Bere Regis Village Website

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 2 - South East.

The Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England survey of Dorset, 1970.

The very large parish of Bere Regis covering 8,312 acres lies 10 m. E.N.E. of Dorchester on the N. edge of the S. Dorset heathland. The whole of the S. half of the parish is rolling heathland, over Bagshot Beds, lying between 50 ft. and 200 ft. above O.D., across which the river Frome cuts obliquely from N.W. to S.E.
The middle part is largely occupied by Reading Beds and London Clay which give rise to extensive woodland.
The N. part of the parish is on Chalk rising to just over 300 ft. above O.D. and in places cut into by dry valleys draining into the Milborne Brook, which crosses this part of the parish to join the Piddle in the S.E. corner.

The parish was, until recently, much larger and included the old settlement of Milborne Stileham and its land to the N., now incorporated within Milborne St. Andrew parish.

There appear to have been three original settlements within the parish, Shitterton, Bere Regis itself and Doddings Farm, all along the Milborne Brook on the edge of the Chalk outcrop.
Late settlements to the S. of the original nuclei took the form of small farms on the heathland, all along the Piddle.
These, such as Chamberlayne's Farm, Hyde House, Philliols Farm and Stockley Farms, are all first recorded in the mid 13th to mid 14th centuries.

Bere Regis was always by far the most important settlement, perhaps as a result of its royal connection (Hutchins I, 136), and it was made into a free borough by Edward I.
It remained for long an important market town, though severe fires in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries have left it with no domestic buildings older than c. 1600.
Many of the 17th and 18th-century houses in the village were built as small farmhouses, the lands of which lay in open fields on the Chalk to the N.; the latter were not enclosed until 1846 (Enclosure Map and Award, in D.C.R.O.; see also Map of Bere Regis, 1775, D.C.R.O.).

The parish church and the hill-fort on Woodbury Hill are the principal monuments.
The site of the royal house built by King John has not been identified.


b(1) The Parish Church of St. John the Baptist stands in the village.
The walls are of various materials, Portland and Purbeck stone ashlar in the chancel, flint, limestone rubble and squared Portland with some rough alternate coursing in the nave and N. aisle, flint with lacing-courses of carstone and brick in the S. aisle, and predominantly flint and Portland stone in chequer pattern in the W. tower.
The roofs are covered with stone slates and with lead.

St John's Church, Bere Regis: Architectural Development

(The position and size of the openings, excepting of those that survive, the width of the S. aisle and the plan of the chancel prior to the 15th century are conjectural.)

Enough evidence survives to show that the present building incorporates the remains in situ of a cruciform church of c. 1050: these comprise the E. bay of the N. wall of the Nave, containing an archway, subsequently reformed, which opened into a N. transept, and possibly the N. and S. extremities of the E. wall of the nave.
In c. 1100 altar recesses were formed flanking the earlier chancel arch; of these, the base of the S. respond of the S. recess alone remains. In c. 1160 the nave was enlarged by rebuilding the S. wall somewhat further to the S.; included in the new S. wall was an arcade, which survives, opening to an added S. aisle.
The old S. transept though thus truncated was in all probability retained. In c. 1200 an arcade of three bays, which also survives, opening to an added N. aisle, was formed in the N. wall of the nave of c. 1050, the wall co-extensive with it being entirely rebuilt.
At much the same time the arches of the S. arcade, above the capitals, were rebuilt.
In the early 13th century the old opening between the nave and the N. transept was reformed and thereafter the nave and aisles were extended one bay to the W. In the 14th century the standing North and South Aisles were completely rebuilt wider, the width of the N. aisle presumably being made uniform with the depth of the older N. transept.
The previous truncation of the S. transept precluded similar uniformity on the S.; this transept was therefore demolished and the space included in the new aisle, an enlarged archway being formed in eastward extension of the S. nave arcade of c. 1160.
At the same time the chancel arch was enlarged.

During the 15th century a notable improvement of the church was begun. Money for the repair of the Chancel was being collected in 1450 and soon thereafter it was completely rebuilt.
The upper parts of the nave walls were rebuilt to contain clearstorey windows and by c. 1500 the nave roof was framed and the West Tower built. Cardinal Morton by his will proved in 1500 founded a chantry in the church for twenty years, and for it doubtless the old N. transept was rebuilt, for this end of the N. aisle is by tradition the Morton Chapel; the rebuilding provided an E. bay uniform with the rest of the N. aisle in place of the lofty and no doubt archaic early transept.
The E. end of the S. aisle is traditionally the Turberville Chapel; John Turberville by his will of 1535 desired to be buried 'in my own aisle before the image of Our Blessed Lady, in one of the tombs wherein Sir Richard and Sir Robert Turberville my ancestors hath been buried'.
He also directed that the E. window of the aisle be newly made and newly glazed as soon after his death as convenient: no doubt the elaborate 16th-century E. window in the S. wall is the outcome (Plate 32).
In 1760 the more easterly end of the S. aisle was badly burned and in part rebuilt in flint with brick lacing-courses.

