Tyneham & Worbarrow
… where time stopped in 1943
Extract from Ida Woodford’s “In and Around The Isle of Purbeck” published in 1907
TYNEHAM, POVINGTON, AND WORBARROW
" The green waves leap
At the white cliff's steep."
THERE is a cross-
" This building is all that remains of the ancient manor of Tyneham. It has evidently undergone many changes. It seems to have been originally the hall of the ancient manor-
" It seems probable that when the new house was built, in 1567, this hall being no longer required and being in too good condition to be pulled down, was converted into a cottage. A floor was put in, and the space above and below it was divided into rooms, and the walls pierced for the insertion of the windows which now light the rooms upstairs and down. ... A portion of the handsome timbered roof of oak is still in position, and is somewhat remarkable, perhaps a unique specimen of timber roofing."
The house is surrounded by trees, and is so completely buried in them that it cannot be seen till one is within a hundred yards of it ; on the east side there is a fine avenue a quarter of a mile long.
A footpath due south from the house leads to the top of the cliff, where there is a stone shelter, known as the " ocean seat." From this place is obtained a view of some of the finest coast scenery in Dorset. On the east St. Aldhelm's Head stands out, almost blue in the distance, then the deep inlet of Chapman's Pool, then Kimmeridge Bay with Clavell's Tower above it. A little nearer, the flat, rocky formation of Broad Bench stretches far into the surf. Just beneath is the small cove Brandy Bay, so called because the crannies in its surrounding rocks were in the old days used by smugglers as hiding-
"This particular district of Gadcliff especially always reminds me of the more calcareous portions of the Alps. One might imagine that it was a kind of Dent de Morcles in miniature. Hard limestones were superimposed on soft sands and clays, in this case on the Kimmeridge Clay, and such a conjunction produced the feature which was so excessively striking."
Ravens and peregrine falcons build in the crevices of its rocks, and once smugglers used to hide their contraband goods in the cave beneath. In front of all, the long arm of Portland stretches out from the westward like a bastion guarding the bay.
The village is about half a mile from the house, half-
"Near this place lyes the body of Elizabeth Tarrant, servant to Mrs. Bond of Tyneham, in which station she continued 34 years. To the memory of her prudence, honesty, and industry, this monument is erected. She died August 2nd 1769, in the 54th year of her age."
The manor of Tyneham is bounded by Steeple on the east, Lulworth on the north and west, and the Channel on the south. In Domesday Book it is divided into four parcels: (i) Tigeham, which was held by Bretel, of Robert, Earl of Mortain, the step-
There is very little evidence by which these ancient parcels can be identified with the present divisions of the parish, but it is possible that Tigeham, which was owned by the Earl of Mortain, is now comprised in West Tyneham, which contains "the mansion-
The most important of the four parts is what is now called West Tyneham, for it is not only the largest, but also contains the manor-
The Harleian chronicle is as follows : —
" Tyneham in Purbeck, East and West, out of an old parchment writing in French.
" Md that Thomas Bardolfe was seyzed of the mannor of Estynham in his demayne as in fee, which manner he gave to Walter Russell in free marriage with his daughter Royse, which Walter and Royse had issue between them Thomas, which Thomas took to wife Jane, and had issue John. This John took to wife Margerie the daughter of William Clavile of Holme, which John had issue William who married Alice daughter of John Durnford."
Coker's account is less detailed, but it goes farther : —
" Royse, daughter and heire to Thomas Bardolfe brought Tyneham to her husband Walter Russell whose posterity for a long continuance were lords of it, who joyening in marriage with the heires of William Clavile and Walter de Durnford, left afterwards for heires fower daughters married to Chick, Meere, Fry and Burdon ; their posteritye passed it away to Henry Williams."
Both these accounts give the name of Walter to the Russell who married Royse or Rohesia Bardolfe, though in reality it was John, and neither mentions the social position of the heiress of Bardolfe. Rohesia's mother was the celebrated Adela Corbet whom Chaucer might have had in his mind when he created the "Wife of Bath." She was the daughter of Sir Robert Corbet, lord of the borough of Alcester, in Warwickshire, and commenced her matrimonial career by becoming the morganatic wife of Henry I. In this connection she became the mother of Reginald, afterwards Earl of Cornwall. At another time she married a gentleman called Herbert, and became the mother of Herbert and William Fitz-
When Rohesia married John Russell she was a widow, having previously married Henry de la Pomerai of Berry Pomeroy in Devonshire, and of la Pomerai Castle in Normandy, who, having joined the rebellion of Prince John, Earl of Mortain, against Richard I, was deprived of his lands, and, strange to say, died suddenly on the return of the King.
