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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'Report', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 3, Central, (London, 1970) pp. xxvii-xxxii. British History Online [accessed 29 February 2024]

In this section


Report to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty

May It Please Your Majesty

We, the undersigned Commissioners, appointed to make an Inventory of the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions connected with or illustrative of the contemporary culture, civilisation and conditions of life of the people of England, excluding Monmouthshire, from the earliest times to the year 1714, and of such further Monuments and Constructions subsequent to that year as may seem in our discretion to be worthy of mention therein, and to specify those which seem most worthy of preservation, do humbly submit to Your Majesty the following Report, being the twenty-fifth Report on the work of the Commission since its first appointment.

2. We have pleasure in reporting the completion of our recording of the Monuments in the central part of the County of Dorset, an area comprising fifty-eight parishes, containing 1,418 Monuments of sufficient significance to demand separate enumeration, and some 300 minor Monuments.

3. Following our usual practice we have prepared a full, illustrated Inventory of the Monuments in Central Dorset, which will be issued as a non-Parliamentary publication (Dorset III). As in the Inventory of south-east Dorset (Dorset II) accompanying the twenty-fourth Report, the Commissioners have adopted the terminal date 1850 for the Monuments included in the Inventory.

4. The methods adopted in previous Inventories have in general been adhered to, and, as in south-east Dorset, attention has been paid to topography and to the form and development of the man-made landscape in which the Monuments are set. It is hoped that the introductory notes to each parish will suggest the visual attributes and indicate the history of settlement of the area.

5. The method of presenting 'Celtic' Field Groups and associated Monuments follows the precedent of Dorset II. Since many of these Monuments extend beyond the boundaries of a single parish they are described extra-parochially in a section of the Inventory following the inventory by parishes.

6. Important entries in the Inventory of Central Dorset have been submitted in draft to the incumbents of churches and to the owners of houses, as appropriate, and we are satisfied that no significant Monument dating from before the year 1850 has been omitted.

7. Our special thanks are due to incumbents and churchwardens and to owners and occupiers who have allowed access by our staff to the Monuments in their charge or ownership. We are indebted to the Directors and Curators of many institutions for their ready assistance to us, and particularly to the Curators of the Dorset County Museum in Dorchester, the late Lieut.-Col. C. D. Drew, and Mr. R. N. R. Peers; also to Miss M. Holmes, the County Archivist, and to Miss P. K. Stewart, the Assistant Archivist in the Diocese of Salisbury, who have helped us over many points of detail. To M. J. W. Craig Esq. of the Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments we owe the identification of the Riding House at Wolfeton, Charminster. We have to record our indebtedness to the Director General of the Ordnance Survey for access to his archaeological records, for assistance in the preparation and printing of maps, and for valuable work done by the Air Surveyors of his Department. We wish to record our gratitude to Dr. J. K. S. St. Joseph, Director in Aerial Photography in the University of Cambridge, for many air photographs taken specially for us, and we are also grateful for air photographs supplied by J. R. Boyden, Esq., by the Royal Naval Air Service at Yeovilton, and by the School of Army Aviation at Middle Wallop. To Peter Ferrey, Esq. we are indebted for permission to reproduce a drawing of Athelhampton Hall by Benjamin Ferrey.

8. We humbly recommend to Your Majesty's notice the following Monuments in Central Dorset, as being Most Worthy of Preservation



(2) The Church of St. Andrew, of the first half of the 12th century, with an apsidal E. end and interesting 18th-century fittings.

Bishop's Caundle

(1) The Parish Church, mainly of the 15th century.

Blandford Forum

(1) The Parish Church, dating from c. 1735.

(2) St. Leonard's Chapel, a 15th-century building now used as a barn.

Blandford St. Mary

(1) Wall Monument of Francis Cartwright, 1758, in the Parish Church.

Buckland Newton

(1) The Parish Church, dating from the 13th and 15th centuries.