The South Porch was rebuilt in 1875.
At this time the church was very extensively restored at a cost of some £7000 by Messrs. Hale and Son of Salisbury under the direction of G. E. Street, R.A.; the clerk of works was J. Redden.
The 15th-century tracery of the reset late 13th-century E. window was removed and new tracery inserted; the wall over the S. nave arcade was rebuilt, the tilting piers and arches being levered back to the vertical, and the greater part of the N. and W. walls of the N. aisle were reconstructed, retaining the old features.
The E. end wall of the S. aisle was in part rebuilt, incorporating a new window in the 14th-century style in replacement of one of five four-centred and transomed lights in a square head of the 16th century; the nave and S. aisle floors, which had been raised level with that of the N. aisle in 1830, were again lowered; the nave roof was repaired; the chancel, S. aisle and tower roofs were renewed, and extensive alterations were made in the fittings.
(A copy of G. E. Street's plan of the church, showing the rebuilding proposed, and photographs before and during restoration are in the Commission's archives together with miscellaneous correspondence, early guides, etc. See also Hutchins I, 150–4; British Arch. Assocn. Journ., XXVIII (1872), 289–95, 400–1; Building News, 21 May 1869, 22 October 1875, 30 April 1909; Dorset Procs. VIII (1887), 49; E. Venables, Historical Sketch of Bere Regis, etc. (Dorchester, 1882).)

Bere Regis church is of some note architecturally and of interest for an involved structural development extending from the mid 11th century to modern times.
The tower is among the more imposing late Gothic towers in the county; the nave roof of c. 1500 is remarkable, and the early 16th-century recessed canopied table-tombs belong to an interesting group of locally made monuments that had a wide distribution.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (32½ ft. by 17 ft.) has a chamfered plinth and diagonal buttresses in two stages. The gable of the E. wall is a modern rebuilding; it has a stone coping. The N. and S. walls finish in simple eaves.
The tracery of the three-light E. window is of 1875 but the reset jambs, mullions, chamfered rear arch and moulded label with head-stops of a man and a woman are of the late 13th century; internally the splays and mullions have engaged shafts with moulded capitals and bases.
In the N. wall are three late 15th-century windows each of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label finished with head-stops and with a hollow-chamfered rear arch; the westernmost reveal has been in part cut back for a squint from the Morton Chapel.
The S. wall contains three windows similar to those opposite, also with the westernmost reveal cut back for a squint, and a late 15th-century doorway with a moulded two-centred head enriched with paterae; the mouldings are continued down the jambs to chamfered stops; the label has carved head-stops.
Of the two squints, the N. is roughly cut and of indeterminate date; the S., probably in part of the 14th and in part of the 15th century, has a chamfered half-arch to the E. and, to the W., a wide 14th-century opening with a two-centred chamfered head and jambs fitted with a plain mediaeval wrought-iron grille.
The 14th-century chancel arch has been partly rebuilt with some of the old material, probably in the 15th century; it is two-centred and of two chamfered orders; the inner order dies out into the responds, the outer butts into them with the chamfer continuing down to restored chamfered plinths. On the W., between the S. respond and the opening to the S. squint are the mutilated remains of a small respond-shaft with a moulded base; reset above it is a moulded voussoir with lozenge-diaper enrichment; the first, of c. 1100, no doubt is part of an altar recess that flanked a narrow earlier chancel arch.
Over the chancel arch, seen from outside, is the weathering of an earlier roof to the chancel; the cross on the gable end above is the only one not renewed in 1875 though the gable itself was largely rebuilt.
The Nave (58 ft. by 20 ft.) has the arches in the N. wall standing at the N. aisle floor level which is 1¼ ft. above the nave floor.
The wall of the E. bay is thicker than the rest of the wall westward and on a different alignment; it is of c. 1050, in part refaced towards the nave in the mid 12th century, and contains an early 13th-century arched opening with hollow-chamfered imposts continued to the break back to the thinner wall further W.; the arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders; both orders evidently became deformed but only the inner has since been rebuilt true; the dressings are insertions and the whole probably represents a remodelling of an earlier feature.
Over the E. haunch is a rectangular doorway to the rood stair.
The first three bays of the arcade of c. 1200 further to the W. have two-centred arches with two plain orders on the S. and flush faces on the N. carried respectively on a chamfered corbel on the E. respond, two circular piers with plain moulded capitals and restored bases and, on the W., a rectangular chamfered pier with chamfered impost.
The W. half of this last pier was formed and faced in the 13th century when the further bay was added; in this last the arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders springing from a W. respond with a chamfered impost partly buried in the tower wall.
The five windows of the clearstorey differ in date: the easternmost is of c. 1500, of two four-centred lights in a square head; the rest, of the late 15th century, have each two trefoiled lights in a square moulded head with moulded jambs and a flat rear arch.
The E. bay of the S. arcade contains a 14th-century two-centred arch of two chamfered orders dying out into the flush wall-face between nave and S. aisle on the E. and springing from a renewed circular pier on the W.; the retooled capital of the pier, decorated with paterae and heater-shaped shields each charged with a cross, is a base reused and inverted.
The next three bays have two-centred arches of two orders with a chevron-enriched label on the N. and with a flush face and chamfered label on the S.; the piers are circular, the second and third having mid 12th-century chamfered abaci and capitals carved with drapery-like scalloping and grotesque figures and heads, including those of a king, a man holding his head, a hound baiting a bear, and a monkey, bringing the square of the abacus to the round of the pier (Plate 7).
The bases, including the base of the first pier, are moulded and with rounded spurs on square stepped and chamfered sub-bases with chevron ornament. The fourth pier is circular and the E. half is of the mid 12th century with a scalloped capital while the W. half is of the 13th century with a plain capital.
The 13th-century arch in the fifth bay is two-centred, of two chamfered orders, and the W. respond is half-round with a moulded capital and modern base.
The five clearstorey windows are similar to the more westerly in the N. wall.

