Winterborne Stickland

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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'Winterborne Stickland', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 3, Central, (London, 1970) pp. 305-309. British History Online [accessed 21 April 2024]

In this section


Winterborne Stickland, the Parish Church of St. Mary

(O.S. 6 ins. ST 80 NW, ST 80 SW)

The parish, of over 2,100 acres, lies entirely upon Chalk and rises to an altitude of 500 ft. above sea-level. The land undulates in a branching pattern of narrow, steep-sided valleys, all now dry except for the valley of the Winterborne brook, which flows into the parish from the W. and turns S. at the village. The area was formerly divided into two settlements and manors, Stickland and Quarleston, (fn. 1) each with its own system of open fields; both may well be numbered among the many Domesday entries for the eastern group of Dorset Winterbornes. Evidence of desertion is found in both settlements. Like Winterborne Clenston to the S., Quarleston formerly included a tongue of land which now forms part of Bryanston.


(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary stands near the centre of the village. It has walls of flint and rubble, banded in places and elsewhere mixed indiscriminately, and ashlar dressings; the roofs are partly slated and partly tiled, with stone-slate verges. The Chancel is of 13th-century origin; the Nave is also of the 13th century but with 18th-century windows; the West Tower is of the late 15th or early 16th century; the Porch is of the 16th century; a Tomb Chamber was added in the second half of the 18th century. The church was restored in 1892.

The church is of some interest, especially for the 18th-century alterations which have much in common with those in the church at Charlton Marshall (see p. 57).

Architectural Description—The Chancel (20 ft. by 13½ ft.) has a gabled E. wall with three widely spaced gradated lancet windows, with heavily chamfered heads and jambs and two-centred rear-arches. In the N. wall is a square-headed opening to the tomb chamber. The S. wall has, to the E., a square-headed casement-moulded window of c. 1500, of two lights with two-centred heads; adjacent is a doorway of about the same date as the window, with a moulded four-centred head, continuous jambs, run-out stops and a square label with quatrefoil stops. Further W. is a square-headed window of c. 1500, similar to that first described but of three lights; inside, the widely splayed W. jamb probably remains from a 13th-century window. The chancel arch is of the 13th century; it is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the inner order dying into the responds and the outer order continuing on the jambs. The Tomb Chamber (13½ ft. square) was built to accommodate a tomb dated 1756. In the E. wall is a doorway with a chamfered four-centred head; internally it has a moulded wooden architrave with a pulvinated classical entablature and pediment. In the gabled N. wall is an elliptical-headed window with an ashlar surround, with plain impost-blocks and keystone; the rear-arch has a moulded wooden architrave.

The Nave (20 ft. by 40 ft.) has a N. wall with a chamfered plinth, and a hollow-chamfered string-course with traces of former gargoyles now broken off; above is an ashlar parapet with a moulded coping. The square-set ashlar buttress at the E. end of the N. wall, with weathered offsets in two stages, is probably of the 13th century; the somewhat similar buttress at the W. end of the N. wall is contemporary with the W. tower; between these buttresses are three square-set two-stage buttresses of flint and ashlar, probably of the 18th century. Alternating with the 18th-century buttresses are three 18th-century round-headed single-light windows with moulded ashlar architraves and plain keystones and impost-blocks. To the W., at a higher level and presumably corresponding with a former W. gallery, is a smaller round-headed window with a similar surround. The S. wall of the nave is generally similar to the N., but with buttresses only at the E. and W. ends. That on the E. is of the 13th century, that on the W. is contemporary with the W. tower, At the W. end of the ashlar parapet is an incised date, perhaps 1576, but it is badly defaced. The S. doorway, with a chamfered segmental-pointed head and continuous jambs, is probably of the 18th century; the round-headed rear-arch may be earlier. To the E. of the doorway are two 18th-century windows and to the W. is a gallery window, all as described in the N. wall. Ashlar quoin-stones above the porch suggest that the porch walls were formerly higher.

The West Tower (12 ft. by 9½ ft.) is of banded flint and ashlar. It is of two stages, with a hollow-chamfered plinth, a weathered string-course between the stages and a moulded string-course to the embattled parapet; at the corners of the parapet are four pinnacles with crocketed finials. In the lower stage, the N.W. and S.W. corners have diagonal buttresses of two weathered stages; there is no vice turret. The tower arch is two-centred and of one chamfered order with chamfered capitals; on the E. side the arch is enriched with an ogee moulding and shaped stops, probably an 18th-century alteration. In the S. wall is a blocked doorway with a chamfered two-centred head. In the W. wall is a square-headed casement-moulded window of three two-centred lights with cinquefoil cusping; above, near the top of the lower stage is a square-headed chamfered loop. In the E., N. and S. faces the upper stage has belfry windows of two cinquefoil-headed lights, with central quatrefoils in chamfered two-centred heads under hollow-chamfered labels with square stops. The W. face appears originally to have had a similar belfry window but the head has been filled in and the lights are now square-headed.

