Evershot

Evershot

St Osmond

Evershot is a settlement that seem too large to be a village yet really too small to be called a town.  It must have grown in importance with the coming of the nearby railway during the 19c.  The main street is generous and replete with the famous Acorn Inn, called 'The Sow & Acorn' by Thomas Hardy in 'Tess of the d'Urbevilles'.  At the higher end of the road, overlooking the houses is the church.

The original building to stand on the site was Norman, erected during the reign of Richard I (Coeur de Lion 1186-99).  The only elements to survive are part of the tower arch and the chancel arch, which was rebuilt between the north aisle and the organ chamber during the 19c restoration.  The present structure is essentially Perpendicular (1335-1530) and of great character, but the Victorians felt obliged to twice improve it in 1852-3 and again in 1864, both to designs by the Yeovil based architect, R H Shout*.  The walls of the organ chamber are lined with Ham stone ashlars and the exquisite corbels were sculpted by Benjamin Grassby   The embattled tower has a curious stair turret with a clock just below what Sir Nikolaus Pevsner describes as a "domical top and spire".  The clock, a gift from the third Earl of Ilchester in 1853, was designed by E. B. Dennison, who designed Big Ben, and made by E. J. Dent who was clockmaker to the Queen. The font is Norman, although the pedestal and wooden cover are Victorian.

Perhaps the most important item in the building is the small brass on the north side of the chancel, which is a memorial to William Grey, who was the rector here from 1511 to 1524.  Known as a 'Chaliced Priest', this is a rare example of a brass because he is shown actually holding a chalice.

This is a most attractive and very interesting church.

The Trust gratefully acknowledges the basis of text by Robin Adeney and Drone Photograph by Richard Noble.  DHCT © 2018

Folke

Folke

St. Lawrence

There is a trace of a Saxon door in the tower, but the first real reference is of 1292, when mention is made of the building being a chapel belonging to the Mother Church at Sherborne.  By 1405 it was described as being dependent on that church.  However, this fascinating Gothic Survival (not Revival) church was completely rebuilt in 1628 and sits at the end of a quiet lane, in a very peaceful setting, adjacent to a mellow manor house.  The plan is still medieval with an architectural style that leans towards Late Perpendicular.  There was a rebuild in 1875 of both the arcades and the crenellated parapets were added externally.

The wonderful furnishings owe much to classical influence and are designed for Prayer Book worship.  There are pews with shell top ends and a magnificent wooden screen surmounted by a great scroll, with a smaller one at the entrance to the north aisle.  The pulpit has an hour glass stand.  There is an interesting lectern, which is just a desk attached to the screen.  Note the small scrolled font with a lavish later cover.  In a glass case, there is an amazing wooden chain of 769 single links and cross, all carved from a single piece of lime wood by the Rev Wm Mayo, a past incumbent.

This delightful church will enchant anyone interested in beautiful wooden objects.

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges basis of text by Robin Adeney  and Drone Photograph by Richard Noble © DHCT 2018

Frome St. Quintin

Alton St. Pancras

From St.Quintin

This must be almost unique in Dorset because the church, which is surrounded by a hedge, is in the corner of a field with no road access to it. 

Like so many English villages, the origins of Frome St Quintin are lost in the mists of time. Hutchins records "on a hill in the parish, the ground marks an old encampment".

Certainly, the village and the surrounding land formed part of a royal estate in Norman times, being held by Queen Mathilda, wife of William the Conqueror. In the Doomsday Book it appears as Litelfrome but by the end of the twelfth century it was held by Herbert de St. Quintin, one of King Richard the Lionheart's powerful barons, from whom its present name derives. The mediaeval patrons were the Abbots of Tewksbury and the list of incumbents begins in 1132. Tradition has it that the original village surrounded this delightful little building, but was depopulated as a result of the Black Death, leaving the church isolated.

.The doorway which leads to the vestry beneath the tower is partly twelfth century, whilst the nave and chancel are C13. The surprisingly short tower was added in the fourteenth century and the chancel arch rebuilt about 1400. The south main entrance porch is C15. The various windows reflect these periods. The octagonal font with a cylindrical stem and chamfered base is C12. The church was restored in 1881, with the result that many of its features are late Victorian. Note the splendid oil lamps. The mediaeval altar is of Purbeck marble, repolished and with five more recent crosses, whilst the window above it, depicting the Nativity , is Victorian, as is the carving of the Last Supper. 

 This enchanting little church has a stunning barrel roof and an aisle that dramatically rises towards the chancel and hugely rewards a visit. 

The Dorset Historic Churches Trust wishes gratefully to record its sincere thanks to Linda Williams for the assistance received in the preparation of these notes.

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Frome Vauchurch

Bradford AbbFrome Vauchurch

St. Francis

This little hamlet, close to the river Frome, is almost a 'suburb' of the much larger village of Maiden Newton.  The church is placed end-on to the road so that the little bell turret is the first thing that greets one.  It is surrounded by a surprisingly large churchyard containing an impressive sundial.

