Turners Puddle

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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'Turners Puddle', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 2, South east( London, 1970), British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/dorset/vol2/pp297-299 [accessed 16 July 2024].

'Turners Puddle', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 2, South east( London, 1970), British History Online, accessed July 16, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/dorset/vol2/pp297-299.

"Turners Puddle". An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 2, South east. (London, 1970), , British History Online. Web. 16 July 2024. https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/dorset/vol2/pp297-299.

In this section


(O.S. 6 ins. aSY 88 NW, bSY 89 SW)

Turners Puddle, a parish covering 1,998 acres, occupies a narrow strip of land running S.S.W.-N.N.E. across the edge of the S. Dorset Heath 6½ miles N.W. of Wareham. Its S. boundary is the river Frome, N. of which the land rises gradually across heathland all on Bagshot Beds to a rounded crest at nearly 300 ft. above O.D. beyond which it falls again into the valley of the river Piddle. Further N., the land again rises to over 200 ft. on Black Hill, another area of heathland on Reading and Bagshot Beds. A small area in the N.W. part of the parish is on Chalk.

Settlement is almost entirely confined to the valley of the Piddle where there are the church and a few scattered farms and cottages; the church itself and the houses nearest to it N. of the river stand on the edge of the Chalk. Snelling Farm near the Frome at the S. end of the parish stands in a position on a wide river terrace which suggests that it is an early settlement, but no record of the name has been found before 1458. There is no settlement in the heathland apart from Lawrence of Arabia's Cottage, which is no earlier than the 19th century.


b(1) The Parish Church of the Holy Trinity stands near the N. bank of the river Piddle. The walls are of flint and rubble with some brickwork and with ashlar dressings; the roof of the S. porch is covered with stone slates, the chancel and nave have modern asbestoscovered roofs. The Chancel, Nave, South Porch and West Tower were built c. 1500. The church was badly damaged by a storm in 1758 and subsequently repaired except for a N. aisle, the property of James Frampton of Moreton, which was demolished and the material reused. (fn. 1) The top of the W. tower was rebuilt in c. 1760 and the chancel was partly rebuilt in 1859.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (16 ft. by 13½ ft.) has in the E. wall a window of c. 1500 of three ogee trefoiled lights and vertical tracery in a two-centred head with casement-moulded jambs externally. The N. wall, of banded squared rubble and flint, is of the mid 19th century and has a late mediaeval angle buttress at the E. end. The S. wall, perhaps rebuilt in the mid 19th century, is similar to that on the N. with an angle buttress at the E. end; it has a central doorway with a four-centred head and carved spandrels flanked by two two-light windows with four-centred heads in square surrounds—all of c. 1500. The chancel arch has an elliptical head of c. 1760 and has been blocked in modern brickwork; the wall above is of brick and is contemporary with the arch.

The Nave (35 ft. by 15½ ft.) has in the N. wall two reset windows of c. 1500 each of two lights; the western window is set in a square surround. The S. wall has two three-light windows of similar form; the S. door has a round-arched head.

The West Tower (6½ ft. by 7 ft.), though not shown on the faculty plans of 1759, is clearly of the date of the nave in the lower part. It is of one stage divided into two storeys with a chamfered plinth and battlemented parapet. The tower arch is segmental and rendered; the W. window is of two four-centred lights in a square head. In each of the N., S. and W. walls of the 18th-century upper storey is a small lancet window partly of reused material; in the E. wall is a brick doorway to the nave roof, above the apex of which is a square stone panel with a sunk quatrefoil enclosing a cross.

The South Porch (6 ft. by 5½ ft.) has an outer segmental-headed archway with continuous chamfer.

Fittings—Bells: two; 1st, inscribed MICHAEL MARIA GABRIEL A[N]GELUS, by Thomas Hey, mid 14th-century (Walters, 101); 2nd by Clemant Tosiear, 1691. Brackets: in chancel on E. wall, two, with rounded under sides, mediaeval. Chair: in chancel, back with single moulded panel and scrolled cresting, shaped arm-rests, turned and moulded supports and front legs; largely modern, with some 17th-century material reused. Communion Table: with fluted rails and turned legs, late 17th-century, much altered. Font: see Affpuddle, Monument (1). Plate: includes cup of 1576, and stand-paten of 1811 the gift of Rev. Richard Waldy, Rector, with scratched date 1839. Seating: in chancel, (1) reused in modern benches, four bench ends with square-topped traceried ends, two with large quatrefoils enclosing square paterae with initials ND, c. 1500; (2) reset in front of bench, five linen-fold panels, c. 1500. Table: in chancel, on S. side, incorporates a carved panel with lozenge-of-arms (unidentified 3) and initials and date MT 1713. Miscellanea: in churchyard—incorporated in retaining wall S. of church, fragments of mediaeval window tracery including part of trefoiled head.


Monuments (2–13)

The following monuments unless otherwise described are of one storey with attics, with cob walls and thatched roofs. Many of the cob walls have been patched or refaced with brick.

b(2) Tonerspuddle Farm, house (20 yds. N.E.), of two storeys with a slated roof, was built in the 16th century as a straight range running N. and S. with stone walls and two chimneys in the long E. wall; in the late 17th or early 18th century a brick wing was added to the E. to form an L-shaped house with the main front to the S. Later additions have been made in the re-entrant angle. (Plan opp.)

b(3) House (834932) was built in the early 18th century on a two-room plan with end chimneys; it was extended and divided into two dwellings in the 19th century.

b(4) Dairy House (835932), with brick walls, is of the 18th century and has been extended to the W.

Tonerspuddle Farm

b(5) House (837934), was built probably in the early 17th century on a central chimney plan and was later partly rebuilt in brick.

b(6) House (838935), with slated roof, is of the 19th century.

b(7) Spring Garden Barn (833941), of cob with brick dressings, is of the late 18th or early 19th century.

b(8) Cottage (828932), is of the 18th century.

b(9) Cottage (827930) was built probably in the 17th century on a two-room plan with one end chimney and the entrance at the side of it; later a third room was added with a new entrance behind the original chimney.

b(10) Cottage (827931), is of the 18th century.

b(11) House, Brockhill (832926), is of the 17th century and has been extended to the S. The original plan comprises two rooms of which the northern has a fireplace backing on a central entrance passage and the southern a fireplace in the original S. gable wall.

b(12) Lawrence of Arabia's Cottage, Clouds Hill (823909), with brick walls and tiled roof, is of the 19th century. T. E. Lawrence lived here from 1925 to 1935.

Snelling Farm

a(13) Snelling Farm, house (811894), of two storeys and attic, has brick walls with stone plinth and quoins and casement windows under segmental brick arches (Plate 43); it is dated 1754 and has later additions.

Earthworks, Etc.

(14–24) Round Barrows, p. 453

(25) Stone, p. 515


  • 1. Somerset & Dorset Notes & Queries, 11 (1891), 308–10; plans of the church before and after the removal of the 'isle' were annexed to a faculty dated 1759 (now in D.C.R.O., R.16). It was 16 ft. by 9 ft. and described as 'partly overlapping both the Nave and Chancel' and 'connected with the Nave by a wide opening, apparently closed by a screen, and into the chancel by a door-way'.