Purse Caundle

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 3, Central. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1970.

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'Purse Caundle', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 3, Central, (London, 1970) pp. 234-238. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/dorset/vol3/pp234-238 [accessed 13 April 2024]

In this section


(O.S. 6 ins. ST 61 NE, ST 71 NW)

The parish, covering 1,588 acres, lies in the broad valley of a small tributary of the R. Yeo. The land rises in the N.W. to just over 350 ft. above sea-level, and in the S.E. to about 450 ft. The village lies near the centre of the parish and appears to have grown up at a ford across the stream; it probably is represented in Domesday Book by one or more of the eight 'Caundle' entries. The principal monuments are the church and the manor house.


Purse Caundle, the Parish Church of St. Peter

(1) The Parish Church of St. Peter stands in the centre of the village. The walls are of squared rubble with ashlar dressings; the roofs are tiled. The church was rebuilt in the 15th century and the Chancel Arch and the West Tower are of this period. The North Chapel was added early in the 16th century, probably by William Long (d. 1524). The Chancel was rebuilt in 1731. In 1883 the Nave and the South Porch were rebuilt and two windows from the old nave were reset in the chancel. The chancel was restored in 1896 and the tower was restored in 1905.

The canopied table-tomb of the Long family is noteworthy.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (23¾ ft. by 12¾ ft.) has a modern E. window; above it is a stone with the inscription 'G.K.M. 1820', probably referring to repairs to the gable at that date. In the N. wall is a canopied table-tomb (see monument (1)) and further W. is an early 16th-century archway with a four-centred head of two moulded orders, the outer order continuing on the jambs and the inner order springing from attached shafts with coarsely moulded capitals. In the S. wall are two 15th-century windows, formerly in the nave; the eastern window is square-headed, with a casement-moulded surround and three two-centred lights; the western window is square-headed and casement-moulded, and has two ogee-headed lights with blank shields in the central spandrels. The late 15th-century chancel arch is two-centred, with moulded and panelled responds and soffit, two panels wide, with trefoiled heads to the panels. The base mouldings of the responds have been cut back to form vertical surfaces.

The North Chapel (16¼ ft. by 10¼ ft.) has diagonal buttresses of two weathered stages at the N.E. and N.W. corners. In the E. wall is a four-centred window of three transomed lights, with cinquefoil cusping under the transoms, cinquefoil ogee heads to the lights and vertical tracery above; the label has head stops. In the N. wall is a similar window, without a transom; further W. is a small vertical break in the walling, of doubtful significance. In the W. wall is a doorway to the nave, with a moulded four-centred head and continuous jambs.

The Nave (31¾ ft. by 19 ft.) is largely of 1883 but it incorporates old material. The internal sills of the windows are formed of reused slabs; three of them are of stone with moulded edges and the fourth is a heavy slab of Purbeck marble. The reset late 14th or early 15th-century S. doorway has a chamfered two-centred head and continuous jambs with shaped stops; several small crosses are cut on the jambs. A blocked opening high up in the W. wall of the nave, S. of the tower arch, was probably a doorway from the tower vice to a former gallery.

The West Tower (8 ft. by 8½ ft.) is of three stages, with a moulded plinth and an embattled parapet. The stages are defined by moulded and weathered string-courses. In the lower stage the N.W. and S.W. corners have diagonal buttresses, each with two weathered offsets; in the upper stages each corner has an angle pilaster which continues, in the parapet, as a pinnacle with a crocketed finial. The vice turret at the S.E. corner is rectangular; it finishes at the second stage with a lean-to roof and it has a small diagonal buttress at the S.W. corner. The tower arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders; the outer order is continuous on the E. side; the inner order springs from chamfered polygonal corbels. The W. window is of two trefoil-headed lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a label; below, the W. doorway has a chamfered four-centred head under a square label. The vice doorway has a chamfered four-centred head and continuous jambs with pyramidal stops. The second stage has a square-headed window in the W. wall. In the third stage, the bell-chamber has in each wall a partly restored window of two trefoil-headed lights. The floor of the second stage has original timbers, with a central bell-way. The South Porch, of 1883, has a reset 15th-century archway with an ogee-moulded four-centred head and continuous jambs.

