Spetisbury

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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'Spetisbury', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 3, Central, (London, 1970) pp. 242-246. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/dorset/vol3/pp242-246 [accessed 14 April 2024]

In this section

42 SPETISBURY (9002)

(O.S. 6 ins. ST 90 SW, ST 80 SE)

The parish has an area of 2,249 acres and lies on the S.W. bank of the R. Stour, entirely on Chalk, between 100 ft. and 400 ft. above sea-level. The village extends along the river bank and is bounded to the S.W. by a steep declivity in the Chalk. Although the houses are now distributed fairly regularly along the river bank, the parish was formerly divided into three distinct parts: Spetisbury in the N.W., Crawford Magna in the S.E. and Middle Street between the two, each part being a separate manor with its own open fields (29). Domesday Book (I, ff. 79b, 82) mentions two holdings with a combined recorded population of 30; at Crawford (f. 84) the recorded population was 4. Crawford Bridge (2) and Spetisbury Rings (30) are the most important monuments.

Ecclesiastical

(1) The Parish Church of St. John stands at the N.W. end of the village. It has walls of flint, interspersed with large blocks of roughly squared rubble, with ashlar dressings; the W. tower is of banded flint and rubble, the latter predominantly of Heathstone; the roofs are tiled. The church was extensively restored in 1858 and 1868 (faculty petitions in Salisbury Diocesan Archives) but the columns of the nave arcade are original and indicate the former existence of a Nave and North Aisle of the late 12th or early 13th century. An old drawing preserved in the church, showing the building as it was before 1858, depicts a round-headed window in the N. wall of the chancel. The West Tower is of the late 15th or early 16th century, with restorations of 1895. The Chancel and South Porch were rebuilt in 1858; the North Chapel is of 1868.

Notable features are a canopied mural table-tomb of 1599 and a richly carved 17th-century oak pulpit.

Spetisbury, the Parish Church of St. John

Architectural Description—The Chancel (27 ft. by 16½ ft.) has no notable features. The Nave (38½ ft. by 16½ ft.) has, on the N. side, an arcade of three bays with stilted and segmental-pointed arches of two chamfered orders that appear to be mainly of the 19th century; on the other hand the two columns and the two responds are original, although restored in 1858. The columns are cylindrical, with roll-mouldings at top and bottom; the capitals are moulded and the square bases are chamfered, with spurred angles. Each respond has a half-column with details similar to those of the columns. The S. wall of the nave is entirely of 1858. The North Aisle (49½ ft. by 14 ft.) is also largely of 1858, but reset in the N. wall is a restored 16th-century window of three two-centred lights in a square-headed casementmoulded surround; further W. is a similar 16th-century two-light window, without casement-mouldings; the N. doorway is of the 19th century. In the W. wall of the aisle is a three-light 16th-century window similar to that of the N. wall.

The West Tower has three stages with a chamfered and moulded plinth, weathered and hollow-chamfered string-courses between the stages, and an embattled parapet with a weathered coping. The parapet string-course has two gargoyles on each face; one gargoyle representing a horse's head and another representing a human head are reset 12th-century head-corbels, possibly from an original corbel-table. In the lower stage, the N.W. and S.W. corners of the tower have diagonal buttresses of three weathered stages; at the S.E. corner a diagonal buttress is partly incorporated with the nave wall. The tower vice, on the N., is enclosed by the N. aisle, but where it rises above the aisle roof it has a polygonal outline; it ends in a weathered stone head about half-way up the second stage. The vice was originally entered through a doorway with a two-centred head near the middle of the N. wall, now enclosed in the 19th-century N. aisle and converted into a cupboard; the present external doorway is probably of 1895. The tower arch is two-centred and of three chamfered orders; the two inner orders die into the responds and the outer order is continuous. The W. doorway, now blocked, has a chamfered two-centred head, continuous jambs and runout stops; above it is a square label, continuous with the moulding of the plinth. The W. window is of one light with a chamfered two-centred head and a hollow-chamfered label, at the apex of which is reset a small head-stop. In the middle stage the N. and S. walls of the tower have small square-headed loops. The top stage has, in each face, a pair of belfry windows with chamfered two-centred heads under a square label with square stops.