The South Porch (7½ ft. square) is of banded flint and ashlar, with an 18th-century sundial on the S. gable. The porch archway is two-centred and of two-chamfered orders with continuous jambs.

The Roof of the chancel retains elements of a timber and plaster wagon roof, of c. 1500, including moulded ribs and a heavily moulded wall-plate with quatrefoil enrichments. The nave roof is also of wagon type, segmental-pointed in cross-section, and heavily encrusted with whitewash and plaster; the intersections appear to be masked by foliate bosses. The panelled oak ceiling of the lower storey of the tower is of the 18th century.

Fittings—Bells: four; treble inscribed 'RA. TB. 1670. Henry Wolfryes John Stevens wardens', 2nd modern, 3rd inscribed 'Serve the Lord, 1622', 4th inscribed 'Give thankes to God, ID. RT. 1626'. Benefactor's Table: In tomb chamber, painted wooden panel with moulded surround recording bequest of £200 in South Sea stock, 1769. Candelabra: In chancel, turned brass pendant with upper tier of three and lower tier of six sconces on scrolled brass brackets, late 17th or early 18th century. Chest: of oak with panelled sides, 18th century. Communion Table: In tower, of oak, with moulded edges to top, arcuated rails with turned pendant, moulded tapering octagonal legs, shaped and scrolled diagonal stretchers with turned centre finial, early 18th century. Doors: In S. doorway, of planks, with iron studs and heavy strap hinges, 18th century; in porch archway, wooden gates with spiked cresting, late 18th or early 19th century. Font: of Portland stone (Plate 27), with moulded octagonal bowl on square pedestal with moulded cap and gadrooned base; oak cover with ogee-profiled octagonal dome and turned vase-shaped finial; early 18th century. Graffiti: On responds of tower arch, 17th and 18th-century initials and dates.

Monuments: In chancel, on N. wall, (1) of Rachel, wife of Rev. William Sutton, 1653, and their children William, 1645, and Barabra, 1652, wall-monument (Plate 33) in form of Ionic column and entablature supported on console, with Latin inscription on shaft; on S. wall, (2) of Honor Clavering, 1708, and the Rev. Robert Clavering, 1735, rector, wall-monument (Plate 38) with cherub-head console, scrolled apron with cartouche-of-arms of Clavering impaling West of Shillingstone, heavily gadrooned string-course, inscription-tablet flanked by scrolled cheek-pieces with fruit and flower swags, and entablature and broken segmental pediment with vase and lamp finials; (3) of John Richardson, 1795, rector, oval marble tablet. At centre of tomb chamber, (4) of Thomas Skinner of Dewlish, 1756, and his wife Barbara, 1769, Portland stone table-tomb with panelled and enriched sides, scrolled ends and polished black marble top, with oval medallion containing arms of Skinner with quarterings. In tomb chamber, on S. wall, (5) of Mary Beale, 1822, marble inscription-panel with urn finial. In churchyard, one pace S. of chancel, (6) of Elizabeth Hall, 1711, shaped headstone; two paces N. of nave, (7) of George Lillington, 1782, headstone with inserted lunette of Coade stone.

Panelling: In tower, 18th-century oak dado; in tomb chamber, on E. and S. walls, pinewood dado, on W. wall, reset oak panelling. Piscina: In nave, in S. wall, with chamfered two-centred head and continuous jambs, polygonal basin with central outlet, 13th century. Plate: includes silver cup and cover paten with hallmarks of 1687 and scratched inscription 'In usum Ecclesiae de Stickland, an. do. 1688', also two 18th-century pewter alms-dishes. Pulpit: of oak, hexagonal, on panelled plinth; two sides of pulpit formed by walls of nave, three sides with two heights of fielded panelling between moulded top and bottom rails, with book-rest on scrolled bracket; open-string stairs of four steps with square handrail with moulded capping and turned balusters and newel post; 18th century. Screen: In opening between chancel and tomb chamber, reset moulded oak members with quatrefoil panel enrichment and foliate bosses, possibly fragments of late 15th-century rood-screen, made up with later work. Sundial: On gable of S. porch, with faces to S.E. and S.W., each face with Roman numerals and scrolled iron gnomon; 18th century. Miscellanea: In tomb chamber, on S. wall, stone cartouche-of-arms with wreath surround; arms, a blank coat impaling Strickland (sic), 17th century. In S. porch, reset on E. wall, semicircular stone panel depicting crucifixion, with two flanking figures, 15th century (see drawing below). In tomb chamber, loose, lead panel with cast inscription, 'Mr. John Jollie Will Albeart CW 1714', with two sun bosses; probably from former roof.