The Morton Chapel and North Aisle (13 ft. wide) are without structural division and entered up two steps from the nave.
The chapel occupies one bay and is an early 16th-century rebuilding of the earlier transept; the ashlar bonding at the junction of the former W. wall of the transept and the nave wall remains visible in the latter at clearstorey level.
The chapel has a double plinth, a diagonal buttress on the N.E. and a modern buttress at the junction with the N. aisle; in the external angle between the E. wall and the chancel is the two-sided projection of the 16th-century rood stair.
The restored E. window is of three four-centred lights in a square casementmoulded head with moulded jambs; the N. window is similar to it. The N. aisle is without plinth or buttresses; in the N. wall are three reset late 15th-century windows each of three cinque-foiled lights in a square casement-moulded head with moulded jambs.
The reset 14th-century N. doorway, between the second and third windows, has a restored two-centred head with the mouldings continued down the jambs to plain stops; the rear arch is triangular and chamfered.
The reset late 15th-century W. window is of three trefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a triangular head, head and jambs being casement-moulded; below the window and to the S. is some earlier walling and the sill of a blocked 13th-century lancet window.
Along the S. wall over the nave arcade are the shaped corbels of an earlier roof.

The South Aisle (16 ft. wide) has had the whole of the upper part of the E. wall rebuilt, and the E. window with net tracery is entirely late 19th-century.
The upper part of the 14th-century S. wall has been rebuilt in flint with brick courses, the easternmost of the three short two-stage buttresses having the initials and date MS 1760.
The E. window in the S. wall (Plate 32) is of the 16th century, probably c. 1535, and has five ogee cinque-foiled lights with two whole and two part quatrefoils in the tracery all in a three-centred opening in a square head with blank shields and ribands in the spandrels; the square moulded label has stops carved with demi-angels, much worn.
The elliptical rear arch and splays are elaborated with rectangular, quatre-foiled and trefoiled panels. Further W. is a partly destroyed 18th-century doorway in brick, now blocked, with segmental head.
The reset second window is of the 14th century with three ogee-trefoiled lights and net tracery in a two-centred head with a two-centred and chamfered rear arch. The third and the W. windows are late 19th-century.
The rebuilt 14th-century S. doorway is two-centred with the mouldings of the head continued down the jambs to shaped stops; the rear arch is two-centred and chamfered.

The West Tower (13 ft. by 12 ft.) is of c. 1500 and in three stages (Plate 2) with a moulded plinth, moulded strings, two-stage inset angle buttresses ending in tall pinnacled standards, and an embattled parapet with crocketed pinnacles and gargoyles.
The polygonal stair turret at the N.W. angle rises above the parapet and has engaged standards with pinnacles standing on the topmost string at the free corners and smaller pinnacles on the plain parapet.
The moulded tower arch is two-centred and springs from shafted responds, the soffit and reveals containing heights of paired panels with trefoiled heads. In the N. wall is the doorway to the stair, with a four-centred chamfered head.
The W. doorway has moulded jambs and a four-centred arch in a square head with foliate spandrels; flanking the doorway are plain standards set diagonally supporting a capping continued as a label and a string.
The restored W. window has four transomed lights with a large centre mullion and vertical tracery in a two-centred head, all within a continuous casement moulding; the heads of the lights below the transom are trefoiled, above cinque-foiled; the moulded label returns across the other faces of the tower as a string.
Flanking the window are two niches with corbels carved with angels holding blank shields; their moulded standards carry crocketed canopies and pinnacles.
The second stage has in the N. wall an original window of one four-centred light in a square casement-moulded head; inside, the clock chamber is entered through a doorway with an original stop-chamfered timber frame.
The third stage has in each face a three-light double-transomed window with blind tracery in a four-centred head within a continuous casement moulding; the lights below both transoms have elliptical heads, the others are ogee, and the two upper heights are filled with pierced stone panelling with quatrefoil and star-pattern openings; the lower lights are blocked.
The moulded labels have human and beast-head stops, some defaced, and the rear arches are segmental-pointed.

The South Porch (10¼ ft. by 12½ ft.), of early 16th-century origin, has been rebuilt; the S. archway and the windows in the E. and W. walls are of the late 19th century.

