20 SHAFTESBURY (8622)
(O.S. 6 ins., ST 82 SE)
The modern Borough of Shaftesbury, covering 1,200 acres, includes land in the E. which formerly was part of the parish of Cann, and land in the N. W. which until recently was in Motcombe, itself formerly a division of Gillingham (see above, p. 48). Straddling the Greensand escarpment and varying in altitude from over 700 ft. above sea-level in the E. to less than 400 ft. in the W., the town occupies a prominent position on the summit of a projecting Greensand spur, with precipitous slopes 100 ft. high on all but the N.E. side (Plate 57).
Shaftesbury occupies a strong natural position, and the name suggests that it was from the beginning a fortified settlement. Local tradition, embodied in a stone inscription copied by William of Malmesbury, ascribes the foundation of the town to King Alfred in the year 880—more than a decade before the organisation of the chain of fortresses with which Alfred defended his frontiers against the Danes. A fragment of this inscription, rediscovered in 1902, shows, however, that it was carved during the period c. 975 to 1050; hence the earliest reliable reference to Shaftesbury as a borough is that of the year 926 in Athelstan’s law about currency. (fn. 1) Asser reports that Alfred also founded Shaftesbury Abbey for nuns, but nothing remains of the original nunnery; a few pre-conquest carved stones have been found on the site, but the most important appears to come from a cross-shaft. The present church, represented by little more than foundations, dates from late in the 11th century.
The Saxon borough lay on the W. of the abbey, where gardens and scattered houses now flank the street called Bimport. The population at the time of the Domesday survey must have been at least 1,000. (fn. 2) In the 12th century a small castle was built at the western extremity of the spur. The present town centre, on the E. of the spur, stems probably from a concentration of buildings outside the gates of the borough and abbey, the broad High Street representing an extramural market place; further growth took place on the N. and E. where the ground is fairly level. During the mediaeval period a second nucleus of habitation developed at the foot of the escarpment, on the S.W. around St. James’s Church. A map of 1615 (Hutchins III, frontispiece), shows that the town was then beginning to spread S.E. along the Salisbury road, and that the buildings at St. James’s were beginning to extend E. along the wall of the abbey park. Further development along the same lines is shown on Upjohn’s Map of Shaftesbury, 1799 (Hutchins, 2nd ed., II, opp. 391), and also on the Tithe Map of 1848.
The Inscription seen by William of Malmesbury
In 1902 a fragment of inscribed stone was found on the site of the abbey church. (fn. 3) It has since been lost, but a rubbing is preserved in the Shaftesbury Historical Museum (Plate 58). The rubbing shows that the fragment had a maximum measurement of about 5 ins. in each direction and included part of the sinister margin, 1 in. wide, and the ends of three lines of letters; those of the middle line, the only ones fully preserved, were 2 ins. high. The letters, which read as follows,
. . . . . IT.
. . . .NIC
. . ATIO
are regular and evenly spaced, with well-marked wedge-shaped serifs. The C is square. In the N the oblique stroke joins the sinister upright well above the base. The O has two crescent strokes crossed at the top, forming a vesica. Letters of this type are used as capitals forming the opening line or phrase of a new entry in a number of late pre-conquest MSS. The forms here used may be noted in these positions in the late 10th-century Bosworth Psalter (New Paleographical Society, ser. I, plate 163), in the early 11th-century Sherborne Pontifical (ibid., plate 111), and in the late 10th-century Exeter Book of Old English Poetry (facsimile, London 1933, ff. 55 b, 65 b, 78 a). In the Shaftesbury inscription the words were separated by triangular stops. The inscription may be assigned to a date between c. 975 and c. 1050.
The fragment evidently belongs to the inscription seen in the abbey chapter house by William of Malmesbury, whose account of Shaftesbury (fn. 4) dates from 1125. His record, not an exact transcript, states that the stone had been brought from the ruins of a very old wall. The inscription may be restored thus— In the first line the initial AE was probably ligatured; the uninflected form of the name is normal on coins, with or without ligature (cf. the CNUT REX of the Newminster Register; T. D. Kendrick, Later Saxon and Viking Art, plate xviii). The dating as given by William of Malmesbury is inconsistent, since Alfred succeeded Ethelred in April 871 and his eighth year ran from April 878 to April 879. (fn. 5)
A formal inscription of this sort would be set up in connection with an important stone building; it may be compared with the inscription commemorating the dedication of the church at Jarrow (fn. 6) in 685. A secular stone building in Shaftesbury at the time in question (c. 975–1050) is unlikely to have been anything but the town wall, and the most probable position for the inscription would be in association with a tunnel gateway such as has recently been found at Cadbury (fn. 7) dating from c. 1010. Asser does indeed speak of the E. gate of Shaftesbury at an earlier period, (fn. 8) but the grant of Bradford on Avon to the nuns, as a refuge from the barbarians (fn. 9) in 1001, may imply that Shaftesbury was not fortified at that time. Domesday Book records that 80 houses out of the 257 in existence twenty years earlier, then lay waste (fn. 10) and in 1125 William of Malmesbury calls Shaftesbury a village (vicus) which had formerly been a town (urbs). (fn. 11) The combined evidence suggests that the stone defences of Shaftesbury date from the first half of the 11th century, and that the 11th-century inscription records the tradition of the foundation of the town, but not necessarily the building of the defences, by King Alfred. That the foundation took place early in the reign is borne out by Alfred’s charter to the Abbey. (fn. 12) Although this is spurious or at best interpolated in the form handed down to us, the inclusion among the witnesses of Eahlfrith, Bishop of Winchester, implies the existence of an original charter bearing that prelate’s name. Since Eahlfrith had been succeeded by Tunbeohrt by 877 that charter must have been granted between 871 and 877. The text of the charter, as preserved, records the presentation to the abbey of Alfred’s daughter Aethelgeofu, who took the veil on account of ill health. In 877 Aethelgeofu was an infant; she was Alfred’s third child and can scarcely have been born before 871. The date 887 for the foundation, given by Symeon of Durham, (fn. 13) is no more than conjecture; he repeats Asser’s text verbatim and dates the passage more closely than is justified by the source.
(1) The Abbey Church of St. Mary and St. Edward (86182290), now reduced to little more than its foundations, lies on the E. of the area formerly occupied by Alfred’s borough. Shaftesbury Abbey was the wealthiest Benedictine nunnery in England; its foundation is generally ascribed to King Alfred, whose daughter Aethelgeofu is the first recorded abbess: Monasterium juxta orientalem portam Sceftesburg, habitationi sanctimonialium habile, idem praefatus rex aedificari imperavit; in quo propriam filiam suam Aethelgeofu, devotam Deo virginem, abbatissam constituit. (fn. 14) The 15th-century cartulary (B. M., Harley, 61) (fn. 15) includes a number of older charters, some of them apparently genuine and referring to lands later held by the abbey. The oldest, datable between 670 and 676, is a grant to Abbot Bectun of thirty households at Fontmell; (fn. 16) the grant was successfully disputed by the neighbouring minster of Tisbury, (fn. 17) but the property was held by Shaftesbury in 1066. Similar grants to individuals, entered in the cartulary, were attributed to Egbert (802–39), (fn. 18) Ethelbald (855–860), (fn. 19) Ethelbert (860–865/6) (fn. 20) and Ethelred I (865/6–871). (fn. 21) The charters of Ethelbald, Ethelbert and Ethelred may explain Leland’s record, (fn. 22) that these princes were co-founders of the abbey with Alfred, their younger brother. The entry of these charters, especially that concerning Abbot Bectun, suggests that a minster church already existed at Shaftesbury in the 7th century, the property of which descended to the abbey. This minster may have sustained the charge of a nunnery (cf. Trans. R. Hist. Soc., 4th ser., xxiii, 51–2).
Asser’s record of the foundation of the abbey occurs at a point in the MS. which indicates the year 887, and was so understood by Symeon of Durham (see above), but the passage is clearly recapitulation and its position in the narrative is not to be relied upon in this way. As shown above, the foundation charter appears to date from the years 871–7. Aethelgeofu came to the abbey in her childhood, and her abbacy is likely to date from the end of the 9th century at the earliest.
The 10th century saw many munificent gifts to the abbey. The most highly venerated relic came in 979 when the body of King Edward was brought there from Wareham minster, where it lay for a year after the king had been murdered at Corfe. (fn. 23) The original dedication in honour of the Virgin was subsequently augmented to include the name of St. Edward. In the late 11th-century church St. Edward’s tomb was on the N. side of the chancel; the empty grave, lined with dressed ashlar, was opened in 1861. (fn. 24) William of Malmesbury, writing c. 1125, records that portions of the relics had been removed to Leominster and Abingdon, and that the remains of the body at Shaftesbury had long perished, although a lung, still preserved, could be seen miraculously pulsating: miraculo sane ostentatur pulmo, toto dudum consumpto corpore, adhuc integra viriditate palpitans. (fn. 25) There cannot be much doubt that William saw the squat glass jar which was rediscovered, probably in 1901–3, ‘under a heart-shaped white marble slab in front of the high altar’; (fn. 26) probably it was set in this place early in the 14th century as a focus for the devotion of the community when the relics were translated to a newly built chapel on the N. (see below).
Of the pre-conquest church no remains have been identified, although carved stones preserved on the site include some that can be dated to the 10th or early 11th century. A few architectural fragments imply that the church was of stone, but they provide no information as to its form.
Excavations on the site of the church (Plate 60) have disclosed the remains of a late 11th-century cruciform building. The eastern arm of three bays had a central apse and was flanked by chapels with smaller apses, the latter square externally. Square transepts with eastern apses extended N. and S. On the W. was an aisled nave of at least seven bays. A drawing of c. 1553 (Plate 58) showing the church in a ruinous state soon after the Dissolution, (fn. 27) depicts the nave arcades with large cylindrical columns; these are unlikely to date from before 1100 and must represent the completion of the church early in the 12th century. On the other hand, many fine architectural details of late 11th-century date, preserved on the site, indicate that the eastern part of the church was complete by 1100; presumably this work included the eastern bay of the nave, where the footings of the first pier next to the crossing, on the N. side, remain; the pier was rectangular with attached shafts, the chamfered base of one shaft remaining in situ. No doubt the eastern parts of the church were built under the rule of Abbess Eulalia who succeeded in 1074; her name and that of Prioress Agnes appear in the bede rolls of Matilda of Caen (1113), and of Vitalis the founder of the Order of Savigni (1122). (fn. 28)
Early in the 14th century a chapel with a crypt beneath it was built in the angle between the N. chapel and the N. transept, eliminating the transeptal apse. Entrance to the crypt was by a canted flight of stairs, winding down through the S. part of the E. wall of the transept, no doubt in order to leave the central part of the E. wall free for a dignified entry to the upper chapel. A roughly made leaden casket was unearthed in 1931 from a position which would correspond with the threshold of this entry; it contained the fractured bones of a young man, plausibly identified with the relics of St. Edward, perhaps reburied here in haste at the Dissolution. The upper chapel may thus be identified as that of St. Edward; presumably it contained a shrine to which the relics were translated in the 14th century, a more convenient position for the devotions of pilgrims than the earlier tomb on the N. of the chancel.
In the 14th century a large chapel, probably a Lady Chapel, was added on the S. side of the eastern arm, replacing the 11th-century S. chapel and causing the destruction of the S. transept apse. It was of four bays, heavily vaulted and buttressed. At this period a number of monastic churches received the addition of chapels for the celebration of the Mass of the Blessed Virgin. For convenience of access by the laity they were usually situated on the side of the church remote from the cloister, but at Shaftesbury this position was already occupied by the chapel of St. Edward.
The liturgical arrangement of the 11th-century church is likely to have had the choir with the nuns’ stalls in the eastern bay of the nave, and extending into the crossing and eastern arm. On the W. the return stalls backed against the pulpitum, the foundations of which traverse the nave between the first pair of piers; there were screens under the arches behind the stalls. The rood-screen, perhaps of wood, stood between the second pair of nave piers, with the rood altar against the W. face; the screen continued across the aisles in masonry, dividing the nuns’ church from the western part of the nave, used by the laity. The arrangements probably evolved gradually; a solid screen of the kind indicated by the footings in the aisles is not likely to date from much before 1200.