Charlton Marshall

(1) The Parish Church, a graceful building of 1713, with a 15th-century west tower.


(1) The Parish Church, dating from the early 12th century, and with a fine 16th-century west tower.


(1) The Parish Church, of late 13th-century origin, with 14th and 15th-century additions.

(2) Lyscombe Chapel, a late 12th-century monument now much in need of repair; also the remains of a 15th-century priest's house adjacent.

Child Okeford

(1) The Church Tower, of the late 15th century.


(1) The Parish Church, of the 12th century and later.


(1) The Church Tower, of the late 15th century; also an inscription of 1455 reset in the south porch.

Fifehead Neville

(1) The Parish Church, of 14th-century origin, with 18th-century enlargements.

Glanville's Wootton

(1) The Parish Church, with a Chantry Chapel of 1344, a west tower of c. 1400, a 13th-century recumbent effigy, and important 17th-century wall monuments.


(1) The Parish Church, of late 12th or early 13th-century origin.


(1) The Parish Church, largely of the mid 17th century.

Hazelbury Bryan

(1) The Parish Church, a fine example of late 15th-century architecture, retaining interesting contemporary glass.


(1) The Parish Church, largely of the 15th and 16th centuries, with traces of an earlier fabric.

Hinton St. Mary

(1) The Parish Church, of the mid 19th century, with a 15th-century west tower.


(1) The Parish Church, largely of the late 15th century, with carved stonework of good quality.


(1) The Parish Church, of the mid 15th and early 16th centuries.

Iwerne Courtney

(1) The Parish Church, of the 14th century, with important 17th-century additions.

Iwerne Stepleton

(1) The Parish Church, of the late 11th or early 12th century.


(1) The Parish Church, of the 15th century.

(2) The Church at Stock Gaylard, with a 13th-century recumbent effigy.


(1) The Parish Church, of 13th-century origin, with a 15th-century west tower.


(1) The Parish Church, mainly of the 15th century, but with a fine 12th-century font and a small 13th-century effigy for a heart burial.


(1) The Parish Church, of 12th-century origin, with 14th and 15th-century additions including a fine 15th-century west tower, partly rebuilt in the 18th century, a tomb with three recumbent effiges of c. 1470, and a richly decorated nave roof of c. 1520.

Melcombe Horsey

(1) The Parish Church, of the 14th and 15th centuries.

Milborne St. Andrew

(1) The Parish Church, of the 12th century, with a fine original south doorway and font, and with a 15th-century west tower.

Milton Abbas

(1) The Abbey Church, of the 14th and 15th centuries, the most important ecclesiastical monument in the area.

(2) The Parish Church, of c. 1786, an example of the revived Gothic style.

(3) St. Catherine's Chapel, of the 12th century, with an interesting original inscription relating to indulgences.

Okeford Fitzpaine

(1) The Parish Church, with a 15th-century west tower and an unusual tower arch.

(2) The Church at Belchalwell, with a notable 12th-century south doorway.


(1) The Parish Church, of the 15th and 16th centuries, with a noteworthy south tower.


(1) The Parish Church, of 12th-century origin, with an especially notable west tower dated 1487.


(1) The Parish Church, of 12th-century origin, with an original font and with 14th-century and notable 15th-century additions; containing a remarkable group of tombs of the Martyn family, and fine 17th-century woodwork.


(1) The Parish Church, of the 15th and 16th centuries.

Purse Caundle

(1) The Parish Church, of the 15th and 16th centuries, with a noteworthy canopied table-tomb.


(1) The Parish Church, of the early 12th century.


(1) The Parish Church, of c. 1200, but much restored, and with an altar-tomb of 1599 and a fine 17th-century pulpit.


(1) The Parish Church, largely of the 19th century, but with a north chapel of c. 1500.


(1) The Parish Church, of the 13th to 16th centuries, incorporating a notable relief of the late 10th or early 11th century.


(1) The Church Tower, of the late 15th century.

