Sturminster Marshall

Pages 283-290

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 2, South east. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1970.

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In this section


(O.S. 6 ins. aST 80 SE, bST 90 SW, cST 90 SE, dSY 89 NE, eSY 99 NW, fSY 99 NE)

The parish of Sturminster Marshall covers some 5,100 acres along the S. side of the river Stour 4 miles W. of Wimborne Minster. It is irregular, comprising a large elongated area orientated N.W.-S.E. with a forked projection at its S.E. end and a large almost square projection at its S.W. corner.

The whole of the S.E. projection is on Bagshot Beds and London Clay, giving rise to undulating heath and wooded land between 100 ft. and 275 ft. above O.D. To the N.W. this gives way to open Chalk land sloping gently N.E. to the Stour between 150 ft. and 70 ft. above O.D., while the square projection in the S.W. is also on Chalk, sloping S.E. from 200 ft. to the valley of the river Winterborne, which here forms the boundary of the parish. This stream continues N.E. to join the Stour at Sturminster Marshall village situated on a wide river terrace.

The complex shape of the parish reflects the history of settlement. The S.W. projection was the former parish of Almer, and contained the two early settlements of Mapperton and West Almer, each associated with a rectangular block of land which extended N.W. from the Winterborne. Immediately N.E. of West Almer, but in the old parish of Sturminster Marshall, lay East Almer, now East Almer Farm; this was another early settlement, probably one of the Winterbornes in Domesday Book; it also had an associated rectangular land block. The N.W. part of the parish belonged to another settlement, Moor Court (now Moorcourt Farm), near the river Stour; though not recorded until 1469 it probably had much older origins. Further S.E. is the main settlement of Sturminster Marshall which, together with the small and secondary outlying hamlet of Newton Peveril, was surrounded by open fields until they were enclosed in 1845 (Award in D.C.R.O.). The forked projection in the S.E. was associated with two small and perhaps late settlements on the edge of the heathland; the S.W. arm belonged to Combe Almer and the larger S. arm to Henbury, both first recorded in 1244 (Fägersten, 114).

Whether the name of the village really indicates an early minster church there is unknown, but it is perhaps significant that the modern parishes of Corfe Mullen and Lychett Minster to the S. and S.E. were both former parochial chapelries of Sturminster Marshall.

The parish includes the N. part of Charborough Park, bounded by the Wimborne-Dorchester turnpike road. Further E. a stretch of parkland surrounds Henbury House and Henbury Manor, both 18th-century houses of some distinction. The village of Sturminster Marshall includes fragments of a stone-built house of the 15th century and is one of the few villages in the area containing timber-framed cottages. In Almer, the Manor is of interest.


c(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary stands at the N. end of the village; the walls are of rubble with ashlar dressings and the roofs are covered with tiles. Hutchins records that 'this church is a peculiar jurisdiction, granted to the hospital of Pont Adomar, no doubt by one of the Popes; and by Henry VI to Eton College'. The grant to the hospital of St. Giles of Pont Audemer was made by Roger, bishop of Salisbury 1103–39, (J. H. Round, Cal. Docs., France, 83). Other 12th-century deeds (ibid., 85–6) give the dedication to St. Peter.

The church was built in the 12th century, the N. arcade being mainly of this date; in the 13th century the Chancel was extended eastwards. The North Aisle was also lengthened eastwards in the 13th century and again in the 14th century, probably by the addition of a wider chapel; the aisle itself was then rebuilt and widened in the late 15th century. In the 15th century too the S. wall of the Nave was rebuilt. The West Tower was completely rebuilt in 1805 and was heightened during a general restoration in 1859 under Henry Woodyer, architect; at the same time the chancel and nave were refenestrated, a new arch was opened between chancel and N. aisle, the N. aisle was heightened, the Vestry built, and the South Porch rebuilt. The faculty for the restoration does not specifically authorise the rebuilding of the E. and S. walls of the chancel, but this seems also to have been done about this time.