Fittings—Bells: five; treble recast 1912; 2nd inscribed 'John Stroud, William Meech, C.W., W.E., B.F. Ano Dom 1751'; 3rd and 4th recast 1896, 1895; tenor by John Danton, inscribed 'Ringe out the bells in God reioyce, 1626, ID'; bell-cage, of oak, dated 1826. Book: chained to E. respond of nave arcade, leather-bound volume of homilies, 17th century. Chairs: two, of oak; one with turned legs, geometric chip-carving on rail, scrolled arm-rests, carved back panel and shaped and carved top; another with turned legs, chip-carving on rail, scrolled armrests, carved back panel with initials I.H.B.H., and carved top rail. Coffin-stools: pair, with turned legs, 18th century. Door: In upper storey of tower, with two-centred head and wrought-iron strap-hinges, 16th century. Hour-glass stand: of wrought-iron with twisted top rail, five square uprights, and flat bottom rail to which are attached letter T and date 1700 cut from sheet iron; hour-glass recently stolen. Inscription: In tower, in upper storey, painted wooden panel with moulded surround dated 1818, inscribed:

    I Doat on Ringers and on such
    Who delight to ring and love there Church,
    Beware of oaths and Quarrelings,
    Take heed of Clans and Janglings:
    There is no music play'd or sung
    Like unto Bells that are well rung.
    Let all keep silence and forbear
    Of smoaking their tobacco here;
    And if your Bell doth overthrow
    It is your sixpence ere you go.
    If any ring in hat or spur
    Be sure they pay without demur.

Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel, on S. wall, (1) of Henry Davenport Shakespear, 1838, white marble tablet with representation of tomb and palm-tree, with arms. In N. aisle, against N. wall, (2) of John Bowyer, 1599, canopied table-tomb of white limestone (Plate 31), tomb-chest with moulded plinth and chamfered top and with arabesques carved on sides and front; above chest, two free-standing Ionic columns and two half-columns against back wall, supporting heavy pedimented canopy with moulded architrave and cornice, richly carved frieze of acanthus scrolls, putti, rosettes, corner shields and centre panel inscribed 1599; pediment enriched with strap work; back panel with Latin inscription in black-letter, chest-top with English inscription and verse in Roman capitals. Adjacent to foregoing, (3) of Elizabeth Jekyll, 1797, and Ann Jekyll, 1785, white marble wall tablet with brackets, pilasters, entablature, pediment and shield-of-arms; (4) of Frances Smith, 1829, and others, marble wall tablet. In churchyard, close to centre of N. wall, (5) of David Mittchell, 1723, headstone with scrolled top; adjacent, (6) of John Popjoy, 1720, headstone with shaped top; close to S. wall, (7) of William Smith, 1726, (8) of Elizabeth Smith, 1734, headstones lying on ground; about 3 paces S. of porch, (9) of Dorothy (Tatersall) Rackett, 1833, and Rev. Thomas Rackett, 1840, large pyramidal monument by Marshall of Blandford. Floor-slabs: of Purbeck marble, extending across nave and aisle between S. and N. doorways, (1) of William Zouch, rector, 1679, (2) of Giles Spenney, 1710, (3) of Mary Spenney, 1720, (4) of John Spenney Junior, 1729, and John Spenney Senior, 1732, (5) of Ann Fill, 1720, and Mary Fill, 1761, (6) of Henry Stroude, 1754, John Stroud, 1754 and John Stroud Junior, 1766.

Plate: includes silver cup and cover-paten with hallmark of 1726 and inscription 'Spetisbury, Dorsetshire, 1727'; also silver paten with hallmark of 1669, maker's mark, an anchor between letters T.H., and dedicatory inscription of 1669; also large silver flagon by I.W., with hallmark of 1728 and dedicatory inscription of Dr. Charles Sloper, 1727. Pulpit: of oak, polygonal, with seven panelled sides in two heights above moulded plinth (Plate 46); lower panels with oval centre jewel surrounded by strapwork; upper panels with highly enriched arches on pilasters with beasts in shafts, and Ionic capitals, cherub-heads in spandrels, arches enclosing foliate scroll-work rising from urns; above, frieze of scroll-work with beasts heads, and moulded cornice; early 17th century on modern pedestal. Miscellanea: In vestry, pewter chamber-pot with scroll-shaped handle, 18th century. Embedded in brick pier of churchyard palings, S.E. of church, large stone fragment carved with scroll-work, perhaps part of 18th-century monumental cartouche.

Chapel at St. Monica's Priory, see 19th-century monuments, p. 246.

