Pages 124-125

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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51 HOLNEST (E.b.)

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

Holnest is a parish 5 m. S. of Sherborne. The church is the principal monument.


a(1) Parish Church of St. Mary (Plate 207) stands in the middle of the parish. The walls are of local rubble with dressings of the same material; the roofs are covered with tiles, lead and stone slates. The S. wall of the Nave is of uncertain date but is probably the earliest part of the building. The West Tower was added late in the 14th or early in the 15th century and in the 15th century the South Aisle and Porch were built and the N. wall of the nave rebuilt. In the 17th century the porch was altered, the former outer archway being reset as the S. doorway of the aisle. The church was extensively restored in the 19th century, probably in 1855, when the Chancel was rebuilt.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (17 ft. by 16 ft.) has been largely rebuilt. The S. doorway incorporates some old stones. The chancel-arch may be of the 15th century; it is two-centred and of one continuous moulded order.

The Nave (28 ft. by 17 ft.) has, in the N. wall, two 15th-century windows, each of three cinque-foiled ogee lights in a square head with a label with returned stops. In the S. wall are two plain round-headed arches, plastered and of uncertain date; further E. is a square-headed opening with a corbelled head.

The South Aisle (10½ ft. wide) has a 15th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with moulded external reveals. In the S. wall is a similar window; the 15th-century S. doorway is the former outer entrance to the porch, reset and the mouldings cut away by a rebate for the door; it has jambs and two-centred arch of one moulded order. High up in the W. wall is a 17th-century window of two square-headed lights with a label.

The West Tower (9¾ ft. by 10¾ ft.) is of late 14th or early 15th-century date and of three storeys with an embattled parapet. The tower-arch is two-centred and of two moulded orders, the outer continuous and the inner dying on to the responds. The W. window is of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with moulded reveals. The second storey has, in the S. wall, a window of one trefoiled light. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head with moulded reveals.

The South Porch has an outer entrance with a two-centred and hollow-chamfered arch with panelled imposts and a key-block bearing the date 1650.

The Roof of the nave is of uncertain date and of barrel-form with moulded ribs forming five bays each of four panels; the roof of the S. aisle is similar but of four bays.

Fittings—Bells: three; 1st by W. Purdue, c. 1580, with part of alphabet; 3rd, same founder and date, with muddled inscription; bell-frame old. Bracket: In nave—on splay of N.E. window, moulded bracket, 15th-century. Communion Rails: In second storey of tower—two lengths of moulded rails and balusters, early 18th-century. Consecration Crosses: On chancel— flanking E. window externally, four crosses; flanking S. doorway, two crosses. On nave—W. of heads of N. windows, two crosses. On S. aisle—over E. window and W. of S. window, two crosses. On W. tower, on N. and S. walls, one cross and below W. window, two crosses; formy crosses fourteen in all, mediæval. Font: cylindrical bowl with moulded under edge and cylindrical stem, 13th-century. Monument and Floor-slabs. Monument: In churchyard—S. of chancel, to Henry Granger, 17th-century slab. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to John Trenchard, 1678–9, with achievement-of-arms; (2) defaced, late 17th-century. Panelling: In nave—W. of pulpit, panelling with arabesque upper panels, enriched lozenges in lower panels and enriched styles and rails, 17th-century. Plate: includes a cup and paten of 1774. Pulpit: six-sided with moulded cornice and two ranges of panels, the upper with enrichment; two similar panels as standard to sounding-board and sounding-board with dentilled cornice, mid-17th-century. Miscellanea: Loose in nave —gable-cross, 15th-century.


Monuments (2–8)

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(2) Dunn's Farm (Plate 42), house 150 yards S.S.E. of the church, has a later brick addition on the N. There are a number of original stone-mullioned windows, including a bay-window with three lights in front and one on each return; in the gable above is a panel with the initials and date W.G. 1610.

a(3) Dyer's Farm, house, 630 yards S.E. of the church.

a(4) Cottage, at Boys Hill over 1 m. E.N.E. of the church, was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.

b(5) Osmond Farm, house 1,220 yards S.S.W. of the church, was built early in the 18th century.

b(6) Higher Holnest Farm, house 380 yards S.W. of (5), was built early in the 18th century.

a(7) Barn, at Whitehouse Farm nearly 1¼ m. W.S.W. of the church, is of one storey with timber-framing on dwarf walls. It is of seven bays with a collar-beam roof. In the E. entrance is a reused stone with a panelled design of circles.

a(8) Dublin's Farm, house, 350 yards N.N.W. of the church.