The church has been drastically restored, but the pre-Reformation chalice and the inscribed coffin-lid in the porch are of interest.

Architectural Description—The Chancel and Nave are structurally undivided and are separated by a screen of 1859. The Chancel (35½ ft. by 19 ft.) has towards the E. end of the N. wall an arched opening of 1859 to the N. aisle; next W. is an archway of the late 14th century with a two-centred head of two chamfered orders springing from half-round shafts with moulded caps and chamfered bases; further W. and partly in the chancel and partly in the nave is a rebuilt 13th-century archway, two-centred and of two orders, the inner order plain, the outer chamfered, springing from splayed responds with moulded capping; these arches probably represent E. additions on the old N. aisle. The E. and S. walls have been rebuilt and the windows are of 1859. The Nave (47 ft. by 19 ft.) has a N. arcade of 12th-century origin but restored and partly rebuilt in 1859. The arcade consists of three round arches of one stop-chamfered order springing from square piers with chamfered angles and modern caps and bases, and a fourth, two-centred, arch of one chamfered order springing on the W. from the W. wall; the fourth arch was probably not opened till 1859. On the N. side of the N. wall of chancel and nave, above the arches and arcade, are the restored remains of a 12th-century corbel-table for the original roof. The S. wall of the nave has been partly rebuilt to incorporate modern windows and has a late 15th-century doorway with a moulded four-centred head, continuous jambs and carved spandrels under a square moulded label with head stops.

The Parish Church of Saint Mary, Sturminster Marshall

The North Aisle (75½ ft. by 16¼ ft.) was heightened in 1859. It has in the E. wall a modern doorway to the vestry and a reset 15th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights and vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a label finished with returned stops. The N. wall has 15th-century windows each with cinque-foiled lights, moulded jambs and square head, and with modern label, splays and rear arch. In the W. wall is a similar window with 15th-century stops to the label, one carved as a beast's head, one as a man's head. Above is a modern circular window. The West Tower (16¼ ft. by 14 ft.) is of three stages divided by weathered offsets, with chamfered plinth, a string-course round the ground stage which is carried over the W. window as a label, parapet string and embattled parapet and shallow clasping buttresses surmounted by crocketed finials. The tower arch is modern but of 12th-century style and incorporating a 12th-century attached angle shaft on the S. side with a capital carved with conventional foliage. The W. window of two trefoiled lights with geometrical tracery is probably of 1859. The second stage has a small rectangular loop light in the W. wall; the top stage has in each face a window of two uncusped lights of 1859. The South Porch (8 ft. by 9 ft.) incorporates some old rubble in the lower parts of the walls. The Roofs are ceiled with plaster barrel vaults of 1859; the faculty drawings show a nave roof of trussed-rafter construction.

Fittings—Bells: six; 3rd inscribed AVE GRACIA, cast in Salisbury, early 15th-century; 4th by John Wallis, inscribed CALL UPON THE LORD, 1622; 5th and 6th inscribed SUM ROSA PULSATA MUNDI MARIA VOCATA with crown over each letter, probably late 14th-century. Brasses: in chancel, (1) see Monument (1); (2) to Henry Helme, vicar, 1581, small figure of bearded man in long fur-trimmed gown, and black-letter inscription; in nave, (3) to Wyllyam Benett, black-letter inscription, perhaps early 16th-century. Chairs: in chancel, (1) with carved panel and head-rail, turned framing, shaped arms, late 17th-century; in N. aisle, (2) modern but incorporating late 17th-century panels. Chests: in chancel, (1) of wood, 36 ins. by 11 ins. with incised pattern of conventional scroll-work on the front, mid 17th-century; in N. aisle, (2) of iron with decorated lock plate between hasps and staples and with handles, 16th or 17th-century.

