Pages 153-156

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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(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXIX, N.E. (b)XXIX, S.E.)

Mapperton is a small parish 2 m. S.E. of Beaminster. The church, Mapperton House and the Rectory are the principal monuments.


a(1) Parish Church of All Saints stands immediately S.W. of Mapperton House. It was formerly a chapel of Netherbury. The walls are of local rubble with ashlar and dressings of the same material; the roofs are slate-covered. The Chancel is of uncertain date but was built perhaps in the 12th century. The West Tower is in part of the 15th century. The Nave was rebuilt by Richard Brodrepp in 1704; the tower was repaired and pinnacles and parapet added c. 1770, these have now been removed and the tower is under a continuation of the nave roof. The church was restored and the South Porch added in 1846, and the South Vestry was restored in 1908.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (17¾ ft. by 12½ ft.) has an E. window of mediæval date but with the head renewed in 1846. In the N. wall is a modern doorway. In the S. wall is a modern doorway incorporating the W. jamb of an earlier window. The chancel-arch of 1704 is two-centred and chamfered; the chamfered responds have moulded imposts.

The Nave (26¼ ft. by 19 ft.) was rebuilt in 1704 and has three windows in both the N. and S. walls, all of two round-headed lights in a square head. The reset 13th-century S. doorway has a trefoiled head with lobed points and above it is a panel inscribed "Sumptibus Ri. Brodrepp Armig. Anno Dom. 1704".

The West Tower (12 ft. by 9¼ ft.) is now of one stage only with a modern bell-cote on the W. wall. The tower-arch is uniform with the chancel-arch. There is a stair-turret in the S.E. angle. The 15th-century W. doorway, now blocked, has jambs and three-centred arch of two orders with the string-course carried over as a label. The W. window is modern.

Fittings—Bell: one, uninscribed and inaccessible. Chair: In chancel—with turned front legs, shaped arms, enriched rails, carved back and scrolled cresting, made up with 17th-century materials. Communion Rails: with turned balusters, plain rails and central gate, c. 1704. Doors: In S. doorway—with strap-hinges, 16th or 17th-century, with modern work. In stair-turret of tower—of vertical battens with strap-hinges, 17th-century or earlier. Font: In vestry— cylindrical bowl, upper part plain, lower part with scalloped ornament, 12th-century Glass: In nave—in N.E. window, 16th-century roundels with figures of a bishop or abbot, the prodigal son and Prudence, also English shields-of-arms of Horsey and Cheverell and three roundels of foreign heraldry; in second N. window, 16th-century foreign panels with St. Anne and the Virgin, the Crucifixion, the Nailing to the Cross and the Conversion of St. Paul, also two 16th-century English shields-of-arms with garters, the first a quartered coat, made up, the second damaged royal Tudor arms, also three roundels of foreign heraldry, one dated 1616; in N.W. window, English 16th-century shields-of-arms of Morgan quartered and impaling Ashton quartered. Peverel impaling Bardolf, Bardolf, Brett (?), Strangeways, Trenchard (?), Malet, also foreign fragments; in S.E. window, English 16th-century shields of the quartered arms of Paulet in a garter, the quartered arms of Russell in a garter, Fauntleroy (?), three roses and five foreign roundels of heraldry; in middle S. window, six roundels of foreign heraldry including one of Jerusalem dated 1632, four 16th-century English shields-of-arms of Baynard (?), Peverel impaling Bardolf, and two unidentified coats, also a foreign roundel with the figure of a woman, also a woman's head dated 1509; in S.W. window, English 16th-century shields of the quartered arms of Morgan, Morgan impaling Twiniho, quartered arms of Miller and the arms of Peverel, three foreign panels with figures of women and a child, two with heraldry, one dated 1615 and a foreign figure, perhaps St. Bartholomew. In tower—in W. window, to William Munro Aitchison, son of Capt. Aitchison, R.N., 1850, the Resurrection and Ascension with I.H.S. in the head. Monument: In the chancel is a monument (Plate 134) signed by P. Scheemakers to Richard Brodrepp, 1737, and his children, George and Etheldred, with busts and shield-of-arms. Plate: includes a cup of 1675, cover-paten with the same hall-marks but inscribed as the gift of Richard Brodrepp, 1674, and a handled basin of 1710 given in 1814. Seating: In tower—seat with panelled back and board above with the name and date Ri. Brodrepp, 1711, and a shield inscribed 1641 I.R.


a(2) Mapperton Manor House and outbuildings adjoins the church on the E. The House is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of rubble mostly ashlar-faced and the roofs are covered with stone slates. The house is said to have been rebuilt c. 1550–60 by Robert Morgan and Mary his wife and to this date probably belongs the N. wing. The property passed to the family of Brodrepp in 1608. The main block of the house was built about the middle of the 17th century; a building of the same age to the S. of the main block is now joined to it by modern additions. Shortly after the middle of the 18th century, changes were made in the N. wing and the N. front was remodelled. The S. stables were built in 1670 and the N. stables are probably of the same age. There are various modern additions in the S. part of the house.

