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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'Leigh', An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 1, West, (London, 1952), pp. 130-132. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/dorset/vol1/pp130-132 [accessed 14 June 2024].

. "Leigh", in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 1, West, (London, 1952) 130-132. British History Online, accessed June 14, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/dorset/vol1/pp130-132.

. "Leigh", An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 1, West, (London, 1952). 130-132. British History Online. Web. 14 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/dorset/vol1/pp130-132.

In this section

55 LEIGH (D.b.)

(O.S. 6 in. XXI, N.E.)

Leigh is a parish and village 5 m. S.S.W. of Sherborne. The church is the principal monument.


(1) Parish Church of St. Andrew, formerly a chapel of Yetminster, stands in the village. The walls are of rubble with freestone dressings and the roofs are covered with lead, slates and tiles. The church, consisting of Chancel, Nave, West Tower and South Porch was built in the second half of the 15th century. It was extensively restored in 1854 by Withers, architect, of Sherborne, when the chancel was largely rebuilt; the North Aisle is modern.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (17 ft. by 13¾ ft.) has no ancient features.

The Nave (35¼ ft. by 16 ft.) has a modern N. arcade. In the S. wall are three windows, the easternmost is a square-headed light set high in the wall to light the rood-loft and now blocked internally; the second window is of the 15th century and of two trefoiled lights in a square head with a label and returned stops; the westernmost window is modern; the partly restored 15th-century S. doorway has chamfered jambs and two-centred head.

The West Tower (9½ ft. by 8½ ft.) is of the 15th century and of three stages with an embattled parapet, pinnacles and gargoyles. The tower-arch is two-centred and of two continuous moulded orders. The W. doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred arch in a square head with foliage and shields in the spandrels, one bearing three hanks of cord and the other a merchant's mark; the W. window is of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with moulded reveals and label. The second stage has a square-headed window in the W. wall. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two cinque-foiled lights with blind tracery in a two-centred head. The square stair-turret is finished with a flat stone roof with a central pedestal formerly supporting a pinnacle.

The Church, Plan

The South Porch has a 15th-century outer archway with restored jambs and two-centred head with a moulded label.

Fittings—Bells: five; 2nd by T. Purdue, 1681. Chest: In second stage of tower—plain, with metal clamps and strap-hinges, late 17th-century. Churchyard Cross: S.E. of church—octagonal to square base with moulded angles, 14th or 15th-century. Doors: In tower stair-turret—in ground stage, of battens with strap-hinges, probably 17th-century; in second stage, of two battens with strap-hinges, 15th-century. Font: round convex bowl with roll-moulding at base, 13th-century, stem modern. Piscina: In nave—reset in S. wall, recess with pointed head and octagonal drain broken away, 15th-century. Seating: In nave—eleven benches and two fronts, three of these benches and one front with shaped ends and terminals with spiral ornament, other ends with square moulded tops, 16th-century, with some modern repair. Stoup: In nave— E. of S. doorway, recess with chamfered square head, 15th-century, rest modern.


(2) Cross (Plate 12) at the road-fork, 350 yards E. of the church, consists of an octagonal pedestal with a moulded top and a square shaft about 5 ft. high. The sides have remains of figures in low relief set under flat canopies, but on one face the carving has been tooled away; one figure is probably St. George and the dragon, a second is of a man in a short tunic. The shaft dates from the 15th century and has a modern cross on the top.

Monuments (3–18)

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 and original fireplaces.

(3) House, 550 yards S.E. of the church, with walls of ashlar, is initialled and dated T.W. 1844 although built in the 17th-century style. The windows are of three lights with square moulded labels and the doorway has a bracketed hood.

(4) Cottage, 400 yards E.S.E. of the church, consists of three tenements. It is initialled and dated T.L. 1775, but the W. tenement was built probably in the 17th century. The windows have wood stop-chamfered lintels.

(5) Cross Farm, house 30 yards E. of (2), was rebuilt perhaps in the 18th century but incorporates some 17th-century stone-mullioned windows, the lower ones with labels. Inside the building are two reused moulded beams.

(6) Cottage, on the N. side of the road 270 yards E. of the church, retains its original stone-mullioned windows, the lower ones with labels; the doorway has a four-centred head and a label, above which is a stone with the initials and date I.R. 1628. In a window, W. of the doorway, is a glass quarry of c. 1500 with a figure of a huntsman.

(7) Cottage, opposite (6), is in a dilapidated state; it retains some original stone-mullioned windows and the door has strap-hinges with ornamental ends. Inside the building is an original plank-partition.

(8) House, 50 yards S. of the church, has walls of ashlar with quoins. It was built about 1700. The stone two-light windows have moulded architraves and an architrave of similar section frames the doorway.

(9) Church Farm, house 30 yards N.W. of the church, has been rebuilt but incorporates some 17th-century stone windows and a doorway with moulded jambs and square head.

(10) House, 120 yards W.S.W. of the church, has been extensively rebuilt and modernised.

(11) Frampton's Farm, house 200 yards W.S.W. of (10), has been much altered externally but the front retains an original doorway with a four-centred head and a stone window above it. In the N. wall is a doorway with an oak frame and a nail-studded door with ornamental strap-hinges. Inside the building, one room has a ceiling with moulded beams forming six panels. There are also some original plank-partitions.

(12) Cottage, on the N. side of the road 160 yards W. of (11), has been much altered but retains two stone windows of three and four lights.

(13) Cottage, opposite (12), was built probably early in the 18th century.

(14) White Hall, house 400 yards S. of the church, is built of rubble with ashlar dressings. It is dated 1722. There is a gabled W. porch and a modern N. addition.

(15) Black Barn, house 540 yards S. of the church, retains two original three-light stone windows with labels.

(16) Rooker's Farm, house 1,050 yards S.S.E. of the church, has been extended in the 18th century and restored since 1870. The E. doorway has a rounded head made up of gadrooned and enriched stonework; above it is a reset cartouche-of-arms of Weston with the initials and date I.W. 1665.

(17) Withyhook Mill, house nearly 1½ m. S.S.W. of the church, retains some original stone-mullioned windows. In the E. end is an oval window and a panel with the initials and date E. and T.S. 1702. Inside the building, at the head of the E. stairs is a balustrade of c. 1700 with turned balusters and a dog-gate.

(18) Lower Totnell Farm, house ½ m. E. of the church, was built probably early in the 18th century.


(19) Miz Maze, 570 yards S.S.E. of the church, consists of a hexagonal bank about 26 yards across, with a ditch on the outside and a slight circular platform in the middle. According to Coker it was repaired once a year by the young men of the village. If it was a maze of the ordinary type the paths must have been marked out in some manner that has left no traces.

(20) The Castle, earthwork on the E. edge of the parish about 1 m. S.E. of the church, consists of a slight bank with occasional traces of an outer ditch and enclosing a roughly oval area of about 9 acres. The bank has been destroyed on much of the S.E. and S.W. sides but is in part represented by a scarp. There are two gaps towards the N.E. and S.W. which may represent entrances. The work occupies a comparatively level and low-lying site.

(21) Gudgin's Banks, 350 yards S.W. of (20), consist of a bank rising about 4½ ft. above a ditch on the W. side. The bank extends for about 200 yards, but not continuously, along the W. bank of a stream. Beyond the southern extremity there are remains of another bank continuing its line on the E. bank of the stream. Its purpose is uncertain but it is probably of mediæval or later origin.