The remains of the pulpitum and of the screens crossing the aisles show that these features were demolished to a level below that of the nave floor. Such radical destruction implies the deliberate dismantling of the rood and pulpitum while the church was still in use. Many monastic and other churches retain evidence of liturgical rearrangement in the 14th and 15th centuries, and Shaftesbury Abbey probably supplies another example. The remains of foundations, perhaps part of a late pulpitum, occur on the E. of the crossing, and an altar has been added against the W. face of the S.E. crossing pier. The removal of the choir with its stalls into the eastern arm of a church was often carried out in late mediaeval times in order to free the nave for large congregational services, especially sermons. The rearrangement is often associated with eastward extension of a church, but of this there is no sign at Shaftesbury; the boundary of the excavations, however, coincides with the E. part of the 11th-century apse foundations, and it is possible that a later presbytery, extending further E., remains to be discovered.
The rearrangements suggested above may have been connected with the addition of the 14th-century Lady Chapel; the two need not be contemporary, although the removal eastwards of the choir would have made the Lady Chapel more accessible. The change can hardly have been made before 1326, when the community numbered more than 120 and was ordered to admit no more members until the total had been reduced. (fn. 29) Precise figures are not again available until the 15th and 16th centuries, when the numbers of nuns vary between 36 and 55. (fn. 30) The reduction in numbers probably took place in the earlier part of the interval and the rearrangement, with its smaller choir, may have been effected by the middle of the 14th century. Perhaps a closer date is afforded by an ordinance of 1364 transferring the chaplaincy of the rood altar in the abbey church to the adjacent church of Holy Trinity, where the incumbent of the chaplaincy became a parochial chaplain. (fn. 31) This event probably marked the extinction of parish rights in the nave of the abbey church.
The chapter house, with a fine tiled pavement of the late 13th century, was separated from the S. transept by a narrow passage. The cloister lay S. of the nave, in the usual position; only a small part has been excavated. The W. walk with the western processional doorway lay opposite the seventh bay of the nave, suggesting that the nave extended at least one bay further west. Twin western towers are indicated on the 13th-century abbey seal, and perhaps on the Wilton sketch of 1553, and heavy foundations uncovered at the W. extremity of the excavated area probably bear out these indications.
At the Dissolution, on 23 March 1539, the abbey was surrendered by the abbess, Elizabeth Zouche, to the King’s Commissioner, Sir John Tregonwell (Hutchins III, 30–2). In 1544 much of the abbey property was bought by Sir Thomas Arundel and in 1553, after Arundel’s attainder, it was sold to the Earl of Pembroke, whose descendants still possess Sir Thomas Arundel’s terrier. The sketch in the terrier (Plate 58) proves that the abbey church was already in ruins by the middle of the 16th century; in course of time it disappeared altogether and gardens and houses took its place. In 1816 Charles Bowles started excavations on the site; at a depth of 6 ft. he found a tiled floor decorated with griffins, lions, dragons etc., and Purbeck marble monuments (Gentleman’s Magazine, LXXXVII (1817), 209). Researches of a more systematic nature in 1861 resulted in the clearing of the eastern arm of the church and of part of the crypt of St. Edward’s chapel on the N. (Edward Kyte, W.A.M., VII (1862), 272–7; Hutchins III, 32–5); the trenches were filled in again in 1862. In 1902–5 Edward Doran Webb cleared the eastern part of the church (Excavations on the site of the Abbey Church … Shaftesbury, 1902, 1903, 1904, printed in Shaftesbury by T. Pinney); the glass jar in which St. Edward’s lung may have been preserved appears to have come to light during this period. After 1905 Webb’s trenches were neglected for many years and much damage was done by frost. In 1930–2 further work was undertaken by J. Wilson-Claridge, who cleared most of the nave; at this time the relics, supposedly of St. Edward, came to light in the N. transept (Report of Excavations . . . 1930–1, Crypt House Press, n.d.).
Architectural Description—In the Chancel the eastern extremity of the apse is covered by a modern wall. The northern quadrant of the apse is represented by the core of the curved wall; the southern quadrant, entirely perished, has been restored in recent years. The platform which fills the apse is of mediaeval origin but trenches have been cut on N. and S. in an attempt to expose the apse footings. The two W. steps are modern restorations; the third step retains part of an original chamfered offset. Between the apse and the crossing, the chancel probably was of three bays. Immediately W. of the apse the N. wall of the chancel contains a recess lined with diagonally dressed ashlar, carefully coursed; the recess goes down nearly 2ft. below floor-level, and about 1 ft. above floor-level the N., E. and W. sides have offsets 3 ins. wide; this was evidently an important tomb and originally may well have contained the body of St. Edward. Adjacent on the W. is the threshold and part of the rebated W. jamb of a doorway in a narrow passage cut through the wall between the chancel and the N. chapel; this feature is of doubtful origin. On the W. of the doorway the lowest course of the original ashlar wall face is preserved; set upon it are three stones of a heavy string-course, 10 ins. thick, chamfered above and below; they appear to be part of a pilaster between the two eastern bays of the chancel, but are not necessarily in situ. The second bay seems to have had a wide, shallow recess in the N. wall, and in the sill of the recess are three dowel-holes, possibly for the base of a grill. An opening to the N. chapel in the third bay of the chancel is probably not original. On the S. side of the chancel, the heavy chamfered string-course noted on the N. is repeated; to the E. of this feature the S. wall has been razed; to the W. the wall contains a tomb. Further W., beyond a narrow opening to the S. chapel, a semicircular foundation projects on the N. side of the S.E. pier of the crossing; it is not bonded into the main structure and its purpose is uncertain. If the hypothesis advanced above be true, that the choir was moved eastwards in the 14th century, the projection could perhaps represent part of a 14th-century pulpitum.
Many fragments of the chancel pavement remain in situ, consisting of terracotta tiles about 5¼ ins. square, with shields-of-arms and various emblems in white slip; the earlier of them date, probably, from the second half of the 13th century. In two places straight margins indicate the position of choir stalls. The chancel floor slopes gently upwards, being about 1½ ft. higher at the E. than at the W. end.
The North Chapel was of three bays with an apse on the E. The lowest ashlar course of the internal apse wall-face survives in situ; on the chord of the apse a step 6 ins. high is rebated on top for tiles. A few chamfered ashlar blocks in the E. face of the E. wall are part of the plinth. In the N. wall, incorporated in the E. wall of the adjacent 14th-century chapel, is an original chamfered plinth-stone and the base of an 11th-century pilaster buttress. Inside, the N. wall of the chapel retains the base of the respond between the first and second bays; when excavated in 1902 this respond had an attached half-round shaft, 1 ft. 4¾ ins. in diameter, with a moulded base, but these features have gone. The division between the second and the third bay is marked by a step 6 ins. high, but the wall responds have gone; another step leads down to the N. transept. Slight irregularities in the S. wall of the chapel indicate the position of former responds between the bays and at the opening of the apse.
The South Chapel, originally uniform in plan with that on the N., was enlarged to E. and S. and given a rectangular E. end in the 14th century. The 11th-century chapel is represented by the footings of its S.E. corner, preserved below the floor-level of the later building and now exposed. In the 14th-century chapel a large block of ashlar at the S.E. corner retains the mouldings of the chamfered vaulting ribs, which evidently sprang at floor-level. This chapel was of four bays; a projecting stone near the middle of the N. wall may be part of the base of one of the responds; straight-joints close to it, on the W., possibly indicate the position of a respond in the original chapel. In the footings of the S. wall of the chapel a projection near the E. end is perhaps the substructure of a shrine. Externally, the three eastern buttresses of the 14th-century S. wall are represented by footings, extensively restored; in the fourth buttress two courses of 14th-century ashlar are preserved and the wall between the third and fourth buttresses retains a chamfered plinth.
The North Transept has, on the E., the opening to a stair which winds down to the crypt of St. Edward’s chapel (see below). Adjacent, on the N., is a rectangular recess in the floor, where the lead box containing bones, believed by many to be the relics of St. Edward, was discovered in 1931. In the southern part of the W. wall, one course of the outer wall-face remains in situ and returns at the angle with the N. aisle; it is of squared ashlar and stands nearly 1½ ft. high. The Crypt of St. Edward’s chapel has walls of squared and coursed rubble with ashlar dressings, in part restored. The tas-de-charge of the two-bay cross-vault remain in situ. The doorway to the stair on the W. has rebated jambs.
In the South Transept the footings of the inner face of the E. wall are preserved as far N. as the S. side of the S. chapel; the footings of the S. and W. walls also remain, but the superstructure has entirely gone. At the time of excavation traces of a doorway were noted at the S.E. corner, possibly giving access to a stair to the dormitory.
The Crossing is defined by four massive rectangular piers rising some 2 ft. above the level of the former pavements, but deprived of almost all facing stones. Masonry extending W. from the S.E. pier is probably the base of an altar and its footpace. The masonry footing of a semicircular feature built against the N. face of the same pier has been mentioned above.
The Nave has been excavated as far W. as the boundary of the adjoining property, revealing six bays and part of a seventh. On the N., the eastern pier retains the chamfered plinth of an attached shaft, indicating that this pier was cruciform in plan. Further W. the positions of the former piers are occupied by mounds of rubble, presumably lying on original foundations. The drawing of c. 1553 in the Wilton Terrier (Plate 58) shows the piers as cylindrical, and unattached ashlar facing stones found on the site, from a convex cylinder about 4 ft. in diameter, indicate the probable size of the former piers. Foundations spanning the nave nearly in line with the easternmost piers are doubtless the substructure of the former pulpitum. A rectangle of rough stones on the axis of the nave, in the third bay, is presumably the footing of a platform for the altar in front of the rood-screen.
Of the North Aisle there remain the footings of the N. wall, a few stones of the lowest course of the outer wall-face at the E. end, and part of the core of the wall over a length of some 40 ft. The foundations of a wall or screen separate the two eastern bays from those on the W. The tiled pavement of the aisle lies some 6 ins. higher than that of the nave.
In the South Aisle the two eastern bays are divided from those on the W. by the footings of a cross-wall, as in the N. aisle; a similar feature occurs at the sixth pier. Two openings in the foundations of the S. wall are not original, but that on the W. probably indicates the place of an original doorway from the W. walk of the cloister. The foundations of two buttresses which project into the N. walk of the cloister are later additions.
In the Cloister, the foundations of part of the N. and W. walks have been exposed. The foundations of two buttresses near the N.W. corner of the garth wall appear to be late repairs, but a buttress which stands 16 ft. S. of the N.W. corner includes original masonry; beside it, on the N., the wall retains a chamfered plinth. Some fragments of tiled paving remain in the W. and N. walks.
The foundations of the N. wall of the Chapter House are seen some 5 ft. S. of the S. wall of the transept. Adjacent on the S. are some remains of the chapter-house tiled floor. Further S. the foundations of the conventual buildings probably exist, concealed beneath a public road.
Fittings, etc.—Carved stone fragments (Plates 3, 59), found during the excavations and kept in a museum on the site, include the following: Of pre-conquest date—(1) perhaps part of a crossshaft, with single-strand interlace ornament and, on adjacent side, ‘anglian’ beast-head; (2) small fragment with two-strand interlace; (3) fragment with palmette ornament, subsequently reused and with billet ornament superimposed; (4) grave slabs, four, with crudely carved crosses. Of the late 11th century— (5) volutes, 16 in number, of various sizes, some retaining pigment; (6) base of attached shaft (diam. 5½ ins.), of Purbeck marble, with cable moulding and palmettes (see drawing); (7) large capital with volute and leaf ornament; (8) volute capital for shaft 13 ins. in diam., and some 20 fragments of similar capitals; (9) sculptured corbel from corbel-table; (10) bases for shafts about 10 ins. diam. Of the 12th century—(11) part of twisted stone shaft, 6 ins. diam; (12) part of spiral-fluted shaft, 1¼ ft. diam.; (13) voussoirs with chevron, dog-tooth and pellet decoration; (14) string-course with billet decoration; (15) double capital for coupled shafts of about 7 ins. diam., perhaps from cloisters; (16) leaf capitals for shafts about 3 ins. and 5 ins. in diam.; (17) two large corbels with grotesque masks. Of the 13th century—(18) two bases with hold-water mouldings for shafts about 5 ins. diam.; (19) stiff-leaf capital 1 ft. high for triple shaft. Of the 14th century—(20) vaulting boss with shield charged with two crossed swords. Of the 15th century—(21) vaulting bosses, 8 in number, with foliate and heraldic decoration.
Coffins and Coffin-lids: fragments, from six burials, 11th century, 13th century and of unknown mediaeval date.
