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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'Anderson', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 3, Central( London, 1970), British History Online [accessed 24 July 2024].

'Anderson', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 3, Central( London, 1970), British History Online, accessed July 24, 2024,

"Anderson". An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 3, Central. (London, 1970), , British History Online. Web. 24 July 2024.

In this section

2 ANDERSON (8897)

(O.S. 6 ins. SY 89 NE)

In 1933 the two adjacent parishes of Anderson and Winterborne Tomson were combined under the former name, with a total area of 1074 acres. The land, mainly on the N. bank of the Winterborne River, is Chalk with altitudes from 150 ft. to 400 ft. above sealevel. Each village now consists of a manor house and a few cottages, but Tomson was formerly somewhat larger (6). Each probably had a separate mediaeval open field system. The principal monuments are an early 12th-century church and a small 17th-century manor house at Tomson, and a handsome 17th-century manor house at Anderson. The fact that Tomson church remained without enlargement from the 12th to the 16th century implies a continuously small population in the middle ages, and documentary evidence confirms this (see (6)). The parish church of St. Michael at Anderson was largely rebuilt at the end of the 19th century.


(1) The Parish Church of St. Michael stands in Anderson village. The nave walls are of banded flint and Heathstone ashlar, the S. chapel is of banded flint and brick, the chancel is rendered; the roofs are tiled, with stone-slate verges. Although largely rebuilt in 1889 the original plan is preserved. The S. wall of the Chancel is probably mediaeval, at least in its lower part; the Nave was rebuilt in 1889 with the W. wall approximately as before, but higher, witness an early photograph kept in the church; it appears originally to have been of the 13th century. The South Chapel was built in 1755 and altered in 1889.

Architectural Description—The walls of the Chancel (17 ft. by 9 ft.) are rendered, but the extra thickness of the S. wall and the presence of a mediaeval piscina suggest that it is mediaeval. The E. and N. walls and all three windows are of 1889. The Nave (28 ft. by 12 ft.) has modern N. and S. walls of banded flint and ashlar; the W. wall, of similar construction, has a central pilaster corbelled out to support a bell-cote at the apex of the gable. The corbels are roll-moulded and the apertures for the bells have chamfered trefoiled heads; the top of the cote is weathered; these features reproduce the previous arrangement, with re-use of some of the 13th-century stonework that composed it. The South Chapel (12½ ft. by 11¼ ft.) has a flint plinth with a chamfered ashlar capping; the S. gable contains a date-stone of 1755 with the initials T.T., for Thomas Tregonwell. The S. window is of the late 19th century. To the N. of the E. doorway are traces of an earlier opening, now blocked. The timber South Porch is modern.

Fittings—Bells: two; 1st inscribed M … M, 2nd with 'Ave gracia', both mediaeval. Font: In S. chapel, octagonal Purbeck marble bowl with central drain-hole, mediaeval, now detached and disused. Monuments: On S. wall of nave, (1) of Margaret (Baskett) Galpine, 1803 and others of same family, marble disc with moulded border and fine lettering, by J. Brine, 1807. In churchyard, E. of chancel (2) of John Marsh, 1763, tomb-slab. Piscina: In chancel, in S. wall, with chamfered ogee head and continuous jambs, basin with drain-hole, front part cut off, 14th century. Plate: includes silver cup of 1684 engraved with lozenge-of-arms of Tregonwell; also pewter flagon and dish, both 18th century. Miscellanea: In S. chapel, over S. window, plaster cartouche-of-arms of Tregonwell impaling Lister, 18th century, perhaps originally from S. chapel ceiling.

Anderson, the Parish Church of St. Michael

(2) The Church of St. Andrew (88479742) stands near the middle of the settlement of Tomson. It is of flint and rubble with ashlar dressings and buttresses, the latter mainly of Heathstone; the roof is tiled, with stone-slate verges (Plate 96). The building, consisting only of an apsidal Chancel and a rectangular Nave, with no dividing arch, was probably built in the first half of the 12th century; in the 16th century it was repaired, heightened and given a wagon roof and new windows; further improvements were made early in the 18th century at the expense of Archbishop Wake. The building was restored in 1931 by A. R. Powys with money from the sale of Thomas Hardy's MSS. Powys is buried in the churchyard.

