Pages 229-230

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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In this section

87 SWYRE (C.e.)

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

Swyre is a parish on the sea-coast 5 m. S.E. of Bridport. The church is the principal monument.


(1) Parish Church of Holy Trinity stands on the E. edge of the parish. The walls are of local rubble with dressings of the same material; the roofs are slate-covered. The chancel-arch and West Tower were built c. 1400. The Chancel and Nave were rebuilt in 1843 and the Vestry and Organ-Chamber were added in 1885.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel is modern except for the chancel-arch of c. 1400; this is two-centred and moulded and of the same section as the responds which have moulded capitals and bases to the attached shafts.

The Nave is modern but the reset N. doorway is partly of late 14th-century date, with moulded jambs and two-centred head.

The West Tower (6¾ ft. by 8½ ft.) is of c. 1400 and of three storeys with a plain parapet. The moulded two-centred tower-arch springs from moulded and shafted jambs with moulded capitals and bases. The much restored W. window is of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head with a label and returned stops; below it is a blocked doorway, with moulded jambs and two-centred arch. The second storey has, in the N. wall, a loop-light. The bell-chamber has, in the N. wall, a window of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head; the E. and W. walls have the splays and rear-arches of similar windows, now blocked and with a loop-light in the blocking. In the S. wall is a loop-light.

Fittings—Bells: two; 1st inscribed "I Paterno" and 2nd inscribed "Ave gratia plena", in capitals, probably 15th century. Brasses: In nave—on N. wall, (1) to James Russell and Alys (Wise), his wife, 1509, with shield-of-arms of Russell impaling Wise; (2) to John Russell and Elizabeth (Frocksmer), his wife, 1505, with shield-of-arms of Russell impaling Frocksmer; on W. wall, (3) to George, tenth son of Thomas Gollope of Strode, undated, and to seven of his children, two sons-in-law and a grandchild, 1745 to 1787, in marble frame. Coffin-lid: In churchyard—E. of chancel, slab with plain raised cross on calvary. Decalogue: flanking the chancel-arch, on two painted panels, late 18th century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—on N. wall, (1) to James Napier, temp. Henry VII, and the Napier family, erected by Sir Robert Napier, Bart., 1692, stone wall-monument with enriched side-pilasters, cornice, broken scrolled pediment and cartouche-of-arms. In churchyard—S.W. of tower, (2) to Benjamin Squibb, 1683, table-tomb. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to Henry Berjew, minister, 1670–1. In nave—(2) to Julian Squib, 1676; (3) to Dorothy (Mahew), wife of Julian Squib, [1707]. Plate: includes a cup of 1633 (?), with a baluster-stem, and a cover-paten inscribed "I.S. 1661". Royal Arms: In nave—over chancel-arch, of Charles II, wood panel carved in low relief, with initials C.R. Weathercock: On tower—of wood, 17th or 18th-century.


(2) Berwick, house on the S. side of the road 1,560 yards N.N.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are covered with slates and stone slates. The house was built early in the 16th century and is now of L-shaped plan. It was formerly of some importance, in a survey of 1583 it is described as a quadrangle, but has been reduced in size and drastically altered in modern times. The N. wing comprises the original Hall, now a kitchen, and screens-passage; two doorways in the W. end wall survive in situ but the office-wing has been demolished; the E. wing has no old features. In the N. wall of the N. wing is an original doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head opening into the screens-passage; it is now converted into a window. The similar doorway in the opposite wall is partly concealed by a 19th-century stair, it retains an original hinge-pin in the rebate. The two doorways between the screens of the hall and the former office-wing have chamfered jambs and four-centred heads; both are blocked. A modern partition takes the place of the screen. In the kitchen is some re-used 17th-century panelling. The two chimney-stacks may be old. The cider-store, occupying the position of the office-wing, was built probably in the 19th century.

The large Barn S.E. of the house has gabled ends with stone copings and finials and was built early in the 18th century.

(3) Cob Mill, house 220 yards N.E. of (2), is of two storeys with cellars and attics; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. It was built probably late in the 17th century and the S. front retains its original two-light stone windows with a continuous label above the lower range; the central doorway has moulded jambs and flat triangular head.