Fittings—Bells: three; 1st and 2nd dated 1602; 3rd, by Thomas Purdue, 1667. Bier: oak, with square legs, beaded rails and crosspieces, sliding bearing bars, inscribed on cross-piece 'Richard Whiffen Churchwarden 1733'. Brasses and Indents. Brasses: In chancel, reset on S. wall, of Richard Brodewey, 1536, rector, black-letter inscription plate (14½ ins. by 3 ins.) and headless figure (10 ins. high) in mass vestments; in N. chapel, reset on E. wall, of Elizabeth, daughter and heir of William Long, 1527, plate (15½ ins. by 3¼ ins.) with black-letter inscription in English (Plate 40) and, adjacent, associated figure of lady (13 ins. high); reset on N. wall, of man in plate armour (25½ ins. high), early 16th century; loose, on W. wall, of Peter Hoskyns, 1682, inscription plate (10½ ins. by 8 ins.). Indents: In nave, on N. wall, below eastern window, part of slab with indents for three small shields. Book: In N. chapel, black-letter Bible of c. 1630, title page gone. Chairs: two, similar but not uniform, with turned legs, shaped arms and panelled backs with carved cresting, 17th century. Chests: two; one with strap-hinges, three locks and keys, money-slot in top, 16th or 17th century; another plain, 17th century, with later lid. Coffin-stools: five, with turned legs, 17th century. Communion Rails: oak, with kneeling boards, turned balusters, moulded and enriched posts and rails, 17th century. Communion Table: oak, with turned legs and moulded and enriched rails and stretchers, 17th century. Doors: In N. chapel, lower part close-panelled, upper part with three ogee cinquefoil-headed lights with tracery in a four-centred head, early 16th century. In W. doorway, of nail-studded planks, with strap-hinges, moulded ribs and surround, 15th century, partly restored. In tower vice doorway, of planks with moulded ribs and surround, 15th century. Font: octagonal bowl, with quatrefoil panel surrounding blank shield on each face, moulded underside with bosses, octagonal stem and chamfered base, 15th century; cover, of oak with curved struts and turned central post and finial, probably 17th century. Glass: In chancel, reset in S. window, shield-of-arms of Long with the name 'John Lange' in black-letter, also shield-of-arms of Long impaling Hacket, also fragments of mantling with wings, and other fragments including crowns, rosettes, foliage and a horse's head, early 16th century and later. In N. chapel, reset in E. window, remains of tabernacle-work and other fragments, early 16th century; reset in N. window, remains of tabernacle-work, fragments of symbols of St. John, St. Mark and part of a vested figure, early 16th century. Hatchment: In N. chapel, arms of Hoskyns impaling Seymer, on wood panel, dated 1694. Inscription: In chancel, on S. wall, square slate tablet inscribed 'Haec cancella reaedificata erat et ornata per Johannem Chafie rectorem 1731'.

Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: Between chancel and N. chapel, (1) ascribed to William Long, 1524, canopied table tomb with moulded plinth and panelled face on N. side only comprising four quatrefoils with blank shields and band of quatrefoils below (Plate 30); S. face replaced by later slabs; above, Purbeck marble slab with moulded edge, partly cut away. Canopy supported on corner shafts with N. and S. arches and closed ends, each end with two cinquefoil ogee panels, soffit with four trefoil panels; arch on N. side cusped and sub-cusped, with foliate cusp-points and cusp-spandrels, the latter including small fret with acorn-spray; main spandrels with leaf-foliage; moulded cornice and brattishing above. At head of N.W. shaft, half-angel holding blank shield, N.E. shaft-head gone. S. side of tomb generally similar to N. but with shields-of-arms of Long and of Hacket in main spandrels; above, at ends of brattishing, half-angels with blank shields. In N. chapel, reset on N. wall, (2) of John Hoskyns, 1714, black marble slab formerly superimposed on (1), with one moulded edge and arms of Hoskyns impaling Seymer; another slab with same achievement still attached to S. face of (1). In N. chapel, on W. wall, (3) of John Hoskyns, slate slab in moulded stone frame with shield-of-arms of Hoskyns; (4) of Peter Hoskyns, 1682, plate (see Brasses) with Latin inscription mounted in contemporary oak aedicule with twisted side-columns, moulded cornice and pediment. In churchyard, S. of chancel, (5) of John Sock, 1624, also of John Clarke, 1687, Nicholas Clarke, 1781, and Margery his wife, stone table-tomb; (6) of Nicholas Russell, 1678, Ann his wife, 1724, and William their son, 1670, stone table-tomb; S. of nave, (7) of John Hulet, 1612, table-tomb; (8) similar table-tomb, inscription illegible. Floor-slabs: In chancel, (1) of Nathaniel Highmore, M.D., 1685; (2) of John Chafy, rector, 1757; (3) of Elizabeth Chafy, 1780. In N. chapel, (4) of Mary Sollaway, 1709; (5) of Ursula (Lacy) Hoskyns, 1686; (6) of John Hoskyns, 1651; (7) of... Hoskins (sic), 1726.

Painting: In tower, on N. wall, part of painted surround and black-letter inscription, 16th or 17th century. Plate: includes silver cup and cover-paten with hallmark of 1571, with engraved strapwork band on cup and date 1571 on paten; also two brass alms-dishes, German, 15th or 16th century. Pulpit: hexagonal, with fielded panels, moulded cornice, panelled standard, and hexagonal sounding-board with inlaid soffit and dentil cornice, early 18th century. Seating: In nave, pews made up of old material, probably from former box pews, with fielded panels and moulded rails, oak, 18th century. Tables of Decalogue: In nave on N. wall, cinquefoil-headed wooden panels with painted inscriptions, 19th century.


(2) The Manor House (69521764), 100 yds. N.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of rubble with ashlar dressings and the roofs are covered with stone-slates. The property was bought by Richard Long in 1428, and in the 16th century it passed from his family to the Hannams (Hutchins IV, 144). The main block of the house, comprising the great hall, with an E. porch and oriel bay, and with cross-wings at the N. and S. ends, was built towards the end of the 15th century; the east wall of a small room that projects S. at the eastern end of the S. cross-wing is probably of slightly later date. The original westward extent of the S. cross-wing is uncertain but it is probably marked by a thick wall on the E. of the present kitchen passage. In the second half of the 16th century the E. side of the hall was remodelled to form a continuous E. front (Plate 196) the space between the oriel and the porch being filled in and the front being faced with ashlar. Late in the 16th or early in the 17th century the S. cross-wing was extended to the W., with two small S. bays projecting in correspondence with that of the 15th century on the E. To the same period belongs the W. extension of the N. cross-wing, the original N. cross-wing then being re-roofed in continuation of the line of the hall roof. Minor alterations, probably of the first half of the 19th century, include a doorway in the N. wall of the hall and a wall in the southern part of the hall replacing the former screens; a corridor leading to the S. wing from the W. end of the screens-passage is also probably of this period. In recent years the house has been carefully restored and the large W. window of the hall has been reconstructed.

The house is of considerable architectural interest; it retains the orginal open roof of the hall (Plate 194), and original wagon roofs in two first-floor chambers.

Architectural Description—The main entrance, on the E. side of the hall, is separated from the road by a forecourt with a scrolled wrought-iron gate (Plate 62) that is probably of the late 17th or early 18th century. On the W. side of the forecourt the ashlar-faced 16th-century E. front has two gables, that to the S. with a carved human figure finial, the other culminating in an 18th-century chimney-stack. The principal doorway, under the southern gable, is of the 15th century, reset, and has moulded jambs, a four-centred head and a square label. Adjacent is a smaller doorway, probably of the 17th century, with a four-centred head and a square label that has been cut back. Under the northern gable, on the ground floor, is the ovolo-moulded square-headed four-light window of the oriel, also with a square label. On the first floor are two four-light windows and one of two lights. Further N. is the E. end of the N. cross-wing, with a square-headed window of six lights in the lower storey and one of four lights above. The N. side of the cross-wing has a small two-light window on the ground floor, and two windows, each of one four-centred light, on the first floor; between the windows is a projecting chimney-breast of three stages with weathered offsets.

