monument.


(1) Parish Church of Holy Trinity stands on the E. side of the parish. The walls are of local flint and stone rubble with bands of flint and stone facing and freestone dressings; the roofs are covered with stone slates, slates and lead. The chancel-arch and the S. doorway date from the 12th century. The rest of the Nave was rebuilt perhaps in the 15th century, when the West Tower was added. The N. and South Chapels and the South Porch were added early in the 16th century and the Chancel was rebuilt. In the 17th century the tower was partly rebuilt. The church has been extensively restored in the 19th century; the North Chapel and the chancel were largely rebuilt, the latter in 1848.

Godmanstone, the Parish Church of Holy Trinity

Architectural Description—The Chancel (19¾ ft. by 15¼ ft.) has a reset 15th-century E. window of five trefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a square head with a label. In the N. wall is a late 16th-century window of two four-centred lights in a square head with a label. In the S. wall is a similar window and a modern doorway. The chancel-arch originally of mid 12th-century date has an arch of two plain orders rebuilt in the 16th or 17th century in a four-centred form; the original responds have each four grouped shafts with scalloped capitals, moulded abaci and bases.

The Nave (27¼ ft. by 16¾ ft.) has, in the N. wall, a mid 16th-century moulded arch, four-centred and springing from moulded and shafted responds with conventional foliage on the capitals; further W. is a modern window probably replacing a former doorway. In the S. wall is a mid 16th-century arcade of two bays similar to the arch in the N. wall; the pier has four attached shafts; the E. respond has a capital only, supported on an angel-corbel; below it is a blocked squint with a four-centred head; the mid 12th-century S. doorway has been rebuilt and partly renewed; the modern or much restored round arch is of two moulded orders, the inner with cheveron-ornament; the tym panum is carved with scale ornament and axe-work diaper.

The North Chapel (13¼ ft. by 11 ft.) is of early 16th-century date extensively restored; it has windows in the E. and W. walls of three four-centred lights with labels; in the N. wall is a window similar to the E. window of the chancel; these windows have been more or less restored.

The South Chapel (17¾ ft. by 9¼ ft.) is of early to mid 16th-century date and has an E. window of three four-centred lights in a square head with a label. In the S. wall are two similar windows but of two lights only and the eastern with elliptical heads to the lights.

The West Tower (11 ft. square) is of the 15th century, restored and the top stage rebuilt in the 17th century. It is of three stages with a plain parapet and pinnacles. The tower-arch is two-centred and of one continuous chamfered order; the W. window is of three cinque-foiled ogee lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with moulded reveals and label. The second stage has a window of one round-headed light in the W. wall. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a 17th-century window of two square-headed lights; incorporated in the N. window is a beast-head corbel.

The South Porch is of early to mid 16th-century date and has an outer archway with moulded jambs and two-centred head.

Fittings—Bells: four; 1st from Salisbury foundry, early 16th-century and inscribed ‘Sit nomen Domine benedictum’; 2nd by William Warre, 1607; 3rd by the same founder, 1610; 4th by George Purdue, 1617. Bracket: In nave—on S. wall, moulded semi-circular bracket, mediæval. Font: octagonal bowl with splayed under side and modern panel in each face, octagonal stem and splayed base, 15th-century. Glass: In N. chapel—in N. window, a triangular Trinity across the three middle lights and shields-of-arms in the flanking lights, second quarter of the 19th century. Monuments: In chancel—on W. wall, (1) to Joseph Goodenough, 1842, and Margaret Jane his wife, 1834, wall-tablet signed Bacon, London, S. Manning fecit. In churchyard—S. of chancel, (2) to Mary, wife of Stephen Iles, 1704, and to Stephen Iles, 1725, table-tomb. In heating-chamber—(3) to Joseph Damer, 1699, head-stone. Piscina: In S. chapel—in S. wall, recess with cinque-foiled head, round drain, 15th-century, reset. Plate: includes a cup of 1573 with band of engraved ornament. Royal Arms: In nave—over S. doorway, small carved panel with painted Hanoverian arms, the latter perhaps a later repainting


Monuments (2–5)

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, were built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century. The walls are of flint and stone rubble and the roofs are thatched or covered with corrugated iron. Some of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams.

(2) Cottage, on the E. side of the road 320 yards S. of the church, has a later extension on the W.

(3) Cottage, 65 yards S. of (2), has, reset in the W. end, a mediæval foliated capital.

(4) Manor Cottage, immediately S.E. of (3), has a reset 17th-century window in the later offices.

(5) Field Farm, house 450 yards S. of the church, has been rebuilt but incorporates a 17th-century four-light window.


(6) Bowl Barrow, 1,080 yards W. of the church, is about 27 ft. in diam. and 4½ ft. high; it is largely composed of flint and has been quarried on the W. side.

(7) Bowl Barrow, 1¼ m. W. of the church, is 39 ft. in diam. and 3½ ft. high.

(8) Barrow, on the W. edge of the parish 1,000 yards S.W. of (7), is 33 ft. in diam. but has been ploughed level; it is identifiable by a circular area of flints.