An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 4, North. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1972.
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2 BOURTON (7630)
(O.S. 6 ins. ST 72 NE, ST 73 SE)
This parish, the northernmost in Dorset, was regarded as part of Gillingam until the 19th century. It has an area of 922 acres between 350 ft. and 600 ft. above sea-level and falls into two parts. That in the S. is roughly oval and comprises more than two-thirds of the whole area; it lies mainly on Corallian Limestone and is drained by a small tributary of the R. Stour. The other part, a projection on the N.E., lies mainly on Greensand; it is intersected by the R. Stour, flowing S.E.
The early history of the district is bound up with that of Gillingham; the name is first recorded in 1212 (Fägersten, 3). It is possible that there were two original settlements, West Bourton and Bourton, corresponding with the two parts described above. West Bourton is still a small agricultural hamlet, but Bourton village (map, p. 4) has grown to occupy much of the N. and N.E. part of the parish, with a relatively dense scatter of dwellings resulting from industrial development. Although in Dorset, the parish lies in the area of the Wiltshire and Somerset textile industry, and the manufacture of linen was already flourishing early in the 18th century. Yarn was imported from Holland to supplement flax, locally grown and spun, and by the end of the 18th century weaving was the main occupation of the community; in 1811 three-quarters of the population was so engaged. At first the work was done on hand-looms in the scattered cottages; the first mill was established in 1720 and other mills were built early in the 19th century, some of them drawing power from the R. Stour. Later in the 19th century the industry declined in the face of competition from the North.
(1) The Parish Church of St. George (76843030) stands in the W. part of the village. The walls are of squared and coursed rubble with Greensand ashlar dressings; the roofs are slated. A church was consecrated in 1813, but it was entirely rebuilt in 1880, re-using the old foundations (Faculty, Sarum Dioc. Regy.).
Fittings—Chest: of oak, with wrought-iron angle clasps, beaded top and moulded base, originally with three locks, inscribed 'BP 1794', recently acquired. Monuments: In nave, reset on N. wall, (1) of Henry Biging, 1839, marble tablet with draped urn by Chapman of Frome; (2) of John Burfitt, 1840, marble tablet by Chapman of Frome. Plate: includes silver cup, cover-paten, paten and flagon, all of 1810, inscribed 'The gift of Sir Richard Colt Hoare Bart. to the Chapel of Bourton, A.D. 1811'. Royal Arms: In nave, on N. wall, painted on small wood panel, with crowned scutcheon of Hanover, 1814–37 (Plate 27).
(2) Chaffeymoor House (76153024) is of two storeys with attics and has walls of rubble with ashlar dressings, and slated roofs. The house originated probably in 1700, and it has additions on the W. of the early and late 19th century. The S. front was remodelled early in the 19th century.
The N. front of the original range is of five bays, with a central doorway flanked by casement windows of two square-headed lights, with moulded stone surrounds and weathered labels, and with similar windows in the upper storey. The centre bay is masked by a late 19th-century two-storey porch. At the W. end of the N. front a wing projecting northwards is probably of the early 19th century. The S. front of the original range is symmetrical and of three bays. At the centre, on the ground floor, is an original square-headed doorway with a moulded stone surround and a moulded label; it is sheltered by an early 19th-century porch with trellised uprights and a concave lead roof; set in the wall above the porch are two stones inscribed respectively 17 and 00. On the first floor, over the porch, is an early 19th-century sashed window. On each floor, the side bays of the S. front have early 19th-century bay windows of three sashed lights. The attic has modern dormer windows. To the W. is a two-storeyed extension, probably of the middle of the 19th century.
Inside, the first-floor room at the E. end of the original range has 18th-century pine panelling with fielded panels and moulded rails and stiles. In the attic, the roof trusses have plain tie-beams, and collar-beams with slightly raised centres.
Stables, some 30 yds. to the N., are of the early 19th century.
(3) Chaffeymoor Grange (76223038) is of two storeys and has walls of rubble with ashlar dressings, and tiled roofs. The main range is modern, but part of a small 17th-century house is incorporated at the rear.
(4) Adcroft House (76973018), of two storeys and a cellar, has rubble walls and tiled roofs with stone-slate verges; it dates probably from early in the 18th century. The W. front is of three bays, with a central doorway and with sashed windows symmetrically disposed in each storey; the N. front has casement windows informally arranged. The drawing room, in the angle between the W. and N. ranges, is of the first half of the 19th century; its doorway probably replaces a former window.