Stone Panel Depicting the Crucifixion


(2) The Rectory, 150 yds. S.E. of the church, is two-storied with attics; it has walls of banded brick and flint and it is roofed with tiles and slates. The original E.-W. range was built in 1685; a N. extension at the E. end of the range is of 1768 and S. extensions at the W. end of the range were built in two stages about the middle of the 19th century.

The exposed part of the N. front of the original range has a brick plinth and a three-course brick plat-band at first-floor level. The original windows are casements with wooden surrounds; that above the doorway has two lights and the others are of three lights. Above the plat-band, to the W. of the two-light first-floor window, is a stone panel (Plate 48) carved with the date 1685 and the arms of Clavering impaling West (in 1683 Robert Clavering, rector 1682–1735, married Honor, daughter of Richard West of Shillingstone), crest, a hand supporting a closed book. The 18th-century N. wing has a W. front of one bay with a three-light casement window in each storey; there is no plat-band, but a date-stone of 1768 is set at the level of the first floor. The gabled W. wall of the original range has recently been rebuilt; to the S. is the W. front of the 19th-century S. wing, with a stone porch with Doric pilasters and a pediment.

(3) Quarleston Farm (83650399), house, stands 700 yds. S. of the church; it is of one and two storeys and has walls of banded flint and ashlar, partly rendered, and tiled roofs with stone-slate verges.

In 1437 the manor house of Quarleston comprised a hall, a bakehouse and a kitchen (Hutchins I, 332), and the W. part of the N. range of Quarleston farmhouse, presumably the former manor house, still incorporates an open-roofed hall of the first half of the 15th century. The E. part of the N. range, separated from the hall by a through-passage and also defined by vertical joints, is of the 16th century. The E. range and a two-storied projection in the angle between the two ranges are of the 17th century. The W. end of the N. range and the S. wall of the E. range are of the 19th century.

The N. range has, near the middle of the S. front, an early 18th-century doorway (Plate 68) with a moulded stone architrave with eared angles, a pulvinated frieze and a broken pediment with scrolled terminals; at the centre of the door-head is a square panel with drapery enrichment. To the W. of the doorway, the 15th-century hall, originally of one storey, has an 18th-century square-headed stone window of two lights. Further W. are traces of another opening, now blocked. At the W. end of the range is a 19th-century extension of one storey, the roof being continuous with that of the hall. To the E. of the central doorway, in the 16th-century part of the N. range, are square-headed ground-floor windows of two and three lights with recessed and hollow-chamfered stone surrounds; above them on the first floor are casement windows with wooden surrounds. Further E., the S. front of the N. range is masked by the 17th-century projection.

On the N. front of the N. range the hall has no windows. At the N. end of the through-passage is a 19th-century doorway; its E. jamb corresponds with the vertical joint between the 15th and 16th-century parts of the range. The 16th-century part has, on the first floor, a square-headed hollow-chamfered two-light window; all other openings are of the 19th century.

In the E. range, the E. front is rendered and has 19th-century windows in five bays and a 19th-century doorway in the second bay from the N. The W. elevation is of banded flint and ashlar; on the ground floor, to the S., is a three-light mullioned window with a recessed hollow-chamfered square head and continuous jambs; the other openings in the W. elevation are of the 19th century. The projecting bay in the angle between the E. and N. ranges is continuous with the 17th-century W. elevation and has eaves at the same level, about 1½ ft. higher than those of the N. range; the bay may originally have contained a staircase (cf. Melcombe Horsey (3)). The projecting bay has ashlar quoins and a mullioned two-light W. window at first-floor level; below is a 19th-century casement window.

Quarleston Farm House, Winterborne Stickland

Inside, the 15th-century hall has, at the W. end, an inserted 18th-century open fireplace and bread-oven; the flat plaster ceiling, with a transverse beam just below wall-plate level, is also of the 18th century. The through-passage is separated from the hall by a plank-and-muntin partition, now largely concealed by rendering. In the attic above, and resting upon the joists of the 18th-century ceiling, a low timber-frame partition with wattle-and-daub infilling traverses the hall 2½ ft. W. of the plank-and-muntin partition below; it contains a small doorway with a cambered head; the top beam of the partition is morticed for ceiling joists.