Cross: of stone, brought in 1931 from another part of Shaftesbury (Wilson-Claridge, op. cit., p. 8) and reset on stepped base at centre of main apse; inlet in stonework, four original alabaster carvings, much worn, the best preserved representing seated figure, robed and crowned; late 14th or early 15th century.
Glass: many fragments, mainly with grisaille decoration, 14th and 15th century.
Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: Fragments of broken effigies include—(1) Purbeck marble mail-clad head of man, 12th-century; (2) fragments of mail-clad stone effigy, 12th century; (3) part of Purbeck marble female effigy, 13th century; (4) part of stone effigy of youth, 14th century; (5) part of stone effigy in priest’s vestments, 14th century; (6), (7), parts of two stone female effigies, 15th century; (8), (9), (10), parts of three stone figures, 15th century. Floor-slabs: (1) of Alexander Cater, late mediaeval; (2) of Thomas Scales, 1532, withincised black-letter inscription in square border.
Tiles: of the later 13th and 14th century remain in situ in several parts of the church (see plan). Others, better preserved, have been removed to the museum and include those illustrated on pp. xviii, xxiii.
(2) The Parish Church of St. Peter, near the centre of the town, has walls of Greensand ashlar and rubble and is roofed partly with lead and partly with modern materials. In the West Tower, 14th-century N. and S. arches indicate a building of that date; the rest of the tower, the Nave, the North Aisle and the West Porch are of the late 15th century; the South Aisle was rebuilt and enlarged in the 16th century. There is no chancel.
Architectural Description—The E. wall of the Nave has a chamfered plinth, a chamfered string-course below the sill of the E. window, and a gabled parapet of shallow inclination with a moulded coping and a hollow-chamfered string-course. The restored E. window (Plate 7) has five cinquefoil-headed lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head. The N. and S. arcades have uniform two-centred arches with wave-moulded inner orders and hollow-chamfered outer orders; they spring from piers with four attached shafts alternating with vertical hollow-chamfers, with capitals with hollow-chamfered abaci and roll-mouldings, and with moulded bases, much mutilated. Above each arcade are four irregularly spaced clearstorey windows; those on the N. are of two square-headed lights with chamfered surrounds; in the S. clearstorey the windows are of two and three lights with trefoil two-centred heads in casementmoulded square-headed surrounds. The clearstorey walls have parapets with string-courses and copings continuous with those of the E. gable.
The North Aisle has an E. window of two trefoil-headed lights with vertical tracery in a moulded four-centred head with continuous jambs; over it, a moulded and hollow-chamfered parapet string-course is inclined in correspondence with the low-pitched roof. Above, a horizontal parapet, embattled and enriched as on the N. wall (see below), dies into the sloping string-course. The N. wall has four windows with moulded two-centred heads, continuous jambs and moulded labels; each opening is divided into two lights by a mullion which runs straight from sill to apex. The N. doorway has a two-centred head of two chamfered orders with continuous jambs and a moulded label; the wall is thinner near the doorway than elsewhere, but an internal corbel-table above the doorway carries the masonry out to its normal thickness. The N. wall has an elaborate embattled parapet with a hollow-chamfered string-course and a frieze of blind quatrefoils with bosses carved with heraldic devices including Tudor roses, portcullises, suns and crescents, crossed sheaves of arrows, and embowed dolphins; over these is an upper frieze of pierced panels with cusped diagonal and vertical tracery, and merlons with trefoil-headed panels and continuous chamfered and roll-moulded coping. At intervals along the parapet, pinnacles with panelled, trefoil-headed sides and gable-headed finials rise from gargoyles on the string-course. High up in the W. wall of the N. aisle is a small window of two square-headed lights; above, the embattled parapet continues horizontally (Plate 62).
In the South Aisle the masonry of the E. wall appears to be in two parts, that on the S. resulting from the 16th-century widening of the aisle. An E. doorway with a chamfered four-centred head, below floor-level in the early part of the aisle, presumably gave access to a crypt in the 15th-century structure; it is now blocked. The 16th-century E. window is of four segmental-headed lights in a chamfered square-headed surround. Above, the plain wallhead is raised slightly at the centre, following the shallow slope of the double-pitched lead roof. The S. wall has windows of two chamfered square-headed lights flanking a buttress of two weathered stages; further W. is a reset 15th-century window of three cinquefoil-headed lights in a chamfered square-headed surround. The W. wall has a window similar to that on the E., its lower part masked by the upper storey of an adjacent house (8). The Crypt below the S. aisle is of the 16th century. The S. wall has square-headed windows, and a blocked square-headed doorway; at the W. end is a fireplace with a deep cambered bressummer and a chimneybreast with weathered offsets; it is disused and a modern window opens in the S. wall. The W. wall contains a blocked doorway which formerly opened into the house (8).
The West Tower is of three stages. At the base is a moulded plinth; the stages are defined by hollow-chamfered stringcourses; at the top is an embattled parapet with a moulded coping and a parapet string-course with corner gargoyles. The top stage has corner pilasters which continue through the parapet and end in crocketed finials. The lower stages have weathered diagonal buttresses on the N.E. and S.E. corners and square-set three-stage buttresses to N. and S. on the W. side; the S. side has three square-set buttresses irregularly spaced, that on the W. being a raking buttress of uncertain date built on the lower part of a mediæval buttress. The polygonal vice turret on the N.W. corner of the tower continues through all stages and ends in a pyramidal stone capping, level with the parapet finials. The E. tower arch is two-centred and of three orders, the inner order wave-moulded, the others hollow-chamfered; the responds have attached shafts flanked by hollow-chamfers and wave mouldings, with moulded polygonal bases and capitals similar to those of the nave piers, but enriched with angels (now headless) bearing scrolls. The 14th-century N. and S. tower arches are two-centred and of two chamfered orders dying into plain responds. The S. arch is closed by a wall on the S. and is reinforced by a pier of rough masonry at the centre; adjacent to the pier is a blocked window with a chamfered two-centred head. The W. doorway has a moulded four-centred head and continuous jambs; above, the W. window has two 18th-century transomed square-headed lights, inserted in a 15th-century opening with a four-centred head and a moulded label. The second stage has small square-headed openings on the N. and E. Each face of the third stage has a belfry window of two trefoil-headed lights with a trefoil tracery light in a two-centred head with a moulded label.
Straight-joints show that the West Porch is later than the tower, albeit probably of the 15th century; it has a moulded plinth and a parapet with a hollow-chamfered string-course and a moulded coping; the string-course has foliate bosses. The diagonal western buttresses are of two weathered stages and above them are plain corner pinnacles, formerly with finials, now gone. The porch archway has a casement-moulded four-centred head with continuous responds and a label with square stops.
The Roof of the nave (Plate 66) is of 16th-century origin. It is divided into seven bays by heavily moulded main beams with raised centres; shafted timber wall-posts rising from moulded stone corbels support three of the beams and have curved braces with foliate spandrels. Similarly moulded ridge-beams and wall-plates intersect the main beams. On each side of the ridge each bay is divided into four panels by intersecting beams of lighter cross-section than the main beams; the panels are filled with plain boarding. In 1965 the roof was rebuilt in concrete, with the moulded 16th-century timbers suspended beneath it. The roof of the N. aisle is similar to that of the nave, but smaller in scale, having eight bays in its length; in 1969 it was in process of restoration.
The W. porch has a stone lierne Vault (Plate 10) with moulded ribs springing from angel corbels (two gone); the rib junctions have bosses carved with foliage, flowers, a blank shield and, at the centre, a large rose. Stone-panelled wall-arches extend the vault laterally to N. and S.
Fittings—Bells: six; treble by Thomas Purdue, inscribed ‘A wonder great my eye I fix where was but 3 you may see six, 1684, T.P.’; 2nd inscribed ‘When I doe ring prepare to pray, RA, TB, 1670’; 3rd inscribed ‘Wm. Cockey Bell Founder 1738’; 4th inscribed ‘1738 Mr Henry Saunders & Mr Richard Wilkins Ch. Wds.’; 5th inscribed ‘While thus we join in chearful sound may love and loyalty abound. H. Oram, C. Warden. R. Wells Aldbourne fecit MDCCLXXVI ‘; tenor by Thomas Purdue, inscribed ‘When you hear me for to tole then pray to God to save the soul, anno domini 1672, TH, RW. CW. TP’. Brass and Indents: In N. aisle, stone floor-slab with central plate (17 by 3¾ ins.) with worn black-letter inscription of Stephen Payne (Hutchins III, 46), 1508 or 1514, and indents for four shields. Communion Rails: In eastern bay of N. and S. nave arcades, with stout turned oak balusters and moulded rails, late 17th century; defining two eastern bays of nave, with profiled flat balusters and moulded rails, 17th century, made up with modern work. Communion Tables: In S. aisle, of oak, with plain stretchers, heavy turned legs enriched with acanthus carving, and enriched rails with escutcheon dated 1631. Near N. doorway, of oak, with tapering octagonal legs with claw feet, arcuated rails, scrolled diagonal stretchers with turned finial at intersection, and beaded edge to top board, c. 1700. Font: (Plate 12) with octagonal bowl with two trefoil-headed sunk panels on each face and moulded underside, similarly panelled octagonal stem and plain octagonal base, 15th century; ovolo-moulded plinth, perhaps 17th century. Font cover, of wood, low eight-sided dome with moulded rim and ribs, 18th century. Glass: Five small panels reset in E. window of nave; (1) in a roundel with indecipherable inscription, shield-of-arms of Fitzjames impaling Newburgh (Sir John Fitzjames of Lewston, d. 1539, married Alice Newburgh of E. Lulworth); (2) former tracery light depicting Virgin and Child, c. 1500; (3) former tracery light with shield of Five Wounds, 15th century; (4) shield-of-arms of Eliot quartering another coat; (5) emblem of Trinity. Graffiti: on communion table in S. aisle, W.K., H.R.E.; on lead roof of tower, Jn. Reynolds, 1779.
Monument and Floor-slabs. Monument: In N. aisle, of Robert Woolridge, 1777, oval tablet with cherub and foliage. Floor-slabs: In nave, (1) of Walter Barnes, 1776, and his wives Elizabeth, 1729, Frances, 1757, and Mary, 1767, stone slab with shield-of-arms now indecipherable; (2) of Elizabeth Barnes, 1729, stone slab with inscription in architectural framework. In N. aisle, (3) of Stephen Payne, see Brass and Indents.
Niches: In N. aisle, in E. wall, with soffit carved to represent vaulting, formerly with canopy, pinnacles and corbel; in N.E. angle, with trefoil ogee head, carved enrichment at springing of soffit, shelf cut back; in N. wall, three ogee-headed niches, one with cinquefoil cusping, others trefoiled; externally, in N. wall of N. aisle, with crocketed ogee head and shafted jambs; over arch of W. porch, with canopied cinquefoil head and shafted jambs with crocketed finials; all 15th century.
Panelling: In nave, on E. wall, of oak, with moulded and shaped cornices and fielded panels surrounding tables of Creed, Decalogue etc., 18th century; in S. aisle, reset fragments with chip-carving and fielded panels, 17th and 18th century. Plate: includes undated Elizabethan silver cup by ‘Gillingham’ maker; silver paten inscribed 1714; silver stand-paten inscribed ‘ex dono Thomae Hackny 1714’; large pewter flagon inscribed ‘Shaston St. Peter’s 1770’; with no marks; (some of these items may belong to Holy Trinity Church, proper attribution being impossible since the union of the two benefices). Poor-box: of oak, with foliate carving and inscription ‘Remember the poore ‘, and with three locks, probably 17th century. Pulpit: of oak, polygonal, with fielded panels and moulded cornice, 18th century, base gone.
Rainwater Head: on S. wall of nave, of lead, inscribed I.M., R.W., 1674, with contemporary down-pipe. Royal Arms: see (3). Seating: incorporates twenty-three reused oak bench-ends with traceried decoration, 15th century; also one oak bench with beaded decoration, 17th century. Stoup: in W. porch, with bowl cut off, 15th century. Tables of Creed and Decalogue etc.: In nave, on panelled E. wall, with shaped and gilded frames, one panel with Creed, one with Lord’s Prayer, two with Decalogue, 18th century.
(3) The Parish Church of The Holy Trinity, some 80 yds. N. of the abbey site, has ashlar walls and slate-covered roofs. The Nave, Aisles, North and South Chapels, and West Tower were rebuilt in 1840–2, to designs in the ‘Early English’ style by Gilbert Scott (Plate 63). The Chancel, by Doran Webb, was added in 1908. The mediaeval church appears in a sketch in the Wilton terrier of c. 1553 (Plate 58).
