Pages 186-189

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 1, West. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1952.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.


In this section


(O.S. 6 in. VI, N.W.)

Poyntington is a small parish on the N. border of the county, 2½ m. N. of Sherborne. The church is the principal monument.


(1) Parish Church of All Saints stands in the S.E. corner of the parish. The walls are of local rubble with dressings of the same material; the roofs are covered with stone slates, tiles and lead. The Nave was built in the 12th century. In the first quarter of the 14th century the S. arcade was built and the South Aisle added; the West Tower was built about the same date and the North Porch was added in the same century. The upper stage of the tower was added c. 1400. The church was restored in 1863 when the Chancel was rebuilt; the tower was again restored in 1905–6.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (23½ ft. by 16½ ft.) is modern except for the early 14th-century chancel-arch, perhaps reconstructed; it is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, springing from semi-octagonal responds with moulded capitals and chamfered bases. S. of it is a squint with a trefoiled head.

The Nave (34½ ft. by 18 ft.) has in the N. wall three windows, the easternmost much restored and of early 14th-century date; it is of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a label; the 16th-century middle window is of three three-centred lights in a square head; the early 14th-century westernmost window is similar to the easternmost but has a trefoil in the head; the early to mid 12th-century N. doorway has a square-headed inner and a plain semi-circular outer order with a moulded label; the jambs have each an attached shaft (one partly restored) with a moulded base and volute-capital. The early 14th-century S. arcade has two-centred arches of two moulded orders springing from octagonal piers and semi-octagonal responds with moulded capitals and bases.

Poyntington, the Parish Church of All Saints

The South Aisle (9¼ ft. wide) is of early 14th-century date and has an early 16th-century E. window of four triangular-headed lights in a square head; the rear-arch is perhaps of the 14th century. In the S. wall are two partly restored 14th-century two-light windows with square heads; the eastern has trefoiled and the western trefoiled ogee heads to the lights; the S. doorway has 14th-century jambs of two moulded orders, but the form of the four-centred arch is perhaps a later alteration; the rear-arch has a moulded label. In the W. wall is an early 14th-century window of two pointed lights in a two-centred head.

The West Tower (about 8½ ft. square) is of two stages with a plain parapet, gargoyles, and a turret rising above the parapet and finished with a stone capping; the lower stage was built early in the 14th century but the upper stage is an addition of c. 1400. The lofty two-centred tower-arch is of two continuous chamfered orders. The W. window is of three trefoiled ogee lights with net-tracery in a two-centred head with a label. In the upper part of the N. wall is a small light with a pointed head. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of c. 1400 and of two trefoiled lights with a trefoil in a two-centred head with a label.

The North Porch has an early 14th-century outer archway, two-centred and of two moulded orders, the outer continuous and the inner dying on to the responds. The side-walls have each a window of two trefoiled ogee lights, the eastern of the 14th century and the western modern.

The Roof of the nave is of late 15th-century date and of segmental barrel form with moulded ribs forming five bays each of four panels; the intersections have foliated bosses and the moulded plates have carved paterae; the boarding is modern. The 15th-century roof of the S. aisle is of pent form and of six bays with moulded beams and ribs forming panels; the wall-plates are embattled; below the wall-plates are seven 14th-century head-corbels, including one of a king and a woman with a wimple.

Fittings—Bells: three; 1st of 1595; 2nd early 16th-century, Salisbury foundry and inscribed "Maria"; 3rd by Abraham Bilbie, 1770. Bracket: In tower—in S. wall of ground-stage, corbel with tapering sides, 14th-century. Communion Table: In S. aisle—with turned legs, panelled top-rails and moulded lower rails, early 18th-century. Door: In N. doorway—of nail-studded battens with strap-hinges and moulded ribs planted on, 17th-century. Font: tapering cylindrical bowl with band of cable-ornament, 12th-century. Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In chancel— on N.E. wall of apse outside, (1) to Walter Blobole, parson, 1617–8, rectangular panel; on N. wall outside, (2) to Sarah, daughter of Richard Butten, rectangular panel, 17th-century. In vestry—reset in E. wall, (3) to "Kath[er]ina St[re]cchi d[omi]na de Pountyngton" [1422], slab with black-letter inscription partly illegible; reset in S.W. wall, (4) to Elizabetha Maria, daughter of William Colier, 1670, and Cecilia, 1674–5, slab with inscription; reset outside, (5) to Maria, daughter of John Paget, rector, and Mary his wife, 1716, and Thomas, their son, 1703, slab with inscription in Latin. In nave—in E. arch of S. arcade, (6) altar-tomb and effigy, altar-tomb with trefoil-headed panels on N. side, effigy (Plate 22) of freestone in bascinet, aventail, jupon, etc., head on helm, feet on lion, badly mutilated, late 14th-century. In S. aisle—on S. wall, (7) to George Tilly and Mary his wife, erected by Sir Edward Parham, son-in-law, early 17th-century alabaster wall-monument (Plate 19) with kneeling figures of man in armour, wife and daughter at prayer-desk, side-pilasters, cornice, achievement and two shields-of-arms; (8) to Sir Thomas Malet, Justice of the Common Pleas, 1665, wooden panel (Plate 25) with painted achievement-of-arms; (9) to Baldwin Malet, 1646, wooden panel (Plate 25) with painted achievement-of-arms. In churchyard—N. of nave, (10) to Thomas Adams, 1692, and others later, table-tomb. Floor-slab: In vestry—(1) to Henry Hamer, rector, 1841, and Elizabeth, wife of R. H. Fleetwood Williams, 1839. Piscinae: In nave—in S.E. respond, recess with moulded jambs, trefoiled head and quatre-foiled drain, early 14th-century. In S. aisle—in S. wall, recess with moulded jambs, trefoiled head, label and broken cinque-foiled drain, early 14th-century. Plate (Plates 29, 30): includes a cup of 1634 with later cover dated 1723, a paten of 1662 with shield-of-arms of Malet, a flagon of 1664 with the same arms and a paten of 1846. Recesses: In S. aisle—in S. wall, two, with moulded jambs, cinque-foiled four-centred arches and defaced labels, 14th-century, no doubt tomb-recesses. Seating: In nave—pews with moulded styles and tops, 17th-century, six largely original and others made up with modern work. In S. aisle—modern pews with doors made up of 17th-century panelling.