The hall roof (Plate 211) is of the 15th century. It is of three bays and has four principal trusses with arch-braced collar-beams; the arch-braces have ogee mouldings and hollow chamfers; a pair of curved struts rises above each collar-beam. On each side of the roof are three chamfered purlins. Midway between the principal trusses, subsidiary arch-braced collar trusses spring from the middle purlin on each side; in the subsidiary trusses the chamfered principals are shaped at the apex to give a rounded intersection instead of an angle. Between the lower and the middle purlins in each bay were formerly two wind-braces; they have now gone but they are indicated by mortices in the purlins and principals; above, between the central and upper purlins, pairs of smaller curved and chamfered wind-braces form pointed arches in each sub-bay. At the wall-head a fragment of roll-moulded and hollow-chamfered oak wall-plate survives.

To the E. of the hall, the ground-floor room in the 16th-century part of the N. range was originally a kitchen. At the E. end is a large open fireplace, now partly occupied by a smaller 18th-century fireplace; the ceiling has three stop-chamfered transverse beams. The roof of the E. part of the N. range has three bays with strutted collar-beam trusses and two through-purlins. The truss adjacent to the hall is filled in below the collar with studding and wattle-and-daub. Some trusses incorporate older material reused.

The 17th-century E. range was extensively altered in the 19th century and no early features are visible.

(4) The Mill House (83390457), 100 yds. S.W. of the church, is two-storied and has walls of rubble and brick, with some timber-framing, and also of cob in the upper storey; the roofs are thatched. The plan is T-shaped; the W. range, the head of the T, is of the 16th century; part of the E. range is of the same date but the eastern end is probably of the late 17th century. The W. front is of two bays with a central doorway. Rising ground causes the lower storey of the northern part of the W. range to be below ground level, and on the first floor the N. wall has only two small windows. The N. front of the E. range is single-storied; in its W. part it is of rubble and to the E. it is of timberframework with brick nogging above a rubble plinth. The S. front is of rubble. Inside, on the ground floor, the W. range now comprises a single room but the transverse beam is probably the head of a former partition; from it, a chamfered beam with shaped stops extends to the chimney-breast in the N. wall; the open fireplace is now blocked. Another blocked fireplace occurs at the S. end of the W. range. The E. wall of the W. range is partly of timber-framework; in it is a chamfered four-centred doorway, now blocked. In the E. range two ground-floor rooms have exposed beams.

Monuments (5–15)

Unless otherwise described the following 18th-century dwellings are of two storeys, or single-storied with attics, and have walls of rubble, flint, brick and cob, and thatched roofs. They are distributed along the Winterborne brook to the W., and in the village street to S. and N. of the church.

(5) House (83230446), 300 yds. S.W. of the church, was built early in the century, perhaps originally as two dwellings. In plan it is a straight range of rooms with a chimney-stack in each gabled end wall. Inside, one room has a chamfered beam with run-out stops.

(6) Cottage (83090441), 150 yds. S.W. of (5), is of about the same date and also was originally two dwellings.

(7) Cottage (83020440), 60 yds. W. of (6), is of two bays, with a central doorway to the S. and one chimney-stack to the E.

(8) The Malthouse (83590445), 220 yds. S.E. of (1), was built in the second half of the century and has walls of banded brick and flint. The house was originally a range of three cottages with a malting-house at the N. end. The S. tenement, at right-angles to the others, was extended to the E. in the 19th century. A large open fireplace in the former malting-house has 'WB 1767' scratched on the bressummer.

(9) House (83530454), 100 yds. S.E. of (1), consists of two late 18th-century cottages and an adjacent 19th-century cottage combined as a single dwelling.

(10) Cottage (83530457), a few paces N. of the foregoing, is of the late 18th century.

(11) Cottage (83500457), a few paces W. of (10), originally had a symmetrical W. front of two bays, with a central doorway flanked by three-light ground and first-floor casement windows, and a chimney-stack on each gabled end wall. A two-storied bay has been added to the S. The original range is of the late 18th century.

(12) Cottages, two adjacent (83500464), 50 yds. E. of (1), are of the late 18th century. Each tenement has a symmetrical E. front; that to the N. is of two bays with a central doorway and that to the S. is of three bays. A single chimney-stack on the partywall serves both tenements.