Fittings—Bells: treble, 2nd and 3rd by Mears, 1844; 4th by John Wallis, inscribed ‘Praise the Lord I.W., 1597’; 5th by William Purdue, inscribed ‘God is all my hope, 1641, WP’, with ‘John Buckton, John Masters’ in smaller letters, the words of the two inscriptions alternating; tenor by Mears, 1844. Churchyard Cross: S.W. of tower, with moulded square base on two steps, and tapering chamfered shaft with run-out stops; probably 15th century, cross-head modern. Glass: reset in N. window of N. Chapel, shield-of-arms of Whitaker, with rectangular inscription panel ‘Good men need not marble wee dare trust to glass the memory of William Whitaker Esq. who died the 3rd of October 1646 ‘.
Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In N. chapel, (1) of Maria Buckland, 1822, marble wall tablet with shield-of-arms, by Hiscock of Blandford. In S. chapel, (2) of Abraham Gapper, 1733, marble and stone cartouche with scroll-work surround (Plate 18); (3) of Elizabeth Atchison, 1766, and her mother Honor, 1769, wall-monument with scrolled cheek-pieces, shaped cornice and gadrooned apron; (4) of John Bennett, 1676, metal plate in oval stone cartouche with heavily enriched and gilded surround, and shield-of-arms of Bennett and Ashlock quarterly, impaling Hall (Plate 18). In N. aisle, (5) of Christopher Erle, 1817, and his wife Margaret (Bowles), 1807, tablet with shield-of-arms of Erle impaling Bowles, by T. King of Bath; (6) of John Mill, 1821, sarcophagus-shaped marble tablet with shield-of-arms of Mill, by Osmund of Sarum. In S. aisle, (7) of Henry Edwards, 1803, and Mary (Ernly) his wife, 1796, marble tablet surmounted by urn, with shield-of-arms, by Waddilove, London. erected 1805; (8) of Matilda Mill, 1833, wall-monument with kneeling figure beside urn, and shield-of-arms of Mill impaling another coat, by Osmund, Sarum; (9) of William Collins, 1810, marble tablet by T. King of Bath. Reset in S. porch, (10) stone effigy of priest with hands together in prayer (Plate 15), late 13th century (W.A.M., VII (1862), 261); adjacent, tablet recording discovery of effigy in 1817. In churchyard, some 50 paces S. of tower, (11) of Margaret Swyer, 1745, her husband Robert, 1767, and others of same family, table-tomb (Plate 19) with balusters at corners and moulded top slab with dentil enrichment; also, dispersed in churchyard, several 17th-century headstones. Floor-slabs: In N. chapel, adjacent to N. wall, (1) of William Bowles, 1717, slate slab with shield-of-arms. In N. porch, (2) of Arundell B[ennett, 1682]. In S. porch, (3) of George Howe, 1666, with shield-of-arms of Howe.
Plate: the plate listed in St. Peter’s church (2) may include items which belong to this church, proper attribution being no longer possible; items which belong certainly to Holy Trinity are—silver cup inscribed ‘This chalic belongeth to the holy trinity of Shaston, 1670 ‘, with stand-paten designed to act as cover, foot hanging inside cup; silver stand-paten with date-letter of 1709, donor’s inscription of Humphrey Bishop, and shield-of-arms of Bishop; silver flagon with date-letter, donor’s inscription and arms as on foregoing.
Royal Arms: formerly in (2), painted on canvas, with cypher GR and inscription ‘Ed. Buckland and Willm. Everett Ch. wardens, M. Wilmot fecit, 1780’ (Plate 27). Miscellanea: reset in ringing chamber of W. tower, 17th-century wood panelling with moulded stiles and rails.
(4) The Church of St. James, at the foot of Castle Hill, in the S.W. part of the town, was rebuilt in 1866 to designs by T. H. Wyatt. Reset on the wall of the N. aisle is a 15th-century stone parapet from the former church; it is embattled, with a continuous moulded coping and with a trefoil-headed panel on each merlon; below the crenellation is a continuous frieze of quatrefoils. The S. aisle wall has a similar reset parapet, but not embattled. The E. window of the S. aisle is of three trefoil ogee-headed lights under quatrefoil tracery in a two-centred head; an old drawing kept in the church shows that this is the restored 14th-century E. window of the former chancel. The W. windows of the S. aisle and of the N. aisle are similar to that on the E., but of two lights; they also are of the 14th century and presumably come from the former church.
Fittings—Bells: six; 2nd by John Wallis, inscribed ‘I.W. 1597 Praise God’; 3rd inscribed ‘Sancte Jacobe ora pro nobis’ in Lombardic lettering, 14th-century; 4th by John Danton, inscribed ‘NC, EC, ID, O give thanks unto God, 1629’; others 1875–6. Chest: of cast-iron, embossed ‘St. James’s Shaston Register Chest Stn. Burden 1813 C.W.’
Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In S. aisle, (1) of Thomas Naish, 1784, and his wife Lydia (Collier), 1823, marble tablet with arms, by Hiscock of Blandford. In W. tower, (2) of Robert Jolliffe, 1731, and Anna (Matthew) Jolliffe, 1732, stone tablet with rounded top. Floor-slabs: In nave, on N.E., of Thomas Nicholls, 1793, slate slab divided into two pieces. In W. tower, several worn Purbeck marble and slate slabs, 17th and 18th century.
Plate: includes Elizabethan silver cup and cover, without marks, but of similar design to those of the anonymous ‘Gillingham’ silversmith; also 18th-century pewter paten and three pewter alms-dishes. Royal Arms: In W. tower, of painted and gilt woodwork, with Stuart arms carved in high relief, late 17th century (Plate 27).
(5) The Church of St. John, Enmore Green, has ashlar walls and slated roofs. It was built in 1843, in the Romanesque style to the design of G. Alexander, and comprises Chancel, North and South Transepts, Nave and Central Tower (Plate 5).
Fittings—Font: with stone bowl with vertical sides, moulded above and below, square on plan with chamfered corners, with decoration of two roughly outlined and apparently unfinished poppy-heads to each side, on square pedestal, 15th century. Font-cover, of oak, with flat boards with moulded border; at centre, oak boss in form of square aedicule with ogee-headed ‘window’ in each side, and pyramidal roof, probably 15th century. Galleries: in nave and transepts, with timber parapets enriched with Romanesque arcading, 1843. Glass: in three chancel windows, each window with two shields-of-arms, 1843.
(6) The Parish Church of St. Rumbold, although situated in the borough of Shaftesbury, is the parish church of the adjoining village of Cann (see p. 9). It has ashlar walls and a slate-covered roof and comprises a combined Chancel and Nave, a West Tower and a small South Porch; these date from 1840. A Vestry and Organ Chamber were added on the N. of the chancel in 1909.
Architectural Description—The E. window is of three gradated lancet lights under a two-centred label. The N. and S. walls are approximately uniform and of six bays defined by plain two-stage buttresses; each bay has a lancet window with a label. The W. tower is without stages; at the top is a hollow-chamfered string-course and an embattled parapet. The W. doorway has a two-centred head; above it are three storeys of lancet windows, the topmost lancet being in the belfry; similar belfry windows occur in the N., S. and E. walls. The S. porch has a doorway similar to that of the W. tower; above the door-head is a hollow-chamfered string-course and a plain parapet. Inside, the W. bay of the nave has a gallery; the roof has tie-beam trusses with curved braces springing from shaped stone corbels.
Fittings—Font: (Plate 11) of stone, with circular bowl scribed with arcs for unfinished or painted decoration, shaft with reeded capital with flower and leaf enrichment in alternate scallops, and ovolo-moulded base with spur spandrels, c. 1200. Inscription: incised on side of font bowl, in a border, ‘Iohn Monde Church worden 1664’. Monuments: In nave, (1) of Matthew Bowles, 1768, segmental-headed inscription-tablet with arms of Bowles, in architectural surround, with skull on apron, and urn finial above; (2) of Henrietta Bowles, 1795, and two infants, marble tablet surmounted by urn, with arms. In churchyard, S. of nave, (3) of Margaret Erle, 1807, Charles Bowles, 1837 and Sara Burlton, 1843, urn with scroll-work, on stone pedestal.
Plate: includes silver stand-paten with inscription of 1712, but no date-letter. Royal Arms: painted on wooden panel, arms of Queen Anne, with cypher AR.
(6A) Congregational Chapel, in Muston’s Lane, was built in 1858. Fittings—Font: of stone, with gadrooned and fluted bowl, cylindrical stem with moulded octagonal capping, and moulded octagonal base (Plate 12), 17th century, said to have been found during the demolition of (99). Plate: includes two two-handled cups with assay-marks of 1751.
Friends’ Meeting House, see (107).
(7) The Town Hall stands on the W. of St. Peter’s church (2), on the S. side of High Street. Because of the sharply falling ground it is of two storeys on the N. and of three on the S.; the walls are of ashlar and the roofs are slate-covered (Plate 61). The building dates from 1826 (Salisbury Journal, 5 Aug.) and the clocktower on the N. front was added in 1879; the N. porch probably is contemporary with the tower.
In the S. front the second floor is marked by a hollow-chamfered string-course, and the parapet rises above a string-course of bolder profile; these features are continuous on the E. and N. fronts. Until recently the N. and S. fronts had crenellated parapets, and a stone shield at the centre of the S. front bore the date 1827; the corresponding part of the N. front is masked by the clock-tower. The two lower storeys of the S. front and the lower storey on the N. were originally open arcades of five bays, with chamfered, elliptical-headed archways, presumably providing accommodation for covered markets. The openings have now been filled in, and on the first floor are fitted with windows of ‘Gothic’ pattern. In the top storey, the N. and S. fronts have each five bays of square-headed three-light windows with lozenge glazing, moulded wood surrounds, chamfered jambs and heads, and moulded stone labels. Inside, the mayor’s seat in the council chamber has a wooden hood with enriched mouldings, resting on scrolled brackets.
Civic Plate etc. Two maces, similar to one another and 1½ ft. in length, are of iron, silver and gilt (Plate 26). They have flanges and knob finials of iron, plain silver shafts with central knops and raised bands with cable decoration, and plain bowl-shaped silver heads with cable decoration on the rims, and pierced and gilded brattishing; set within the brattishing of each mace-head is a silver-gilt arms-plate with heraldic engraving. One has the shield-of-arms of James I with the initials I.R. and the date 1604; the other, probably earlier, is tierced in pale and engraved rather crudely with arms: (i) per fess France and England, (ii) Shaftesbury Abbey, (iii) a lion rampant beside a tree, in chief a bird.
A silver seal 7/8 ins. in diameter has the tree-and-bird device on a shield, flanked by the letters B S, with the date 1570 above. Another silver seal, nearly 1½ ins. in diameter, has the arms of the town under the date 1570, enclosed in a roped border on which is inscribed Sigillvm Officii Maioratvs Bvrgi Shaston.
An emblem known as ‘The Byzant’ (probably a corruption of besom) is of carved wood, gilded, and about 4 ft. high (Plate 21). It probably is of the 18th century and appears to represent a palm tree surmounted by a crown with a pineapple finial. The byzant was borne in annual procession to Enmore Green, where, until 1830, ceremonies were enacted confirming Shaftesbury’s right to water from that place (Hutchins III, 44).
(8) House, perhaps originally the clergy-house of St. Peter’s Church (2), but subsequently an inn and now in private occupation, is two-storeyed and has rendered walls and tiled roofs (for plan, see p. 62). The N. bay is of the 16th century; the S. bay is a 19th-century addition. The W. front retains an iron inn-sign bracket with sun and moon emblems, probably from the arms of Bowles. The dwelling formerly extended below the S. aisle of the church, occupying part at least of the crypt, in which a fireplace has been noted (above, p. 62).
(9) House and Shop, No. 29, formerly an inn, dates from c. 1850. Reset in one N. gable is a carved stone, perhaps a vaulting boss, of the 14th century, with the arms of Shaftesbury Abbey.
(10) House and Shop, No. 39, of two storeys and a basement, has walls partly of ashlar and partly rendered, and slated roofs. The basement and ground floor are of the early 18th century; the upper storey is of the 19th century. Inside, the 18th-century part of the building has stop-chamfered beams, and one ground-floor room contains some 18th-century pine panelling.
