Caundle Marsh

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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, 'Caundle Marsh', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 3, Central, (London, 1970) pp. 55-56. British History Online [accessed 19 May 2024].

. "Caundle Marsh", in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 3, Central, (London, 1970) 55-56. British History Online, accessed May 19, 2024,

. "Caundle Marsh", An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 3, Central, (London, 1970). 55-56. British History Online. Web. 19 May 2024,

In this section


(O.S. 6 ins. ST 61 NE, ST 61 SE)

The parish, of about 1,000 acres, lies W. of Bishop's Caundle and Stourton Caundle, in a shallow basin that drains S. to the Caundle Brook. To the E. the land is on Forest Marble and rises to 400 ft. above sealevel; to the W. it is on Oxford Clay and attains only 250 ft.; the N. part of the parish is on Forest Marble and Cornbrash Beds. Large parts of the area remained open common until finally enclosed in 1845. (fn. 1) Until 1886 five detached 'islands' of Bishop's Caundle lay inside Caundle Marsh. They were enclosed by 1727 (fn. 2) but their outline still revealed that they had once been strips in the Caundle Marsh open fields. Secondary settlements, each with its own enclosed fields, developed in the waste beyond the open fields; examples are Ashcombe Farm (7) which certainly existed in the 14th century and perhaps earlier, (fn. 3) and probably Prytown Farm (3), which was one of the detached parts of Bishop's Caundle.


(1) The Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul was entirely rebuilt in 1857 to the design of R. H. Shout. Altar, communion rails, pulpit, lectern, font and other fittings are skilfully carved in Ham Hill stone. Two monuments from an older church are incorporated in the present building.

Fittings—Monument and Floor-slab. Monument: In chancel, built into N. wall, of John Brit, 1587, recessed table-tomb spanned by low four-centred moulded arch; stone front of tomb chest stands flush with chancel wall; front divided into three panels, lateral ones oblong with lozenge infilling, middle one square with shield-of-arms, on a chevron between three bugle-horns, two daggers and a nail, presumably variant of Brett (Coker, 156); moulded edge of tomb with plain band inscribed Here Lieth The Bodie of John Brit Gentleman Anno Domini 1587; the word 'gentleman' replaces another, obliterated. Floor-slab: In S.E. part of nave, of William Gollop, 1691, Purbeck marble slab with added inscription to William Gollop, 1802, Plate: includes silver cup and paten with hallmarks of 1712, both inscribed 'the gift of Mrs Jane Hoare relict of Henry Hoare Esqr. late of Stourton, to ye parish of Caundlemarsh, Com. Dorset'; also stand-paten, probably 18th century, and paten of 1712, both with same inscription as cup.


(2) Manor Farm (67841323), house, immediately E. of the church, is built of roughly coursed rubble with ashlar dressings and has two storeys with attics. The roofs are tiled, with stone-slate verges, except for one slope which is wholly stone-slated. The middle part of the dog-leg plan is the oldest, dating probably from the 15th century and comprising the N. and S. walls of a hall. To W. and N. is a 16th-century wing, possibly in place of an original solar and undercroft. To the E., a 17th-century wing occupies the probable place of the eastern part of the original house and also extends S. The stone fireplace and chimney-stack in the 15th-century building are of the 17th century.

Manor Farm

Of the original house only the W. part survives. It was entered from the N. through a doorway which is still the main entrance; its wide chamfered jambs are surmounted by a hollow-chamfered segmental-pointed door-head that seems to be secondary. Opposite this opening, in the S. wall, are traces of a second doorway now walled up. A fireplace and chimney-stack are inserted in place of the through-passage which, presumably, lay between the N. and S. doorways; it has narrowchamfered stone jambs and a reset wide-chamfered stone head that was originally four-centred. The W. end of the 15th-century building is indicated by a vertical joint on the outside of the N. wall, near the junction of the 16th-century N.W. wing; the E. extremity is lost in the construction of the 17th-century wing. The stone mullioned three-light window in the original S. wall is of the 17th century and the window in the N. wall is of the 19th century. Doorways on each floor of the original house give access to the 16th-century W. extension.

The 16th-century extension has, in the S. wall, a narrow doorway with a chamfered four-centred head, continuous jambs and a square label; adjacent is a partly blocked window of four four-centred lights with hollow-chamfered jambs and mullions; on the first floor is a similar window. Inside, the 16th-century range contains two unheated ground-floor rooms; to the N. an unconnected through-passage, with external doorways with four-centred heads to E. and W., proves that the range formerly extended further northwards. The first floor has two rooms and there are other chambers in the attic. A window with ovolo-moulded mullions is probably a 17th-century insertion; a fireplace on the first floor is probably of the 18th century.

