Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of ATHELHAMPTON HALL
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

West Dorset (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SY 77061 94274



SY 79 SE

9/2 Athelhampton Hall



Manor House with formal gardens. Begun 1493, by Sir William Martyn and continued by his heirs during C16, including the west wing. In the C17, the C15 service-range was remodelled and heightened, masking a window in south-east gable of the hall. Gate-house and the connecting walls were pulled down in 1862. Late C19, ranges of buildings to the north east of the Hall were demolished. 1891 house bought by A C de la Fontaine and carefully restored: south east range remodelled and extended. 1920's solar was reconstructed including a stair leading to it from an original archway in the north west side of the hall; new range built on the north east side of the inner court. Ashlar-faced external walls are mainly limestone and greensand with Ham Hill stone for the dressings. Clay tile roofs with larger stone slates at the eaves courses, stone gable copings with heraldic finials. Full architectural descriptions in RCHM of which the following is a summary. S W Front, late C15 and early C16, porch, wall and oriel and end of service-range to south. Plinth and castellated parapet. 4-sided hall oriel, buttressed and with paired transomed lights in pointed heads; lower castellated parapet. 4-light hall window with central buttress carried up as a supermullion. 2-storey porch with splayed corners with attached angle-shafts. Pointed arch entrance with label. 2-light window in square head over. Label with head stops. South of this the gable end wall of the service range, ground floor 3-light window, square headed with ovolo mouldings and label with re-used head stops; first floor, similar window of four lights, attic has another window of 3-lights. C17 openings probably contemporary with the heightening of the range. The polygonal corner turret is C15. West wing, mid C16, 2½ storeys, 3 windows and 2 gabled dormers. 4-light mullions, iron casements with lead lights, string moulding drops each side of windows to form labels. Returned labels over first floor and 3-light windows to the dormers. West end of this wing is defined by octagonal angle shafts concave-sided, the southerly stopped above former forecourt wall. Mullion windows of 8:6:4 lights in gable wall, ground floor light being transomed and with a supermullion at centre. Labels over, and lozenge again under attic window. North wall is faced with coursed rubble. To the east of a large chimney breast projects a gabled bay of 2 storeys with a cellar and attic, with 3-light windows on each floor. Further east are the windows of a spiral stair, that at the lowest level being square headed with 2-centred lights under blind tracery. Obtuse re-entrant angle beside this, where short stretch of C15 solar wall survives.

Section of C15 weathered gable survives above. East of this a rebuilding of the solar-block in 1920's of 2 low storeys and an attic over, gabled. Ground floor has a single light depressed arch window reset. First floor has a canted oriel with trefoiled, mullioned lights and a flanking light each side. Continuous string over and stone roof. Attic has a pierced quatrefoil in square frame with label over. South east front: 2½ storeys, irregular fenestration. It acquired an approximately symmetrical appearance c1895 when east turret and the adjacent gable were built. Rubble wall face up to level of first floor sills remains from C15 wing, as does the moulded plinth. Most of stone work above is C17. Projecting bay at centre may represent early chimney breast, now pierced by a 2-centred archway. Within is a reset 2-centred doorway with ovolo mouldings. Behind the east turret stands late C16 kitchen wing. East range, remains of C16 kitchen wing, thin red and blue bricks with ashlar dressings, diagonal 2-stage buttress at east corner. North of this the range was rebuilt in 1890's and 1920's, with 4:3: and 2-light mullions with C20 metal casements and lead lights, doorway has moulded stone jambs and depressed-arch head. On the west side of this range is an extruding rounded stair well. Hall range was joined to C16 kitchen wing by a C16 passageway which has been divided up internally, but which retains doorways and window, now looking into 1920's pentice-roofed passage. Interior: screens passage has original oak doors at each end, decorated on the outside with moulded and cusped wooden tracery. Two openings coinmunicate with the former service-wing. Oak screens partly late C15 with C16 linenfold panels. Parapet a recent addition, hall, lined to half its height with linenfold panelling brought from elsewhere. The east and west windows have restored C16 glazing including monograms, and armorial achievements. C15 open timber roof, occasionally repaired, arch-braced to a high collar, with the bracing brought out to a cusp, moulded purlins and cusped wind-bracing, for detail see RCHM. Oriel window with panelled jambs. West wing: ground floor room has wide 4-centred arch fireplace, above this are set eight carved wooden medallions of c1540. The moulded plaster ceiling is a C20 reproduction. First floor room, panelling and plaster ceiling are dated 1893. First floor of service range: state bedchamber, C15 fireplace has a square head of Ham stone with moulded soffite and jambs and a frieze of 6 quatrefoil ogee panels enclosing plain shields, a vase and foliate bosses, spandrels are carved with conventional foliage and heraldic emblems. The C17 oak panelling in four heights is surmounted by a frieze with sea monsters. South turret now fitted out as an oratory. For full internal description, it is necessary to refer to: (RCHM Dorset III p9(2)ff. Country Life, Vol CLXXV May 1984 (3 parts)).

Listing NGR: SY7706194274


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Inventory of Dorset, (1970)
'Country Life' in 14 May, , Vol. 175, (1984)
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 12 Dorset,


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 15 Feb 2002
Reference: IOE01/07224/15
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Duncan Miller. Source Historic England Archive
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