The Roof of the chancel is of 1875; the design is said to have been based on fragments of a mediaeval roof found in situ.
The late 15th-century timber roof of the nave (Plates 68, 69) is in five bays divided and flanked by tie beams with arched braces meeting in the centre and springing from hammer beams with curved struts that continue the lines of the braces to give the appearance of two-centred arched supports to the ties; the struts and wall posts stand on shaped stone corbels; standing on the tie beams are king posts, queen posts and two subsidiary side posts with cusped struts supporting the ridge and the four purlins respectively. The trusses are elaborately enriched, with tracery and foiled infilling in the spandrels and trefoiled cusping along the under side of the braces and struts.
At the junctions of the braces are large bosses crudely carved with (1) foliage, (2) male head, (3) shield with a modern or restored painting of the arms of Morton, (4) Tudor rose, (5) knot, (6) shield of St. George.
The ends of the hammer beams are carved with full-length figures, probably of the Apostles but so many of the attributes are broken away that only five are perhaps identifiable: N. side, (1) St. Matthew, (3) St. Philip (?); S. side, (3) St. James the Great, (4) St. Peter, (6) St. James the Less.
Midway between the trusses are secondary principals with bosses at the intersections with ridge and purlins carved with human heads and foliage. In 1875 the roof was extensively repaired, renewals being carved by Harry Hems of Exeter, and regilded and recoloured by Messrs. Clayton and Bell (R.C.H.M. archives).
The colouring has been renewed again in the present century. The Morton Chapel retains the original roof of c. 1500 with intersecting moulded beams and wall-plates forming four panels.
The restored late 15th-century lean-to roof of the N. aisle is in five bays divided by moulded principals supported on stone corbels and supporting moulded purlins.
The roofs of the S. aisle and the tower are of 1875. (A.R.D.)

Fittings—Altar: In chancel,
Purbeck marble slab with two incised crosses and part of a third, the lower edge hollow-chamfered, mediaeval, repaired and set on modern base to form main altar. Bells: six; 2nd, 1656, probably by Thomas Purdue; 4th by John Wallis of Salisbury, 1602; 5th by Thomas and William Knight, 1709; 6th by Clement Tosier, 1698, and given by Mary Dyet.

Brackets etc.: In nave—on E. wall, N. of chancel arch at about springing-level, shaped stone corbel, probably for back of rood loft; on N. and S. walls at the same level as the foregoing and one bay W., probably for the front bressummer of the rood loft, two carved corbels, the N. defaced, the S. with the carved figure of a man with large head wearing close-fitting round cap and pleated gown with shoulder-cape, c. 1400.

In Morton Chapel—flanking E.
window, at different levels, and differing slightly in detail, two half-octagonal moulded stone corbels with concave sides and flared stems, c. 1500; on E. splay of N. window, moulded stone corbel supported by flying angel, c. 1500. Brasses and Indents. Brasses: in N. aisle—on N. wall, (1) to Andrew Loup, 1637, reset triangular-headed plate with long Latin inscription and shield-of-arms of Loup; (2) to [Henry] Fisher [1773], small, finely engraved with emblems of mortality. In S. aisle, (3) to Robert Turbervyle, 1559, plate with black-letter inscription (now reset on E. wall).

See also Monuments (1, 5). Indents: in W. tower—in floor-slabs, (1) of rectangular plate; (2) of inscription plate and shield, c. 1500, the slab with illegible black-letter inscription; (3) of figure and inscription plate, c. 1500, much worn. See also Monuments (2, 4, 5).

Chairs: In chancel, two, made up with 15th-century linenfold panelling and mediaeval and modern material. Chest: In N. aisle, of wood, 3 ft. 2 ins. long, panelled and inscribed with names of churchwardens and date 1716.
Clock: Works (Plate 5), now in D.C.M., with elaborate wrought-iron frame, made by Lawrence Boyce of Piddletown, 1719. Consecration Cross: In nave, on W. face of E. respond of N. arcade, painted on plaster in red outlined in black, 13th-century.
Font (Plate 8): In W. tower, circular straight-sided bowl with shallow carved decoration, partly hacked away, of interlacing round-headed arches with open flowers in roundels above, moulded necking, 12th-century, on late 19th-century stem and moulded base; in top of bowl the remains of fastenings for a cover. Ironwork: see Architectural Description, Chancel.

Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—against N. wall,
(1) to John Skerne, [1593], freestone table-tomb (Plate 14) with brasses and canopy erected by Margaret (Thornhull) his wife in 1596, tomb-chest with moulded plinth and square-panelled front and ends, the panels containing blank shields enclosed in sub-cusped quatrefoils, the top slab with moulded edges and remains of wrought-iron guard and carrying two reeded and fluted columns and half-column responds supporting the canopy and continued up as corner-posts with knob finials; the back wall divided by pilaster buttresses into three bays containing brasses, in the middle an achievement-of-arms of Skerne impaling Thornhull (Fig. p. 16) with a separate inscription below, in the W. the kneeling figure of a man in civilian dress, and in the E. a woman; the canopy with a cornice decorated with quatrefoils and blind brattishing and a soffit (Plate 15) with unusual decoration including enriched bosses, a quatrefoil, and diapered panels enclosing star-shaped sinkings (cf. Church Knowle parish church, Monument 1). In N. aisle—on N. wall,
(2) mutilated reset fragments of a stone monument similar to (4) comprising the canopy with the traceried soffit set flush and the three wall-panels with brass indents of a kneeling figure of a knight wearing a tabard and with a scroll, inscription plate and smaller plate (probably a Trinity), and of a shield in each side panel, 16th-century, first half;
(3) to Robert, [1631], son of John Williams of Herringston, and Maria (Argenton) his wife, [1630], wall-monument of painted clunch erected by L W (probably his son, Lewis Williams) in 1631, consisting of a gilded inscription panel flanked by attached Tuscan columns supporting a cornice and pyramidal strapwork composition framing a shield of the quarterly arms of Williams, De La Lynde, Herring, Syward, all impaling Argenton. In S. aisle— in E. wall,
(4) canopied tomb of Purbeck marble with brass indents, the front with quatre-foiled panels, now almost entirely defaced, and moulded capping supporting part-octagonal attached shafts carrying the canopy; the back wall slightly recessed, with trefoil-headed panels in the reveals, and containing partly defaced brass indents of two kneeling figures of a man and wife, an inscription plate below and a scroll between them, and flanking shields; the canopy with a band of quatrefoils across the front and blind brattishing, the soffit carved with a central boss of fan-pattern flanked by elaborate tracery-work, 16th-century, first half, much decayed; in S. wall,

(5) Purbeck marble tomb of similar type to (1) and (4) above, the front containing blank shields, that in the centre having had an applied brass shield, framed in sub-cusped quatrefoils in square traceried panels alternating with narrower trefoil-headed panels and with spirally-moulded shafts at each end; the recess above with flanking spirally-turned shafts and panelled reveals, the E. reveal containing a small recess with cinque-foiled ogee head and bracket; the back wall divided into three compartments, with brass indents of a Trinity flanked by kneeling figures of a knight and wife with scrolls and of an inscription panel below; the front of the canopy decorated with a band of quatrefoils and blind brattishing, the soffit (Plate 15) with two bosses and elaborately carved tracery, 16th-century, first half;
(6) tomb recess, E. springer only of arch surviving, with pierced cusp, probably 14th-century;

(7) in wall-recess, tomb with plain front and Purbeck top slab with chamfered under-edge, recess with septfoiled elliptical arch under an ogee label, this last much defaced, the foils with sunk spandrels, 14th-century. In W. tower—on S. wall,
(8) to Harvey Ekins, 1799, and M. Elizabeth his widow, 1806, white and grey marble wall-monument with fluted side pilasters, urn and blank shield;

(9) of Harvey Ekins Lillington, a great-nephew of Harvey Ekins (see foregoing), 1819, white and black marble wall-tablet. Outside—on N. wall of chancel,
(10) to John Wills, vicar, 1725/6, white marble wall-tablet on foliated corbel, erected by his wife Maria. In churchyard—E. of chancel, (11) to John, son of John and Elizabeth Stanly, 1701/2, and another, name concealed, headstone; N. of church,
(12) to Jasper Guy, 1695, headstone; (13) to David Guy, 1695, headstone;
(14) to Mary and Abis, daughters of William and Mary Whelch, 1704, headstone; S. of church, (15) to John, son of Thomas and Anna Boscomb, 1713, headstone; (16) to Jonathan Burges, 1682, headstone; (17) to Joy, son of James Burges, 1676, headstone; (18) to Andrew Sexey, 1691, carved headstone; (19) to Samuel Rutter, 1722, carved headstone; (20) foot-stone inscribed WT.ET.TS. 1695. 1699.

Floor-slabs: In chancel—two modern floor-tiles, marking the position of floor-slabs beneath concealed in 1875, inscribed (1) RW, 1631, (Robert, second son of John Williams of Herringston) and MW, 1630, (Mary (Argenton) his wife), and (2) GA, 1701, (Gulielmus Abell, A.M., vicar). In nave, in second bay of N. arcade, (3) to Thomas . . . ., 1608, with black-letter inscription, largely illegible. In S. aisle—(4) to John Turberville of 'Beere' and Woolbridge and Ann (Howard) his wife, daughter of Thomas, Viscount Bindon, 1633; (5) over the Turberville vault, dated 1710. In W. tower, (6) with traces of black-letter inscription, illegible. See also Brass Indent (2).