Stourton Caundle

(1) The Parish Church, of the 13th to 15th centuries, with a noteworthy 16th-century pulpit.

(2) Chapel, of the 13th century, now used as a barn.

Sturminster Newton

(1) The Parish Church, of the late 14th or early 15th century, with a fine nave roof of c. 1500.


(1) The Parish Church, of 12th-century origin with 13th and 14th-century additions, having a well preserved 14th-century roof and containing an important 12th-century tomb.


(1) The Church Tower, of c. 1500.

Winterborne Clenston

(1) The Parish Church, by Lewis Vulliamy, built in 1840.

Winterborne Kingston

(1) The Church, of 14th-century origin.

Winterborne Stickland

(1) The Parish Church, of 13th-century origin, with a west tower of c. 1500 and with 18th-century alterations.

Winterborne Whitechurch

(1) The Parish Church, with a chancel of c. 1200 and a central tower of the 15th century; also with a good 15th-century font.

Winterborne Zelston

(1) The Parish Church, largely of 1866, but with a 15th-century west tower.



(3) Anderson Manor House, dating from 1622, with walls of brick with stone dressings and with interior fittings of good quality.

(4) Tomson Farmhouse, of c. 1620, with interesting fragments of original plasterwork and panelling.


(2) Athelhampton Hall, of late 15th-century origin with a well-preserved great hall and oriel window, and with 16th-century additions of high quality.

Bishop's Caundle

(2) Cornford Bridge, incorporating 15th-century and 18th-century masonry.

Blandford Forum

(4) Town Hall, façade, dated 1734.

(5) Fire Monument, dated 1760.

(7) Ryves's Almshouses, built in 1682.

(8) Coupar House, of the mid 18th century, with rich interior fittings.

(9) Lime Tree House, of c. 1735, a well-preserved example of a well-to-do citizen's dwelling.

(12) The Old House, of c. 1660, with a façade of rusticated brickwork.

(31) Eastway House, of c. 1735, with an elegant street front, and interior plasterwork of c. 1750.

(45) Houses in the Market Place, built c. 1735, by the architect John Bastard, partly for his own use.

(47) The Red Lion Inn, N. front, of c. 1735.

(52) The Old Greyhound Inn, N. front, of c. 1735.

(89) No. 81 Salisbury Street, a well-proportioned late 18th-century house.

(101) No. 10 West Street, comprising the S. fronts of two fine 18th-century town house (first and second floors).

Blandford St. Mary

(2) The Manor House, of the 17th and 18th centuries.

(3) The Old Rectory, built in 1732.

(11) Brook House, of the second quarter of the 18th century and probably designed by Francis Cartwright.


(4) Wolfeton House, incorporating an interesting gatehouse of c. 1500 and the remains of a richly decorated mansion of the later 16th century.

(5) Riding House, of the last quarter of the 16th century, probably the earliest riding school to survive in England.

(6) Forston House, of the early 18th century.

Child Okeford

(2) Fontmell Parva House, incorporating parts of a mid 17th-century manor house.


(2) Dewlish House, of 1702, with a well-proportioned N.E. front and interior fittings of good quality.

(3) Manor Farm House, of the early 17th century.

Glanvilie's Wootton

(6) Round Chimneys Farm House, of the late 16th century, comprising the remains of a larger house with stonework of good quality.


(2) The Manor House, dating from the first half of the 16th century, with additions, including stonework of good quality, of c. 1560.


(2) Hanford House, an early 17th-century mansion of considerable architectural interest.

Hinton St. Mary

(2) The Manor House, a 17th-century house incorporating vestiges of a great hall which may be of the 13th century.


(14) Naish Farm, an interesting 15th-century hall-type farmhouse with many original features.

Iwerne Courtney

(3) Ranston, a modern house incorporating a dignified 18th-century W. front; also an ornamental Bridge of the same period.

Iwerne Stepleton

(2) Stepleton House, a 17th-century mansion with 18th-century additions, and with interior fittings of good quality.