(11) House and Shop, No. 43, is two-storeyed with attics and basements, and has walls of ashlar, partly rendered, and slated roofs; it is of the 18th century, with 19th-century alterations. The N. front is modern, but on the S., facing into a court, the S. and E. fronts are of ashlar with stone mullioned windows. Inside, a ground-floor room has 18th-century pine panelling in two heights, with fielded panels and beaded styles and rails, and a shell-headed niche with flanking pilasters, shaped shelves and glazed doors. A first-floor room has an open fireplace with a cambered timber bressummer resting on moulded stone corbels.
(12) House, No. 45, of three storeys in addition to attics and basements, dates from late in the 18th century. The N. front, of two bays, is ashlar-faced with rusticated quoins and has a modillion cornice above the second storey. The original ground-floor windows have gone, but the first and second storeys retain sashed windows with moulded architraves and fluted keystones. The S. front is tile-hung. Inside, the stairs have open strings with scrolled spandrels, turned balusters and moulded mahogany handrails; a cupboard on one of the landings has jambs with fluted pilasters, and a moulded cornice with dentil enrichment.
(13) House and Shop, No. 49, is three-storeyed and has rendered walls and tiled roofs. The building is perhaps of late 18th-century origin, but was altered externally in the 19th century.
(14) House, No. 53, is of three storeys and a basement, and has rendered walls and slated roofs. It is of 18th-century origin, but the N. front and the whole top storey are of the late 19th century; the ground floor is now a shop. Inside, the S. room on the ground floor and another room on the first floor have 18th-century panelling. The open-string stairs are of oak and have scrolled spandrels, vase-and-column balusters, moulded handrails and panelled dados.
(15) House and Shop, No. 55, two-storeyed, with rendered walls and tiled roofs, dates from the late 17th or early 18th century. The three-bay N. front retains some original casement windows with iron frames and leaded glazing. Inside, there are stop-chamfered beams and an open fireplace.
(16) House and Shops, Nos. 59, 61, are of two storeys with basements and attics and have rubble walls, partly rendered, and tiled roofs; they are of 17th-century origin, but were much altered in the 19th century. Inside, the basement has several stop-chamfered beams.
(17) House and Shop, No. 63, of two storeys with an attic, has walls of ashlar, rubble and brick and a slated roof; it dates from the 17th century. The ashlar-faced N. front is of two bays with a central doorway; in the western bay it retains 18th-century sashed windows in each storey; the other openings have later fittings. The gabled E. wall is of rubble chequered with ashlar blocks. On the S. wall the level of the first floor is marked by a hollow-chamfered string-course and above this the building is tile-hung. Inside, the ground-floor rooms have chamfered beams; the W. room has an open fireplace, now blocked, and, on the S. of the fireplace, a wooden newel staircase.
(18) House and Shop, No. 52, two-storeyed with rendered walls and tiled roofs, is of the early 17th century. In the N. wall, at the back, is a stone window of three square-headed lights with moulded heads, mullions and jambs. Inside, several rooms have heavily moulded beams in which the mouldings are returned at intervals, to continue on intersecting beams, now gone.
(19) Houses and Shops, Nos. 48 and 50, two adjacent, are two-storeyed and have walls of rubble and of timber-framework, in part rendered, and tile-covered roofs; they are of 17th-century origin, but were refronted in the 19th century. Inside, a common through-passage has walls partly of timber-framework with brick infilling; one ground-floor room has a stop-chamfered beam.
(20) The Crown Inn, No. 42, was extensively rebuilt in 1862, but it retains part of an earlier structure, possibly mediaeval in origin. Where seen in a yard at the back, the E. wall is of rubble in the lower storey and of timber-framework with brick infilling above. Inside, one room has a 16th-century stone fireplace surround with a hollow-chamfered and cambered head; it is decorated with trefoil-headed panels and quatrefoils, each quatrefoil enclosing a blank shield.
(21) House and Shop, No. 38, is two storeyed with attics and has rendered walls and slated roofs; it dates from c. 1800. The S. front is of three bays, with Doric pilasters in both storeys. On the ground floor, the shop-front occupies two bays; the shop door and flanking windows have glazing with round-headed arcading. On the first floor each bay has a large round-headed sashed window.
(22) House and Shop, No. 36, is three-storeyed with brick walls and slated roofs; it dates from c. 1850. Behind the main range is a two-storeyed cottage with rendered walls, probably of the late 18th century.
(23) House, No. 34, now a bank, is of three storeys with ashlar walls and slate-covered roofs; it dates from c. 1800. The S. front is symmetrical and of three bays; the lower storey has been rebuilt in recent years, but the two upper storeys are original; the centre bay projects in a shallow bow. Above the first-floor windows an ashlar plat-band is enriched with roundels and fluting; above the second-floor windows is a moulded cornice; at the top is a plain parapet. All the windows are sashed; those of the first floor are of three lights, the central window being square-headed while those of the flanking bays are of Venetian form; on the second floor the central window is uniform with that below it, but the flanking windows are square-headed and of one light. Inside, the staircase has open strings, scrolled spandrels, plain balusters and moulded mahogany handrails.
(24) House and Shop, No. 24, appears externally to be of the late 19th century but it retains, inside, two intersecting beams with chamfered edges, probably of the 18th century.
(25) House and Shop, No. 14, is three-storeyed with brick walls and slated roofs. It is of the late 18th century and has a W. front of three bays, defined in the upper storeys by four Tuscan pilasters, each with an isolated architrave and a triglyph frieze; above is a continuous cornice with an open pediment at the centre. The sashed windows are square-headed, except for the middle window of the third storey which has a round head.
(26) House and Shop, No. 10, is three-storeyed and has brick walls and slated roofs; it dates from c. 1820. The W. front is symmetrical and of three bays.
(27) House and Shop, No. 8, is three-storeyed and has brick walls with ashlar dressings and a slated roof; it dates from c. 1820. In the W. front, of two bays, the shop-window and doorway have elliptical heads; the upper storeys have square-headed sashed windows. Reset below the sill of the shop window is a fragment of stonework, perhaps of the 14th century, with eleven trefoil-headed recesses.
(28) Corridor, in No. 6, with walls of squared rubble and with a barrel-vaulted roof, extends eastwards, underground, from the cellar of a modern shop and ends at a 16th-century stone archway with a chamfered four-centred head.
(29) House and Shop, of two storeys with rendered walls and a slated roof, dates from the mid 19th century. The S. front is of five bays, the three bays on the W. comprising the shop-front.
(30) The Grosvenor Hotel, three-storeyed, with rendered walls and slated roofs, dates from c. 1800. The E. front is symmetrical and of five bays, with the three bays in the centre projecting in the two upper storeys and supported on six Tuscan columns. The middle bay of the projection stands slightly in advance of the other two and has a pediment; in the second storey all three bays have large sashed windows.
(31) Houses and Shops, No. 13, are of two and of three storeys and have timber-framed walls, in part rendered, and tiled roofs. The two-storeyed southern part of the range is of 17th-century origin, much altered and with a few reset 18th-century features. The three-storeyed building on the N. is of the 19th century.
Bell Street and Lanes Adjacent on S. and E.
(32) Cottage, No. 16 Bell Street, is of two storeys with rendered walls and a thatched roof; it dates from the 18th century.
(33) Cottages, Nos. 18 and 20, are of two storeys with attics and have walls of rubble and of brickwork, and thatched roofs; they are of 17th-century origin with 18th-century alterations. In the S. front the lower storey is of rubble and the upper storey is of red brickwork with blue-brick patterns; between the storeys is a slate-roofed pentice. Inside, one cottage has a chamfered beam with splayed stops.
(34) Fragment of moulded stone, reset in a wall 130 feet E. of (33), appears to be part of a 15th-century door-jamb.
(35) Cottages, 44 and 46 Bell Street, are of two storeys with attics and have walls of rubble, and thatched roofs; they are of 18th-century origin. In each tenement the lower storey has a three-light casement window in a timber frame; the upper and attics storeys have two-light windows.
(36) House, on N. side of Barton Hill, is two-storeyed, with walls of rough ashlar and with tiled roofs; it is of the 17th century. The S. front, rebuilt in the 18th century, is symmetrical and of three bays. Inside, one room has a large stop-chamfered beam and another room has moulded wall-plates and some 17th-century panelling.
(37) House, adjacent to the foregoing on the E., is two-storeyed and has rubble walls, in part rendered and in part tile-hung, and tiled and stone-slated roofs. The main range, facing the street, is of the 18th century; a range adjacent on the N. is of 17th-century origin. The two-bay S. front has a reset 17th-century doorway with a chamfered four-centred head. The W. wall of the 17th-century range retains a stone window of three lights with chamfered surrounds. Inside, the ground-floor room of the S. range has moulded timber wall-plates and a chamfered beam with splayed stops; the adjoining room in the N. range has a similar beam, and hollow-chamfered wall-plates. The close-string staircase incorporates heavy 17th-century balustrades with square newel-posts, moulded handrails and ball finials; part of the balustrade is formed with planks profiled to represent balusters. Some rooms have nail-studded doors hung on wrought iron strap-hinges. A first-floor room has a bolection-moulded fireplace surround.
(38) Barton Hill House is mainly of the late 19th century. The Stables on the E., perhaps of the first half of the 19th century, have rubble walls with ashlar dressings, and tiled roofs. The S. front of the stable range was originally symmetrical and of five bays, having a rusticated and elliptical-headed carriage entrance at the centre, and plain round-headed doorways on either side; above the carriage entrance is a bull’s-eye window and a pediment.
Reset in the S. wall of the stables and of the adjacent house are two vaulting-bosses similar to those described in monuments (9) and (46); in one the carving is obliterated, the other represents a flying bird. Inside, some rooms have marquetry fittings, reputedly from Fonthill Abbey.
The garden contains many fragments of mediaeval carved stonework brought from (1). At the S. end of the garden is an Ice House with brick walls and a barrel-vaulted roof; it probably is of the late 18th or early 19th century.
(39) Cottages, two adjacent, on the S. side of Barton Hill, are two-storeyed and have rubble walls and tiled roofs; they are of the 18th century.
(40) House, on the corner of Bell Street and Angel Lane, is two-storeyed with attics and has rubble walls and slated roofs; it probably is of 17th-century origin, but has been much altered. The N. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a central doorway flanked by three-light casement windows and with three two-light casement windows in the upper storey. Inside, several rooms have large beams with chamfered arrises and splayed stops. The staircase has square newel-posts with chamfered arrises; part of it is enclosed by plank-and-muntin partitions. Several rooms have 17th-century panelling.
(41) House, No. 29 Bell Street, is two-storeyed, with rubble walls and a tiled roof; it is of the 18th century.
(42) House, No. 19 Bell Street, is of two storeys with a basement and attics, and has walls of squared rubble and a tile-covered roof; it dates from c. 1800. The N. front is of four bays, with a plain doorway, sashed windows, a plat-band at first-floor level and a small moulded cornice under the eaves. Reset below the cornice at the N.E. corner of the house is a 12th-century capital with acanthus leaves and angle volutes.
(43) House, adjacent to (42) on the W., is two-storeyed and has rubble walls with ashlar dressings, and slated roofs; it is of the 17th century. The three-bay N. front has a chamfered plinth; the ground-floor openings are modern, but in the upper storey are three stone windows of two and of three chamfered square-headed lights, with iron casements and leaded glazing. Inside, several rooms have beams with wide chamfers and shaped stops; one stop has pierced enrichment. The roof incorporates a chamfered arch-brace.
(44) House, No. 5 Muston’s Lane, is two-storeyed, with rubble walls and tiled roofs; it is mainly of the 18th century but incorporates earlier walls. The W. front is of two bays with a central doorway. The E. elevation incorporates a 15th or 16th-century wall in which is a small doorway with a chamfered two-centred head. Inside, one room has a large chamfered beam; another has a plank-and-muntin partition.
(45) Cottage, 25 yds. S. of the foregoing, is two-storeyed with brick walls and a tiled roof and dates probably from c. 1850. The E. front is symmetrical and of two bays with a central doorway.
(46) House, in Angel Lane, has ashlar walls and tiled roofs and dates from c. 1840. The W. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a central doorway and sashed windows. Reset in the W. front are nine carved stones, probably vaulting bosses, two of them perhaps of the 12th century, the others of the 14th century. The former are decorated with crosses with leopard masks in the angles. Of the latter, one has a bearded human face, one has a shield with a letter on it, perhaps T, one has a shield-of-arms probably of Damory; one has a shield-of-arms probably of Hawnes of Sturminster Newton, the others have shields-of-arms too mutilated for identification (see also (9) and (38)).