(13) The Crown Inn (83510467), 80 yds. N.E. of (1), is of the mid 18th century. The W. wing of the original L-plan was extended S. in the 19th century.

(14) Cottage (83470484), 200 yds. N. of (1), is of the late 18th century.

Cottages built in the first half of the 19th century occur at 83350449, 83440456, 83480462, 83520460, 83510469 and 83490474.

Mediaeval and Later Earthworks

(15) Settlement Remains (829044–825045), formerly part of Winterborne Stickland village, lie W. of the present village, on the S. side of the Winterborne valley, on River Gravel and Chalk at about 330 ft. above O.D.

The remains, which cover about 7 acres, consist of seventeen long closes of varying size, bounded by low banks, with rectangular platforms indicating former buildings cut into the lower parts. The closes are very similar to those of Philipston, Winterborne Clenston (7). Seventeen similar closes, all now completely destroyed by ploughing, appear on air photographs on the N. side of the same valley. Immediately W. and N.W. of Stickland Church (834046), three more closes have also now been destroyed; below them was a hollow-way, the S. extension of which lies in the churchyard. Of the date of desertion of these remains nothing is known.

(16) Settlement Remains (836639), formerly part of Winterborne Quarleston, lie in the extreme S. of the parish on both sides of the R. Winterborne. Thirteen taxpayers were listed in 1333, but thereafter there are no population records; by 1811 there was nothing on the site but the present farm (O.S., 1811).

The remains cover about 6 acres and are in two parts. To the W. of the present farm is a very disturbed area which includes one large platform (50 yds. by 25 yds.) separated from the land to the W. by a scarp 4 ft. to 6 ft. high, with an internal ditch 15 ft. wide. To the E. of the farm were formerly six parallel closes, orientated E.-W.; they were 90 yds. long and 30 yds. to 40 yds. wide and were bounded by low banks; these have now been destroyed. A number of late 11th and 12th-century sherds have been found on the site (Dorset Procs. 77 (1955), 152–3).

(17) Cultivation Remains. Although the open fields of Winterborne Stickland were not enclosed until 1802 (Enclosure Award, D.C.R.O.) they appear to have been subject to reorganisation in the 18th century. In 1735 they were divided into five separate fields (Map of Winterborne Stickland. D.C.R.O.) but by 1771 the same area had only three fields (Map of Milton Abbas and Stickland by W. Woodward, see above, p. 183).

A group of four strip lynchets, now almost ploughed out, lies on the N. side of a dry valley just under ¾ m. N.E. of the church (837056). In 1771 these were in 'Nether Mitchell Wood Furlong' in North Field. A group of four contour strip lynchets, also almost ploughed out, lies on the S. side of a dry valley immediately S.E. of New Barn Cottages (830053); in 1771 they were strips in 'Lecks Larch Furlong' in Middle Field. Another group of four well preserved strip lynchets lies on the S. side of the Winterborne valley, 550 yds. S.W. of the church; in 1771 they were called 'Wessen Furlong' in the S.E. part of South Field.

Nothing is known of the open fields of Quarleston except that they were already enclosed by 1735. Remains of these fields lie along the W. side of the Winterborne valley, between Stickland Cottage and Quarleston Farm (835044–835039), at the mouth of a dry valley; they consist of two blocks of ridge-and-furrow, up to 200 yds. long and 5 yds. to 7 yds. wide, divided at intervals by low strip lynchets.

Roman and Prehistoric

Two round barrows, almost certainly those described below, were opened by Baron Hambro and William Shipp in 1860 (C.T.D., Pt. 2, Nos. 16 and 17; Hutchins I, 331). The first, probably (19), was 14 ft. high and was composed largely of flints; in the centre 'on a raised bed of clay' was a cremation under an inverted urn; a secondary deposit of three cremations in urns had been found a few years earlier in the N. side of the mound. The second barrow, probably (18), was 5 ft. high and was composed almost entirely of large tabular flints, most of which were removed. Fragments of pottery and charcoal were found, but no interment.

(18) Bowl Barrow (81510639), in the N.W. of the parish at 550 ft. above O.D. on a broad spur falling N.E., has been damaged by digging and by heavy ploughing. Diam. about 50 ft., ht. 2 ft.

(19) Rowbarrow (82570667), bowl, lies 600 yds. N.W. of Hedge End Farm at 400 ft. above O.D. on an E-facing slope of the same spur as (18); it has been heavily ploughed. Diam. about 70 ft., ht. 2 ft.


  • 1. Fägersten, 62, 63.