To the S. the forecourt is bounded by the eastern part of the S. cross-wing; on each floor are two square-headed two-light windows with labels, all restored. The gabled E. wall of the cross-wing has a 15th-century square-set buttress under the middle of the gable, and a similar but taller diagonal buttress at the original S.E. corner. On the first floor is a corbelled 15th-century bay-window (Plate 195) of four cinquefoil-headed lights, the side lights being canted; below the window-sill are cinquefoil-headed panels with blank shields; the corbel is heavily moulded. Beyond the original S.E. buttress the E. side of the projecting S. room, although an addition, is probably of the late 15th century; on the ground floor is a small rectangular opening, now blocked; on the first floor is a window of two lights with four-centred heads.

The S. front of the S. range (Plate 196), which incorporates the original S. cross-wing and its projecting S. room, is mainly of the late 16th or early 17th century; the gables of the three projecting bays are capped with 18th-century chimneystacks but the square-headed windows are mostly original, of four and three lights with labels. The doorways are of stone, with chamfered jambs and four-centred heads, except in the kitchen, where the S. doorway has an oak surround with a triangular head, probably of the 17th century. The N. front of the western part of the S. range has three 17th-century two-light windows with oak surrounds on the ground floor, and four similar windows with transoms on the first floor. The western extension of the N. cross-wing has, on the S. side, square-headed windows of two and three lights, those of the ground floor with labels; between them on the ground floor is a doorway with a four-centred head. The W. front of the extension contains several one-light windows, all square-headed except for that of the ground floor, which has a four-centred head in a square surround. The W. doorway in the small projection to the N. was originally a window; above, on the first floor, is a corresponding window of two square-headed lights.

Inside, the hall (33 ft. by 19½ ft., including the screens-passage) has walls lined with 17th-century panelling brought from elsewhere; the original screens have gone. In the E. wall is a 16th-century fireplace with a shallow, chamfered, four-centred head and continuous jambs; to the S. of the fireplace is a doorway (Plate 207) with a moulded four-centred head and with the initials W.H. carved on the spandrels (William Hannam d. 1576); the room behind the fireplace contains a well, perhaps the well which Hutchins (IV, 148) noted in a stone staircase leading out of the hall. On the N. of the fireplace, the opening to the oriel bay has a four-centred head with stone-panelled reveals and soffit; the panels have four-centred heads. The doorway opposite the oriel has a moulded four-centred head and continuous jambs. In the screens-passage, to the S., are two uniform doorways with hollow-chamfered four-centred heads and continuous jambs; the doorway at the E. end of the screens-passage has a chamfered four-centred head with continuous jambs and moulded stops. The roof of the hall (Plate 194) is of four bays with five tie-beam trusses; these have moulded tie-beams, arch-braces and purlins, plain principals and collars, and hollow-chamfered upright and raking struts. The wall-plates are moulded and above them are friezes of carved wooden panels with quatrefoils containing shields, bosses and various emblems. Cusped wind-braces are set diagonally to form quatrefoil panels between the friezes and the lower purlins, and curved wind-braces are paired to form two-centred arches between the upper purlins. The upper part of the roof is masked by a segmental plaster ceiling, and the common rafters are also ceiled.

Purse Caundle, The Manor House

The oriel bay has a 16th-century fireplace with a chamfered four-centred head; the walls are lined with reset 17th-century panelling; the original four-panel ceiling has moulded cross-beams and wall-plates. In the oriel window are fragments of two late 15th-century shields-of-arms, releaded and rearranged; one is the arms of Long impaling a made-up section and the other, originally the impalement of the first, is (unidentified 13); again the impalement is made up. Hutchins (IV, 148) notes these arms 'in a parlour window', the second coat then having three roundels in chief.