(3) Mappowder Court, incorporating the remains of the 17th-century seat of the Coker family.


(4) Senior's Farm, a late 15th-century house with internal fittings of good quality.

(5) Pope's Farm, incorporating an early 17th-century farmhouse and an adjacent stable range of about the same date.

Melcombe Horsey

(2) Bingham's Melcombe, a 16th-century mansion noted for its beauty, with 17th and 18th-century additions.

(3) Higher Melcombe, a manor house of the 16th century with 17th-century additions including a chapel, and with decorated plaster ceilings.

Milton Abbas

(4) Milton Abbey House, a late 18th-century mansion designed by Sir William Chambers and James Wyatt, incorporating a great hall of 1498 with a fine roof and richly carved screens. The 18th-century rooms have plasterwork, joinery and marble chimneypieces of high quality.

(7) 'Model Village', of c. 1780.

(8) Almshouses, of c. 1674, transferred to the new village in 1779.

(9) The Vicarage, of c. 1780.


(3) The School Gates, of the 16th century and probably from the tomb of Lady Margaret Beaufort in Westminster Abbey.

(10) Pear Tree Cottage, a 16th-century dwelling.


(3) Waterston House, mainly modern, but retaining two noteworthy façades, one of 1586, the other of the mid 17th century.

(4) The Vicarage, largely of the early 18th century.

(15) Tudor Cottage, probably of 1573, with original interior fittings.


(4) The Rectory, an example of the 18th-century revived Gothic style.

Purse Caundle

(2) The Manor House, of the 15th-century and later, a notable example of a medium-sized country house.


(2) Crawford Bridge, incorporating some mediaeval masonry.

(3) Johns House, formerly the Rectory, a distinguished house, built in 1716.


(2) Market Cross, of the late 15th century.

(3) Thornhill, of the 18th century, the house of Sir James Thornhill.

(4) Gate Piers, 17th-century, of the demolished Manor House.


(3) Stinsford House, partly of the 17th century.

(4) Kingston Maurward House, a dignified mansion, mainly of 1794.

(5) The Manor House, incorporating the shell of an important 16th-century house, but extensively modernised inside.


(2) Lazerton Farm House, of the first half of the 17th century.

Sturminster Newton

(3) Bridge, of c. 1500, with 17th-century alterations.

(4) Fiddleford Mill, incorporating a mid 14th-century dwelling house with a great hall and solar, with original timber roofs of outstanding importance.

(7) House, in the market place, with a late mediaeval roof.

(27) House, close to the church, of the late 15th or early 16th century.

(29) Vine House, a small 17th-century town house.

(47) The 'Castle', probably an Iron Age fort, with a late mediaeval building superimposed.


(2) The Manor House, dated 1656.

Winterborne Clenston

(2) The Manor House, of the early 16th century, with a first-floor hall and with carved stonework and woodwork of good quality.

(3) Barn, of the 16th century, with a reused 15th-century hammer-beam roof of high quality.

Winterborne Stickland

(2) The Rectory, dating from 1685.

(3) Quarleston Farm House, incorporating the remains of a 15th-century hall.

Winterborne Whitechurch

(3) Whatcombe House, an early 19th-century mansion incorporating a smaller house of 1750.

Mediaeval and Later Earthworks


(25) Settlement Remains, formerly part of the hamlet of Charlton.


(7) Settlement Remains known as 'Court Close'.


(29) Cultivation Remains (a).

Melcombe Horsey

(9) Settlement Remains of Bingham's Melcombe.

Milborne St. Andrew

(13) Settlement Remains.

Milton Abbas

(20) Remains of the Town which was demolished c. 1780.

(23) Remains of a Park Pale in Milton Park Wood.


(21) Settlement Remains of Bardolfeston.

Roman, Prehistoric and Undated Monuments

N.B. Destruction of field monuments continues to be rapid and widespread, and it is desirable that all monuments listed in this Inventory should be preserved, both because of the increasing rarity of such monuments and because extent and impressiveness of surface remains are not alone indicative of archaeological importance. This can be revealed only by excavation; therefore destruction should never be allowed without archaeological investigation.