The 17th-century E. wing is now divided into several compartments but it originally had only two ground-floor rooms, with fireplaces in the gabled end walls. The area of the former N. room is spanned by three chamfered beams, and a chamfered half-beam marks the position of the former partition; the former S. room was spanned by a single transverse beam. The stairs retain some 17th-century turned balusters and a moulded handrail. The external walls of the E. wing have been extensively refaced and all openings appear to be of the 19th century.

(3) Prytown Farm (67941441), cottage, is single-storied with dormer-windowed attics; it has rubble walls and thatched roofs and it dates from the late 17th or early 18th century. The gabled W. end has a stone coping on moulded kneelers and culminates in a brick chimney; a second chimney-stack stands near the middle of the range. The S. front is of four bays; to the W. is a wooden casement window of three lights, next is the doorway with a modern round head, to the E. are two casement windows similar to the first.

(4) Sandy View (67671345) is a late 17th or early 18th-century cottage of coursed rubble in two storeys with a thatched roof. The central doorway is flanked by pairs of casement windows and there are four corresponding windows on the first floor.

(5) Cottages, pair (67841240), of rubble and cob, partly rendered, and of two storeys with thatched roofs, are of the late 17th or early 18th century. Each tenement has a central doorway flanked by casement windows; a common chimney-stack rises above the party-wall.

(6) Cottages, two (68471427 and 68541430), of rubble with thatched roofs, are probably of the late 17th century. The narrow plots on which they stand were evidently encroachments on the former roadway.

(7) Ashcombe Farm (67921506), house, is of two storeys; the walls are rendered, with some ashlar dressings, and the roofs are partly tiled and partly of stone slates. The gabled N. and S. end walls have stone copings on shaped kneelers. A stone mullioned window of four square-headed lights with chamfered jambs occurs in the W. wall but all other openings are modern. The main range, of three bays, is probably of the 17th century and there are later extensions at the N. end and against the W. side.

(8) Marsh Court (67671383) is a two-storied house with dormer-windowed attics; it has walls of coursed and squared rubble with ashlar dressings; the roof is of stone slates. Although the greater part of the house is modern it contains an 18th-century nucleus. The central doorway of the W. front and the window above it appear to belong to the original structure. The doorway is square-headed and has a pedimental stone hood on scrolled brackets. The window is of two elliptical-headed lights with continuous ovolo-moulded jambs; it opens in an ashlar panel flanked by scrolled cheek-pieces. A rebuilt chimney-stack incorporates a stone inscribed D.G.M. 1731. Two 18th-century mullioned windows are reset in the E. front and in the S. side of the N.E. wing.

Monuments (9–12)

Unless described otherwise the following buildings are of the 18th century and have walls of rubble and cob in two storeys.

(9) Poll Bridge Farm (68131247), house, dates from the middle of the century; until recently it had thatched roofs. The plan is a half-H and the principal front, to the N., is symmetrical, with a central doorway and a stone mullioned window of three square-headed lights on either side; on the first floor are three similar windows, except that the central window is of Venetian form, the middle light having a false round head. The N. range is gabled at each end but the two wings which project to the S. have hipped roofs. The S. front of each wing has a stone mullioned three-light window on the ground floor and a modern window above. The interior has been extensively modernised, but some chamfered beams are exposed.

(10) Holt Cottage (69001373) has walls of rubble and brick, partly rendered, and a thatched roof. The original range was extended to E. and W. in the 19th century; the cottage is now derelict.

(11) Tut Hill Farm (68571435), house, was originally two cottages, that to the N.W. being probably earlier than the other. The roofs are slate-covered.

(12) Yew Tree Farm (67401406), house, has rubble walls and slated roofs. The S. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a central doorway and casement windows. The house probably dates from the late 18th or early 19th century.

Monuments of the late 18th and early 19th centuries include a house at West Hays Farm (67791308) in which a symmetrical 19th-century E. range of three bays is added to an 18th-century nucleus; the casement windows of the E. front have geometrical lattices; also a house at Hawkins's Farm (68241343), a two-storied rubble building with a tiled roof and casement windows.

Mediaeval and Later Earthworks

(13) Cultivation Remains: Nothing remains of the original open fields; they were in existence in 1499 (S. & D.N. & Q., XIII, (1913) (203) and had already been enclosed by 1727 (Map of Caundle Marsh, 1727, D.C.R.O.).

Ridge-and-furrow remains can be seen on air photographs at a number of places: E. and S. of Ashcombe Farm (679150 to 679148), E. of Prytown Farm (681144), formerly in Bishop's Caundle, and S.W. of West Hays Farm (676127); it is 5 yds. to 7 yds. wide with headlands of 8 yds. (R.A.F. CPE/UK 1974: 2151–2, 2193–5, 4150–2). These traces are confined to existing fields that are associated with secondary settlements beyond the original open fields of the parish.


  • 1. Enclosure Map, 1845, D.C.R.O.
  • 2. Map of Caundle Marsh, 1727, D.C.R.O., and Caundle Marsh Tithe Map of 1838.
  • 3. Fägersten, 212.