Inside, the arrangement of ceiling beams suggests that the partition on the S. side of the present dining-room is secondary whereas that between the passage and the kitchen is original. The staircase has a dado with bolection-moulded panels with fielded centres, step spandrels with simple scroll decoration, and columnar balustrades with spiral fluting on alternate shafts; at the foot of the staircase is a matching dog-gate. The E. ground-floor room has two round-headed niches with moulded surrounds and shaped shelving.
(5)Cloth Mill (77713087), single-storeyed with basements, has walls of rubble with ashlar dressings, and tiled roofs (Plate 31); it was built in 1820. The main range has a symmetrical E. front of five bays with segmental-headed openings; the doorway at the centre has 'WIJ 1820' inscribed above the keystone; below, the basements have segmental-headed windows. On the W. front the falling ground allows the basement to be open, with three large round-headed archways and one segmental-headed archway. Adjoining the N. end of the main range is the former machine-house, with openings for a water-race which led to an overshot water-wheel, now removed.
(6) Ivy Lodge (77743084), house, adjacent to (5), is of two storeys with walls of rubble and of ashlar and with a thatched roof; it dates from the 18th century, with additions probably of 1834. The original range had a S. front of two bays with a central doorway, and three-light casement windows. In the 19th century the range was extended westwards and a french window was inserted in place of an original ground-floor window. At the same time a new range was built on the N., parallel with the first, with a further extension at right-angles; the date of the extensions is suggested by a lead rain-water head of 1834. Inside, on the first floor, several 19th-century rooms have three-panelled doors with enriched beading.
(7) Bullpits (77513117), house, is of two storeys, with walls partly rendered and partly of rubble, and with tiled and slated roofs. The main S. and E. ranges are largely of the 19th century, but incorporated in them, to N. and W., are the walls of a former Cloth Mill, dating from c. 1720. The 19th-century S. front has a symmetrical façade of three bays with a central doorway under a porch with round-headed arches and RomanDoric corner pilasters; originally all the windows had sashed lights, but some of these have been replaced by modern casements. To the E., slightly set back, is the S. end of the 19th-century E. range, with a Palladian window on the ground floor and with a pair of round-headed lights above. On the N. the walls of the former mill are exposed; it appears to have been L-shaped in plan and to have had rubble walls and slated roofs; a few large casement windows are preserved. Inside, the house has been extensively modernised. Documents and pictures relating to the history of the building are preserved by the owner.
(8) Cottages (76123051), two adjacent, are two-storeyed and have rubble walls and tiled roofs. The cottage on the S.E. is of late 16th or early 17th-century origin; that on the N.W. is of the 18th century. Inside, the S.E. ground-floor room has a four-panel ceiling with heavily moulded intersecting beams and corresponding wall-plates.
(9) Cottages (7633027), two adjacent, are two-storeyed and have walls partly of rubble and partly rendered; the roofs are thatched. The building is probably of the late 18th century.
(10) Chaffeymoor Farm (76453020), house, two-storeyed, with rubble walls and slated roofs, dates probably from the first half of the 18th century. The original range is of four bays; on the W. is a late 18th-century extension of one bay; on the E. is a similar, but slightly lower extension, probably of the early 19th century.
(11) Grovehouse Farm (76383035), house, is two-storeyed and has rubble walls and tiled roofs. The main range is of the 18th century and there are 19th-century extensions on the N. and N.W. The W. front of the main range has a central doorway with a flat hood resting on moulded timber brackets. Casement windows in each storey have timber lintels and wrought-iron casements with leaded glazing. Inside, at the N. end of the original range is an open fireplace with a moulded stone surround, probably of the 18th century.
(12) Cottages (76753033), two adjacent, are two-storeyed and have walls of coursed and random rubble, and thatched roofs. The building is of the 18th century and has an L-shaped plan, the N. cottage standing at right-angles to that on the S. Inside, several rooms have ceiling beams with narrow chamfers.
(13) Marvin's Farm (76923007), house, of three storeys, has rubble walls and slated roofs; it is of 18th-century origin, with a late 19th-century third storey. The W. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a central doorway and with sashed windows. Inside, some rooms have panelled softwood partitions.
(14) The Red Lion Inn (76933038), is two-storeyed and has walls of squared rubble with ashlar dressings, and slated roofs. It dates from c. 1830.
(15) Cottage (77203059), with rubble walls and thatched roofs, is of the late 18th century.
(16) Sandway House (77253069), of two storeys with attics, has rendered walls and tiled mansard roofs; it is said to date from c. 1795. Extensions on the N. are of the 19th century.