The church is of special interest for its apse, a unique survival in Dorset, and for the unspoiled, rustic appearance of the interior.

Architectural Description—The church is a simple rectangle with an apse at the E. end (Plate 96). The side walls are about 2½ ft. thick at the base but taper sharply towards the top. The apsidal Chancel (7½ ft. by 15½ ft.) has three shallow 12th-century ashlar pilaster-buttresses of two stages, with chamfered plinths, chamfered offsets at about three-quarter height, and weathered tops. Those to E. and S. appear to have been partly rebuilt but the N. buttress retains original masonry throughout. The much worn plinth of the E. buttress appears to have an ovolo moulding. A fragment of ashlar extending into the N.E. quarter of the apse from the N. buttress suggests that the original apse was wholly ashlar-faced, but the rest of the N.E. sector and all of the S.E. sector has been refaced in rubble and flint with random ashlar blocks and a few bricks; this work seems likely to have been done in the 17th century. The N. wall of the Nave (34 ft. by 15¾ ft.) is mainly original and of flint, but the upper 2 ft., in coursed rubble, probably indicates heightening in the 16th century. Attached to the wall are three secondary buttresses; the middle one is of stone and probably of the 15th century, the others are of brick and perhaps of the 18th century. The middle buttress blocks a narrow original doorway with ashlar jambs and a deep lintel which is barely longer than the width of the opening, indicating that behind the buttress the jambs are probably corbelled; above the lintel protrudes a rough corbel. A blocked window in the E. part of the N. wall is probably a 15th-century insertion. The S. wall has three 16th-century windows, each of two lights with segmental heads, moulded stone jambs and mullions and square labels. To the W. is a narrow original loop with an elliptical head and a chamfered and rebated surround; it is blocked internally. The square-headed W. doorway has a chamfered head and jambs with shaped stops and is probably of the 18th century. The 16th-century wagon Roof is segmental in cross-section and forms a shallow half-dome over the apse. Its transverse and radial wooden ribs rise from hollow-chamfered wall-plates and intersect two longitudinal ribs and a central ridge piece; in the apse these members are moulded but in the nave they are chamfered. The intersections are masked by wooden bosses, some modern and plain, others original and foliate. A blank wooden shield decorates the hollow-chamfered wall-plate at the base of each rib and plain stone corbels project from the wall-face below many of the shields.

Fittings—Brass Indent: In floor-slab in third pew on N. side, indent for rectangular plate, 7 ins. by 2 ins. Communion Table: In apse, of oak with tapering spirally turned legs, probably early 18th century; top board curved to fit apse wall. Communion Rails: of same period as table, with spirally turned balusters, moulded rails and rectangular posts with ball finials. Font: octagonal Purbeck marble bowl truncated to about half original height, each face formerly with a blank shield enclosed in a quatrefoil; octagonal stone pedestal with hollow-chamfered octagonal base; 15th century. Gallery: of oak, now at W. end of nave but probably originally a rood-loft; main beam with casement and roll mouldings; parapet, partly restored, with plain oak panels between chamfered uprights with traces of red and green pigment; to the W., gallery floor rests on second moulded beam with deep mortices suitable for posts of central rood-screen doorway and twelve subsidiary uprights; late 15th or early 16th century.

Anderson, Church of St. Andrew, Winterborne Tomson

Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: On N. wall of nave, (1) of A. R. Powys, 1936, Purbeck marble wall tablet. In churchyard, S. of nave, (2) anonymous table-tomb with brick sides and stone top. Floor-slabs: In nave, on S. side, in second pew from W., (1) of John Morton, 1654; in centre aisle, (2) of James Ainsworth, 1849. Plate: includes a silver cup and cover-paten, by I.M., with hall-mark of 1638. Pulpit: In S.E. corner of nave, uniform with pews (see Seating); with polygonal oak sounding board above. Screen: standing 7½ ft. W. of communion rails and dividing chancel from nave, with plain oak posts and rails and moulded cornice; top rail in S. bay arcuated to give head-room for pulpit steps; early 18th century. Seating: In chancel and nave, ten high-sided box pews, of oak, with panels fielded in 18th-century manner on obverse but with posts and rails with moulded edges, more typical of 17th-century panelling, on reverse; pews provided by William Wake, Archbishop of Canterbury 1716–37. (Hutchins I, 196.)


