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Fiddleford Manor

A Scheduled Monument in Okeford Fitzpaine, Dorset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.9212 / 50°55'16"N

Longitude: -2.2847 / 2°17'5"W

OS Eastings: 380080.51375

OS Northings: 113570.011164

OS Grid: ST800135

Mapcode National: GBR 0X6.56F

Mapcode Global: FRA 663N.V0M

Entry Name: Fiddleford Manor

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 11 April 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013372

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22971

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Okeford Fitzpaine

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Sturminster Newton St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument includes the hall, two storey solar and the remains of the west
range of Fiddleford Mill House, a manorial residence of 14th century date
situated on level ground overlooking the River Stour to the west. The standing
buildings include part of the hall and the solar. To the east and west of the
standing buildings are remains representing the west range and an extension of
the hall. These have been demolished but foundations remain visible as slight
earthworks. A 16th century extension of the building to the north is now
inhabited and as such is not included in the scheduling. Both the monument and
the 16th century extension to the north are Listed Grade I.
The 14th century building took the form of a large hall associated with a
chamber block of two floors at the western end. Service rooms occupied the
remainder of the ground floor, above which was a large chamber or `solar'
which was probably accessed via an external staircase located on either the
southern or western walls. During conservation work, a wall painting was
uncovered on the northern wall of the solar; this is thought to represent the
Angel Gabriel and to date from the 14th century.
Both the hall and the solar are composed of coursed rubble walls of Greensand
and Marnhull limestone and were originally covered by a timber roof. The
solar retains original roof timbers and is slated. The roof of the hall has
been much altered, although it still retains a smoke louvre which originally
served an open hearth on the floor; the roof of the hall is now tiled.
To the east and west of the original 14th century building were two extensions
added during the 17th century. The eastern extension was to the hall; that
to the west was an additional range of rooms. Both have been demolished but
foundations are visible as slight earthworks.
It is likely that the hall and solar were built for William Latimer, when the
manor of Fiddleford passed to him around 1355. During the 16th century, the
house belonged to the White family and extensive re-modelling was undertaken
by Thomas and Ann White (1539-1555). During this period, the hall was rebuilt
in finely worked stone, a new fireplace was constructed in the south wall and
a porch and great bay or oriel window were added. The old roof was dismantled
and re-erected in order to insert the great beams to support a flat moulded
plaster ceiling, which has since been removed. The service rooms were removed
from the ground floor and an internal staircase added to provide access to the
solar, which was fitted with new windows and a new chimney-piece. There were
also extensions to the western wing and an eastern wing was added to the new
hall. During the later 16th or early 17th centuries, a screen and gallery
were added to the western end of the hall, although only the gallery front now
survives.
The house remained in the White family until at least the time of Charles I.
After the Restoration the house was bought by Sir Thomas Freke and it was
retained by his descendants, the Pitt-Rivers family.
During the 18th century the hall was shortened and the porch and much of the
southern wall demolished, although a new fireplace and ceiling were added.
By 1956 the 18th century house had been demolished and the remainder of the
14th century structure had become derelict. By 1962 only the 16th century
northern wing remained habitable and the 14th century part of the house passed
into State care.
Excluded from the scheduling are all fence posts and gates relating to the
modern field boundaries, although the underlying ground is included. Also
excluded are all modern fixtures and fittings within the building, although
all original timberwork and masonry is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Medieval manorial settlements, comprising small groups of houses with
associated gardens, yards and paddocks, supported communities devoted
primarily to agriculture, and acted as the foci for manorial administration.
Although the sites of many of these settlements have been occupied
continuously down to the present day, many others declined in size or were
abandoned at some time during the medieval and post-medieval periods,
particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries. The reasons for desertion
were varied but often reflected declining economic viability, changes in land-
use such as enclosure or emparkment, or population fluctuations as a result of
widespread epidemics such as the Black Death. As a consequence of their
abandonment, these settlements are frequently undisturbed by later occupation
and contain well-preserved archaeological deposits, providing information on
the diversity of medieval settlement patterns and farming economy, and on the
structure and changing fortunes of manorial communities.

Fiddleford Mill House survives well as a good example of its class. The
portion contained within the monument is unusual in that much of what can be
seen represents the original 14th century building: the timber roof is largely
original and many of the interior features have been retained. The development
of the building from the 14th century is known from both archaeological survey
and from a detailed documentary record. Both have been the subject of
investigation by the Royal Commission for Historic Monuments (England) and
English Heritage. The monument is on display to the public.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 271-2
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 272
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 272
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 272
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 271
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 272
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 272
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 272
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 272
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 272
English Heritage, , Fiddleford Mill House
Other
Mention demolition of part of house, English Heritage, Fiddleford Mill House,
Mention demolition of part of house, English Heritage, Fiddleford Mill House,
Mention demolition of part of house, English Heritage, Fiddleford Mill House,
Mention demolition of part of house, English Heritage, Fiddleford Mill House,
Mention demolition of part of house, English Heritage, Fiddleford Mill House,
Mention demolition of part of house, English Heritage, Fiddleford Mill House,
Mention demolition of part of house, English Heritage, Fiddleford Mill House,
Mention initial composure of building,
Mention insertion of gallery in Hall, English Heritage, Fiddleford Manor, (1987)
Mention 'T' shaped plan,

Source: Historic England

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