Secular

(2) Crawford Bridge (91900198), carrying the road from Spetisbury to Tarrant Crawford across the R. Stour, has nine arches of coursed rubble and ashlar (Plate 199); at the N. end are three narrow land arches of brick, and at the S. end is a short stretch of brickwork with no arch. The W. side of the bridge is mediaeval, but the E. side was rebuilt when the road was widened in 1819.

On the W. side, each pier has a triangular cut-water, and in alternate piers these projections are carried up to road level and are encompassed by the parapet to form pedestrian refuges. On the E. side there are no cut-waters and no refuges. All the arches are approximately semicircular and heighten slightly toward mid-stream, causing the parapet to rise gently from the abutments to a central point between the 5th and 6th arches from the S. The road curves slightly to the E. between the 7th and 8th arches. The parapet walls are of chequered flint and ashlar, with some patches of rubble, and are capped by a steeply pitched ashlar coping. Near the centre of the E. side is a large stone inscribed 1719, presumably reset in its present position when the bridge was widened in 1819. The Quarter Sessions orders of 1719 refer to expenditure on the bridge.

(3) Johns House, formerly the Rectory, 130 yds. S.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics and basements, the latter above ground on the N.E. side; the walls are mainly of brick and the roofs are tiled. The house was built in 1716 by Dr. Charles Sloper (Hutchins III, 529). Minor alterations were made c. 1800 by the Rev. Thomas Rackett, and in the middle of the 19th century by the Rev. Henry Vizard. Rackett was a noted naturalist and the garden contains exotic trees that were planted by him.

The house is a good and well-documented specimen of early 18th-century domestic architecture; it has two graceful façades and a fine staircase.

Johns House, Spetisbury

The S.W. front (Plate 197) is two-storied and of five symmetrical bays with the three middle bays slightly projecting and accentuated by a pediment. The windows are sashed and have thin glazing bars and large panes, probably of the early 19th century. The round-headed central doorway has panelled reveals and a decorated fanlight; it is sheltered by a flat hood with a carved wooden frieze and cornice supported on two free-standing Corinthian columns and corresponding pilasters. Above the first-floor windows is a plat-band and a parapet wall with a moulded stone coping. The coping continues at the base of the pediment but is interrupted over the middle bay by a garlanded roundel with a central mask and radial fluting. The falling ground causes the N.E. front (Plate 191) to be three-storied; it is of five bays, but not perfectly symmetrical since the windows to the right of the central openings are narrower than the others, and those of the lowest storey do not exactly correspond with the windows above. The basement storey is of banded brick and flint; it has four square-headed casement windows, each of two leaded lights. On the ground floor, to the left of the centre bay, are two sashed windows of the kind noted on the S.W. front and presumably of the early 19th century; all the other windows are original fittings of the early 18th century, with small panes and thick glazing bars. Every window opening has a recessed apron. At the centre, a little below ground-floor level, is a doorway with an eight-panel door and a flat hood with a Doric entablature supported on free-standing columns. A flight of stone steps with brick parapets leads down from the doorway to the garden. Above the doorway a large staircase window with a segmental head extends over the two upper storeys. Above the first-floor windows is a brick plat-band and a parapet with a moulded stone coping; these features are continuous with those of the S.W. front. The S.E. and N.W. elevations are similar to one another except that the S.E. elevation is of banded brick and flint up to the first floor while the N.W. elevation is wholly of brick; the fenestration is asymmetrical. Each side elevation is dominated by two large chimneystacks, between which the parapet wall is raised higher than the roof ridges to accommodate a 19th-century attic storey. Between the chimneystacks and the front and the back elevations the roof gables are concealed by shaped parapets. The N.W. elevation is partly masked by a late 18th-century single-storied range, containing a brew-house, a coach-house and stables, recently converted into a separate dwelling.

Inside, the hall is paved with flagstones and the walls have a dado of fielded panelling in two heights. Of the two doorways in each side wall that nearest the S.W. entrance is square-headed while the other doorway is crowned by an elliptical tympanum. The open-string staircase is of oak with marquetry decoration. The moulded handrail terminates in a fist-shaped volute over the bottom newel post, which has the form of a Tuscan column (Plate 84). At the landing, where the handrail joins another Tuscan newel post a few inches below its capital, the shaft is enriched with carved scroll-work and foliage, with which the handrail mouldings are continuous. The balusters, two to each step, are square at the top and bottom but in the central zone they are turned and shaped, with tapering octagonal members similar to the balusters of the communion rails at Charlton Marshall (p. 58); no doubt they came from the same workshop, probably Bastard's of Blandford. The wall has a panelled dado.

