Pages 121-122

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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47 HALSTOCK (C.c.)

(O.S. 6 in. (a)XX, N.E. (b)XXI, N.W.)

Halstock is a parish on the border of the county 6 m. N.E. of Beaminster.


a(1) Pavement, on the N.W. side of Common Lane ½ m. S.S.W. of the church, was found about 1818. It was described by John Bellamy (Gents. Mag. 1818, Pt. I, p. 5) as being a geometrical composition in blue, red, black and white tesserae. The main design was a square set diagonally within a broad border and containing a circle in meander pattern. The corners cut off by the circle were occupied by roundels framing so-called helmeted heads with wands or cross-staffs in the background. The large circle enclosed a star-shaped panel bordering a medallion decorated with a head closely resembling the others, but larger. The pavement was covered by a temporary building soon after its discovery, but, becoming damaged by visitors, the whole was again covered in and no remains now appear above ground.


b(2) Parish Church of St. Mary stands near the middle of the parish. The walls are of local rubble with freestone dressings. The West Tower was built in the 15th century but the rest of the church was rebuilt in 1770; the Nave was again rebuilt in 1845–6 and the Chancel later in the same century.

Architectural Description—The West Tower (8¼ ft. by 7¾ ft.) is of three stages with an embattled parapet and gargoyles. The tower-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner springing from attached shafts with splayed capitals and moulded bases. The W. window and doorway are modern except for the rear arch and splays. The second stage has a rectangular light in the E. wall and a window of two pointed lights in the N. wall. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two trefoiled lights with blind tracery in a two-centred head, with moulded reveals.

Fittings—Bells: five; 1st by Thomas Purdue, 1677; 2nd and 4th by Richard Purdue, 1634; 3rd by William Knight, 1717; 5th by George Purdue, 1604. Monuments: In churchyard—S.E. of porch, (1) to Margaret, wife of John Frenche, 1605, table-tomb; S. of tower, (2) to Elizabeth, wife of Christopher Abbott, 1683, table-tomb; (3) to Joseph Clarke, 1675, and to Mary, wife of William Clark jun., 1697, table-tomb. Plate: includes cup and paten of mediæval design presented in 1845.


Monuments (3–16)

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 or modern materials. Some of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams and original fireplaces.

b(3) Russell House, ¼ m. S.S.E. of the church, retains some original stone-mullioned windows.

b(4) New Inn, 140 yards S. of (3), has been largely rebuilt and heightened. It retains two original stonemullioned windows with labels.

b(5) Cottage, 40 yards S.E. of (4), retains two original stone-mullioned windows with labels.

b(6) Cottage, on N. side of the road, 600 yards S.S.E. of the church, with E. end partly rebuilt, retains its original windows of two and three lights.

b(7) Portland Farm, house ½ m. S.E. of the church.

b(8) Cottage, on E. side of the road, opposite (7), is an L-shaped building, the N.W. wing being a mid 18th-century extension; the windows in this addition have moulded architraves.

b(9) Cottage, on the N. side of the road over ¾ m. S.E. of the church, was built probably early in the 18th century.

b(10) Cottage, on N. side of the road, 200 yards E. of (9), was built early in the 18th century. Inside there is exposed timber-framing.

b(11) Liberty Farm, house and barn 1¼ m. E. of the church. The House has 18th-century additions; it retains two original stone windows of four lights. The Barn, N.W. of the house, has trusses of hammer-beam type.

b(12) Churchill Cottage, 380 yards N. of the church, retains some original stone-mullioned windows, but has been extensively restored.

a(13) Cottage, two tenements, on the N. side of the road 1 m. W.S.W. of the church, retains two original three-light windows of stone.

a(14) Sydney Farm, nearly 1¾ m. W.S.W. of the church, is built of ashlar and dressed rubble. The original house is L-shaped with a modern extension on the W. side of the S. wing. The gable-end of the N.E. wing has a shaped finial. The building retains its original windows of two and three lights with hollow-chamfered jambs and mullions and square moulded labels.

a(15) Pear Tree Farm, just over 1½ m. W. of the church, is built of ashlar and the roofs are covered with stone slates. There is a modern addition on the E. The E. and W. ends have gables with flat copings and shaped kneelers. It retains its original stone windows of two and three lights.

a(16) House, 70 yards E. of (15), has walls built of coursed rubble with dressed angles and the roofs are thatched. It is a building of traditional type, of interest as a late dated example. Above the door is a sunk panel with the initials and date HSA 1737. It retains its original stone-mullioned windows of two and three lights. The gabled ends have flat stone copings and shaped kneelers and the two ashlar chimneys are original.