Pages 329-330

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.


In this section


(O.S. 6 ins. aSY 78 SW, bSY 78 SE, cSY 78 NE)

Watercombe parish comprises only 434 acres, and lies immediately E. of Warmwell, 5½ miles S.E. of Dorchester. It is a narrow strip of land rarely more than 400 yds. wide and nearly 3 miles long. The S. third is all on Chalk, sloping down to the N. from just over 400 ft. above O.D.; N. of the Chalk is a broad band of Reading Beds and then a band of London Clay reaching to a small tributary of the river Frome; beyond is an area of heathland on Bagshot Beds and Plateau Gravel.

Watercombe was never an ecclesiastical parish, but for long claimed to be extra-parochial. However its history is complex, for it seems to have paid tithes to Warmwell, East Stoke and Fyer Mayne (West Knighton parish). By modern boundary revision some 70 acres in the extreme S. have been gained from Poxwell.

There was a settlement at Watercombe Farm by 1086. The parish contains but few buildings; there is no church and no village.


b(1) Watercombe Farm (756848), in the southern part of the parish, is of two storeys. The N. part of the house has stone walls and a thatched roof and is of the 18th century; additions to the S. have brick walls and slated roofs and are of the early and late 19th centuries. Barn, with stone walls, was partly rebuilt in brick with a slated roof in the late 19th century. Granary, of two storeys with brick walls and roof covered with slates and tiles, is of c. 1800.

Earthworks, Etc.

Ancient Field Group (11), p. 627