Niches: see Architectural Description of W. Tower. Panelling: In N. aisle—on N. wall, towards W. end, six arcaded panels with strapwork and jewel-ornament, possibly of former pulpit, and some plain panels in moulded framing, 17th-century, reset; reused in screen to vestry, eight linenfold panels, early 16th-century.
Piscinae: In chancel—in S. wall, with moulded cinque-foiled head and jambs and stone shelf, front edge of sill shaped into two three-sided projections carried on pair of moulded and ribbed corbels, E. half containing foiled dishing to drain, mid 14th-century. In S. aisle— in S. wall, with ogee cinque-foiled chamfered head and jambs, sill cut back and foiled sinking and drain partly destroyed, late 15th-century. Plate: includes cup by I.G., 6½ ins. high, with straight tapered sides on plain flared stem, 1664; stand-paten by D.B., 9 ins. diam., with gadroon border, 1693, engraved with achievement-of-arms of Williams of Herringston; smaller stand-paten by C.O., 6½ ins. diam., of similar design, 1698; stand-paten, 47/8 ins. diam. bought in 1876 but older; two flagons with straight tapering sides and scrolled handles, 1811 and 1812, given by the vicar, Thomas Williams; straight-sided pewter flagon, 17th-century.

Seating: In nave, thirteen bench ends (Plate 67) incorporated in backs of modern pews, elaborately carved with tracerypatterns and linenfolds incorporating initials, H B and R C, shield with date 1547, others with pelican in piety, merchant's mark with initials HAC, and inscription: ION DAV WARDEN OF THYS CHARYS (Figs. pp. 18, 188).
Bere Regis Church. Seating; bench-end
Sundial: reset in E. buttress of S. aisle, fragment of scratch dial, mediaeval.
Tables: in vestry, of yew, with shaped legs and hoof-shaped feet, given by Henry Fisher, vicar 1725–73.
In S. aisle, with turned and twisted legs and stretchers and shaped bearers to plain top, early 18th-century. Miscellanea:
Carved stones—in S. wall of S. porch, carved voussoir similar to that in E. wall of nave (see Architectural Description above), mid 12th-century; built into N. aisle, fragments of moulded and carved stones including small delicately carved foliated capital of c. 1200; in S. arcade, two stone heads; in S. porch, fragments of two coffin-lids with Calvary crosses, part of plain stone cross, and small Purbeck marble slab decorated with quatrefoils.
On outside of N. aisle, 16th-century moulded stone fragment with shield-of-arms (unidentified 1). Over S. door, two firemen's wrought-iron thatch-hooks, with chains but no staves, 17th or 18th-century.

The following houses unless otherwise described are of two storeys with cob walls and thatched roofs; the barns are of similar building materials.

Bere Regis, Plan showing the Position of the Monuments

West Street

North side:

b(2) House, of brick with a tiled roof, was built in the late 18th century.
Two bay windows were added on the S. in the 19th century.

b(3) House, of two storeys and attics, with brick walls, rendered and painted, and a tiled roof, was built in the second half of the 18th century.
The back wing is a later addition.

b(4) House was built in the early 17th century; on plan it has a central chimney and two rooms.

b(5) House, of two storeys and attics, built of brick with tiled roofs with stone verges, is of the early 18th century.
The front originally had two ground-floor windows and a doorway on the W., a brick plinth, a plat-band marking the first floor and an eaves cornice of headers set on edge and alternately glazed.
The two first-floor windows flank a rectangular sunk brick panel.
The end gables have moulded brick copings and kneelers.
The plan (below) comprises a side passage, a large front room with a small room opening from it E. of the stairs, and a N. kitchen wing; but there is nothing to show that the passage is an original feature, and the purpose of the small room is uncertain.
About the middle of the 19th century a bay window was added in place of the ground-floor windows.

b(6) Cottage, of brick with a thatched roof, is of the early 19th century.
It has a symmetrical elevation with a central doorway.

b(7) House with shop was built in the early 19th century.
It has a brick plinth and, towards the E. end, a separate shop entrance.

c(8) Cottages, two, were built probably in the 18th century; the E. cottage has been refaced in brickwork.
Parish of Bere Regis: Houses in West Street
c(9) House was built in the early 18th century.
The plan (below) comprises a central staircase with the principal room to the E. and the kitchen to the W.
Behind the staircase is a small room of uncertain purpose.
The porch, of two storeys and of brick with a tiled and gabled roof, was added probably c. 1800.
Part of the back wall has been rebuilt in brick and outhouses have been added.

South side:

b(10) 'Royal Oak', public house, at the S.W. corner of the cross roads, of two storeys and attics, is of the early 19th century.
It is built of brick, the N. and E. sides being in blue headers with red dressings; the roofs are tiled.
The N. side has a central doorway flanked by two three-light windows, three similar windows on the first floor and three dormer windows with hipped roofs.

b(11) House, of brickwork in Flemish bond with blue headers, is of the late 18th century.
The plan comprises two rooms, each with a fireplace in the gable wall, and a straight staircase between them.

b(12) House is probably of the 17th century.
It was renovated and sash windows were inserted towards the end of the 18th century, when, probably, a small Barn at the E. end was added. (Remodelled)

b(13) House, of two storeys and with a back wing of one storey, was built of brick in Flemish bond about the middle of the 18th century.
The E. ground-floor window on the N. side has a segmental head of alternate red and blue headers.
The plan (see p. 18) is L-shaped, comprising two main rooms, which were probably a parlour to the W. and a kitchen.
The absence of a doorway between the E. room and the back wing suggests that the latter served some farm purpose, perhaps as a dairy.
In the second quarter of the 19th century a general renovation included the addition of an entrance lobby, a bay window and a back porch. Perhaps at this time the fireplace with an oven on one side was inserted in the back wing, though the wing remained perhaps a bakehouse and brew-house rather than a kitchen.
On the first floor the W. room has an original fireplace-surround with eared architrave and moulded shelf.