A pair of Cottages, adjacent on the W., is of the mid 19th century.
(47) Cottages, range of three, 30 yds. S.W. of (46), are two-storeyed and have rubble walls and thatched roofs; they date from c. 1700.
(48) Cottages, two adjacent, on the S. of (47), have rubble walls and slated roofs; they are of the 18th century.
(49) Cottage, adjacent to (48) on the S., has rubble walls and tiled, slated and stone-slated roofs; it is of the 18th century. Inside, there are some lightly chamfered beams.
Bleke Street and Lanes Adjacent on S. and E.
(50) The Rose and Crown Inn, of two storeys with ashlar walls and tiled roofs, probably is of the 18th century. The W. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a central doorway and sashed windows. Inside, some rooms have reset 17th and 18th-century panelling.
(51) The Ship Inn, of two storeys with attics, with ashlar walls and tiled roofs, dates from the 17th century. The walls have chamfered plinths; the casement windows are square-headed and of two and three lights with recessed, chamfered surrounds and weathered labels. The chimney-stack on the gabled S.W. wall has weathered offsets. An extension which fills the re-entrant of the L-shaped plan probably is of the 18th century; it has details similar to those described, but the first floor is marked externally by a modillion cornice. An extension on the N.W. is of the late 18th or early 19th century. Inside, the building has been extensively altered, but a 17th-century oak staircase is preserved; it has moulded close strings, a moulded handrail, profiled balusters formed of planks, and square newel-posts with shaped and ball-headed finials.
(52) House, adjacent to (51), is two-storeyed with ashlar walls and slated roofs. The S.E. range is of 18th-century origin, but it has been remodelled and greatly altered.
(53) ‘Belle Vue‘, a house of two storeys with attics, has rendered walls and slated roofs and dates from about the middle of the 19th century. Adjacent on the S.E. is a contemporary stable building with brick walls, windows with pointed heads, other openings square-headed, and oval ventilators under the eaves. Reset in the rubble wall of the stable yard are two late 12th-century respond capitals with volute decoration.
(54) The King’s Arms Inn, two-storeyed with rubble walls and slated roofs, is of the early 19th century.
(55) House, now a school, on the corner of Bleke Street and Parson’s Pool, is of three storeys, with walls of brick and of ashlar and with slated and tile-covered roofs; it dates from the 18th century. The main building, on Bleke Street, appears originally to have been of brick and two-storeyed, but in the second half of the 19th century the N. front was refaced in rubble and ashlar; the third storey was added at the same time. The brick S. front is symmetrical and of five bays, with a square-headed central doorway and with tall sashed windows in the two lower storeys. The plinth is of squared rubble and the level of the first floor is indicated by a projecting brick platband. Inside, some rooms have 18th-century panelling and moulded wooden cornices; a few doors retain brass rimlocks.
Adjacent on the E., an extension to the school, of two storeys with an attic, with square rubble walls and with a tiled roof, dates probably from the early 19th century. The W. front was originally symmetrical and of five bays, with segmental-headed casement windows of two and of three lights and with a segmental-headed central doorway; this doorway has now been converted into a window.
(56) Cottages, two adjacent, are of two storeys with attics and have rubble walls, in part tile-hung, and tiled roofs; they appear to be of the late 17th or early 18th century.
(57) Cottages, two adjacent, are of two storeys and have rough ashlar walls and tiled roofs; they are of the 18th century.
(58) House, of two storeys with an attic, has squared rubble walls and slated roofs; it dates probably from the latter part of the 18th century. Inside, one room has a fireplace surround with simple carton pierre enrichment.
(59) House, of two storeys with attics and basement, has rough ashlar walls and tiled roofs. It is mainly of the late 18th century, but it appears to retain elements of an earlier building, perhaps of the 17th century; these include a reset weathered and hollow-chamfered string-course, and basement windows with chamfered stone surrounds.
(60) House, of two storeys with rendered walls above an ashlar plinth, and with rusticated ashlar quoins, is of the early 19th century. The symmetrical three-bay W. front has sashed windows and a central doorway.
(61) House, of two storeys with squared rubble walls and tiled and stone-slated roofs, is of the 18th century.
(62) Cottage, of two storeys with rubble walls and a thatched roof, is of the 18th century.
(63) Cottage, of one storey with an attic, has walls of rubble and brick, and thatched roofs; it is of the 18th century.
(64) Cottage and Shop, of two storeys with rubble walls, partly rendered, and with slated roofs, is perhaps of the 17th century; it has been extensively modernised and the only early feature to remain visible is a large rubble chimneybreast.
(65) Cottages, range of three, are of two storeys and have rubble walls and thatched and tiled roofs. The two tenements on the W. are of the 18th century, that on the E. is of the early 19th century.
(66) Cottage, of one storey with an attic, has rubble walls and a thatched roof; it probably is of the 18th century.
(67) Cottage, of two storeys, with walls of rubble and brickwork and with slated roofs, is of the early 18th century.
Gold Hill is a steep lane connecting High Street with St. James’s Street (Plate 64). On the W. it is flanked by a high stone wall (75), and on the E. by a number of cottages. Unless otherwise described the cottages are of the 18th century and are two-storeyed, with rubble walls and tiled roofs; the plans generally are of class S.
(68) Cottage, No. 8, has a wide ledge in the W. wall at the level of the first floor, suggesting that it was originally single-storeyed; the roof is partly stone-slated.
(69) Cottages, two adjacent, Nos. 9 and 10, are similar to (68), but the W. fronts have recently been rebuilt.
(70) Cottage, No. 11 is contemporary with the two foregoing monuments, but larger, having a class-T plan.
(71) Cottage, No. 12, is probably of the early 18th century. The W. doorway has a cambered stone head with a chamfer which continues on the jambs.
(72) Cottage, No. 13, is probably of the 17th century since the front wall is continuous with that of (73).
(73) House, now two cottages, Nos. 14 and 15, has a thatched roof, but the S. gable has been heightened in brickwork and shows that the roof-pitch was formerly less steep; the original roof-covering may have been of tiles or of stone-slates. Inside, some rooms have deeply chamfered beams and it is reported that one room has a fireplace with an ‘arched’ stone surround, now hidden. The building may be of 17th-century origin.
(74) Cottage, No. 17, is probably of the late 17th century, but much altered. The original building, with a class-S plan, was extended on the N. and S. in the 19th century; the W. front has been rebuilt in brickwork.
(75) Stone Wall, bounding Gold Hill on the W., is largely of ashlar (Plate 64). Although repaired and rebuilt in several places, much of it dates from the late 14th or early 15th century and it probably formed part of the boundary of the Abbey land. It is about 130 yds. in length and, where the height is greatest, some 35 ft. from ground to coping. The part which stands nearest the bottom of Gold Hill has been rebuilt, but original material appears to have been reused. Towards the top of the hill the original masonry is preserved, with buttresses of two and of three weathered stages, with chamfered plinths and hollow-chamfered drip-moulds; the buttresses are set at intervals of about 12 ft.; supplementing them are later buttresses with inclined faces, probably of the 19th century. Between the original buttresses the bays of the wall have weathered plinths and string-courses, stepped in correspondence with the hill. About half-way up the hill there is a blocked round-headed doorway. Near the top of the hill the wall is strengthened by an additional thickness of finelyjointed masonry which brings the wall-face almost to the same plane as the buttresses.
Castle, see Monument (138).
(76) Castle Hill House, of two storeys with attics and cellars, has walls of coursed rubble, and tiled roofs (Plate 28); it dates from the end of the 18th century. The E. front is symmetrical and of three bays; at the centre on the ground floor is a square-headed doorway with a segmental hood enriched with dentils, and scrolled brackets; on each side are Palladian windows with Tuscan pilasters, dentil cornices and moulded archivolts. The first floor has three sashed windows with plain architraves and keystones; above is a moulded cornice and a plain parapet. Inside, the house has been extensively altered for conversion to a hospital, but a plain 18th-century staircase with a moulded mahogany handrail survives. The plan is of class U.
(77) Ox House, of two storeys with attics and cellars, has walls of ashlar and of rubble, and tiled roofs; it is of the late 16th or early 17th century and still retains some original features although recently modernised; the plan is of class T, with a wing at the rear.
The S. front, symmetrical and of three bays, has a chamfered plinth and a weathered and hollow-chamfered first-floor string-course. The porch at the centre is two-storeyed, but the upper storey is probably secondary; the string-course does not continue on the walls of the porch. The windows of the S. front are uniform in both storeys; each now consists of two sashed lights separated by a hollow-chamfered mullion, but it is evident that originally there were four casement lights in each window. The first-floor windows have weathered labels with plain stops. The porch has modern openings in both storeys; a blocked doorway in the E. side may have been the original entrance. The E. and W. walls of the S. range are gabled and at the apex of each gable is an ashlar chimney-stack with a moulded coping. Rubble in the lower part of each E. and W. wall, as opposed to ashlar in the upper part, suggests that originally there were contiguous single-storeyed houses. The N. elevation of the range has stone casement windows with hollow-chamfered surrounds, and a doorway with a moulded four-centred head with continuous jambs. In the E. and W. walls of the N. wing are sashed windows of the late 18th century; adjacent to that on the E. is an original doorway with a moulded four-centred head and continuous jambs. The gabled N. wall of the wing has a two-light stone window on the first floor; in the gable is a similar attic window.
Inside, the doorway within the porch is uniform with that of the N. wing; it has an original door of nail-studded oak planks, divided vertically into two parts, hinged together, and with ornate original wrought-iron fittings. The small inner vestibule has a plank-and-muntin partition with chamfered and beaded muntins; similar partitions separate the staircase from the E. and W. rooms. The kitchen, on the E., has a ceiling beam with ovolo mouldings and a blocked open fireplace with a moulded timber bressummer with a raised centre. The W. room has a similar ceiling beam, resting, at the N. end, on a chamfered and beaded oak post. The oak stairs have closed strings, chamfered and beaded newel-posts with turned finials, turned balusters and moulded handrails. The parlour in the N. wing has a ceiling beam similar to those in the S. range. The stone fireplace surround has a moulded four-centred head and continuous jambs; above is a plain fascia and a moulded stone cornice. The room is lined with early 17th-century oak panelling in five heights, with plain panels, beaded styles and rails, a frieze of carved panels alternating with brackets, and a moulded cornice. On either side of the stone fireplace are fluted oak pilasters with Ionic capitals; the overmantel has panels carved with arabesques alternating with coupled half-columns; at the top of the overmantel is a frieze continuous with that of the wall panelling, but more richly carved.
On the first floor, the partitions generally are of plank-and-muntin construction, chamfered and beaded. The E. chamber has a fireplace with a moulded square-headed stone surround. The chamber in the N. wing has a stone fireplace surround and oak panelling on the walls, both nearly uniform with those of the parlour below. The plaster ceiling has moulded margins and foliate enrichments.
The cellar of the N. wing contains a fireplace. A shallow sinking in the floor may be the blocked opening to a cistern.
(Extensively altered, 1965.)
(78) House, of two storeys, with ashlar walls and slated roofs, is of the mid 19th century. The E. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a central doorway and with uniform sashed windows in both storeys.
(79) Houses, two adjacent, are two-storeyed and have ashlar walls and tiled roofs; they are of the early 19th century. The W. house contains some reset 17th-century oak panelling.
(80) St. John’s Cottage, house, of two storeys with ashlar walls and tiled roofs, dates from the first half of the 19th century; it is said to contain material salvaged from Fonthill. The porch in the E. front has a reset doorway of c. 1800 with a moulded four-centred head and continuous jambs, also two recesses with surrounds similar to that of the doorway, trefoil-headed stone-panelled reveals, and a moulded stone cornice. A ground-floor room has a reset marble fireplace surround with a wooden overmantel of heavily moulded panelling under a pediment on which is carved the date 1600; the walls have reset 17th-century panelling, in one place inscribed ‘ID 1620’. Another room has a stone fireplace surround of c. 1800 with cinquefoil-headed stone-panelled enrichment.