(2) Poyntington Manor House (Plate 98), 100 yards N.E. of the church, is of two storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 15th or early in the 16th century on a courtyardplan; ranges of buildings survive on three sides of the courtyard, the fourth, W., side is open; whether it was closed by a range or a wall originally is uncertain. The house was altered in the 17th century and there have been minor additions of subsequent date. The E. range has, on the W. or courtyard side, a doorway with a flat four-centred arch in a square head with a label. The windows where old appear to be of the 17th century. On the E. side, this range has two ranges of much restored or modern windows; at each end of the front is the gable of a cross-wing. The N. range has, on the S. or courtyard side, a gateway with restored moulded jambs and four-centred arch; above it the wall is gabled and in the gable is an original window of two cinque-foiled lights in a square head with a label and head-stops; the other windows, where old, appear to be of the 17th century. On the N. face there is a gateway, window and gable similar to those on the S. face; other windows are of the 17th century. A small addition has a doorway with a four-centred head and the scratched initials and date I.M. 1707. In the W. end of the range is a blocked original doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred head; in the upper floor is a window of three four-centred lights. The S. cross-wing of the main block projects but little beyond it. In the W. end are three partly restored original windows each of two cinque-foiled lights with a label; the angle between the wing and the main block has been splayed across to enclose a 17th-century staircase. The S. range adjoining the S. cross-wing at its S.W. angle may be part of the original hall-block, with the lobby connecting them in the position of an oriel. The range is of one storey and in the N. wall is a partly restored original window of two cinque-foiled and transomed lights; further W. is a blocked doorway with a two-centred head. In the S. wall is a window of four four-centred lights. Inside the building, the entrance lobby in the E. block has an original doorway with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and cusped spandrels. The Dining Room has a fireplace with a restored four-centred head; the overmantel is made up of 17th-century woodwork, including three terminal figures and panels with heads; the mullion of the S.W. window has remains of a projection with a hole for a bolt. The N. extension of the Drawing Room is entered by a doorway with rebated jambs and four-centred arch in a square head. The Drawing Room at the S. end of the range has original moulded ceiling-beams and plates; in the S.W. angle is a doorway with moulded jambs and four-centred head; the partly restored fireplace has moulded jambs and four-centred head. The staircase in the S.W. angle has been altered and widened in the 17th century; the lobby leading to it has moulded ceiling-beams. The room over the lobby has a small recess with a two-centred head, foliage spandrels and a round bowl. The N. range has a gateway or carriage-entrance through it with original moulded ceiling-beams and plates. The room to the W. is entered by a doorway with chamfered jambs and four-centred head. On the first floor the mullion of one window retains the pierced projection for a bolt.

The Manor House in the Parish of Poyntington

(3) The Old Rectory, 80 yards N.W. of the church, has walls of ashlar and slated roofs. Surviving accounts show that it was built in 1837 and W. Kendal, surveyor, designed the elevations; the bay-window on the S. front is modern. On the E. front the doorway has a moulded and eared architrave; the windows have similar architraves with moulded sills, and there are recessed panels below the first-floor windows.

(4) Court House or Church Farm, immediately W. of the church, is of two storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. The house was built late in the 14th century with a hall-block and crosswings at the N. and S. ends. The N. wing was rebuilt in the 17th century and there is an extension of the S. wing with the initials and date W.A. 1720. The S. wing retains three original buttresses at the E. end; the same end has two original loop lights to the ground floor and an original window above of two cusped lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; it is now blocked. The main block has two windows in the E. wall both of two pointed lights with a quatrefoil or a cinquefoil above; these windows have probably been restored. The southern doorway has a high trefoiled rear-arch. Between the windows is a 14th-century head-corbel. Inside the building, the central block has heavy chamfered ceiling-beams.

(5) Barn, 20 yards N.E. of the church, is of one storey; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 17th century and retains some loop-lights.


(6) Lynchets, on a W. slope in the S.E. angle of the parish, form a system extending for about 350 yards.