b(14) Manor Farm, house, of brick with a tiled roof, is of the first half of the 18th century.
The brickwork is in English bond with blue headers.

b(15) House, with a slated roof, was built probably in the 18th century.
It has been converted into two cottages and greatly altered. A Barn to the E., of the 17th century, retained a single post forming the foot of a scarfed-cruck truss until demolished (1958).

b(16) and (17) Barns have brick plinths and are both of the early 19th century, although not of exactly the same date.
They are comparatively small, of four bays, and have large opposed doors without porches. (Demolished)

b(18) Cottage is of the late 18th century.
The E. wall is of brickwork in Flemish bond with blue headers.

North Street

East side:

b(19) House was built in the late 17th or early 18th century when it must have had a range of three rooms, the middle one unheated.
It was greatly altered towards the middle of the 19th century.

b(20) House is probably of the 17th century.
It has been partly refaced in brick and altered inside.

b(21) House is of the early 17th century and consists of a range of three rooms.
The chimney-stack stands between two rooms and to the side of it is the entrance lobby.
The house has been much altered.

b(22) Houses, two, of rendered brick, with slated roofs, were built as a pair towards the middle of the 19th century. They have symmetrical elevations.

b(23) House was built in the late 16th or early 17th century when the plan comprised two rooms each with a fireplace in the gable wall. It has been extended on two sides in the 18th and 19th centuries.

b(24) House, of one storey and attics, is of similar plan and date to (23). A third room was added to the N. in the early 18th century and a Cottage at the S. end in the early 19th century.

West side:

b(25) Cottage, of brick with a tiled roof, was built probably at the end of the 18th century.

b(26) Cottages, a pair, of brick with tiled roofs with stone slate verges, were built in the late 18th century.
They share a common doorway in a symmetrical frontage.

b(27) Cottages, two, one double-fronted, are of the late 18th century.

c(28) Cottages, two, were formed in the 19th century in a late 18th-century range of stabling.

c(29) House, on Barrow Hill, of brick with a slated roof, is of the first half of the 18th century; it is said to have been the schoolmaster's house and may well have been built about the time that the adjacent school was founded in 1719. The brickwork is in Flemish bond with blue headers and a platband marking the first floor. The original plan comprised two rooms. Entrance was through a porch and lobby to one side of the central chimney. The house has been divided and altered. The school has been rebuilt with the original date panel reset.

c(30) Cottages, on the E. side of Butt Lane, form a range of five with a sixth, detached, to the S. They are of the 18th and early 19th centuries.

c(31) Cottage, on Snow Hill, is early Victorian.

b(32) House, in Blind Street, is of the 17th century but has been extensively altered at several different dates.

b(33) Court Farm, house, S.E. of the church, is L-shaped on plan.
The oldest part is the S. end of the W. wing, which is of the late 17th or early 18th century; it is of rubble with a tiled roof, the window heads are turned in brick and the S. gable has a moulded coping and parapet.
The mid 18th-century N. end of the wing is of brick.
The brick E. wing with a symmetrical S. front was added in the early 19th century.
The wings now form two separate houses.
The plan of the E. wing comprises a lobby facing a straight flight of stairs between living room and kitchen; the S. wing was altered to a similar plan in the 19th century.


House (841949) is of one storey with attics; it was built of flint with lacing-courses of squared stone in the late 16th century.
The S.W. end of the front wall has been rebuilt, perhaps in cob, probably in the early 19th century; the S.W. gable wall was rebuilt in rubble at some uncertain date, and the back wall patched in brick in the 18th century.
A cottage was added on the N.E. end in the late 18th century.
The 16th-century plan consists of a range of three rooms. In the S.W. room, which has pyramidal stops to the chamfered longitudinal ceiling beams, a small 19th-century fireplace replaces the much larger original; the N.E. room still has a large fireplace.
The room in the middle is of some pretensions, since it has chamfered and stopped ceiling beams, though without a fireplace; it appears to have been an unusually elaborate entrance hall.

Honeycombe Cottage (referred to above)
Shitterton Farm

Shitterton Farm, house (839950), of two storeys and attics, was built in brick in the early 18th century.
The only decorative feature of that date to survive is a plat-band on the S. wall of the N. range, which is continued in slightly different brickwork on the W. wall of the S. wing.
The plan comprised an entrance, now blocked, opposite the staircase, a room to each side and a smaller unheated room behind the staircase.
The house seems always to have had a wing to the S. because the wall between the N. range and the wing is thinner than the outside walls, though the lack of openings in the said wall suggests the wing was a dairy or brewhouse rather than a kitchen.
In the middle of the 19th century the wing was extended, the addition being of one storey and attics, a porch added, and the whole house given new windows, doors and fireplaces.
A Barn, of brick with slated roof, stands W. of the house and is of the early 18th century.