(81) ‘Edwardstowe‘, house, of two storeys with rubble walls and tiled roofs, comprises a three-roomed class-F house of c. 1500 together with two 18th-century cottages, one at each end of the original range, all combined as one dwelling. The N. front of the original range has modern square-headed casement windows in each storey; on the ground floor one of these windows replaces a former doorway; in the upper storey are two original stone windows of three square-headed lights and one of two lights; the other openings have modern casements. The S. front retains two original doorways with chamfered four-centred heads and continuous jambs; that on the E. is blocked. Near the middle of the S. front is a stone window of two square-headed lights, recently restored; adjacent is a projection of uncertain date containing the stairs. Inside, the original class-F plan has been modified by the removal of the partition between the two western ground-floor rooms, and of that on the E. of the through-passage; their position is indicated by beams with mortices for former muntins. The chimneybreast of the central fireplace has a chamfered wooden bressummer with a raised centre and chamfered stone jambs. The house contains some reset plank-and-muntin partitions and also an 18th-century shell-headed niche with shaped shelves. In the range of c. 1500 the original roof is partly preserved; it has cambered tie-beam trusses, two rows of stout purlins, and curved wind-braces. The 18th-century cottages have no notable features.
(82) Cottages, two adjacent, are two-storeyed and have rubble walls and tiled roofs. They are of the late 18th or early 19th century.
(83) Cottage, of two storeys, with squared rubble walls and tiled roofs, appears to be of the late 17th century. In the S. front, partly hidden by later buildings, are casement windows of two and of three square-headed lights with hollow-chamfered stone surrounds. The N. front was rebuilt in 1750; it has plain square-headed openings with slightly projecting keystones, and an oval datestone over the central doorway.
(84) Cottage, of two storeys, with rubble walls and thatched roofs, is of the late 18th century. Reset in the E. quoin of the N. front is an early 12th-century fragment comprising two small shafts with cushion capitals and moulded bases.
(85) Cottages, two adjacent, on the corner of Bimport and Magdalene Lane, are of two storeys with rubble walls and slated roofs; they are of the late 18th or early 19th century.
(86) Cottages, pair, of two storeys, with rendered fronts and tiled roofs, are of the early 19th century.
(87) Primary School, single-storeyed, with squared rubble walls and a slated roof, dates from about the middle of the 19th century.
(88) School, immediately S. of the foregoing, is largely of the early 19th century, but appears to incorporate fragmentary mediaeval walls. On the E. is a late 14th or early 15th-century window of one light with an ogee head with trefoil cusping, now blocked. A large stone in the gable above the doorway is carved with the badge of the Grosvenor family, a garb.
(89) Abbey House, of two storeys with attics and cellars, has walls of ashlar and squared rubble, and slate-covered roofs. It incorporates elements of an early 17th-century building, but in its present state appears to be largely of the 18th century and later. The N. front, originally the entrance front, is of five bays and was formerly symmetrical, with a central doorway and with large sashed windows in both storeys; some of the windows have now been blocked and the former doorway has become a window. The level of the first floor is marked by a plat-band and the top of the façade has a modillion cornice and a parapet. The former E. elevation is masked by a two-storeyed 19th-century extension, polygonal in plan. The S. elevation has a large projecting bay containing the stairs; the lower part probably is of the early 17th century. Further W. is a small 17th-century basement window.
Inside, the W. room of the main range has a modelled plaster ceiling of uncertain date, with four segmental panels surrounding a circular centre panel. The segmental panels are enriched with fruit, flowers and leaves growing out of sinuous tendrils, in the style of the 17th century; the centre panel has an 18th-century flavour. The E. room has an open fireplace with a moulded square-headed stone surround. The staircase is of the early 18th century and has cut strings, scroll spandrels, vase-and-column balusters and column-shaped newel-posts. The plaster ceiling of the staircase hall has a rich cornice with dentil and egg-anddart mouldings.
Built into the walls of the house and garden are numerous carved stones, some probably from the nearby abbey church (1) and others from mediaeval tombs; noteworthy is a late 13th-century stone coffin-lid with a moulded and hollow-chamfered margin, and a raised cross composed of intersecting circles.
(90) Cottage, of two storeys with attics, has rubble walls and thatched roofs; it probably is of the 18th century and has a symmetrical S. front of two bays with a central doorway. The plan is of class S, with service rooms added on the N.
(91) Layton House, of two storeys with cellars, has squared rubble walls and tiled roofs. The house was built c. 1800 and was enlarged and much altered in the second half of the 19th century; the plan of the original building probably was of class T. The S. front of the main block was symmetrical and of three bays, with large sashed windows on the ground floor and with slightly smaller windows above; several of these openings have since been modified. A service wing extends to the E., its S. front set back from that of the main range. A late 19th-century range stands on the N. of the original building and masks the original N. front.
(92) Holyrood Farm (86372226), house, of two storeys with attics, has ashlar walls and slate-covered roofs; it is of the second half of the 17th century. The symmetrical E. front has a plain plinth and a weathered and hollow-chamfered first-floor string-course. The windows in both storeys are of two square-headed lights with recessed and chamfered stone surrounds and chamfered mullions. The central doorway has a chamfered head with a raised centre, and chamfered jambs. The gabled S. wall of the E. range has a string-course continuous with that of the E. front and a similar string-course at attic level; two-light windows occur in all three storeys. In the W. wing and on the W. side of the E. range the stringcourses continue, and the windows and doorways are as before. A single-storeyed addition at the N. end of the E. range is of the 18th century.
Inside, all partitions are of the 19th century, the chamfered ceiling beams have been reset and the original ground plan is lost; it is likely to have been a variant of class T. The original staircase survives, though not certainly in situ; it has moulded close strings, turned balusters, square newel-posts with ball finials, and heavy moulded handrails; the stairwell is lined with oak panelling with beaded rails and stiles.
About 30 yds. N. of the farmhouse is a 19th-century outbuilding with brick walls with ashlar dressings and with a slated roof. The doorways in the E. side have elliptical heads.
(93) House, of two storeys with attics and cellars, has squared rubble walls and slate-covered roofs; it dates from early in the 19th century. The S. front is nearly symmetrical and of three bays, with a central doorway flanked by casement windows of two and of three lights, three corresponding windows in the upper storey, and basement windows of two lights. The long timber lintel and vertical joints in the stonework show that the three-light ground-floor window on the E. of the doorway was originally of five or six lights.
(94) House, with rubble walls with some ashlar dressings and tiled roofs, is of 17th-century origin, but has been much altered. The western third of the range, now used as a garage and store-room, has walls of chequered ashlar and rubble. In the eastern two-thirds the masonry appears to have been rebuilt, but the S. elevation contains two original stone windows with chamfered stone surrounds; a similar window of one light occurs in the upper storey of the gabled W. wall. Inside, the eastern part of the house contains, on the W., a ground-floor room with a deeply chamfered beam and corresponding wall-plates. The western part has been gutted, but visible on the W. wall are the outlines of a large open fireplace and an adjacent staircase, both removed. A stone doorway with a chamfered four-centred head and continuous jambs, communicating with the adjacent room in the eastern part of the house, is blocked with rough rubble masonry. Adjacent to the house on the W. is a pair of 18th-century gate piers with ball finials.
(95) Barn, with rubble walls and tiled roofs, is of 18th-century origin.
(96) House, of two storeys, with rendered walls with ashlar quoins and dressings and with slate-covered roofs, dates from c. 1800. The N. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a central doorway in a rusticated ashlar surround; above the doorway is a sashed window of three lights and on either side, in both storeys, are single sashed windows with plain ashlar architraves and simple keystones. The doorway has an ogee-shaped iron porch.
(97) House, of two storeys, with ashlar walls and tiled roofs, dates from the first half of the 19th century. The S. front is symmetrical and of three bays.
(98) Cottages, range of three, are two-storeyed and have rubble walls and tiled roofs; they date from the first half of the 19th century.
(99) Poor Law Institution, of two storeys with ashlar walls and slated roofs, was built in 1838 (Architectural Magazine, Dec. 1838, 622). (Recently demolished.)
(100) St. James’s Old Rectory, of two storeys and attics, with walls of ashlar and rubble and with tiled and slate-covered roofs, is probably of 18th-century origin, but it has been extensively altered. In the main S. range the three-bay S. front is of ashlar, with a plat-band at first-floor level; in the lower storey the former central opening has been walled up and those of the lateral bays have been enlarged to make french windows; in the upper storey each bay retains a sashed window. A subsidiary W. range with rubble walls was perhaps originally a separate house, earlier than the S. range. Service rooms on the N., occupying the angle formed by the W. and S. ranges, are of the late 19th century. Inside, the house has been extensively remodelled. In the S. range, which originally had a class-T plan, the former entrance passage and staircase have been abolished and the two principal rooms have been correspondingly enlarged, a vestibule and staircase being built on the N. and the main entrance being transferred to the E. Plasterwork and joinery throughout the house appear to be of c. 1840, presumably the date of alteration of the plan.
(101) Houses, two adjacent, formerly a school, are two-storeyed and have ashlar walls and tiled roofs; they date from c. 1850. Doorways and window openings have weathered, labels with returned stops; the gables have shaped kneelers.
(102) House, of two storeys, with walls of squared rubble and with roof-covering of corrugated iron, is of early 17th-century origin. The S. front has four bays; in each storey the western bay comprises a projecting stone window of five square-headed lights with hollow-chamfered surrounds under a weathered label; the adjacent bay has a square-headed doorway with a chamfered surround and shaped stops; the two eastern bays have ground-floor windows of four and of three lights, and first-floor windows of two lights, all similar in detail to the projecting window on the W. The gabled E. wall has been heightened and formerly was steeper than at present; the chimney-stack at the apex is modern. The N elevation has two modern windows in the lower storey and a small original loop with a two-centred head, now blocked; it is probable that the loop formerly gave light to a stair. In the upper storey are two three-light stone windows. The W. wall is masked by the adjacent house. Inside, the plan appears to be a variant of class F; instead of service rooms on the side of the through-passage opposite to the central living room, we have here a parlour. The service rooms were probably on the E. of the centre room, where there now is an original plank-and-muntin partition with two doorways (one blocked).
(103) House, of two storeys, with walls of ashlar and coursed rubble and with slate-covered roofs, is of 17th-century origin, but much altered. The S. front is approximately symmetrical and of three bays, with a central doorway and with sashed windows in both storeys of the lateral bays; there is no window above the doorway, but a mezzanine window occurs between the doorway and the windows on the E. The E. gable has a stone window of two square-headed lights. The N. wall has a large chimney-stack in the eastern part. Near the N.E. corner is a doorway with a moulded four-centred head and continuous jambs; further to the W. in the N. wall are square-headed casement windows with hollow-chamfered surrounds. Inside, the house has been modernised, but the roof retains some original timbers.
(104) House, of two storeys with attics, with rubble and ashlar walls and with tiled roofs, dates from late in the 18th century; an extension on the E. is of the 19th century. The symmetrical three-bay S. front has a central doorway under a flat hood on shaped brackets, and sashed windows in both storeys.
(105) House, two-storeyed, with ashlar walls and tiled roofs dates from the 18th century. The S. front has a plat-band at first-floor level and a moulded ashlar cornice at the eaves. The façade is symmetrical and of three bays. In the lower storey a square-headed doorway is flanked by plain sashed windows; in the upper storey a small elliptical central bull’s-eye window is flanked by two sashed windows and by two blind lights, making five features altogether, as against three in the lower storey.
(106) Old Pump Court comprises a group of cottages, of the late 18th and early 19th century, arranged in a quadrangle on the N. side of St. James’s street. All the tenements are two-storeyed, with rubble walls and with thatched or tiled roofs. At the centre of the courtyard, a small stone aedicule with a chamfered plinth and a pyramidal capstone contains a hand operated water-pump.
(107) Friends’ Meeting House, now disused, is of the mid 18th century; it has ashlar walls and formerly had stone-slated roofs, but is now roofless. The S. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a square-headed central doorway and, on either side, square-headed sashed windows under semicircular relieving arches; above the doorway is a round-headed window.
In addition to the monuments described above, St. James’s Street and the lanes adjacent to it on the N. and W. contain seventy-four late 18th or early 19th-century houses and cottages, of two storeys or of one storey with an attic, with walls of coursed rubble and with roof-coverings of thatch, tile or slate (Plate 29). The plans of the cottages generally are of class S; locations are shown on the town plan on p. 56. Typical of the group is No. 72 St. James’s Street, on the S. side of the street, facing the E. range of (106); it has a symmetrical N. front of three bays, with a central doorway flanked by three-light casement windows, and corresponding two-light windows in the upper storey.
(108) Cottage, at the N.W. end of Salisbury Street, is of two storeys with cellar and attics; it has brick and rubble walls and tiled and stone-slated roofs. It dates probably from the 17th century but has been much altered from its original state. The N.E. front and the N.W. gable are of the 19th century; the gabled S.E. wall is of rubble and perhaps includes some original material; the S.W. elevation has been refaced in brickwork and tiles. Inside, some rooms have intersecting ceiling beams, now cased. The cellar has a stone window of two square-headed lights with chamfered and hollow-chamfered surrounds.