Churchyard Crosses: W.S.W. of tower, (1) tapered shaft with moulded angles, set on chamfered octagonal base with shaped spurs, 14th-century; W. of tower, (2) base, octagonal to square, 14th-century, said to have come from Spettisbury, cross modern. Coffin: in churchyard S.W. of tower, of stone, tapered and with shaped recess for the head, probably belonging with Coffin-lid (2), early 14th-century. Coffin-lids: in S. porch, (1) tapered and with moulded edge, carved with foliated cross in low relief; (2) tapered and with hollow-chamfered edge and carved with foliated cross on stepped Calvary in low relief and with incomplete marginal inscription TU[M]BA: JOH[ANN]IS: QUIS QUIS: ADES: QUI: MORTE: CADES: STA: PERLEGE: PLORA: SUM: QUOD: ERAS: FUERAM: Q[UE]: QUOD: ES: PRO: ME: PRECOR: ORA:, early 14th-century. Coffin Stools: a pair, with turned and moulded legs, inscribed WHIH 1681. Font: in churchyard, S. of nave, small bowl, octagonal with two square quatre-foiled panels on each face, 15th-century. Font-cover: modern but with 17th-century bell trunnion reused as handle. Helmet: in N. aisle, simulated, made up for a funeral, 17th-century or later.

Almer, the Parish Church of Saint Mary the Virgin

Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: in chancel, under E. arch in N. wall, (1) table-tomb of Purbeck marble with moulded top and base and with brass tablet inscribed to William Watkinson, vicar, 1702, and shield-of-arms; in N. aisle, (2) to William Churchill, 1835, who was buried with his father, William Churchill and grandfather Awnsham who purchased Henbury, tablet with cornice and shield-of-arms and with record of benefaction to the poor, signed Lester, D[orchester]; in tower, (3) to William Montague, vicar, 1744/5, tablet with cornice and shield-of-arms; (4) to John Harris, A.M., vicar, 1805, oval tablet on grey backing; in churchyard—S.E. of porch, (5) to Thomas Ash, his wife and child, headstone, 17th-century; S. of tower, (6) to Roger Barnes, 1701, and his wife, headstone. Floor-slabs: in chancel, (1) to Lady Elizabeth wife of Lord John Arundell of Trerice, Cornwall, 1750, with achievement-of-arms; in tower, (2) to Charles Rabbits, 1847, headstone reset; (3) to Edward Lunn, 1818, wall-tablet reset; (4) to Mary Churchill, 1746; (5) to William Otes, vicar, [1642]. Plate: includes chalice with bowl and foot of 1536 and stem of later date, perhaps c. 1600, the foot six-lobed and decorated with figures, the stem with bands of cable ornament on the central knop and similar to the stem of a number of cups in the N. part of the county; stand-paten of 1700; stand-paten of 1717 with cartouche containing arms of Wentworth.

Miscellanea: loose in chancel, small stone capital carved with arcading and foliage, 14th-century; in nave, attached to pulpit, wooden panel painted with the figure of a king, probably Henry VI, 15th-century, from Brigstock, Northants.; in N. aisle, in second pier of arcade, silver seal with figure of man in doctor's gown holding chalice and book and with inscription SIGIL PECVLIVR DE STURMINSTER MARSHALL 1688, mounted on boxwood handle not visible; in churchyard, S. of nave, fragments of worked stones, mediaeval.