Alton Pancras

(18) Enclosures in Tenant's Bottom.


(22), (23) Cross-dykes on Lyscombe Hill.

Child Okeford

(22) Iron Age Hill-fort on Hambledon Hill.

(23) Neolithic Long Barrow.


(13) Dyke on Bell Hill.

Melcombe Horsey

(11) Romano-British Settlement, with tracks and fields, on Bowden's Hill.

(12) Nettlecombe Tout, Iron Age hill-fort. (13–17) Dykes on Bowden's Hill.

Milborne St. Andrew

(18) Weatherby Castle, Iron Age hill-fort. (30–37) Round Barrows on Deverel Down.

Okeford Fitzpaine

(41) Cross-Dyke on Okeford Hill.


(43) Settlement on West Hill, Plush, with associated track, and fields.

(45, 46, 47) Dykes on Lyscombe Hill.

(63) Enclosure on Lower Down.


(30) Round Barrow near Duck Dairy House.


(30) Spetisbury Rings, Iron Age hill-fort.

Stoke Wake

(6) Rawlsbury Camp, Iron Age hill-fort.


(11) Hod Hill, Iron Age hill-fort and Roman fort.

Sturminster Newton

(47) see Secular, above.


(7) Settlement on Ringmoor, with associated tracks and fields.

Winterborne Houghton

(9) Settlement near Meriden Wood, with associated tracks and fields.

(10) Settlement near Bully Wood, with associated tracks and fields.

Winterborne Whitechurch

(19) Combs Ditch, linear dyke.

'Celtic' Field Group

(42) Fields, Strip Lynchets and other Cultivation Remains, Watcombe Plain, Alton Pancras.

9. In compiling the foregoing lists our criteria have been architectural or archaeological importance (the latter subject to the reservation expressed in the note to Roman, Prehistoric and Undated Monuments above), rarity, not only in the national but in the local field, and the degree of loss to the nation that would result from destruction, always bearing in mind the extent to which the Monuments are connected with or illustrative of the contemporary culture, civilisation and conditions of life of the people of England, as required by Your Majesty's Warrant. The lists have thus an entirely scholarly basis; we have taken no account of such attendant circumstances as cost of maintenance, usefulness for present-day purposes, or problems of preservation.

10. We desire to express our acknowledgment of the good work accomplished by our executive staff in the preparation and production of this Inventory; particularly by the editor, Mr. G. U. S. Corbett, and our investigators Messrs. R. W. McDowall, N. Drinkwater, H. C. Bowen, E. A. Gee, S. T. D. Spittle, T. W. French, R. A. H. Farrar, W. E. Barbour-Mercer, J. E. Williams, J. T. Smith, C. F. Stell, D.J. Bonney, R. M. Butler, P. J. Fowler, C. C. Taylor, and Miss M. Meek; by our illustrators, Messrs. B. Marriott, A. L. Pope, and Mrs. G. M. Lardner-Dennys; and by our photographers, Messrs. F. T. Power, W. C. Light, R. E. W. Parsons and C. J. Bassham.

11. We desire to add that, as well as affording constant general assistance to us, our Secretary and General Editor Mr. A. R. Dufty has contributed important entries in this Inventory.

12. The Survey of Central Dorset was started many years ago, before the outbreak of the Second World War and the diversion of our staff to work in other areas; hence the present Inventory includes valuable contributions by the late Sir Alfred Clapham, the late Mr. G. E. Chambers and the late Mr. A. T. Phillips.

13. The next Inventory in the Dorset series will record the Monuments of thirty-four parishes in the North of the County, extending eastwards to include the parishes in the Tarrant Valley. The final volume will deal with the East part of the County and will also contain a general survey of Roman Roads in Dorset.


SALISBURY (Chairman)
















A. R. DUFTY (Secretary)