(3) Anderson Manor (88019760) stands 80 yds. N. of (1). Above a plinth of knapped flint banded with squared rubble, the walls are of brick with Purbeck stone dressings; the roofs are tiled. The house was built by John Tregonwell in 1622 on a modified E-shaped plan and reference to it is made by Coker (c. 1625): 'of late Mr. Tregonwell has built him a faire house near the church'. In the third quarter of the 17th century a service wing was added at the N.W. corner of the main block, and this was extended westward, probably towards the end of the century; the principal staircase was remodelled at about the same time. At some period there appears to have been a building, now demolished, against the W. wall of the main block. In recent times minor additions have been made to the N.W. wing, and the interior of the house has been extensively reconditioned.

The house is noteworthy for its sensitive execution of a traditional architectural design in a material, brick, that was then comparatively new in Dorset (Plates 52, 89).

Architectural Description—The S. front is a symmetrical three-gabled composition of five bays; at the centre is an octagonal three-storied porch; at each end is a projecting gabled bay of two storeys with an attic. The flint and stone plinth is hollow-chamfered and the wall above is of thin bricks, four courses rising II ins., in bonding consisting of two courses of stretchers to one course of vitrified headers; there are stone quoins at the angles of the three projecting bays, and moulded stone strings between the storeys; the strings lie immediately above the windows and act as hood-moulds. The parapet and gables have a continuous stone coping, with modern ballfinials at the corners and on the apices. In the centre bay the entrance to the porch is a round-headed archway of one roll-moulded and hollow-chamfered order with a plain keystone, continuous jambs and shaped stops; the round-headed inner doorway has continuous ogee-moulded jambs, sunk spandrels and an ogee-moulded square surround; the mouldings end at chamfered and moulded stops. The nail-studded door with strap-hinges and a small spy-hole protected by a metal grill is of the 17th century. Above the porch on the first floor is a hollow-chamfered stone mullioned and transomed window of six square-headed lights extending across the front and the two canted sides of the bay. On the second floor is a mullioned window of the same width and, immediately above it, a moulded string course and a low parapet; from the middle of the window upwards the porch is backed by a central gable which stands in the plane of the main wall-face. The intermediate flanking bays have each a two-light transomed window on the ground and first floors; lead rain-water heads and pipes are embellished with the arms of Tregonwell, the initials I.T. and the date 1622. Each projecting end bay has a two-light mullioned and transomed window on the ground and first floors, and a two-light attic window with a hood-mould in the gable; a blocked window occurs on the ground floor in the E. return of the western bay. Lofty chimneystacks with flues set diagonally and arranged in two groups of four are symmetrically disposed behind the intermediate bays; they are capped with projecting courses of brickwork.

Anderson Manor

The E. front is in three bays with the two northernmost gabled; the plinth and strings are carried round from the S. front. The windows, of two and three lights, and the rainwater heads are as described above. A doorway between the N. and middle bays is of the early 18th century; it has a moulded architrave and a pulvinated entablature. The N. front comprises three gabled bays, partly masked by the N.W. wing; the plinth is continued from the E. front but the strings are omitted; in their place the mullioned two-light windows have labels with returned stops. The Tregonwell crest appears on two rain-water heads, and a third is inscribed S.T. 1770. The W. front has two gables and stone-mullioned windows of one, two and three lights with labels; a doorway in the N. bay has a chamfered four-centred head and continuous jambs. Two diagonal chasings in the upper part of the wall suggest the pitched roof of some former addition, since removed. The Tregonwell crest is repeated on the lead rain-water boxes and on the lugs of one of the down-pipes; the boxes are also decorated with lead rolls at the top and have small standards with pierced decoration at the angles.

