Pages 191-193

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. (a)XXI, S.W. (b)XXX, N.W.)

Rampisham is a parish 5 m. E. of Beaminster. The church and the Manor House are the principal monuments.


a(1) Pavement, nearly 1 m. N.N.W. of the church, was found in 1799 in a nearly perfect state. It was subsequently broken up by treasure-seekers. According to Hutchins (Hist. of Dorset, II, p. 692) it was about 14 ft. by 10 ft. and composed of tesserae about 2 in. square. There were no remains of walls. The design, reproduced in Hutchins, consisted of a broad border enclosing a large twelve-petalled floral ornament overlying a striped pattern in concentric circles, with similarly striped quadrants at the four corners.


b(2) Parish Church of St. Michael and All Angels stands on the E. side of the parish. The walls are of local rubble with freestone dressings; the roofs are covered with lead and slates. The South Tower was built probably early in the 14th century and heightened in the 15th century. The rest of the church was rebuilt partly in 1847 and partly in 1860.

Architectural Description—The South Tower (11 ft. square) is of three storeys, the two lower of early 14th-century date and the top storey of the 15th century with an embattled parapet, pinnacles and gargoyles and a 15th-century stair-turret. The ground stage has a N. tower-arch, two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner dying on to the responds. In the E. wall is a squint with a square head and now blocked; further S. is a blocked doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head. In the S. wall is a window of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with moulded reveals. In the W. wall is a modern doorway. The second storey has in the N., S. and W. walls a window of one pointed light; a former window in the E. wall has been replaced by a modern doorway. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with moulded reveals; those on the S. and W. have been partly restored; the lights are filled with stone grilles of pierced quatrefoils.

Fittings—Bells: five; 1st, 15th-century, Reading foundry, inscribed "Maria"; 2nd by William Warre, 1600; 3rd, early 16th-century, from the Salisbury foundry and inscribed "Sancta Maria"; 4th by William Purdue I, 1615; 5th uninscribed. Brass: In nave—to Thomas Dygenys, 1523, and Isabell his wife, 1523–4, benefactors to the church, figure of man in civil dress and woman with pedimental head-dress. Churchyard Cross (Plate 85): square base set on octagonal pedestal with angular projections forming a square, inscribed plinth and two octagonal steps; each free face of pedestal panelled and containing figure-subjects as follows:—on N.W. probably the Martyrdom of St. Thomas of Canterbury, two armed knights on side-piers; on N.E. a martyrdom or perhaps an Entombment, seated figures of a king and a monk on side-piers; on S.E. figure-subject with two (or perhaps three) carved standing figures and one kneeling figure, seated king and monk on side-piers; on S.W. two crowned figures at table, small figure in front, on the side piers a figure with scroll and a bird on a pedestal; on splayed plinth, a black-letter inscription reading "Ihu Xpe Fili Dei misere mei Et sic dicit Porter in nomine Ihu (fieri fecit ?) I(draton ?)", base of shaft much worn, with remains of letters; late 15th or early 16th-century. Monuments: In churchyard—N. of chancel, (1) to Frances Warren, 1633, and to Mary, wife of Edward Warren, table-tomb; adjoining cross on E., (2) table-tomb said to have borne the date 1606. Niches: In E. wall of tower, three with trefoiled heads and corbelled brackets, two carved with foliage and one with a bull, 15th-century. Piscina: In tower—in S. wall, recess with trefoiled ogee head and plain drain, probably 14th-century. Plate: includes a silver-gilt cup of 1847 with enamel ornament and a plain paten. Seating: In tower—coffin-stool with turned legs, 17th-century.

b(3) Congregational Chapel, 630 yards N.W. of the church, is a small rectangular building with walls of rubble and roofs covered with slates. It was built about 1800 but incorporated in it are two 16th-century windows, these are of four lights with square moulded labels. It is now used as a builder's workshop.