Shitterton Farmhouse
Cottage, immediately W. of (34), is of the early 19th century.

House, 40 yds. E.S.E. of (35), of two storeys and attics and of brick with a slated roof, was built in the late 18th century.

Cottage, immediately W. of (35), is of the early 19th century.


House (340 yds. S.) has a slated roof and symmetrical front; it is early Victorian.
Three Cottages immediately adjacent may be of the same date.

Barn (300 yds. S.), of the late 18th century, has opposed doors towards the S. end.
The collar-beam roof trusses are bolted together and the common rafters are untrimmed poles.

Woodbury Hill

House (855947), of brick with a tiled roof, stands near the W. rampart of the hill-fort and is of the late 18th century.

Cottages, three, respectively 150 yds. N.E., 60 yds. E., and 110 yds. S.E. of (42), of brick with tiled roofs, are of the late 18th or early 19th century.

Roke Farm, house (834960), of two storeys and of brick with a thatched roof, was built in the late 18th century on an L-shaped plan. It was considerably altered in the 19th century.
Barn, 30 yds. S. of the farmhouse, of brick with a thatched roof, was built probably in the middle of the 18th century.
The brickwork bonding is in two courses of stretchers alternating with one course of headers. The N.E. side and the N.W. end, that is, the walls seen from the house, have a high plinth. All the buttresses have stepped offsets.
The roof is divided into eleven bays by tie and collar-beam trusses.

Roke Barn (822964) has timber-framed and weather-boarded walls above a high brick plinth.
It was built in the mid 18th century.
The timber used for the wall studs is of poor quality and small scantling; long curved braces rise from the sill to the principal posts. The roof (p. lxv), of sling-brace type in seven bays, has a few pegged joints but is mostly fastened together with wrought-iron straps.

Most of the following buildings stand in the meander valley of the river Piddle

Cottages, a pair (550 yds. S.), have slated roofs and are of the early 19th century.

Cottage (845938) is of the early 19th century. The plan comprises two heated rooms.

Cottage (845937) is of the early 19th century and has an entrance hall between two heated rooms.

Cottage (845937)

Cottage (849926), of one storey and attics, is of the late 18th century.
The plan comprised a living room and scullery, with a staircase on the S. side of the fireplace in the former.
Both the original doorways are now blocked.

Cottage, immediately S. of (49), is of the early 19th century.
It has a staircase and two heated rooms opening off a lobby.

Culeaze Farm, house (849922), of brick and cob and now with a slated roof, was built in 1715.
The back wall is of cob and the other walls are of brick.
The date is worked in glazed headers in the N. gable.
The W. front is symmetrical. The plan comprises an entrance lobby with a kitchen to the S., a parlour to the N., and a staircase between the lobby and an unheated room behind, which was probably a pantry entered from the kitchen.
The staircase is enclosed except on the first-floor landing, where are flat shaped balusters.

Cottage (854914), at Warren, is of the late 18th century. The original plan comprised a living room and scullery; it has been much altered and partly rebuilt.

Warren House (856912) has a tiled roof. It was built in the 17th century but enlarged in brick in the early 19th century.

Snatford Cottage (855928) is of the late 18th century. The plan comprises a living room and scullery.

Cottage (853929) is of the early 19th century.

Cottages, a pair (854927), of brick, were built in the early 19th century. They have a central chimney-stack.

Cottage (856924), at Bere Heath Farm, is of the early 19th century.

Lower Stockley Farm, house (857919), of brick with a tiled roof, was built in the late 18th century.
The brickwork of the N. side is in Flemish bond and that of the S. side in English garden-wall bond.
The doorway has a flat hood on moulded brackets.
Many of the original windows are blocked.

Barn (863916), at Philliols Farm, is of brick and roofed with modern materials replacing thatch. In the W. gable the date 1748 is worked in glazed headers.
The single porch is on the S. side (plan, p. lxvi).
The Stable, immediately N. of the barn, is of brick with a tiled roof. It is of the 18th century.
The roof trusses have principal rafters and cambered collars. The 18th-century Granary, E. of the barn, is of brick.

Bere Lodge (868913), of brick with slated roofs, is of the early 19th century, octagonal, and with a timber verandah. The windows have round heads.

Barn (864908), at Woodlands, is of brick with a slated roof. It was built in the second half of the 18th century and has stepped buttresses. The N. end has been converted into a cottage.

Cottage (869906), at Hyde Farm, was built of brick with a tiled roof in the late 18th century and heightened in the 19th century.

Cottage (872894), at Budden's Farm, of brick with tiled roofs, is of the late 18th century.
Barn (plan p. lxvi) is also of the 18th century and of brick, with stepped buttresses.

Cottage (839932), at Mintern's Ferry, is of the early 19th century.

House (? m. N.E.), at Town's End, of brick with tiled roofs, is of the late 18th century.
The N. wall contains many glazed headers.
Barn, S.E. of the house, is of cob with a slated roof.
It was built in the early 19th century.