The drawing-room is panelled from floor to ceiling with bolection-moulded and fielded panelling in two heights, with a heavy wooden ceiling cornice. The doorway has a bold bolection-moulded architrave. In the N.E. wall is a double doorway to the adjacent study; the opening is original but the sliding doors are modern; the fireplace surround is of the mid 19th century. The study has a late 18th-century fireplace. The room in the N. corner of the house has a dado of fielded panels and a large fireplace with 18th-century glazed tiles. The rest of the ground floor has been remodelled and the former dining-room has been converted into service rooms. On the first floor, the chamber in the E. corner of the house has fielded panelling for the full height of its -walls, and a fireplace with a bold bolection-moulded surround.

(4) Crawford House (91800190), 100 yds. S.W. of (2), is two-storied with dormer-windowed attics and has brick walls, partly rendered, and tiled roofs with stone-slate verges. At the N.E. end of the house is a small range of c. 1700; it is two-storied and has a S.E. front of one bay with a bow-window on the ground floor and a three-light casement window above. To the S.W. of this range, in the late 18th century, was added a larger range with a symmetrical S.E. front of three bays, with a central doorway flanked by tall sashed windows and three smaller sashed windows on the first floor. In the 19th century the S.W. range was extended further to the S.W. and another range was built parallel to it on the N.W. The interior of the house was much altered in the 19th century and retains no noteworthy features. In the garden to the S.W. is a brick-vaulted underground chamber, perhaps a late 18th-century ice-house. To the S. is a vaulted recess with an elliptical head, surmounted by an entablature with a pedimental centre feature and ball finials on each side. The recess contains a curved wooden bench and appears to have been designed as a gazebo.

(5) North Farm (89470215), house, 1 m. W.S.W. of the church, is two-storied, with brick walls, partly rendered, and tiled roofs with stone-slate verges. The plan is L-shaped. The principal range, facing W., is of the late 18th or early 19th century; it has a Group (i) plan (see above, p. 18) and a symmetrical W. front with a central doorway flanked by segmental-headed windows, and three corresponding openings on the first floor. Extending E. from the S. part of the rear wall is a wing that probably dates from the 17th century; its entrance was formerly on the N. side.

Farm buildings and a pair of cottages of the late 18th and early 19th centuries stand to the N. of the house.

(6) South Farm (90030148), house, 1 m. S.W. of the church, is two-storied, with brick walls and tiled roofs. The main range of the farmhouse is of the second half of the 18th century but much altered and enlarged subsequently. To the E. is a slightly earlier single-storied wing that probably originated as an independant cottage. Some 50 yds. to the W. is a pair of cottages with walls partly of flint with brick dressings and partly of brick, and with modern roofs. Although the cottages have been entirely remodelled the original walls are perhaps of the late 17th century.

(7) Monk's Mulberry (91160214), house, ½ m. S. of the church, incorporates an octagonal brick building, with a conical roof of slates and tiles, which probably originated in the second half of the 18th century as a gazebo. Three sides of the octagon retain windows with two-centred heads, each divided by a forked wooden mullion into two pointed lights and a lozenge-shaped tracery light; these windows appear to replace earlier openings with ogival heads. About 100 yds. to the N. is a garden, about 90 yds. square, enclosed in a clunch wall with a thatched capping; it is probably of the late 18th century.

(8) Clapcott's Farm (91010307), house, 150 yds. N. of (1), is a two-storied farmhouse with rubble walls and a modern tiled roof. The central part of the building is of the 17th century; it has a square-headed doorway in the S. wall, with chamfered ashlar jambs and head. Inside, the two ground-floor rooms have stop-chamfered ceiling beams. The original range has been extended to E., W. and N., the walls have been heightened and all windows are modern.

Monuments (9–28)

Unless described otherwise, the following monuments are 18th-century dwellings of two storeys, or single-storied with dormer-windowed attics, with walls of cob or of rendered brickwork, and with roofs that are thatched or of modern materials.

(9) Cottages (91990184), 1,650 yds. S.E. of (1), comprise a range of two dwellings, together with a third dwelling which is joined to the first two by means of a single-storied bay. All the windows are modern and the interiors have been remodelled.

(10) Cottage (91890188), at the cross-roads, 1,550 yds. S.E. of (1), has modern tiled roofs. The N. wing is entirely modern.