e(2) The Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Almer (913989), has walls of limestone and carstone and the roofs are covered with tiles with stone slates at the verges. The Nave with its North Arcade was built in the mid 12th century; the North Aisle was rebuilt in the 14th century, when the nave was heightened, and the West Tower was added in the mid 15th century. In the early 18th century the S. wall of the nave was rebuilt, the Porch was added and part of the tower was refaced. The alterations and addition were paid for by General Erle, who died in 1720 (Hutchins III, 494). The Chancel was rebuilt in the second half of the 19th century, and the church was restored in 1908.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (21½ ft. by 15½ ft.) is of the late 19th century; the chancel arch of 1908 incorporates some reused mediaeval material in the chamfered responds. The Nave (39 ft. by 14½ ft.) has a mid 12th-century N. arcade of three bays with round arches of one plain order springing from round columns and half-round responds with scalloped capitals, hollow-chamfered square abaci and moulded bases with spurs. The S. wall is faced with 18th-century ashlar but the 12th-century S.W. quoin survives; the windows are round-headed with moulded sills and architraves and plain keystones; there is some mediaeval stonework reused in the internal splays. The S. doorway, of 12th-century origin, was reconstructed in the 18th century with segmental head of one hollow-chamfered order and hollow-chamfered jambs and imposts. In the W. wall is part of a plain string-course at the line of the original eaves of the nave roof. The North Aisle (30½ ft. by 6¼ ft.) has walls of coursed flint, carstone and tufa rubble; the E. window is of the late 14th century and has a single trefoiled ogee light. In the N. wall is a restored mid 15th-century window of three trefoiled lights in a square head; the second window has two cinque-foiled lights in a square head and is probably of the late 14th century; the third window is modern and replaces an earlier doorway of which the lower parts of the chamfered jambs are visible externally. There was formerly a porch to this doorway.

The West Tower (7½ ft. by 8¼ ft.) is of three storeys divided into two external stages by a weathered string and has a parapet string and embattled parapet with crocketed pinnacles at the corners. The tower arch is two-centred and of two moulded orders with continuous moulded jambs stopped above hollow-chamfered plinths; on the W. side the outer order dies in the N. and S. walls. The W. window has two cinque-foiled lights and vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a label with returned stops. The second storey is lit by a rectangular window in the W. wall. The upper stage has in each wall a two-light window similar to the lowest W. window, but smaller. The South Porch (6 ft. by 4½ ft.) is of the 18th century; the entrance is square-headed with a beaded architrave.

The Roof of the chancel is modern. The nave roof is of trussed-rafter type, probably of the 18th century but extensively reconstructed; it retains the shaped ribs for an elliptical plaster ceiling which has been removed.

Fittings—Bells: four; 2nd, inscribed AVE MARE (sic); 3rd, inscribed AVE GR(A)CIA PLENA W; 4th, inscribed ECCE GABRIEL S H; all of the early 15th century, cast in Salisbury. Brass and Indent. Brass: in nave, on S. wall, to William Trygge, Rector, 1517, small inscription plate, probably from Winterborne Zelston Church (Dorset Procs. XXXI (1910), xli). Indent: in nave, floor-slab of Purbeck marble with indent for small inscription plate; it does not match the Trygge brass. Churchyard Cross: W. of porch, tapered octagonal shaft brought to a square at the bottom by shaped stops and set on an octagonal base brought to a square by moulded projections, c. 1400. Font: late 12th-century octagonal bowl of Purbeck marble with tapered sides, each with two recessed panels with two-centred heads, set on small cylindrical stem and base which is an inverted font bowl of the 13th century. This was originally hexagonal and supported by a central stem with six shafts round it; it has been cut to an octagon to match the font bowl above; the hexagonal base for it is loose in the churchyard, and has carved on its upper face moulded bases for the six shafts.

Glass: in chancel—in N. window, in E. and W. and tracery lights, fragments of 15th-century and later glass; in the centre light two panels made up of pieces of Swiss painted glass of the 16th and 17th centuries including, in top panel, Virgin and Child, John the Baptist, the Magi directed by the Star, the Adoration, strapwork, parts of achievements-of-arms and a German inscription; in lower panel, expressions of Christian belief etc., one dated 1610, the Last Judgement, achievement-of-arms and terminal figures; in S. window tracery lights, fragments of 15th-century and later glass. Inscriptions and Scratchings: on lead lining of font '1711' and '1715' with initials. Lock: on S. door, with moulded wood case, 18th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: in chancel— on N. wall, (1) to Margaret, daughter of George Lamb, Rector of Heath, Oxon., 1850; on S. wall, (2) to Mrs. Elizabeth Wickens, 1822, and John Wickens, 1827, marble tablet on grey backing. In nave, on N. wall, (3) to Martha (Elliott) widow of Harry Farnall, 1831, marble tablet on black backing, signed Simmonds, Blandford. Floor-slabs: in chancel, (1) to Robert Butler, 1661; in nave, (2) inscribed 'Entrance to the vault of Mrs. Farnall'; (3) Purbeck marble slab with blackletter inscription to John Red, perhaps early 16th-century. Plate: includes cup and cover-paten, 17th-century. Royal Arms: over S. doorway, painted on canvas, of George III, dated 1800. Sculpture: in nave over piers of N. arcade, two human heads, mediaeval.