The original N.W. service wing is of three storeys; the hollow-chamfered plinth, where it occurs, is continuous with that of the main house but of brick instead of flint. In the S. front each storey has a hollow-chamfered mullioned window of three square-headed lights with a label, and there is a single attic light, now blocked. At the top of the S. wall is a halfgable, the other half being incorporated in the N. wall of the main house. The gabled N. elevation has rusticated brick quoins, formerly rendered. A first-floor window has a brick relieving arch with projecting bricks to represent rustication. The late 17th-century W. extension is two-storied; in the S. front is a doorway with a chamfered four-centred head and stop-chamfered jambs, and two and three-light stone-mullioned windows; the walls are extensively patched.

Inside, the Hall is lined with 17th-century panelling in four heights. Several doorways have moulded surrounds and panelled oak doors with wrought-iron hinges. An E. window has in stained glass the arms of Tregonwell with helmet, mantling and crest, all reset. The Hall fireplace has a stone surround with a moulded four-centred head. Between the Hall and the present Dining Room, originally the kitchen, is a 17th-century plank-and-muntin partition, made up with some modern material. The Dining Room has a wide open fireplace with a chamfered segmental stone head; the exposed ceiling-beams are stop-chamfered. The N.E. staircase is in two flights; the moulded handrail, turned and moulded balusters, and newels with acorn terminals are of the late 17th century; however an original window on the half landing shows that there was always a staircase in this position. The W. staircase is original; it is of four dog-leg flights and has close strings, moulded handrails and turned and moulded balusters. The ground-floor rooms between the two staircases have fireplaces similar to that of the Hall, and on the first floor are other fireplaces of the same kind, and also some 17th-century panelled doors. The chamber above the Hall has an original ceiling roundel of moulded plaster consisting of radiating stylised branches of roses, thistles, pears and shamrock leaves within a wreath of bay-leaves with foliate bosses at intervals.

In the present century, while the garden and forecourt were being laid out anew, the line of an early terrace to the S. of the house was uncovered. Two lead cisterns with the initials and dates, F.G.H. 1723 and I.W.W. 1764 stand in the garden.

(4) Tomson Farm (88569740), 100 yds. E. of St. Andrew's church (2), is an early 17th-century house of two storeys with attics. The walls are of coursed rubble with squared rubble dressings and with some brickwork in the upper parts; the E., S. and W. fronts are rendered; the roofs are principally of stone-slate but tiled near the ridges. Two large chimneybreasts project from the N. wall, each with three diagonally set brick flues at the top. Hutchins (1, 195) interprets foundations to the W. as evidence that the house was originally longer, having had a symmetrical plan centred on the stair tower, but this is doubtful. Many original windows survive; they are of two to five lights with recessed and hollow-chamfered stone jambs and mullions, square heads and moulded labels. The house is fairly well preserved and incorporates interesting original features. Originally, the ground-floor plan probably comprised three rooms: a central hall with a kitchen to the E. and a parlour to the W. A screens-passage between the kitchen and the hall may well have had N. and S. doorways, but the latter is obliterated. The hall appears to have had no fireplace. The spiral stairs opened off the hall and led up to a well appointed chamber over the parlour.

The S. front is of four bays, each bay with a four-light mullioned window on each storey, except where replaced by modern openings. The wall-face is interrupted by three brick buttresses, to a large extent rendered, but probably of the 18th century; one of them may mask an original S. doorway. The present entrance to the house has been formed in one of the S. windows. The W. end wall has a modern three-light window on the ground floor and an original window of five lights above; the E. end wall has original four-light openings in both storeys. The N. front has a large projecting chimney-breast near each end, and a projecting stair tower on the E. of the western breast (Plate 90). At the base of the tower, on the N. side, is a low doorway with a shallow four-centred chamfered head and continuous jambs; above it are square-headed three-light windows in two storeys. Between the stair tower and the eastern chimney-breast the lower part of the N. front is masked by an out-building but, inside this, the N. wall contains an original window and doorway; the latter has a chamfered four-centred head and is somewhat taller than the doorway in the stair tower.

Inside, an original plank-and-muntin partition forms the E. side of the W. ground-floor room. The N. and E. sides of the adjacent closet are also of plank-and-muntin, but reset. The chimney-breast on the W. side of the E. room is probably of the 19th century. There is no visible evidence for or against a S. doorway in correspondence with either of the known N. doorways.

