swuklink: Parish Church, Purse Caundle, Dorset  
   
THE PARISH CHURCH, PURSE CAUNDLE
Dorset, England
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Purse Caundle, Dorset     OS Grid Ref: SY930897

 The County of Dorsetshire

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The parish church at Purse Caundle is dedicated to St Peter and, like the nearby manor house, dates from the 15th century with its embattled tower with pinnacles.

HISTORY

It is likely that a Saxon church stood on this site for the best part of a thousand years but the only evidence of it which presents itself today are some foundation stones at the west end. There are other squared stones which were used in the construction of the present building when it was rebuilt c. 1480 - the Chancel Arch and much of the Tower are of this period.

The Chantry Chapel was added, almost certainly by William Longe (the lord of the manor), and has since been restored in 1896 and again in 1955.


The chancel arch is panelled to give an unusual effect and the font is decorated with shields and roses.


ARCHITECTURE

 
 The Tower, St Peters, Purse Caundle, Dorset
THE TOWER
The tower shows similarities with those of several other Churches in North Dorset and South Somerset - a good example may be seen only five miles to the north at
Blackford where the tower possesses very similar pinnacles at each of its corners. There is a part of a painted surround on the North Wall of the Tower with a black-letter inscription dating from c. 1700.

A brass plaque near door to the tower steps records;-

THE TOWER WAS RESTORED IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 1905
CA COWAN   RECTOR   JB HAYTER
HR WATSON
CHURCHWARDENS


THE TOWER WAS RESTORED IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 1905
TO THE MEMORY OF DOREEN  WALTHAM
DJ HILLIER   RECTOR   J WALTHAM
HS SHEPHERD
CHURCHWARDENS

THE PULPIT
The Pulpit has a hexagonal sounding board with an inlaid star in the centre.


     THE BELLS     

St Peter's possesses three bells; the first and second both dated 1602 and the third, cast by Thomas Purdue, is dated 1667.


THE FONT

The font at the west end of the church is decorated with shields and flowers and dates from the 15th century. The oak font cover is later.


MEMORIALS

MEMORIALS
Nathaniel Highmore, contemporary and friend of another famous physician, William Harvey, and who is famous in his own right is buried to the right of the altar in the sanctuary under the blue memorial stone (several of the Highmores were rectors here, including his father, also Nathaniel). A framed panel on the Longe tomb gives visitors more information on his life and work. The memorial slab is inscribed;-

POSITAE SVNT HIC RELIQUIAE VIRI ADMODUM NATHANIELIS HIGHMORE DOCTI
IN SPEM RESURRECTIONIS AD VITAM EATERNAM
QVI MARTIJ 21 ANNO DOMINI 1685
AETATIS SUAE 71

HERE LIE THE REMAINS OF A TRULY LEARNED MAN, NATHANIEL HIGHMORE, DOCTOR OF MEDICINE, WHO DIED, IN HOPE OF RESURRECTION TO LIFE ETERNAL, ON MARCH 21, IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 1685, AGED 71

Only one grave has been identified but, Nathaniel's widow, Elizabeth (d.1707), asked to be buried as near to her husband as possible - the blue stone slab is not the original monument but was installed in 1750 so it is possible that it covers a family grave.

The finely canopied tomb which separates the chancel from the manor Chantry Chapel is to William Longe (or Long), the lord of the manor, who died in 1524 and his wife. Their effigies would have lain on the bare slab of Purbeck marble but were probably destroyed by the austere Puritans during the Civil War or the years of the Commonwealth which followed.

 
 Brass to Richard Brodery
There is a brass to William Longe's his sister in the Chantry Chappel chapel. Two other brasses show an armoured knight standing by the tomb and (on the chancel wall) the headless, robed figure of Richard Brodery, a priest (on the south wall). This brass is a rarity in that Brodery is depicted holding a chalice, the only other example of a 'chaliced priest' in the county is at St Osmund's in Evershot - there the brass commemorates William Grey, Rector from 1511 until 1524.