c(3) Mackrell's Charity School has walls of brick and roofs covered with slates. On a stone tablet is inscribed 'Mackrell's Charity School, Endowed A.D. 1799. The Ground was given by William Churchill Esqr. Erected A.D. 1832 by a grant from the National Society and private subscriptions. James Joyce, Architect.' The cost was £168 (Charity Commissioners' Report 1836, xxx, 83). The school is of one storey, T-shaped on plan, with entrance lobbies at each end of the main range; a playground behind is enclosed by a brick wall. The founder was William Mackrell sen. of Spettisbury (Hutchins III, 367).

c(4) White Mill Bridge (700 yds. N.E.) over the R. Stour is of stone and probably of the 16th century (Plate 33); it has been considerably repaired and strengthened with iron ties. There are eight round arches, four larger ones in the middle and two smaller at each end. Under each arch are four arched ribs, the outer ones chamfered and of alternate brown and white stone voussoirs. Between the arches are cutwaters carrying refuges; the parapet walls oversail the spandrels above the arches and are carried on rounded corbels.

b(5) Footbridge over the R. Winterborne is of stone and perhaps of the 17th century; it has a single segmental arch 4¾ ft. wide.

f(6) Henbury Manor (962982) is of two storeys with cellars and attics and has brick walls rendered in stucco and roofs covered with slate. The house is of the mid 18th century, built on the site of an older house; it has been extensively modernised and parts of the exterior are masked by modern additions.

The N. front has rusticated quoins and a moulded eaves cornice with modillions which rises to a pediment over a shallow central projection; the central doorway, masked by a modern porch, has a bolection-moulded architrave with plain key and side brackets; the double-hung sash windows have shaped brackets under the sills and the dormers have pedimented gables. The E. elevation has a central feature of bolder projection with four Ionic pilasters, entablature and pediment; the windows have moulded architraves. Inside, in the N.E. room is a fireplace with white marble Ionic pilasters and entablature with a central panel depicting Cupid in a chariot drawn by a lion and a goat. The same room has doors with bolection-moulded panels, and a shaped frieze and dentilled ceiling cornice. The main staircase is modern; it rises to a landing with four columns with 'Tower of the Winds' capitals and entablature surmounted by glazed lunettes and a circular glazed dome. The secondary staircase, with close string, is original, and some of the first-floor rooms retain the original moulded and enriched surrounds to the fireplaces.

(Burnt down and rebuilt)

f(7) Henbury House (957982), of two storeys with basement and attics (Plate 152), has brick walls with rusticated stone quoins and roofs covered with tiles and stone slates. It is of the second quarter of the 18th century but has been much enlarged and altered; the original plan was U-shaped with the main front to the N. and two wings extending to the S. Alterations were made in the later part of the 18th century, perhaps c. 1770, a date that appears on a bell at the front entrance.