(109) Cottages, three adjacent, Nos. 5, 7 and 9 Coppice Street, are two-storeyed and have rubble walls and slated and thatched roofs; they are of c. 1800.
(110) Cottage, 30 yds. E. of the foregoing, is two-storeyed, with rubble walls and a thatched roof; it is of the second half of the 18th century.
(111) Cottage, No. 15 Coppice Street, is two-storeyed, with ashlar walls and a tiled roof; it is of the 18th century.
(112) Wall, on the N. of Coppice Street, about 100 yds. long and 5 ft. high, is of ashlar and squared rubble. Incised on one stone is a cross and the inscription ‘Parish Boundary 1772’.
(113) Cottages, eight, of mid and late 18th-century date, are located in the N.W. part of Salisbury Street in the positions shown on the town plan (p. 56). They are two-storeyed, with brick, rubble and rendered walls and with tiled or slated roofs. Also in the N.W. part of Salisbury Street and shown on the same plan are eighteen dwellings of the first half of the 19th century; of them, one group forms a range of ten dwellings, another a range of four, and another a range of three.
(114) House, of two storeys with an attic, has rendered walls and slate-covered roofs and appears to be of the second half of the 18th century; it was partly refronted in the 19th century and has casement windows with moulded labels.
(115) Almshouses, founded in 1655, have been rebuilt and in their present form appear to be of the first half of the 19th century. Reset in the central gable is a stone tablet with a shield-of arms of Spiller of Laleham and an inscription now largely indecipherable; it probably is of 1805 (Hutchins III, 44).
(116) Cottage, No. 53 Salisbury Street, is two-storeyed, with rubble walls heightened in brickwork, and with a tiled roof. The date 1791 roughly carved above the doorway is probably the date of erection.
(117) Cottages, two adjacent, immediately S.E. of the foregoing, are two-storeyed, with rubble walls and slated roofs and are probably of the 18th century.
(118) Cann Rectory, of two storeys, with walls of squared rubble and ashlar and with slate-covered roofs, is of the 18th century, with later additions on the S.E. The N.E. front is of four bays, with sashed windows with moulded architraves and plain keystones. The second window from the E. was originally the doorway and has a rusticated architrave and pediment. The N.W. elevation has a gable with a plain coping on shaped kneelers. The S.W. elevation is rendered. Inside, some rooms have fielded panelling. The stables on the S.E. of the house are probably contemporary.
(119) Cann Cottage, three-storeyed, with rendered walls and slated roofs, is probably of c. 1800.
(120) The Mount (86892266), of two storeys, with ashlar walls and slated roofs, is of the first half of the 19th century.
(121) Cornley Villa (86972261), of two storeys, with rendered walls and slated roofs, is mainly of the late 19th century, but it incorporates an older building, possibly of 17th-century origin. Inside, a circular staircase has timber treads radiating from an octagonal newel-post.
(122) School (87032259), with ashlar walls and slated roofs, was built in 1845. It has large windows with mullioned and transomed square-headed lights and, at the centre of the S.W. front, a doorway, now blocked, with a two-centred head. The inscription ‘National School 1845’ is painted above the doorway.
(123) Belmont House (87142261), now an hotel, is of two storeys with attics and has ashlar walls and slated roofs; it dates from the late 18th or early 19th century. The S. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a first-floor plat-band and a moulded cornice. The middle bay projects slightly and continues in the attic storey, being capped with a low gable. The central doorway has a round head, jambs with composite capitals, pilasters and free-standing columns with similar capitals, and a barrel-vaulted porch. The side bays of the lower storey have late 19th-century three-sided bow windows. In the second storey the side bays have plain sashed windows and the middle bay has a large segmental-headed window. The E. and W. elevations have each three bays of plain sashed windows. The building was extended to the N. late in the 19th century and the interior has been entirely remodelled.
(124) The Half Moon Inn (87192248), of two storeys, with rubble walls and tiled roofs, is probably of 18th-century origin, but it has been modernised and much altered.
(125) Toll House (87222250), standing in the fork of the roads to Salisbury and Melbury Abbas, is of two storeys, with ashlar walls and slated roofs, and dates from about the middle of the 19th century. The windows generally have square-headed lights with chamfered stone surrounds and moulded labels. Projecting from the N. and S. elevations are small bow windows.
(126) Pensbury House (23558634), on the northern outskirts of the town, is of two storeys with attics and has ashlar walls and slated mansard roofs; the S. part of the house dates from the middle of the 18th century; The N. range is of the 19th century.
In the 18th-century range the W. front is symmetrical and of five bays, the central bay being accentuated by a pedimented projection; the first floor is marked by a plat-band and above the second storey is a cornice and parapet. The round-headed doorway at the centre of the W. front has a stone surround with architrave, pilasters, entablature and pediment of the RomanDoric order. The sashed windows in both storeys have moulded stone architraves. The plat-band and cornice continue on the S. elevation; reset in the parapet is a date-stone of 1654. The E. elevation is asymmetrical; near the centre it has a pedimented projecting bay, with a square-headed doorway with a moulded architrave under an open pediment which resets on scrolled consoles, all of stone. Above and to the N. are sashed windows similar to those of the W. front; the plat-band, cornice and parapet continue, as before.
Inside, the drawing room has an 18th-century fireplace surround with scrolled cheek-pieces, an eared and enriched architrave, a richly carved frieze with acanthus scroll-work and flower festoons, and an enriched cornice. Some rooms have plain 18th-century panelling.
(127) Drinking Fountain (85952340), near the junction of the roads from Gillingham and Sherborne, comprises an ashlar wall with a stone recess with a four-centred head, and a cast-iron spout and trough; it is dated 1844.
(128) Wall, flanking Tout Hill, includes ashlar and squared rubble masonry of mediaeval origin. For part of its length the wall on the S. side of the road has a chamfered and roll-moulded plinth, stepped to follow the slope of the ground. The rebuilding of another part of this wall is recorded in an inscription dated 1817. A much eroded 12th-century capital has been reset in the wall on the N. side of the road.
(129) House, of two storeys, has walls of rubble and brickwork, in part rendered, and tiled roofs. The mid 19th-century N.W. range is added to an earlier building, probably of the 18th century. At the N.E. end of the earlier range is a large projecting chimneybreast with several weathered set-backs.
(130) Cottages, two adjacent, are two-storeyed, with ashlar walls and tiled and thatched roofs; they are of the early 19th century.
(131) The Fountain Inn, of two storeys with squared rubble walls and tiled roofs, comprises a small 18th-century house and a larger addition of 1816 on the E. (Salisbury Journal, 23 Dec). The addition has a symmetrical N. front of two bays with a central doorway, and sashed windows in both storeys. The earlier house also has a symmetrical two-bay N. front with a central doorway, but the windows are casements. Adjacent on the W. is a long stable range. Inside, one room of the W. house has a shell-headed niche.
(132) House, of two storeys with ashlar walls and tiled roofs, is probably of c. 1800.
(133) Cottage, of one storeys with attics, has walls of rubble and brickwork, in part rendered, and a thatched roof; the plan is of class J. It is of the late 17th century.
(134) Cottages (85302322), range of four, of two storeys with rubble walls and tiled roofs, are of the early 19th century.
(135) Cottages (85032332), pair, of two storeys with ashlar walls and slated roofs, are of the early 19th century.
(136) Cottages (85812335), two adjacent, of two storeys with rubble walls and thatched and tiled roofs, are of the early 19th century.
(137) House (86412367), of two storeys with ashlar walls and a thatched roof, is of late 17th-century origin. The S. front is symmetrical and of three bays, with a central doorway flanked by three-light casement windows, and corresponding two-light windows in the upper storey. A moulded string-course traverses the S. front a little below first-floor level. In the 18th century the building was divided into two tenements, and two doorways were made in place of the original entrance. Recently the house has been remodelled as a single dwelling.
Mediaeval and Later Earthworks
The Saxon Borough has no positively identifiable remains. Asser’s record that the Abbey was established ‘juxta orientalem portam Sceftesbury’ (De rebus gestis Alfredi, 98, 2) indicates that the borough lay westwards from the abbey church, and military considerations confirm such a location, for it is there that the steepsided Greensand spur would be most easily defended. Seven hundred hides (Birch, 1335—the oldest text omits the entry) point to a wall 960 yards long (Robertson, A–S. Charters, 246–9). The borough probably occupied the end of the spur with a rampart across the neck, perhaps on the line of Magdalene Lane. A slight but continuous rise in the level of the ground immediately N.E. of this lane may be a vestige of the rampart. Camden records ‘a tradition that an old citie stood upon the place which is called the castle greene’ (Britannia, 215).
(138) Ditch and Platform (856228), remains of a former castle on the N.W. extremity of the Greensand promontory, occupy a small triangular spur a little below the 700 ft. contour. To the E. the ground rises to the plateau of the presumed borough; elsewhere it drops precipitously (plan, p. 75).
In 1947–9 the site was systematically examined by trenching (Dorset Procs., 71 (1949), 54–7). Fragments of three tripod pitchers of the 12th or 13th century, a small bronze chain, and a ‘cut’ halfpenny of Stephen’s reign were found; a paved floor of the early 18th century came to light, but no trace of any other structure. The slender evidence available suggests that the castle was a temporary fortification dating from the period of the 12th-century civil war.
The site is overgrown and disturbed by former excavations; several old trenches still lie open; near the middle is a rectangular pond (P) about 10 ft. deep. A crescent-shaped ditch up to 65 ft. wide and 15 ft. deep separates the spur from the higher ground on the E. Earthworks within the area include a low bank on the S.W., a roughly rectangular mound about 1½ ft. high on the E., and some roughly rectangular platforms of varying size; the triangular area is artificially scarped above the natural slopes of the spur.
(139) Building Foundations (85752281), discovered in 1947 (Dorset Procs., 71 (1949), 54–7), lie about 150 yds. E. of the castle (138). They comprise fragmentary footings, 2 ft. wide and some 9 ins. high, of poor stone buildings; the best preserved of these were circular and some 13 ft. in diameter. Associated pottery was of the 13th century.
(140) Site of St. John’s Church, some 200 yds. S.E. of (80) is an uneven area of ground in the S. part of a disused churchyard, at one time a burial ground for St. James’s church, and still containing a few 18th and 19th-century monuments. St. John’s parish was united with St. James’s in 1446 and the church may already have been disused at that date. Hutchins (1st ed., II, 32) records marks of the foundations of a little church and chancel, visible in his time, but today there are no traces of a building.
(141) Barton Manor House (86752316), site, was excavated in 1951 (Dorset Procs., 76 (1954), 67). The floors of two yards with associated drains were revealed; they were of 18th-century date, but 12th and 13th-century pottery, floor-tiles and glazed ridge-tiles indicated mediaeval occupation. The manor house appears to have been the centre of a mediaeval estate which extended N. and N.W. In the 16th century the estate had gardens, paddocks, a house, a barn, an ox shed and a pinfold, in all covering 2 acres (Survey of Lands of William, Earl of Pembroke, ed. C. R. Stratton, Roxburghe Club, 1909, II, 502).
(142) Occupation Site (869225), with 13th and 14th-century pottery, was discovered in 1949 on the S. side of Hawkesdean Lane (Dorset Procs., 71 (1949), 60).
(143) Abbey Ponds (864226). Near the head of a wide valley, 320 yds. S.E. of (1), are the remains of fishponds belonging to the nunnery; they are now dry, but in the middle of the 16th century they were repleta cum piscibus vocatus carpes et tenches (Stratton, op. cit., 504). The earthworks comprise two depressions, roughly rectangular and 2 ft. to 3½ ft. deep, lying side by side; immediately N. of the E. depression and joined to it by a narrow channel is a third depression, smaller and roughly square. Mediaeval and later pottery and other objects, found immediately W. of the depressions, are preserved in the Shaftesbury Museum (Dorset Procs., 71 (1949), 67).
Coins of Commodus, Diocletian, and Constantine are reported from Barton Hill (868231); ‘Roman pottery’ found with mediaeval sherds S.S.E. of Layton House (864227) could be connected with this site (Hutchins III, 80; Dorset Procs., LXXI (1949), 67). It is claimed that ‘architectural remains of the Doric order’ were found here (W.A.M., VII (1862), 252).