The ground-floor room to the N. of the hall is lined with early 17th-century panelling, with a cornice and with a panelled door; flanking the doorway and the fireplace are slender fluted pilasters with crude Ionic caps; the fireplace overmantel is of two bays with shaped panels, and a lozenge panel surmounts the doorway. The late 17th-century staircase to the W. of this room has turned balusters, close strings and square panelled newels with ball-finials and turned pendants. The ground-floor room at the E. end of the S. range is entered from the porch through a 15th-century doorway with a chamfered four-centred head; the room has a dado of reset 17th-century panelling. The room to the W. has 15th-century moulded beams intersecting to form four ceiling panels.

On the first floor, the drawing-room (Plate 195) at the E. end of the S. range has an original wagon roof with moulded wall-plates, ribs and longitudinal members forming five bays, each of four panels, with carved bosses at the intersections; the wall-plates are corbelled out to support the ribs and have small foliate bosses at intervals between the corbels. The room is entered from the N. through an original doorway with a moulded four-centred head and continuous jambs. The small room in the S.E. projecting wing has a plastered barrel ceiling and a fireplace with an 18th-century surround. The chamber W. of the E. drawing-room has a fireplace of c. 1600, almost concealed by an 18th-century surround. The chamber in the middle projection of the S. range has a doorway with stone jambs and a shallow four-centred head. Further W., the former W. drawing-room, now divided, retains a moulded cornice and the remains of heavy bolection-moulded panelling of the late 17th-century. The chamber over the oriel bay has a 15th-century wagon roof of two bays, similar to that of the E. drawing-room but smaller and of two-centred cross-section. The S. doorway to this chamber is approached by stairs with reused early 17th-century balusters. The first-floor chamber N. of the hall has 15th-century moulded beams and wall-plates forming a ceiling of six rectangular panels; 17th-century wall panelling has recently been removed from this room.

Monuments (3–11)

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of two storeys and have rubble walls and thatched roofs.

(3) The Old Rectory (69561763), 60 yds. N.W. of the church, is of the late 16th or early 17th century, with a late 17th or early 18th-century addition on the N. The roofs are stone-slated. The older range retains two stone mullioned windows.

(4) Church Farm (69631756), house, 30 yds. S.E. of the church, is of the 18th century; it has a symmetrical three-bay S. front. The roof is tile-covered.

(5) Inn (69631750), is of the 18th century with a 19th-century addition on the W. The roofs are modern. Inside, some chamfered beams are exposed.

(6) Manor Farm (69271737), house, ¼ m. S.W. of the church, is of the 16th century with an 18th-century S. wing. Inside are some original moulded ceiling-beams and the remains of a jointed-cruck roof truss. A Barn, 30 yds. N. of the house, has a roof of six bays dating in part from the early 17th century.

(7) Trip's Farm (68731608), house, about 1 m. S.S.W. of the church, is of the 17th century with 18th-century additions. Inside, stop-chamfered ceiling beams are exposed in both storeys.

(8) Cottage (69651749), at the road-fork 100 yds. S.S.E. of the church, is of the 17th century; it contains an original plank-and-muntin partition.

(9) Cottage (69731737), on the S.W. side of the lane 250 yds. S.S.E. of the church, is probably of the 17th century; it has an original plank-and-muntin partition.

(10) Cottage, 340 yds. S.E. of (9), is of the 17th century and has one original window with moulded timber mullions.

(11) Cottage (70061690), at Clayhanger, is of the 18th century with a 19th-century addition to the E.

Mediaeval and Later Earthworks

(12) Cultivation Remains. A three-field system appears to have been in existence in the mid 14th century (Dorset I.P.M., Vol. I, (1916), 150) but it was probably enclosed before 1612 (S. & D., N. & Q., VI (1898), 360). On air photographs (R.A.F. CPE/UK 1974: 3152–3) traces of ridge-and-furrow can be seen N.E. of the village; they are arranged in curving, end-on furlongs unrelated to the present field boundaries.