The House is of considerable architectural interest and has remarkable plasterwork and fittings.

Mapperton Manor House

The house and the church form a quadrangle open on the W. side and the W. of this the two ranges of stabling form a further quadrangle open to the E. and W. The main W. Front (Plate 129) of the 17th-century house is symmetrically designed with two-storeyed bay-windows at the ends and porch in the middle; the front is finished with a balustraded parapet said to have been added in the 18th century but perhaps only rebuilt at that date; the front also has a moulded cornice and a string between the storeys. The porch has a restored outer archway and above it is a large achievement of the arms of Brodrepp. The side walls of the porch have each two internal niches with shell-heads; on the S. wall is some reused stonework with the scratched initials and date R.B. (for Richard Brodrepp) 1666; the reset 16th-century inner doorway has moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with the Morgan crest in the spandrels. The windows of the front are all of two transomed lights with square heads. There are three modern dormers in the roof. The N. Wing is substantially of the 16th century but the E. end and the N. side were remodelled c. 1760. The N. side is symmetrically arranged with the middle bay projecting forward and alone finished with a balustraded parapet, neither the plinth nor the moulded string of the flanking walls return round the projection; in the centre is a doorway with moulded architrave and brackets supporting a pedimented cornice. All the windows have moulded architraves and contain double-hung sashes. The S. face retains three original windows, one above the other and all with four-centred heads to the lights; the top window of four lights is set in a small gable with twisted pinnacles at the sides. The main angles of the wing have attached semi-octagonal piers or buttresses finished with twisted pinnacles and heraldic beasts. In the W. gable is a reset 16th-century window of four four-centred lights with a label. The E. Front of the main 17th-century block has windows similar to those of the W. front but those in the upper range have moulded labels. The adjoining Kitchen Wing has similar windows and both the N. and E. sides are partly masked by modern additions. The S.E. Block was originally an isolated range running E. and W. with a projecting wing on the S. side. It has been altered and partly obscured by modern additions, but retains some of its original 17th-century windows, of two lights with labels.

Interior—The Hall is lined on the N., E. and W. sides to a height of seven feet with early to mid 17th-century panelling with a cornice; the panelling on the S. wall is of later 17th-century date. The fireplace (Plate 132) has moulded jambs and four-centred arch; above it is a plaster overmantel brought from Melplash (Netherbury (3)) in 1909; it has an elaborate scrolled panel with an achievement-of-arms of Paulet, Marquis of Winchester, with pantheon supporters and with the painted modern date 1604; flanking the panel are seated figures holding the Paulet crest. The plaster ceiling is modern. Opening into the N.W. bay-window is a round moulded arch with a panelled key-stone and panelled responds with Ionic pilasters. The screen (Plate 51) on the S. side of the entrance-passage S. of the hall is of 17th-century origin altered by the insertion of two modern doorways; it was formerly of six bays divided by half-round posts of which three remain; they are shaped to resemble superimposed balusters, the top and middle mouldings being carried along the screen; between the posts is 17th-century panelling. The Dining Room is lined with early 18th-century bolection-moulded panelling with dado-rail and entablature; the fireplace has a moulded stone surround of the same date. To the E. of this room is a doorway, formerly external; it has moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with roses in the spandrels; the door has three panels formed by moulded ribs. The Drawing Room in the N. wing is lined with 18th-century bolection-moulded panelling with a cornice and contains a fireplace with a surround of c. 1760 decorated with rococo scroll-work and two birds in the frieze-panel; the late 16th-century ceiling (Plate 131) has an elaborate geometrical design of moulded ribs with enrichments at some of the intersections and fleurs-de-lis, cinquefoils and cartouches-of-arms of Morgan, Brett, and Hodges (?) in the panels. The Stair Hall and staircase, in this wing, are of the second half of the 18th century; entry, from the S., is beneath the stairs through an arched way with wood-panelled sides and elliptical head, the plaster soffit is coffered and each coffer contains a large and elaborate open flower. The ceiling has rococo decoration forming a central feature with a foliated boss in the middle and a moulded border linking scroll-patterns in the middle of each side and at the corners, the last containing grotesque male masks. The dog-legged stair contrived within the S. half of the hall has open bracketed strings, turned balusters and moulded and ramped handrails, the newels are in the form of slender Roman Doric columns; the balustrade is continued along the open N. side of the landing-passage which crosses the full width of the stair-hall at first-floor level. The Library has an original fireplace with moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with foliage in the spandrels; the overmantel, brought from Melplash, has a central panel with the arms of James I (Plate 56), flanked by terminal figures supporting baskets of fruit on their heads. The ceiling is a reproduction of the 18th-century original. The Kitchen, in the S.E. wing, has a 17th-century fireplace with a four-centred head. The late 17th or 18th-century staircase, to the W. of it, has turned balusters and close moulded strings. On the first floor, the room over the dining-room has an early 18th-century fireplace with a moulded surround. In the N. wing, the room over the drawing-room has an original fireplace with moulded jambs and four-centred arch with foliage-spandrels; the original plaster overmantel (Plate 133) has a central cartouche with the Morgan arms and motto, an elaborate scrolled foliage border and enriched balusters and fleurs-de-lis at the sides. The walls have a mid 16th-century plaster frieze with scrolled foliage and figures holding wreaths with male and female busts; the plaster ceiling (Plate 130) is of elaborate geometrical design with pendants and fleurs-de-lis and bosses in the panels formed by the moulded ribs. The room over the library has an original fireplace with moulded jambs and four-centred arch with a lion and a griffin holding a corn-flag (for Morgan) in the spandrels; the overmantel (Plate 133) has a central diagonal enrichment with heads, as on the frieze described above, in the spandrels and a cartouche-of-arms of Hodges (?) in the middle; the centre-piece is flanked by various vertical enrichments of balusters, scrolled foliage, griffins' heads with corn-flags on balusters.