 
 Iron Monument in Churchyard, St Peter's, Church caundle, Dorset
The floor slabs around the church are to members of the Hoskyns, Chafy and Seymer families.

An illuminated manuscript by the West Door of the Nave remembers the men of Purse Caundle who fell in the Second World War;-


Wake them to be numbered with G by Saints in glory everlasting.

Pte   Sidney John Ashford    - 10th Hampshire Regiment
Lce Cpl   William Way    - Queens Dorset Yemony
Sgt   Henry Martin Oliver    - 1st Dorsetr Regiment
Pte   Charles Robert Oliver    -2nd Dorset Regiment

AB   Harold Bertie Ashford    -HMS Birmingham
AB   Albert Charley Ashford    -HMS Birmingham
OS   Ernest Willaim Ashford    -HMS Victory
AB   Sidney Frank Loader    -HMS Laurel

Stf   Sgt George William Brown    -Royal Army Volenteer Corps
Pte   Arthur James Brine    -1st Wiltshire Regiment
Pte   Stephen Case    -5th Oxford and Bucks light Infantry
Sgt   Charles John Chalk    -Motor Transport
Pte   Walter Clarke    -Labour Corps
Pte   George Card    -Royal Garrison Artillery
Pte   George Dennet    -Road construction Corps
Pte   Edward Henry Dennet    -Somerset light Infantry
Pte   Jehu George Harris    -1st Dorset Regiment
Pte   Sidney Harry White    -London Regiment -Royal Fusiliers

Gnr   Henry Harris    -Royal Field Artillery
Gnr   John Hansford    -Royal Field Artillery
Dvy   Walter Loader    -Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry
Pte   Thomas Parker    -Motor Transport
Sgt   Alfred James Pike    -2/5th B Gloucester Regiment
Tpr   Oswald Warr    -Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry
Pte   Herbert Arthur William White    -5th Dorset Regiment
Dyr   Herbert White Royal    -Field Artillery
Pte   Sidney Harry White    -2/4 London Regiment Royal Fusiliers

I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.
Psalms   CXVIII   7

A memorial just outside the entrance to the churchyard remembers those men of the village who fell in the Great War of 1914-1918.

In the churchyard, just outside the east window of the chancel, stands a small iron monument.


OTHER FITTINGS & FURNITURE

THE PEWS
The simple pews in the Nave were refashioned from earlier box pews which had been installed in the late 18th century.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
The two panels carrying the Ten Commandments on the wall opposite the South Door date from the time of the rebuilding of the Nave in 1883.

THE ALMS CHEST
The 16th century Alms Chest stands near the door. It is locked by three seperate locks for the greater security of the parish 'records and muniments' - ensuring the presence of both churchwardens and the parish priest before it could be opened.

The 17th century oak chair in the chancel for the rector and visiting bishops was a gift from lady Victoria Herbert, owner of the manor until her death in 1957. The memorial tablet above includes a medieval cross and acknowledges a great patron of the Church and village.


INCUMBENTS

On the north wall, near the door of the Chantry Chapel is afixed an illuminated list of the incumbents of St Peter's, the first Rector here being henry le White in 1315. Og particular interest are the Highmores, five of whome were Rectors here for almost the whole of the 17th century and Nathaniel Highmore (d.1654), father of the notable physician of the same name.

THE HIGHMORES AT PURSE CAUNDLE

Several generations of Highmores occupied the living at Purse Caudle. The first was Edward, the physician's uncle, who was inducted in 1603. He was followed by his brother Nathaniel who came, with the baby physician-to-be, from Fordingbridge and died in 1654.

He was followed by his younger son Richard, who may have been installed as early as 1650. Richard also held the living of the 'chapel' at Goat Hill a mile or so to the west until he died in 1695 and another Richard succeeded him.

This Richard may have been his son, but - more likely, was his second cousin (the grandson of Richard, another of Nathaniel's brothers) who is described as the rector of Purse caundle in his will. Whoever he was, he was succeeded by John Chafy in 1730 (whose tomb is before the altar in the sanctuary).