The N. front is in three bays, the centre breaking forward slightly under a pediment. The entrance has a late 18th-century Doric porch reached by curved flights of steps and above it, on the first floor, is a semicircular window with a moulded architrave; the other windows are plain with gauged brick heads and double-hung sashes. To the S. are two wings with hipped roofs and the space between them has been filled in, partly by an addition to take a staircase and partly by a later verandah. In each wing the principal floor has a window of three lights, the centre one being segmental-headed and rising into a recessed tympanum under a semicircular arch (c. 1770). The interior has been drastically altered but on the E. side of the house is a room with original panelling and fireplace surround and an original staircase with close string and turned balusters; some of the other rooms retain original fireplaces. Stables, E. of the house, are of brick in header bond with tiled roofs and are of c. 1780. The building is L-shaped on plan with the main front to the N. in which the central doorway has a round-headed fanlight and is flanked by round-headed windows and at each end a projection with a round-headed window in a shallow recess under a half-hipped roof.

East Almer Lodge, Lion Gate and Stag Gate, on the N. boundary of Charborough Park, see Morden, Monument (3).

Monuments (8–35)

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of two storeys with walls of cob and thatched roofs and are of the 18th century. In some cases the cob walls have been patched or refaced with brick and the thatch covered or replaced by corrugated iron. The positions of (8–29) are shown on the village plan.

c(8) Church Cottages, a terrace of eight dwellings; No. 6 is timber-framed and of the 17th century, originally of one storey and attic and heightened to two full storeys in the early 18th century; it has since been much altered and one of the rooms contains panelling probably made from late 18th-century box pews. The other cottages are of the early 18th century and on plan consist of one living room with a staircase and pantry partitioned off at one end.

c(9) House, of one storey and attic and of the 17th century, originally comprised on plan two rooms with one end chimney. It has been lengthened.

c(10) House, largely rebuilt in brick, of c. 1700, originally comprised on plan two rooms with chimneys at the two gable ends. The house was later enlarged. (Demolished)

c(11) Cottages, two.

e(12) House, of the early 19th century, symmetrically planned with staircase behind central entrance hall, and later enlarged.

e(13) House has a symmetrical front elevation with central entrance leading direct into the larger of two rooms, and a modern addition.

e(14) Cottages, three, a pair built in the late 18th century, and a third, of brick, added in the early 19th century.

e(15) Cottages, two, have walls of brick rendered in stucco and are of the late 18th century with modern lean-to additions at the rear.

e(16) Cottages, two, of brick with slated roofs, are of the early 19th century.

e(17) Holly Cottage has brick walls; it was built in the mid 18th century of one storey only and later partly heightened; additions have been made at each end. The original plan comprised two rooms with a chimney at one end.

e(18) House has walls of rubble and brick and is of the early 18th century. The plan comprises three rooms with an internal chimney.

b(19) Church House, with walls of carstone rubble and roof covered with modern tiles, includes part of a house of the 15th century which formed a rectangle 38 ft. by 19 ft. Part of the N. wall remains, with a two-stage buttress towards the W.; a doorway with moulded four-centred head has been moved from this wall and rebuilt in a modern wall to the N. There are two original windows, now blocked, one with square head and one, very small and with a two-centred head, cut out of a single stone. The W. wall is mostly original but refaced. The S. wall has an original buttress but all the openings are modern. There are various mediaeval worked stones lying loose and a 12th-century capital and a 15th-century moulded corbel reset in the walls.

b(20) Houses, two, Maypole Cottage and another, have walls of rubble with dressed stone plinth and quoins and tiled roofs. Part has been heightened and a back wing was added in the 18th century.

b(21) Magnolia House is a complex of small dwellings of various dates. The N.W. end is of the 17th century; N.E. of this is an early 18th-century wing; to S.E. is a mid 18th-century dwelling which has brick walls with serrated brick eaves-cornice and tiled roof; a further small dwelling was added to the S.E. in the second half of the 19th century.