In front of the house, between the N. wing and the church, is a railed enclosure-wall with a central gateway; this has 17th-century stone piers with cornices and shell-headed niches in the W. faces and surmounted by modern eagles. The N. Stable, on the N. side of the outer quadrangle, is of one storey with attics; the walls are of stone and the roofs are covered with stone slates. It was built c. 1670–80. The S. front has doorways at each end and six windows between; all have eared architraves, entablatures and pediments; the windows are of mullion and transom type and the doorways are fitted with original doors. Inside the building are stalls and a central staircase; the screen of the stalls has original posts with moulded bases and capitals. The S. Stable, now a garage and barn, is similar to the N. stable but has a projecting porch towards the W. end and at the E. end a large elliptical-headed archway fitted with panelled doors; between these features are four sham windows and a sham doorway, similar to those in the N. stable. The porch has a large round-headed archway with a moulded architrave, imposts and a large shaped key-stone. In the S. wall are two wide archways, the eastern having a keystone with the initials and date R.B. 1670. Between the stables and the house and church are 18th-century walls and gateways. The Pigeon House, S. of the house, is a rectangular stone structure gabled to the E. and W. The doorway, on the N. side, has a segmental head and the initials and date R.B. 1665 on the lintel. The interior still retains its nests. Between the upper and lower gardens is a Summer House of late 17th-century date but much rebuilt. It is of two storeys and the upper room is lined with reused late 17th-century panelling. The Well-house and tank, N. of the summer-house, is approached by a flight of steps and a doorway with a four-centred head. The walls are of rubble and brick and the structure dates probably from the 17th century.

a(3) The Rectory, 110 yards N.N.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are tiled. It was built by John Powell, rector, between 1699 and 1703, and his accounts survive; the rubble was quarried in the parsonage orchard and the ashlar came from Ham Hill. The E. front is symmetrically designed and has a two-storeyed porch restored in 1890; the outer doorway has a modern head and old label; the inner doorway has a four-centred head with the name and date John Powell, 1701; the door is nail-studded and has strap-hinges. The windows are of one and two lights with moulded labels. There are similar two-light windows on the W. front. Inside the building the N.W. room has a fireplace with a bolection-moulded surround. The fireplace in the room above has Corinthian side-pilasters and a strap-work frieze.

Monuments (4–7)

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of late 17th-century date and of two storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are covered with thatch or modern slates. Some of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams.

a(4) Coltleigh Farm, house 1,000 yards E.N.E. of the church, was much altered in 1787. There are some original three-light stone windows with labels.

a(5) Cottage 20 yards N. of (4).

b(6) Mapperton Dairy, 450 yards E.S.E. of the church, has four-light stone windows on the S. front with labels, that over the lower windows being continuous; the doorway has a four-centred head.

b(7) Mythe Cottage, two tenements, 1,040 yards S. of the church.


b(8) Lynchets form five groups of terraces in the S. part of the parish as follows: (a) on a W. and S. slope S.E. of Mapperton House; (b) on a S.W. slope 250 yards further S.; (c) on a S. slope near the edge of the parish and ½ m. S.E. of the church; (d) on a S. slope, 1,100 yards S.S.W. of the church; and (e) on a W. slope 1,200 yards S.W. of the church.