(17) Cottages (77243071), two adjacent, have walls of coursed rubble, and thatched roofs. Originally single-storeyed with dormer-windowed attics, they have recently been heightened to make two storeys and they have also been combined as one dwelling. The building appears to be of 18th-century origin.
(18) Dovehayes Farm (77423089), house, is two-storeyed and has walls of coursed rubble and tiled roofs; it dates from the late 18th century. The S. front of the main range is symmetrical and of three bays, with a central doorway flanked by sashed windows of three lights and with corresponding openings in the upper storey. Adjacent on the W. is a single-storeyed outbuilding, contemporary with the main range; on the E. is a somewhat later addition.
(19) Dovehayes Farm Cottages (77323085), two adjacent, are two-storeyed and have rubble walls and slated and tiled roofs; they are of the 18th century.
(20) Cottages (77583076), pair, are two-storeyed with rubble walls and tiled roofs; they date from late in the 18th century. The W. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with coupled doorways at the centre and with casement windows of three and of four lights arranged symmetrically in each storey.
(21) Malthouse Cottages (77883079), range of three and one adjacent, are two-storeyed and have rubble walls and are roofed with tiles and corrugated iron; they date from early in the 18th century. Inside, the middle cottage of the range has a ceiling with reset fragments of moulded plasterwork of late 16th-century origin (cf. Gillingham (75)).
(22) The White Lion Inn (77863093), of two storeys, comprises a row of three former houses of c. 1800 and, at the back, a cottage of c. 1750. The walls are of coursed rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. The southernmost house of the row has a symmetrical E. front of three bays with a central doorway; on the N. is a pair of two-bay houses. The cottage of 1750 stands adjacent to that first mentioned, on the N.W.; it is roofed with pantiles.
(23) Cottage (78193121), single-storeyed with an attic, with rubble walls and a thatched roof, dates from early in the 18th century. Adjacent on the S. is a two-storeyed extension, with walls of coursed rubble, probably of the late 18th century. The S. gable has an ashlar coping with shaped ashlar kneelers and, at the apex, an ashlar chimney-stack.
(24) Manor Farm (76592927), house, is two-storeyed and has rubble walls with heavy rubble quoins, and tiled roofs. It is probably of the 18th century and a moulded stone label over the E. doorway is presumably reset. All windows have casements and are spanned by timber lintels. The plan is L-shaped.
(25) West Bourton Farm (76632923), house, is two-storeyed and has rubble walls and tiled roofs with stone-slate verges; it is of the 17th century. All windows have casements and the openings are spanned by rough timber lintels. The S. doorway has an 18th-century lead-covered segmental hood resting on scroll-shaped timber brackets. Inside, the plan is of class F, with two original open fireplaces, now blocked. A plank-and-muntin partition flanks the through-passage on the side opposite the central chimneybreast. The bressummer of the E. fireplace is cambered and deeply chamfered. The first floor rests on deeply chamfered beams, one with shaped stops.
(26) Blackwater Farm (76442925), house, is two-storeyed and has rendered walls and a slated roof. The symmetrical E. front is of two bays with a central doorway and with casement windows in each storey; to the S. is an added bay. The N. gable has a date-stone inscribed 'RP 1738', probably the date of the house.
(27) Farmhouse (76582935), is two-storeyed and has rubble walls and a tiled roof; it dates from about the middle of the 18th century. The E. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a central doorway and casement windows. The N. and W. elevations retain original casement windows of two, three and four square-headed lights, some of them blocked. Inside, one room has an open fireplace, now blocked.
(28) Cottages (76632937), two adjoining, are two-storeyed and have coursed rubble walls and tiled roofs; they are of the 18th century. In each cottage the W. front is symmetrical and of two bays, with a central doorway and with sashed windows in each storey.
Dispersed in the village of Bourton, as shown on the map on p. 4 are twenty-five small two-storeyed houses, similar to one another in character. They date from the late 18th or early 19th century and have coursed rubble walls and thatched or tile-covered roofs. The façades are of three bays, each with a central doorway and with symmetrically disposed windows; a few have casements, but in most the windows are sashed. In several of these monuments, notably (53), (Plate 30), the three-bay façade is designed to mask two independent dwellings (cf. Milton Abbas (7), Dorset III, 197).
Monuments of the first half of the 19th century include fifteen Ranges of Cottages, of two, three or four tenements, and four isolated Cottages; the location of these monuments is shown on the map on p. 4.