Pages xviii-xxi

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 5, East. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1975.

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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 thirty-first Report on the work of the Commission since its appointment.

2. We have pleasure in reporting the completion of our recording of the Monuments in the eastern part of the County of Dorset, an area of twenty-five civil parishes wherein we have identified 842 distinct Monuments, 4 Roman Roads and extensive remains of Prehistoric Agriculture. Our Survey of Dorset is now ended.

3. Following our usual practice we have prepared an illustrated Inventory of the Monuments of East Dorset, which will be issued as a non-Parliamentary publication (Dorset V). As in the Inventory of North Dorset (Dorset IV), accompanying the twenty-sixth Report, it has been our policy to include all significant Monuments and Constructions dating from before 1850. The methods adopted in previous Inventories have in general been adhered to, and special attention has been paid to topography and to the form and development of the landscape in which the Monuments are set.

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

5. Our method of presenting 'Celtic' Field Groups and associated Monuments remains as in Dorset IV. 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. For similar reasons we have been unwilling to subordinate the discussion of ancient roads to the parochial structure, and the final volume of the Dorset Inventory therefore contains a general synopsis of Roman Roads in the County.

6. The Inventory of East Dorset contains a general list of monumental coats-of-arms noted throughout the County; it is complete up to 1714, but selective with regard to later heraldry.

7. Our thanks are due to incumbents and churchwardens and to the owners and occupiers of land and houses who have allowed us and members of our staff to investigate the Monuments in their charge or ownership. We are indebted to the Directors and Curators of several institutions for ready assistance: notably Mr. R. N. R. Peers, Curator of the Dorset County Museum, Miss M. Holmes, the County Archivist, and Miss P. K. Stewart, assistant Diocesan Archivist in Salisbury. We have to thank the Director General of the Ordnance Survey for access to archaeological records held by his Department. Cambridge University Committee for Aerial Photography has supplied many indispensable photographs. For help in questions of geology we are indebted to Dr. F. W. Anderson, formerly of the Geological Survey.

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



(2) Ebenezer Chapel, Cripplestyle, a rustic meeting-house of 1807 retaining many original features.


(1) The Parish Church of All Saints, of the 13th, 16th and early 18th centuries.


(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary and St. Bartholomew, of 12th-century origin, rebuilt in the 14th century and having a fine 15th-century W. tower.


(1) The Parish Church of St. Nicholas, of 12th-century origin, with 14th-century and later additions.

Gussage All Saints

(1) The Parish Church of All Saints, a well-preserved early 14th-century building.

Gussage St. Michael

(1) The Parish Church of St. Michael, with an early 12th-century W. tower and a 13th-century nave and aisles.


(1) The Parish Church of All Saints, with a 14th-century chancel and W. tower.


(1) The Parish Church of St. Wolfrida, mainly of the 18th century, but mediæval in origin and containing interesting 14th-century tombs.

Moor Crichel

(1) St. Mary's Church, a mid 19th-century building of high quality, probably by George Alexander.


(1) The Chapel of St. Margaret and St. Anthony, of 13th-century origin.


(1) The Parish Church of St. Bartholomew, of 12th-century origin, with 14th and 15th-century additions.

Sixpenny Handley

(2) St. Andrew's Church, Gussage, a small 12th-century church with a 13th-century chancel and wall-paintings.

West Parley

(1) The Parish Church of All Saints, of 12th-century origin, with 14th-century and later additions and with interesting 17th and 18th-century fittings.

Wimborne Minster

(1) The Minster Church of St. Cuthburga, an important building, mainly of the 12th and 13th centuries, but incorporating considerable remains of a Saxon cruciform church.

Wimborne St. Giles

(1) The Parish Church of St. Giles, built in 1732, with a fine W. tower of that date and with internal fittings of 1910.


(1) Knowlton Church, the ruins of a 12th-century church with a 15th-century tower, now in the guardianship of the Department of the Environment.



(4) The Manor House, one of the earliest and best-preserved domestic buildings in England, dating from 1207, with 17th-century alterations and additions, in part designed by Richard Ryder.

(5) Cranborne Lodge, an early 18th-century house with additions of c. 1750.


(4) Edmondsham House, with a symmetrical S.W. façade dated 1589, and 18th-century wings.

Gussage St. Michael

(5) Ryall's Farm, a 16th-century farmhouse with later additions.


(4) Longham Bridge, a brick and stone bridge dating from the 18th century.


(2) Bridge, dated 1666, but incorporating earlier masonry.

(6) Abbey House, with interesting mediaeval roofs.

(7) Horton Tower, an 18th-century 'folly'.

Moor Crichel

(2) Crichel House, a country house of c. 1745 with extensive additions of c. 1775.


(3) Almshouses, dated 1698.

(4) Kingston Lacy, a fine house of 1663 designed by Sir Roger Pratt, much altered by Sir Charles Barry c. 1835.

(5) The Manor House, a notable 17th-century building.

(7) High Hall, a 17th-century house with good 18th-century fittings.

Sixpenny Handley

(9) Lower Farm, Minchington, a farmhouse of c. 1600 with interesting original fittings.

Wimborne Minster

(5) Julian's Bridge, of 1636, with 19th-century additions.