(11) Cottages (91730198), pair, 200 yds. N.W. of the foregoing, have a symmetrical S.E. front of four bays, with the two doorways set at the centre of each tenement; each has a single chimney-stack on its gabled end wall.

(12) Cottages (91690201), range of three, 60 yds. N.W. of the foregoing, are of several periods. The lower storey of the N.W. cottage is of cob and was built probably in the late 17th century; the upper storey is of the mid 18th century. The middle tenement was built in the 18th century and that to the S.E. is modern.

(13) Cottage (91600208), 100 yds. N.W. of the foregoing, is of the early 18th century but has been much altered. The N.E. ground-floor room has a stop-chamfered beam, and the fireplace in the S.W. room has a chamfered bressummer.

(14) Cottage (91520213), 100 yds. N.W. of the foregoing, retains a gabled N.E. wall of banded brick and flint, but everything else has been rebuilt and modernised.

(15) House (91480218), 60 yds. N. of the foregoing, was built at two periods. The S.W. wing, facing the road, has a symmetrical three-bay front and is of the early 18th century; at the rear, at right angles to the S.W. wing, a lower wing dates from about 50 years later. Some sashed windows retain original glass. A 19th-century wrought-iron verandah has recently been removed from the S.W. front.

(16) Houses (91450222), pair, and one adjacent on the N.W., 960 yds. S.E. of the church, have rendered walls and modern slated roofs; the windows are sashed. The N.W. house has a symmetrical S.W. front of three bays.

(17) Cottages (91430224), range of three, set back from the road 900 yds. S.E. of the church, have rendered walls and tiled roofs. The S.E. cottage is slightly later than the other two.

(18) Cottages (91390226), pair, 880 yds. S.E. of the church, have a symmetrical S.W. front of four bays with doorways at the centre of each tenement; one chimney-stack stands at the S.E. end and another occurs on the party-wall. The cottages are of the early 18th century and that to the N.W. retains original casement windows.

(19) Cottage (91200248), 550 yds. S.E. of the church, is partly of cob and partly of brick and formerly had a two-bay S.W. front with a central doorway, but the doorway has recently been turned into a window. Inside, one room has an exposed chamfered beam.

(20) Cottages (91150260), two adjoining, stand 400 yds. S.W. of the church. The S.W. cottage has a thatched roof while the other one is tiled. The first cottage has a nearly symmetrical S.E. front of two bays with a central doorway; the second is of only one bay. Each cottage contains an exposed chamfered beam.

(21) Cottages, range of four, immediately N. of the foregoing, are of cob with planks attached to the S.W. front in imitation of timber-framing. Each tenement has a single main room on each floor, and three of them have outhouses to the N.E.; in all the tenements the ground-floor rooms contain chamfered beams.

(22) Cottages, two adjoining, on the W. side of the road, facing the foregoing, have cob walls with later brick revetment. Each tenement has a two-bay E. front with the doorway set between the two windows. An extension at the S. end of the range is of the late 18th century.

(23) Cottage (91110260), a few paces N. of the foregoing, dates from the early 18th century and has been little altered from its original form. The single-storied N.E. front comprises a central doorway flanked by casement windows, and one attic dormer window set asymmetrically. Inside, the ground plan comprises a living room at the N.W. end, with a small kitchen adjacent on the S.E.; the stairs are against the S.W. wall, beside the kitchen.

(24) Cottages (91100270), two adjoining, 270 yds. S.E. of the church, have been converted into a single house. Inside are two roughly chamfered beams and against the former party-wall is a large open fireplace. The cottages may be of the late 17th century.

(25) Cottage (91100310), 250 yds. N.E. of the church, is probably of the second half of the 18th century; it has brick walls and a tiled roof. A single-storied range to the N.W., with walls of banded brick and flint, may be of the late 17th century.

(26) Cottages (90710282), pair, 250 yds. W. of the church, have brick walls and modern tiled roofs.

(27) House, immediately N. of the foregoing, has brick walls of English bond, and a tiled roof. The S. front is of two bays with a central doorway.

(28) Cottage (90480282), 120 yds. W. of the foregoing, has front and back walls of brickwork, and gabled end walls of banded brick and flint; the roof is tiled. The N. front is symmetrical and of three bays. The cottage dates from the end of the 18th century.