Sturminster Marshall

b(22) Cottage is of the 17th century, enlarged in the late 18th century; a timber-framed two-storey wheelwright's shop adjoining to the N.E. has a beam carved with the date 1791. A lead pump is embossed with crest of Long and initials A.L. and date 1801. (Partly demolished)

c(23) Trafalgar Cottage is of the early 19th century; it was originally symmetrical but has been enlarged.

b(24) Riverside House, of the first half of the 18th century, has a small central entrance hall containing the staircase between the two principal rooms, and a small unheated room behind the entrance hall.

b(25) Waldon Cottage, of one storey and attic, and Cross Cottage, of one storey only, retain a 17th-century timber-framed front wall.

b(26) House, with brick walls and slate-covered roof, is of the early 19th century, symmetrically designed with a central entrance and stairhall between the two living rooms.

b(27) House is of three-room and through-passage type in form, but with the passage forming a stairhall and without a back door; a stable has been added at the S.W. end.

b(28) Cottage has large stone quoins and is of the 17th century. On plan it comprises two rooms of unequal size with fireplaces back to back; the smaller room was added or rebuilt in the 18th century. A small bay window on the first floor is also probably of the 18th century.

e(29) House, with brick walls and roof covered with slates, is of the 19th century. It was originally symmetrical but has been much altered and enlarged.

f(30) Henbury Farm, house (960987), with brick walls and tiled roof, is of the first half of the 19th century and has a modern addition at the N. end.

e(31) Higher Coombe Farm, house (945973), was rebuilt in brick in the 19th century retaining only the stone plinth and part of the chimney of an earlier building. The windows are fitted with cast-iron casements.

e(32) Cottages, two (939997), in Newton Peveril, have brick walls. The E. cottage is of the late 18th century, built as one storey and attic; the W. cottage was built soon after, of two storeys, and the earlier cottage was heightened. Each is now divided into two tenements.

e(33) Newton Peveril Manor (937997) is of two storeys with a semi-basement; it has walls of brick above a high stone plinth and roofs covered with tiles with stone slates at the verges. The main part of the house is of the early 18th century and consists of a rectangular block with symmetrical front elevation to the S. To the W. a low two-storey wing is partly of the same date and partly rebuilt. A kitchen wing to the N. at the E. end is modern and an extension of the main block between the two wings is of the 19th century on an early 18th-century base.

The main front has a plat-band at first-floor level, a central doorway with two double-hung sash windows to each side and five windows above. The end chimneys have rectangular recessed panels. The plan of the main block has been rearranged; the E. room has an original enriched fireplace surround of stone and timber and two round-headed niches with moulded architraves and key blocks; the W. room appears to have been reduced in size and has a fireplace with bolection-moulded surround and overmantel in two heights of panelling between panelled pilasters. A drawing room has been formed out of part of the upper storey of the W. wing, which is level with the ground floor of the main block.

e(34) East Almer Farm, house (919991), has walls of rubble and flint and tiled roofs with stone slates at the verges. It is of the 15th century: a change in construction in the middle suggests that it is a rebuilding of an earlier house carried out in two stages. In the late 17th or early 18th century the house was lengthened and modern additions have been made at the back surrounding a staircase projection added in the late 16th century. The house has been drastically remodelled but originally consisted of a hall with a great chamber over it with a plaster barrel-vaulted ceiling and, in line with these, a smaller room on each floor to the S.E., probably solar above and service below; the later extension is to the N.W.

The walls, except in the N.W. extension, are of flint and freestone arranged partly in alternate bands and partly in a chequer pattern. A projecting chimney-stack on the S.W. front has been converted into an entrance porch; the original entrance is now blocked. The windows have been much altered and are mostly of the 17th century or modern, but one 15th-century window has been reset; it has casement-moulded jambs and head and a moulded label. The roof over the great chamber is of arch-braced trussed-rafter construction; the original plaster barrel-vault has been replaced by a flat ceiling at a lower level. Over the S.E. end of the house the roof is carried by tie and collar-beam trusses with curved struts above the collars.

b(35) House, at Field Dairy (927014), has brick or brickfaced walls and tiled roof with stone slates at the verges; it has been much altered.


e(36) Almer Manor (914989), of two storeys with attics, is mostly built of limestone alternating with bands of flint, but some of the walls are of carstone rubble; the roofs are covered with tiles and stone slates. The house (Plate 157) was built c. 1600 as a range of three rooms on plan running N.E. and S.W. with a small wing to the S.E. Later, in the early 17th century, the E. re-entrant angle, between the main range and the wing, was filled in. Modern work includes the formation of a new entrance near the S.W. end, some internal rearrangement and alterations to the windows.