An illuminated manuscript by the Chantry Chapel records the Rectors of Purse Caundle;-


Rectors
The church of Saint Peter - Purse Caundle

The ancient emblems of St Peter, used here also in memory of Peter Mews 1619-1706, a native of this parish. In the arms of the see of York with the royal crown for which he fought thoughout the civil war - in the arms of the see of Winchester to which Bishopic he was appointed in 1784. They symbolize his lifelong service to the church and to the state. His name does not appear in list of incumbents but he has no doubt took part from time to time in services held in this church

1315    Henry le White
1326    John Kenn
1362    Richard de Stoke
          William Archer
1413    William Pacare
1415    Richard Powys
1418    Nicholas Sadcler
1424    Robert Halet
1434    John Cokket
1440    Thomas Tregenham
1444    John Warfull
1148    John Scovyle
1450    John Driwe
1461    William Somerton
1465    Robert Crosby
          Henry Pendriffe
1493    Hugh Vaughan
1508    Richard Bradway
1537    Thomas Medens
1564    Thomas Gest
1603    Edward Highmore
1615    Nathaniel Highmore
1695    Richard Highmore
1731    John Chaffey
1758    John Chaffey
1782    William Horsey
1788    John Messiter
1829    Richard Messiter
1885    Charles Lemon
1891    Willaim Berbeck
1894    Charles Crawford
1895    George Cowan
1926    Edward Fincher
1940    Nigel Westell
1946    Willain Delahey
1952    Albert Barritt
1945    Frederick Uppleby
1958    Stanley Osborne
1965    Lawrence Inge
1973    Frederick Summers
1975    David Greene
1980    Derek John Hillier

St Matthew XV: 19

Also written along the first five lines,were the keys of binding and lossing.


The great bible which lies on a desk in the manor chapel dates from the reign of Charles I and was chained to the lecturn for 250 years. It returned to the church after it had been lost to it for fifty years.

The church possesses a 16th century chest secured by three locks.


PEOPLE
The last of the great soldier-bishops was born in the village and in its parish church lies a contemporary great physician whose father was the rector here.

PEOPLE

THE MANOR HOUSE in the village street dates from the 15th century with many changes made during the Tudor period. The drawing room of the house has an oriel window while its medieval hall possesses a strange feature in a well which reaches half-way to the upper storey - an excellent medieval device for ensuring a supply of fresh water during any seige.


LINKS

CHURCHWARDENS
THE ENGLISH PARISH
PARISH CHURCHES OF DORSET
Template used for Describing Parish Churches on this Website

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Recommend a Book for this Page

The history and antiquities of the County of Dorset
  by J Hutchins, 3rd ed, edited by W Shipp & JW Hodson, J.B. Nichols(Westminster), 1861-1873
The King's England: Dorset - Thomas Hardy's Country
  edited by A Mee, Hodder and Stoughton (London), 1939, pp. 198-201
The buildings of England: Dorset
  by J Newman & N Pevsner, Penguin (Harmondsworth), 1972, p. 354
An inventory of historical monuments in the County of Dorset Vol. 3, Central Dorset
  Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England), HMSO (London), 1970, pt. 2, pp. 234-236


LOCATION
  A location map or a link to such, particularly where the church itself might be difficult to find.
PICTURE
  A picture of the exterior of the church.
DEDICATION
  Particularly where this is unusual and could benefit from the explanation.
HISTORY
  ARCHITECTURE
  STAINED GLASS
  BELLS (if any)
  FONT
  MONUMENTS
  ORGAN
  CHURCH PLATE
  ROYAL ARMS
  SCRATCH DIALS
  CONSECRATION MARKS
  OTHER FITTINGS & FURNITURE
  LIST OF INCUMBENTS
  PARISH RECORDS
  SUNDRIES
  CHURCH GUIDE
  EVENTS
  PICTURE GALLERY
  SERVICES
  USEFUL LINKS
  BIBLIOGRAPHY
  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
 

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