Pages 71-74

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


(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXX, N.W. (b)XXX, N.E. (c)XXX, S.E.)

Cattistock is a parish and village 9 m. N.W. of Dorchester. Chantmarle and Holway Farm are the principal monuments.


c(1) Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul stands on the S.W. side of the village. The church was entirely rebuilt in 1857 except for parts of the outer walls of the N. and S. chapels; at this time the foundations of an apsidal chancel were found. The N. Chapel, said to have been built by the Rev. John Mayo in 1630, has, in the N. wall, a reset 15th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a square head with a label. The S. Chapel has a restored squint in the N.E. angle and a 15th-century E. window of one trefoiled light in a square head; in the S. wall is a similar window of two lights. In 1940 the tower was burnt and the carillon of thirty-five bells, cast by Van Aerschodt, Louvain, was destroyed.

Fittings—Coffin-lid: In E. wall of S. aisle—small tapering slab with incised cross, late 13th or early 14th-century. Plate: includes a brass dish with hammered relief of the Virgin and Child in glory and punched decoration on the border, S. German, early 16th century. Miscellanea: In recess in N. wall of chancel— fragments with 12th-century mouldings, also part of the head of a cross (formerly about 18½ in. in diam.) consisting of the circular central part with marigoldornament on each face, and one arm with a foliagesprig on one face and a simple interlacement on the other (Plate 6), probably early 11th-century. In E. wall of S. aisle—portion of 12th-century moulding and a chamfered stone bracket.


b(2) Chantmarle, house (Plates 97, 98) nearly 1¾ m. N. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of stone and the roofs are covered with stone slates. The existing W. wing of the house was built in the second half of the 15th century when the property belonged to the Cheverel family. In the 16th century a separate building was erected a short distance to the S. of the original block. The house was bought by John Strode in 1604 and about 1612 the existing main block of the house was built. It was originally of E-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E., but the projecting part of the N. wing has been demolished and the S. wing, extending up to the separate 16th-century building, entirely demolished. Strode's account-book of the building refers to Gabriel Moore as surveyor "to survey and direct the building to the forme I conceived and plotted it". The stone came from the "Hambdon and Whetly" quarries. There are traces of an added wing on the N. side of the main block and a former W. porch to the hall has been removed in recent times. For a time it was a farm-house, but about 1910 extensive additions were made including the staircase-hall on the site of the former S. wing, a large wing adjoining the N.W. angle of the house and an extension of the 16th-century building.

The E. Front has a central three-storeyed porch (Plate 97); the outer entrance has a round arch in a square, moulded, outer head, with roundels in the spandrels, moulded imposts and a key-block inscribed "Emmanuel 1612"; flanking the entrance are semi-circular niches with round shell-heads. The second stage has a half-round oriel-window resting on deep moulded corbelling and having four four-centred and transomed lights. The third storey has a window of three four-centred lights with a label; above it is a round panel. In the S. wall of the porch is a window of two four-centred and transomed lights at the first-floor level. The main front has, on either side of the porch, a group of three windows on each floor, the middle one of four and the side ones of two four-centred and transomed lights. The N. bay of the front is probably of the 18th century and was erected after the destruction of part of the N. wing; the front wall incorporates two reset four-light windows similar to those in the main front. The N. wall of the E. or front block has traces of a former gabled building adjoining it on the N.; in this wall are some 15th or early 16th-century windows reset; one of these is of two ogee-headed lights with plain vertical tracery in a square head. The site of the former S. wing is occupied by a later building; ruins of the old wing are shown in a Buckler sketch of 1828 and indicate that the end of the wing had a semi-circular bay-window. The W. front (Plate 98) of the main block has a chimney-stack and a projecting staircase-wing; in the main wall the windows are of two and three four-centred and transomed lights; the doorway has moulded jambs and four-centred head with carved paterae and spandrels of foliage-ornament; the doorway was formerly covered by a porch, now removed. The staircase-wing has two-light windows, one of which is modern. The original 15th-century W. wing has windows with four-centred lights, moulded reveals and labels; most of these have been altered or restored. The S. wall is faced with bands of flint and ashlar. The 16th-century S. wing retains some original windows with four centred lights.

Inside the building, the Hall is entered by a doorway with moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head; the door is panelled and nail-studded. The screen is made up of 16th and 17th-century material, including linen-fold panels in the middle door. The fireplace in the W. wall has moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head; the surround and overmantel are made up of 17th-century materials, one portion bearing the initials and date M.H. 1618; the fireplace in the S. wall has moulded jambs and four-centred head. The Dining Room is entered by a doorway with a four-centred arch in a square head; the doorway to the staircase has a two-centred head. The Drawing Room is entered by two doorways with four-centred heads. In the S.W. angle is a 17th-century panelled enclosure (Plate 51) made up with modern work; it has an enriched entablature; the door has an enriched and arcaded upper panel and the return sides have each an open panel of two arched bays. The first floor of the E. block has a 17th-century doorway, fireplace and some panelled doors; the fireplace has an overmantel made up of 17th-century materials. The W. wing has, in the Library, an original ceiling divided into panels by moulded beams; this room was formerly the chapel and in the S. wall is a 15th-century piscina with a trefoiled head and round drain; the E. window, now opening into the Dining Room, is of four trefoiled lights in a square head. On the first floor is a second room with original moulded ceiling-beams. The modern staircase-hall, on the site of the former S. wing, has a reset 17th-century fireplace with moulded jambs and four-centred head.