b(4) Wayside Cross, on the E. side of the road, 480 yards N.N.E. of the church, consists of part of the shaft and base. The shaft is square with moulded angles and has the remains of a carved figure standing on a bracket on the W. face. The base is octagonal with remains of piers or broaches on four faces bringing the plan to a square below; the other faces have quatrefoils enclosing paterae. The cross dates from the 15th century.

b(5) Bridge, carrying a lane over the brook, about 120 yards N.N.E. of the church, is a rubble structure of two spans with a later extension and smaller arch to the N. The original arches are four-centred and may date from the 16th or 17th century.

b(6) Manor House, 40 yards N. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are tiled. The house was largely rebuilt early in the 17th century, but perhaps incorporates a rather earlier building on the N. The house was completely remodelled internally late in the 19th century and there are modern additions on the E. and N.W. The W. front has three and four-light transomed windows on the ground floor with labels and similar windows without labels or transoms on the first floor. The two-storeyed porch has an outer archway with moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with a label; on the upper floor is a two-light window. The kitchen-wing at the N. end of the front has original windows of two, three and four lights with labels; the doorway has a triangular arch, spandrels and label. The N. side of the range has some windows with four-centred heads to the lights; in the E. part are two four-light transomed windows. The S. end of the house has similar windows of three and four lights; high up on the wall is a small round dial with the date 1608. Inside the building the S.W. room has an overmantel made up of 17th-century fragments from the former screen mentioned in Hutchins; it has a frieze with fruit and swags; there are fragments from the same source in the N.E. room. In both rooms are panelled 17th-century doors with elaborate enrichment over the doorways and scrolled cresting. There is also a fragment of early 16th-century glass with a red rose and a number of 14th-century slip-tiles found near the house and including shields-of-arms of Bryan.

Monuments (7–19)

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.

b(7) Cottage, on E. side of road, 190 yards N.N.E. of the church, is built of roughly dressed stone with later additions of rubble. The windows of three lights have wood frames and lintels. There is a gabled N. porch.

b(8) Cottage, opposite (7) and of similar type. Inside there are stop-chamfered beams.

b(9) Cottage, two tenements, on E. side of road, 480 yards N.E. of the church, has walls of ashlar and rubble with some coursed flint and brickwork. The three-light windows have wood frames.

b(10) Broomhill Farm, house 530 yards N.E. of the church, retains two original three-light windows of stone with moulded labels.

a(11) Lower Combe Farm, house 1,140 yards N.N.E. of the church, is modern but incorporates a 17th-century doorway with moulded jambs and three-centred arch in a square head with a label.

a(12) Higher Combe Farm (Plate 42), house 380 yards N.N.E. of (11), retains some original stonemullioned windows with labels. The porch is probably a later addition and has an outer entrance with a four-centred head and a square moulded label; the inner doorway has also a four-centred arch in a square head.

b(13) Cottage, 910 yards N.W. of the church, has walls of ashlar and was built early in the 18th century. The three-light windows have keystones and flush frames.

b(14) Uphall Farm, house 1,030 yards N.W. of the church, has been much altered and is partly dilapidated. It retains two two-light windows of stone.

a(15)—a(16) Cottages, on W. side of road, immediately N. of (14), have windows of two and three lights with wood frames. (15) has a central chimney.

a(17) Uphall Cottage, 80 yards N. of (14), retains some original three and four-light stone windows with labels.

a(18) Cottage, 20 yards N. of (17), is of 17th-century origin with 18th-century alterations. The gabled N. and S. ends have flat copings and shaped kneelers. It retains its original three-light windows with heavy wood frames.

a(19) Yard Dairy, cottage over 1 m. N.W. of the church, has in the S. wall an oval window and a stone panel with the inscription "Charles, Duke of Bolton, 1704".


b(20) Mounds, about 350 yards S.S.E. of (19), are two in number, both of irregular oval plan and lying about 9 yards apart. The more northerly is 35 yards by 19 yards and 4½ ft. high, and the second is 53 yards by 19 yards and 5 ft. high; the middle part of this mound has been cut into. Alongside each mound on the E. is a depression 7 yards wide.