The building is almost entirely Norman, with just a Victorian chancel added.  The Jacobean pulpit is an important feature and especially interesting because access to it is through an aperture in the chancel arch.  The interior is very intimate and really charming.  

The font is 13c. Note the moving painting of the Crucifixion on the north wall of the nave.

 

 

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Glanvilles Wooton

Bradford AbbGlanvilles Wooton

St. Mary the Virgin

The earliest part of this delightful little church is the 1344 chantry chapel, which was endowed so a priest would say mass for the departed every day for ever.  The tower was added a little later.  However the building seen today is the result of a major rebuild by the Victorians to a design by G.R.Crickmay 1875 - 76.  There are two modern clergy stalls by Robert Thompson of Kilbury, Yorkshire, known as The Mouse Man because all his work is decorated with a carved mouse.

 

 

 

 

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Halstock

Bradford AbbHalstock

St. Mary

This is a very interesting country church built from local rubble.  The oldest part is the C15 tower with its five bells.  The nave is to the design of the celebrated Victorian architect, Augustus Pugin, and completed around 1845-6.  In 1872, further alterations were made to the chancel.  The chapel in the north aisle was given by the rector, Rev. Irving, in 1959 and dedicated to the Saxon saint St. Juthware.  The tradition is that she carried her head to the altar after being beheaded and is the inspiration for some of the Dorset 'Quiet Woman' pub signs.

The corbel stones are exceptionally plain for a Victorian build and it has been suggested that they were left like that in anticipation of decoration by a stone carver.  Perhaps the money ran out? 

 

 

 

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Haydon

Bradford AbbHaydon

St. Catherine

This is a rather forlorn building just outside the southern gates of Sherborne Castle.  Pevsner says it was built in 1883 to a design by Carpenter and Ingelow who were also responsible for North Wooton and a memorial to George Wingfield Digby in Sherborne.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Hermitage

Bradford AbbHermitage

St. Mary

This church is in a most attractive and peaceful setting adjacent to an 18c farmhouse.  As is often the case, the origins are obscure, but it is certain that in the 14c there were a group of hermit friars here following the rule of St Augustine and enjoying the patronage of King Edward I (1239-1307).  By 1460 the friars had gone and it had become a free chapel with its own priest.  In 1514 it was annexed to Cerne Abbey and after the Dissolution of the Monasteries it became a perpetual curacy under the Crown.  This arrangement continued until 1935 when the then Prince of Wales (later to be Edward VIII) transferred the Hermitage and Hilfield Village School to the people so that it could be used as a Village Hall.

The present church was extensively restored during the 17c and rebuilt in 1800.  There was once a tower at the west end, which included a room to house the curate and there was a chamber over the porch which accommodated a bell and wood for his fire.  The single bell in the stone bell-turret is dated 1795 although the bell-wheel was rebuilt in 1990.  

During the Second World War (1939-45) several pictures from the Bournemouth Art Gallery were hung in the church to reduce the risk of damage from bombs.  The small picture in the nave was a gift in memory of the assistance given.  To the right of the altar, note the very sensitive Madonna and Child.

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Holnest

Beer hackHolnest

St. Michael

This little church lies almost all alone in a large graveyard on the western side of the main Dorchester to Sherborne road.  The village it served has largely vanished.  It has not always been so for Sir Frederick Treves reports in his 'Highways and Byeways in Dorset', first published in 1906, that there was a huge mausoleum, "of marvellous hideousness" erected by a local squire.  This squire was clearly rather hung-up about death because he used to make his staff practice his funeral arrangements, including the full procession, on a regular basis!  There is nothing left of the building now.

The church is delightful with a short tower and a variety of roof shapes.  The experts seem to be coy about the dates of this building, although it is mainly C15 and the chancel is definitely 1855.  Inside, the most important feature is the charming white painted box pews with a unique (for Dorset) curved candle sconce above each.  There is a Jacobean pulpit and C13 font.

 

 

 The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Leigh

Beer hackLeigh

St Andrew

The hamlet of Leigh rests on Oxford clay and it is a feature of this soil that settlements tend to be small with several quite scattered farms.  Another feature of clay is the width allowed between hedges, which is usually much wider than on better draining soils.  This was because before the days of a metalled surface to roads a greater area was needed to avoid becoming completely bogged down in wet weather.

The church, like so many in Dorset, still has its C15 tower replete with some splendid gargoyles.  The nave and chancel are the result of a Victorian restoration in 1840.  This was to a design by R J Withers of Sherborne, whose only other recorded churches are St Nicholas at Hilfield and St Mary at Melbury Bubb. There is an impressive bench end probably dating from C16 and a good font.

Leigh is also famous for its miz maze.  Centuries ago, these were a common place amusement and consisted of an intricate arrangement of low banks and trenches, through which local lads would wander at certain seasons of the year.  Nothing now survives apart from a low bank and ditch.  It is very small.  Other examples can be found at Pimperne and Troy Town.  The English for maze is "caertroi" and "troi" means "turning".  This must be where Troy Town derives its name.

 The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

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