The royal connection of the ladies of the Bardolfe family was evidently recognised, for the Earl of Cornwall "gave to his sister Rohesia de Pomerai his manor of Riduri in that county in free marriage." As Madame de Pomerai, Rohesia had one son Jocelyn, who assisted his step-
In the reign of Henry VII, Philip of Austria and his wife Juana of Aragon, who had just inherited the throne of Castile from her mother Isabella the Catholic, came to England, and before proceeding to London visited Sir Thomas Trenchard at Wolfeton House. Being deficient in the knowledge of Spanish, the host and hostess found some difficulty in conversing with their royal guests, so Sir Thomas invited his cousin, John Russell of Kingston Russell (a descendant of Ralph), who was a good linguist, to come and help him in his difficult situation. John Russell came, and as both his Spanish and his manners were excellent, he soon became a favourite with the King and Queen, who, when they left Dorset for London, took him with them and presented him to Henry VII. The King of England appreciated the man who has been described as " the most accomplished gentleman of his time " and made him Gentleman of the Privy Chamber. John Russell was knighted by Henry VIII in 1513, and after many adventures was created Baron Russell, K.G., in 1539, and Earl of Bedford in 1550. He died in 1555. At various times he held the posts of Ambassador, Comptroller of the King's Household, High Steward of the Duchy of Cornwall, Lord High Admiral of England, and Lord Privy Seal. Had it not been for the accident of his being able to assist the King and Queen of Castile as interpreter, he might have lived and died " mute and inglorious " in the wilds of Dorset! The fifth Earl of Bedford, who besieged Sherborne Castle with the Parliamentary army, and afterwards joined the Royalist forces, was created Marquis of Tavistock and Duke of Bedford by William III in 1694.
Having given so much time to the descendants of John and Rohesia Russell's elder son Ralph, we must now go back to the younger son Thomas, who inherited Tyneham. His descendants appear to have lived quietly at Tyneham for about a hundred years, the estate passing in direct line from father to son, but in Richard the Second's reign John Russell, the fifth in descent from Thomas, died before his father, and as he had no brother the property was divided between his four sisters, Johanna the eldest, who had married Thomas Chyke, receiving the greater part of West Tyneham. The Chykes, Chekes, or Chicks were people of some importance, members of the family having represented Wareham in Parliament frequently from the commencement of Edward the First's reign to the end of Henry the Sixth's. The estate remained in the possession of the Chykes for several generations, and in Henry the Eighth's reign became the property of John Pope, apparently in right of his wife Johanna who was the heiress of the Chykes. John and Johanna Pope sold it in 1523 to John Williams of Herringston, Esq., for his life and that of his second son Henry. Henry Williams, who afterwards built Tyneham House, survived his father, and purchased the reversion in fee May 22nd, 1563. When he died in 1589 "the jury in their return of the lands held at his death . . . were unable to say (penitiis ignorant) of whom his estate in West Tyneham was held," but it is probable that it belonged to the Abbey of Cirencester, co. Gloucester, as in a deed dated 5 Elizabeth, Tyneham is described as " subject ... to an annual rent charge of 20 shillings payable to the late monastery of Ciceter." Henry Williams died seized of the manor of Tyneham, lands in West Holme, Lyme Regis, Whitchurch, Marshwood, West Lulworth, the farm of Burngate, and the reversion of a moiety of the manor of Egliston held of the Queen in capite by rent of 6s. 8d.
Jane, the only daughter of Henry Williams, married Sir Robert Lawrence of Grange, and their son John, who inherited his mother's estates, sold "the manors or lordships of Tyneham and Egliston" to Nathaniel Bond, Esq., of Lutton, in 1683, from whom Tyneham descended to Margaret Sophia Bond, who on her marriage with the Rev. Matthew Rogers gave it to her brother, the Rev. William Bond, rector of the parish, from whom it descended to William Henry Bond, Esq., in whose possession it now remains.
South Tyneham, in past years called East Tyneham, was, like West Tyneham, part of Tigeham, that was held by Bretel of the Earl of Mortain ; it remained part and parcel of West Tyneham until the division of that estate between the daughters of John Russell in Richard the Second's reign. His youngest daughter Alice, who had married William Burdon, inherited it, and it passed through her daughter Jane, who married John Dolfin of Stoborough, to Agnes Dolfin, who married William Clavell. In Elizabeth's reign it came to the Lawrences of Winterborne Steepleton, and in Charles the First's reign was bought by Elias Bond of Wareham, Lord-
Baltington, which, as has been said, is probably the Tingeham that belonged to the Earl of Chester in the reign of William I, consists of a farm and a few cottages in Worbarrow, and is situated between Tyneham Farm and Worbarrow Bay. Anciently one part of it belonged to Barneston and the other to the manor of Knowle Steeple and Creech. After the death, early in King John's reign, of Engelin, the lord of Egliston, in this parish, his widow recovered one-
Robert, son of Adam de Morton, or Mordone, granted it to William Martel, for which gift William gave Robert three silver marks and his wife one " bezant." In Edward the First's reign it became the property of the Stokeses of Barneston, to whom from then till early in the sixteenth century it appears to have belonged. In Henry the Eighth's reign it was held by the Gerards of Longhide of the Clavells of Barneston, and late in Elizabeth's reign it was brought by the heiress of the Gerards as her marriage portion to the Napiers of More Crichel. In 1793 Humphrey Ockley Sturt, who inherited it from the Napiers, sold it to John Bond of Grange, grandfather of the present owner.