The N.W. front has a two-storey semi-octagonal porch which is of about the same date as the house but has probably been brought from elsewhere. The entrance has a moulded semicircular head with a keystone and continuous jambs finished with moulded stops; over the entrance is an entablature which breaks forward at each end as though over flanking columns; there are no such columns on the lower storey but the upper storey has Corinthian-type columns on pedestals flanking the window over the entrance with an entablature breaking forward over the columns. Further S.W. is a two-storey, part-octagonal bay window with transomed lights. Between the porch and the bay window is a restored window of two transomed lights. The other windows throughout the house have stone mullions but no transoms and have also been restored; on the N.W. front the N.E. ground-floor window is modern; on the N.E. side one of the first-floor windows is modern; on the S.E. only the two upper windows in the N.E. part are original; on the S.W. the windows in the S.E. wing have been altered; the windows in the end of the main range are modern.

Almer Manor, Sturminster Marshall

The present Dining Room was the original Hall with a screens passage where the stairs are now; at the S.E. end of this passage was a doorway, now blocked, but the chamfered, four-centred stone head and continuous jambs, with moulded stops, remain in situ. The S.E. wing has a similar doorway, originally external, in the N.E. wall, and a fireplace with reset moulded stone architrave finished with plinth blocks each carved with a cross. Original panelling made up with modern work has been reused in various parts of the house. Parts of the collar and tie-beam trusses that carried the roof over the original house remain; the roof of the E. addition has queen-post trusses.

Monuments (37–43)

The following monuments unless otherwise described are in Mapperton and are of one storey with attics, with cob walls and thatched roofs.

e(37) Old Rectory (905986), of two storeys and attic with brick walls and tiled roof with stone slates at the verges, was built in the mid 18th century on an L-shaped plan. The front is symmetrical; the central doorway has an added porch with early 19th-century reeded columns; the windows have double-hung sashes under flat arches with keystones.

e(38) Mapperton Farm (906987) was built with cob walls and probably a thatched roof in the mid 18th century. It has a two-room plan with a central entrance. Early in the 19th century the house was extended to the W. in brick with some stone, and the original front was faced in brick and remodelled. The whole roof is now tiled.

e(39) House (906987; S.E. of 38) was built on a two-room plan in the 17th century, enlarged in the 18th century and cased in brick in the 19th century.

e(40) Cottage (905988) is of the early 18th century.

e(41) Cottages, two (905987), were built in the early 18th century as four dwellings.

e(42) Cottages, a pair, S.W. of (41), with brick walls and tiled roof, are of the early 19th century.

e(43) World's End p.h. (907977), ½ m. S. of Mapperton, may be of late 16th or early 17th-century origin but has been much altered; it was extended in the 18th century.

Earthworks, etc.

Mediaeval and Later Earthworks

e(44) Settlement Remains (907986) were formerly part of Mapperton village in the old parish of Almer. Enclosures covering 3 acres span a valley bottom just S.E. of the road junction in the village. (R.A.F. V.A.P. CPE/UK 1934: 5130.)

e(45) Strip Lynchets (908984), of contour type, cover about 4 acres S. of Mapperton and end above the settlement remains in a scarp about 2 ft. high. The treads slope, and risers are only some 9 ins. high. An estate map of 1770 by I. Taylor (in D.C.R.O.) shows the area as 'Great Meadow' with two strip plots enclosed N. of the strip lynchets. (R.A.F. V.A.P. CPE/UK 1934: 5130.)

Other Earthworks and Allied Monuments

(46) Round Barrow, p. 453.

(47) Roman Remains, p. 611.