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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65 MELBURY OSMOND (D.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. XXI, N.W.)
Melbury Osmond is a parish and village 7 m. S.W. of Sherborne.
(1) Parish Church of St. Osmond stands in the village. The walls are of rubble ashlar-faced. The West Tower was built in the 15th century but, except for the tower-arch and some walling above it, this and the whole of the rest of the church was rebuilt at the cost of Mrs. Susanna Strangways Horner in 1745, as recorded on a tablet in the chancel. The nave is of simple character with ashlar facing to the S. wall, cornice, embattled parapet and round-headed windows; the S. doorway is rusticated and has a cornice. The chancel has been modernised. The 15th-century tower-arch is two-centred and moulded and the moulded responds have each three attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases.
Fittings—Bells: five; 2nd by William Ellery and Thomas Roskelly, 1757; 3rd initialled E.T., I.P., R.E., 1635; 4th, perhaps by William Ellery, 1753; 5th by William Ellery, 1752. Chest: In tower—with enriched top rail and panelled front, inscribed on lid "Ex dono Gregorii Hoopper, 1697". Coffin: In churchyard—S. of nave, stone coffin with shaped head, broken lid, mediæval. Consecration Cross: On N. wall of nave, outside, cross in circle, mediæval, reset. Monuments: In vestry—on W. wall, (1) to Robert Dibben, 1685, and Susanna, his widow, 1700, oval slab; (2) to Giles Speasly, 1654, tablet with skull; (3) to John Maice, 1694, tablet. In nave—on S. wall, (4) to Sarah Perkins, 1834, and others later, sarcophagusshaped wall-tablet with moulded capping and urn and a shield-of-arms and crest on the apron. In tower— on W. wall, (5) inscription illegible from below, probably late 17th century, white marble wall-monument with side-brackets and pedimented cornice. In churchyard—S. of nave, (6) to John Sherston, 1678, and Elizabeth his wife, 1687–8, John, their son, 1709, and Mary, wife of John Sherston, 1715, table-tomb; S. of tower, (7) table-tomb with moulded top, sides and ends with quatre-foiled panels enclosing paterae, 15th-century; against N. wall of churchyard, (8) to Susannah (Day), wife of John Biddell, 1693–4, flat slab. Plate (Plates 30, 137, 139): includes a silver-gilt set consisting of a cup, two patens and a flagon of 1747, the last by Paul Lamerie, all given by Mrs. Strangways Horner in 1748 and engraved with her arms, and a knife and sheath given by her in 1755. Seating: In chancel—two coffinstools with turned legs, 17th-century. Weather-vane: On tower, initialled and dated T.C. 1825 C.W. Miscellanea: In chancel—reset in E. wall, cherub's head; in N. wall, carved stone fragment (19 in. by 13½ in.) with a frog-like beast (Plate 6) in interlaced foliage, probably late 10th or early 11th-century; on S. wall— wall-tablet of white and coloured marble with pilasters, cornice and broken pediment, recording that in 1745 the church was wholly taken down and rebuilt on the same foundation and adorned with pews, font, altarpiece, Communion plate etc., at the expense of Mrs. Susanna Horner. In vestry—reset in S. wall, grotesque head-corbel, mediæval. Incorporated in reredos, 17th-century carved panelling.
(2) The Rectory, 50 yards S.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. The S. cross-wing may date from early in the 16th century and the wing to the N. of it was added probably in the 17th century. There is an 18th-century addition on the E. of this wing and a modern addition beyond it. The older parts of the house have a number of 17th-century stone windows with moulded labels. In the E. gable of the cross-wing is a stone with the initials and date I.L. 1641, probably recording a repair. Inside the building, the W. part of the cross-wing has original moulded ceiling-beams and plates with a boss carved as a sunflower in the middle; the fireplace is partly old. The dining-room has exposed ceiling-beams and a small cupboard with a carved 17th-century door. The early 18th-century staircase has turned balusters, cut and bracketed strings and a handrail ramped over the newels.
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, two tenements, 65 yards N. of the church, retains an original four-light window of stone with a label. Inside the building is an original fireplace with moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head; there is also a muntin and plank partition. At the E. end of the house is a cottage of rather later date.
(4) Cottage, 100 yards S.W. of the church.
(5) Cottage, 75 yards S. of the church, retains its original two-light windows with wood frames.
(6) Cottage, 20 yards S. of (5), was built about 1700. It has some original wood-framed windows of two and three lights. There is a central chimney.
(7) Melbury Farm, house 100 yards S.E. of (4), was built early in the 16th century and the middle room has original moulded ceiling-beams with a boss carved as a sunflower in the middle. On the first floor is a muntin and plank partition. To the S. of the house is a 17th-century cottage.
(8) Cottage, two tenements, 50 yards S.E. of (7), was built early in the 16th century and has a later addition on the S. The middle room has original moulded ceiling-beams.
(9) Cottage, on the W. side of the road, 340 yards S.S.E. of the church, has some original stone-mullioned windows with labels.
(10) Cottage, two tenements, 20 yards S. of (9), was built early in the 18th century.
(11) Cottage, two tenements, on the S. side of the road, 480 yards S.E. of the church.
(12) Cottage (Plate 42), opposite (11), retains two original four-light windows of stone with labels.
(13) Bridge Farm, house, on the E. side of the road, 325 yards S.S.E. of the church, has an original muntin and plank partition.
(14) Cottage, 100 yards N.W. of (13), has some original moulded ceiling-beams and some muntin and plank partitions.
(15) Cottage, immediately N. of (14), was built probably early in the 18th century.
(16) Old Post Office (Plate 41), 80 yards S.S.E. of the church, has an original doorway and two stone windows of three lights with a label.
(17) Oak Farm, house 780 yards E.N.E. of the church, was built early in the 18th century.
(18) North End Farm, house, 510 yards N. of the church, has a stone with the date and initials 1624 I.L.S.
(19) Cottage at Pimperne, 420 yards N.W. of the church, has a panel with the date and initials 1626 H. and E.S. There is a reset original window of three lights and a muntin and plank partition.
(20) Cottage, 400 yards N.N.W. of the church, was built about 1700 and retains some original two-light windows with wood frames.
(21) Lower Holt Farm, 1,150 yards N.N.W. of the church, is T-shape in plan; the W. wing was built in the 17th century and the cross wing in the middle of the 18th century. There are ashlar quoins and the two-light windows have moulded wood frames.
(22) Higher Holt Farm, house, ¾ m. N.W. of the church, has been much altered.