Chantmarle in the Parish of Cattistock

b(3) Chalmington, house 1,500 yards N. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of stone and the roofs are slate-covered. The main S. range is an 18th-century building incorporating, at the back, a small 16th-century wing. This wing has been much modernised but retains a number of original windows, square-headed and mostly with moulded labels. There are large modern additions entirely surrounding the early part of the house.

Sherborne, Old Castle

b(4) Holway Farm, house 1 m. N.N.W. of the church, is of two storeys; the walls are of stone and the roofs are slate-covered. It was built on a rectangular plan early in the 17th century, but was much altered externally probably late in the 17th century. The house retains most of its three and four-light windows and a doorway with a four-centred head. Above the back doorway are two stone shields with non-heraldic devices, one with I and a bird may be a rebus. Inside the building, the S.E. room has an original plaster ceiling divided into four bays by enriched plastered beams; the bays have geometrical conventional designs. The S.W. room has a fireplace with moulded jambs and four-centred head. Between the hall and the adjoining room is a re-used panelled partition of early 17th-century date, with four panels in the height and carved frieze-panels. The staircase has some original turned balusters. On the first floor, the S.W. room has a fireplace with moulded jambs and four-centred head above which is a cornice and a plaster overmantel; this is of two arched bays with half-bays at the angles enclosing large acanthus-leaves; in the spandrels are conventional leaves. The S.E. room has a similar fireplace with a cornice and plaster overmantel; this overmantel has a fish-tail panel enclosing a lion's-head mask and two sea-horses. The Barn, N. of the house, is of the same period. It is built of alternate courses of clunch and flint and has a thatched roof.

Monuments (5–13)

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(5) Higher Holway Farm, house 630 yards N. of (4), retains some original stone-mullioned windows. The Barn, S.E. of the house, has a double collar-beam roof.

a(6) West Holway Farm, house ½ m. N.W. of (4), retains two original muntin and plank partitions.

a(7) Merryfield, nearly 1¼ m. N.W. of the church, has walls of roughly coursed rubble below and of brick in Flemish bond above. It was built about 1750. The windows have segmental heads in gauged brick.

b(8) Metford Mill, ¾ m. N.W. of the church, retains an original fireplace with a four-centred head.

b(9) Higher Chalmington Farm, house 380 yards N. of (3), has been much altered.

b(10) Fox and Hounds Inn, on the N. side of the road 130 yards N.E. of the church, retains an original muntin and plank partition and two three-light stone windows.

b(11) House, 20 yards W. of (10), retains its original stone windows of two, three and four lights.

b(12) Range of four tenements, on the W. side of the road 80 yards N. of the church, retains some original stone-mullioned windows with labels.

b(13) House, on the W. side of the road 250 yards N. of the church, has walls of ashlar. It is dated 1717. The stone-mullioned windows are of two lights. There is a moulded string at first-floor level and a shallow eaves-cornice.


b(14) The Castle, earthwork on Castle Hill 700 yards N.E. of the church, consists of an irregular oval enclosure of about 4¼ acres, formed by steepening the natural slope of the hill-top and thus forming a berm; it has been suggested that this is entirely a natural formation. There are two ramped causeway-entrances towards the N.E. and N.W. respectively. The surface of the enclosure rises to a point on which is a much damaged mound, 50 ft. in diam. and 4 ft. high. About 50 yards to the N. of the enclosure is a steep lynchet.

Castle Hill

c(15) Mound, probably the remains of a barrow, 1,000 yards E. of the church, has been almost entirely obliterated by ploughing. A second mound, 75 yards to the S.W., has been destroyed by gravel-digging.

b(16) Mound, on Middle Hill 1 m. E.N.E. of the church, is about 40 ft. in diam. and ¾ ft. high. It has been much disturbed and now has the appearance of a rough circular bank.

b(17) Cultivation System and perhaps settlement, on Middle Hill ¾ m. E.N.E. of the church, consist of a series of banks, some of them well-defined, representing cultivation of the Celtic type. At one point S. of the best preserved bank are slight traces of sixteen or more sinkings 3 to 5 yards in diam. and possibly representing hut-hollows. The sinkings shown further E. on the O.S. have been destroyed by gravel-digging. The cultivation-system extends into Lankham Bottom.