Anderson, Tomson Farm

The spiral stair is of stone and the doorway which opens from the stairs to the first floor has a shallow four-centred head, hollow-chamfered and ogee-moulded jambs and shaped stops (Plate 81); the mouldings are on the S. side of the opening and the rebate is towards the stairs. The doorway opens into an original draught-lobby of oak, with fluted Ionic pilasters and an enriched cornice. The W. chamber, into which the draught-lobby projects, originally occupied about two-thirds of the first floor but it is now divided into two rooms and a passage. The chamber has a moulded plaster ceiling embellished with crowned Tudor roses, fleurs-de-lis, rampant lions, grotesque masks and arabesques (Plate 91); the plasterwork is intersected by the later partitions and parts of it are missing. The fireplace of the W. chamber has a moulded stone surround with a shallow four-centred head and a carved frieze of stone panels with lozenges and stylised foliage. The E. chamber has a moulded plaster ceiling with intersecting ribs forming geometrical patterns around a central pendant; the fireplace is modern. At the top of the stairs the attic landing has an oak railing of turned balusters in two heights with a moulded to rail. The doorway from the landing to the attic is of oak with chamfered jambs and a four-centred head. The principal members of the roof are original.

A range of buildings running N. from the E. end of the house is partly of the 19th century but towards the N. it incorporates a single-storied Cottage that is probably of 17th-century origin. A gabled wing projecting to the E. contains a wooden newel staircase with a large oven beneath it. At the N. end of the cottage is an open fireplace with a chamfered and cambered bressummer. The attic floor rests on reused deep-chamfered beams with splay stops. Reset in the W. wall of the cottage is a block of stone, 6 ins. square, cut from a carved shield-of-arms of the Hussey family (see Hutchins IV, 312). At the N. end of the range is an extension, perhaps of the 18th century, incorporating heavy timber-frame construction, probably reused.

A Barn, 50 yds. W. of the house, was partly rebuilt in the 19th century but to the S. are two original bays, of the early 17th century. It has rubble walls with squared rubble quoins and weathered coping and it retains two original raised archbraced open cruck-trusses of very heavy scantling. A projecting wing to the W. is of two storeys and has on the ground floor a chamfered square-headed doorway with a moulded label; the upper storey is a pigeon-cote and has a small square window with chamfered reveals and a moulded label.

(5) Cottage (88469738), 30 yds. S. of (2), of two storeys with rubble and brick walls and thatch-covered roofs, is probably of the 17th century but lengthened and heightened subsequently.

A range of stone-walled Cottages 75 yds. to the W. of (5) is probably of the early 19th century but built of old materials.

Mediaeval and Later Earthworks

(6) Settlement Remains (884973), formerly part of Winterborne Tomson village, cover some 10 acres immediately S. and S. W. of (2).

The settlement is one of several unidentified Winterbornes in Domesday Book. Eyton (p. 122) suggests that it and Anderson together composed the manor of the Count of Mortain (D.B. Vol. 1, f. 79b) with a combined recorded population of only six. Tomson is not recorded in the 1327 or 1333 Subsidy Rolls, but since the parish was exempt from tax in 1428 the population must have been fewer than ten (Feudal Aids, 1284–1431, Vol. II, 97); it was granted a tax reduction on account of poverty in 1435 (P.R.O., E/179/103/79). The remains, which are bounded by a bank 1½ ft. high and an external ditch, have been extensively damaged by quarrying but there are at least two well-marked house platforms and fragmentary closes.

(7) Cultivation Remains. Both former parishes apparently had open fields but nothing is known of the date of enclosure. Only in Tomson are there any remains; 360 yds. N. of St. Andrew's Church (884977) is a block of ridge-and-furrow, 250 yds. long and 280 yds. wide, cut on the E. by the present field boundary.

Roman and Prehistoric

Roman Road from Badbury Rings to Dorchester (see Dorset II, 539; also Dorset V).

Combs Ditch, forming the N. boundary of the parish (see Winterborne Whitechurch (19), p. 313).