(7) Dean's Court, a substantial house of 1725.

(33) 'The Priest's House', an early 17th-century town house with interesting original features.

Wimborne St. Giles

(2) Almshouses, of c. 1624.

(4) St. Giles's House, a large country house of c. 1650 with 18th-century additions by Henry Flitcroft.

(8) Riding House, of the first quarter of the 17th century.

(14) Mill House, an early 17th-century industrial building.

(25) Gazebo, of c. 1700.


(2) Ruins of former Manor House, of 13th-century origin, with 15th-century modifications.

(3) The Manor House, a well-preserved early 16th-century dwelling, perhaps the earliest example of the use of brickwork in the county.


(3) Woodlands Farm, comprising the stable range of an 18th-century house, together with a fragment of a 16th-century building.

Mediæval and Later Earthworks

Note. The rapid and widespread destruction of field monuments continues to be a cause of anxiety. All field monuments listed in the Inventory of East Dorset should be treated with care, not only on account of their increasing rarity, but also because the extent and impressiveness of surface remains do not by themselves indicate a monument's archaeological importance; this can be revealed only by excavation. Destruction should never be allowed until competent archaeological investigation has taken place.


(31) Motte-and-Bailey castle.

Gussage All Saints

(19) Settlement Remains of Brockington.


(20) Settlement Remains of Hemsworth.


(16) Settlement Remains of Knowlton.

Roman and Prehistoric Monuments

See note under Mediaeval and Later Earthworks.

Gussage St. Michael

(7) Iron Age and Romano-British Settlement, Gussage Hill.

(9) The Dorset Cursus (also in adjacent parishes).

(11–12) Long Barrows.

(14–15) Long Barrows.


(69) Roman Military Site, Lake Gates.

(70) Iron Age and Romano-British Settlement on King Down.


(16) Bokerley Dyke.

(17) Grim's Ditch.

(18) Iron Age Hill-fort on Penbury Knoll.

(19–22) Long Barrows.


(31) Romano-British Settlement, W. of Badbury Rings.

(34) Badbury Rings, Iron Age hill-fort.

(47–55) Barrow Group near Badbury Rings.

Sixpenny Handley

(19) Iron Age and Romano-British Settlement, Woodcutts Common.

(25) Iron Age Hill-fort, unfinished, in Mistleberry Wood.

West Parley

(7) Dudsbury, Iron Age hill-fort.

Wimborne St. Giles

(36) Iron Age and Romano-British Settlement, Oakley Down.

(94–124) Barrow Group on Oakley Down.


(19–22) Knowlton Circles, four Neolithic enclosures.

(46) Great Barrow.

9. In compiling the foregoing lists our criteria have been architectural and archaeological importance, rarity, and the degree of loss that would result from destruction, always bearing in mind the extent to which the Monuments are connected with the contemporary culture, civilisation and conditions of life of the people of England, as commanded in Your Majesty's Warrant. We have taken no account of such circumstances as cost of maintenance, usefulness for present-day purposes, or difficulty of preservation.

10. We desire to commend the good work done by our executive staff in the preparation of this Inventory: by the editor, Mr. G. U. S. Corbett, PH.D., F.S.A., and by our investigators, Messrs. R. W. McDowall, O.B.E., F.S.A., N. Drinkwater, O.B.E., T.D., A.R.I.B.A., F.S.A., H. C. Bowen, O.B.E., M.A., F.S.A., R. A. H. Farrar, M.A., F.S.A., W. E. J. Mercer, F.S.A., J. E. Williams, E.R.D., A.R.C.A., F.S.A., C. F. Stell, M.A., A.R.I.B.A., F.S.A., D. J. Bonney, B.A., F.S.A., C. C. Taylor, B.A., F.S.A., J. A. Reeves, F.S.A., J. N. Hampton, F.S.A., and N. J. Moore, M.A., M.PHIL.; by our illustrators, Mr. A. L. Pope, A.R.C.A., A.R.E., and Mrs. G. M. Lardner-Dennys; and by our photographers, Messrs. F. T. Power, W. C. Light and R. E. W. Parsons. We are also grateful for help given by our investigators, Messrs. S. T. D. Spittle, M.A., A.R.I.B.A., F.S.A., T. W. French, M.A., F.S.A., J. T. Smith, M.A., F.S.A., Dr. R. M. Butler, M.A., F.S.A., Dr. B. E. A. Jones, M.A., and Mrs. V. G. Swan, B.A.; and by our illustrators, Messrs. W. Masiewicz, F.S.I.A., R. F. Meads and P. A. Spencer. The index was compiled by Mrs. H. M. Green.

11. We wish to acknowledge the valuable assistance rendered to us, while the five volumes of the Dorset Inventory were in preparation, by our former Secretary and General Editor, Mr. A. R. Dufty, C.B.E., A.R.I.B.A., F.S.A., who recently left our Service to become the Master of The Armouries in Your Majesty's Royal Fortress of The Tower of London. As Secretary and General Editor we now welcome our former Investigator, Mr. R. W. McDowall, O.B.E., F.S.A.


ADEANE (Chairman)

















R. W. McDOWALL (Secretary)

8th October 1973