Notable 19th-century monuments include a House (91290238) of c. 1840, with a symmetrical S.E. front of two storeys and five bays, with a central doorway; also, 30 yds. to the N.W., a Chapel decorated internally with slender plaster shafting and plaster rib vaulting of c. 1830; it was designed by J. Peniston of Salisbury (Wilts. Record Office, Peniston papers 451/200); these monuments stand close to the site of the 18th-century Spetisbury House, later St. Monica's Priory. Spetisbury House was demolished in 1927 but a photograph of the S.W. front is preserved in the R.C.H.M. files (see also G. Webb, Burlington Magazine, 47 (1925), pl. I, c); it appears to have been built c. 1750 and shows affinities with the façade of Coupar House, Blandford Forum (8).

Mediaeval and Later Earthworks

(29) Cultivation Remains. Two of the three open-field systems in the parish were not enclosed until 1809 (Enclosure Award D.C.R.O.). Five strip lynchets of the open fields of Spetisbury lie immediately S.E. of Home Plantation (909025). Very fragmentary contour strip lynchets of the open fields of Crawford Magna remain on the river cliff between the village and the railway (91550215–91780192); on the Tithe Map of 1839 part of these fields is called 'The Hanging'. Other slight traces lie within Spetisbury Rings and to the S.E. (917017). Of the open fields of Middle Street no trace remains.

Roman and Prehistoric

(30) Spetisbury Rings, also called Crawford Castle (915020), is a univallate hill-fort of 5 acres, with a single entrance at the N.W., probably once screened by a hornwork; in its final phase the fort appears to remain unfinished. The hill-fort (Plate 200) is between 190 ft. and 255 ft. above O.D.; it lies at the N. end of a prominent spur, on a gentle slope facing N. and E. and overlooking the village and the R. Stour, only 100 yds. away. To the S., the rampart reaches the summit of the spur and provides a wide field of vision, except immediately in front where there is 'dead' ground within 70 yds. On the E. side of the fort the defences were partly destroyed in the construction of a railway cutting in 1857, when numerous skeletons were found in the ditch filling. No systematic excavation of the fort has been carried out, but in 1958 a small cutting was made to determine the character of the ditch (Dorset Procs. LXXX (1958), 108).

That the defences were unfinished is suggested by the rampart. To the E. of the entrance, near the railway cutting, the rampart comprises an outward-falling scarp, which rises in a series of steps as it approaches the entrance and changes into a bank that stands 7 ft. high above the interior. To the S. of the entrance the rampart runs evenly for 150 ft. to a point where two mounds or dumps lie on top of it (see Plate 200); beyond this point the rampart continues for some distance at a height equal with that of the mounds, and it reaches its maximum elevation at the S. angle of the fort, where the rampart stands 25 ft. above the ditch bottom and 15 ft. above the interior. The rampart then gradually loses height as it proceeds north-eastwards to the railway cutting. The ditch has been entirely filled in on the N. and elsewhere it has been partly filled in; its flat bottom has been ploughed; it measures up to 45 ft. across and from 4 ft. to 7 ft. in depth. Excavation at the S.W. angle has shown, almost certainly, that the ditch was originally V-shaped in profile.

The entrance is a simple gap on the N.W., with the ends of the banks slightly everted. A disturbed earthen pile into which the eastern arm runs probably represents the remains of a hornwork. The interior has been much ploughed and the only visible ancient remains are part of the open fields of Crawford Magna (29).

The railway cutting of 1857 exposed, within the filling of the ditch, a mass grave from which at least 80 skeletons were recovered. At least 40 more skeletons were found in the following year but their precise location was unrecorded. Objects from the grave included iron spear-heads, an iron sword, a twisted iron torque, two bronze chapes, currency bars, a bronze cauldron, bucket handles, spiral finger rings, and two brooches (La Tène II and III). A fragment of Roman shield binding, and the fact that at least two of the bodies came to a violent end, suggests that the occupants of the grave were victims of the advancing Roman army; hence the grave may be comparable with the 'war-cemetery' at Maiden Castle (Dorset II, 497). The uncompleted strengthening of the defences is presumably associated with the Roman advance. (Arch. J. XCVI (1939), 114–131; XCVII (1940), 112–4; P.P.S. XXIV (1958), 106, 112).

Round Barrows. None now survives in the parish. 'Charlton Barrow' (904033) formerly stood in the grounds of the house so named.

Combs Ditch, on the S.W. boundary of the parish (see Winterborne Whitechurch (19), p. 313).

(30) Spetisbury Rings Iron Age Hill-fort