Egliston, which was probably the three hides in Tingeham described in Domesday Book as being held by Anschitil Fitz-
The name Egliston is obviously derived from Engelin or Eglin, who owned it before the third year of the reign of King John, and whose widow, after much litigation, was allowed to keep a third part of the estate for her dowry.
North Egliston anciently belonged to the Clavells of Quarr. In Henry the Eighth's reign their descendants, the Daccombs of Corfe Castle, sold it to Thomas Coles, from whom it was purchased by William Cockram, whose great-
South Egliston belonged until the reign of Henry V to the Priory of Wareham, dependent on the Benedictine Monastery of Lire, in Normandy. In 1415, however, the alien priories were dissolved, and the King gave the Priory of Wareham and all other property of the Monastery of Lire that was in England to the Monastery of Shene, in Surrey, which he had himself founded. In Henry the Eighth's reign South Egliston was claimed by the Crown, and was given in 1546 to Peter Seynthill, who in the same year sold it to Sir Oliver Lawrence, whose son, Edward Lawrence of Grange, sold it in 1587 to Henry Williams of Tyneham. From the Williamses it passed to the Mohuns, and in 1634 Robert Mohun sold it to Elias Bond of Lutton, from whom it was bought by Henry Jubber in 1674, whose descendants in 1720 sold it to John Bond of Tyneham. After passing through the hands of many of the Bonds of Tyneham it was eventually inherited by John Bond of Grange, whose descendant now owns it.
About a mile north of Tyneham, and at the foot of the hills on the other side, lies the farm of Povington, and beyond it stretches the expanse of bracken and heather called Povington Heath. It is now a small hamlet, but once it was a manor. In Domesday Book it is said to have been held in demesne by Robert Fitz-
When wars arose between France and England the King would claim the alien monasteries as his own. As has been already said, the alien monasteries were suppressed in 1415; Povington, however, became Crown property at an earlier date. It was granted by Henry IV to John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford, but on his death in 1436 it again came to the Crown, and Henry VI granted it to "the master and bretheren of the Hospital of St. Anthony in London and their successors for the exhibition and support at the University of Oxford of five well disposed scholars to be brought up in the faculty of arts, so that such scholars, before going to Oxford, should be well and sufficiently instructed in the rudiments of grammar at the College at Eton : each scholar to receive after the rate of 10 pence a week until he should attain the degree of Bachelor of Arts."
Nine years later it is recorded that Henry granted the "farm or rent which John Newburgh, Esq., ought to pay for the custody of the manor of Povington," and many other lands that used to belong to the alien Priory of Okeburn, to the Provost and Royal College of St. Mary's at Eton. Edward IV revoked the grant, but later in the seventh year of his reign, " for the welfare of himself and Elizabeth his consort whilst living, and for the health of their souls ' cum ab hac luce migravimus apud altissimum,' " granted all the lands, including Povington (Newburgh's lease having expired), to William Westbury, then Provost of the College of Eton.
These various grants appear contradictory. It seems improbable that Henry VI should have granted certain lands to the Master and Brethren of St. Anthony's Hospital in 1442, and only nine years later given them to the Provost of Eton. The grant made by Edward IV is comprehensible enough : as has been said, he revoked the grants made by his conquered predecessor. Things became clearer, however, later on, and it is seen that Povington belonged to Eton for at least a hundred years, as in 1541 Robert Bishop of Carlisle, then Provost of Eton, "granted to Denis Bond a lease of Lutton, parcel of the manor of Povington," in exchange for other lands.
In Edward the Sixth's reign Povington, like so many other places in Purbeck, was given to the Duke of Somerset. With most of his other possessions in the county it eventually came to his son, the Earl of Hertford, who sold it to John Vincent, yeoman, in 1616. It remained in the Vincent family till 1733, when the last male member bequeathed his estates to his sister's son, William Lord, from whom it was inherited by his cousin, William Dore, who sold it in 1801 to John Bond of Grange. Hutchins, without quoting any authority, says that there was once a chapel at Povington. The recent discovery of a fragment of a large cross in the ground points towards the truth of this assertion.
The farm of West Whiteway, which is intersected by Luckford Lake, one of the boundaries of Purbeck, is about a mile west of Povington Farm. It was part of the manor of Povington till 1615, when the Earl of Hertford sold it, one part to William Collins and the other to John Cockram. After passing through several hands early in the last century, both parts became the property of the Welds. Collins's share now belongs to Reginald Weld, but Cockram's was sold by Joseph Weld, Esq., to the Rev. Nathaniel Bond in 1863. West Whiteway Farm, once belonging to the Collinses, is interesting as being the only part of the Lulworth estate that lies actually in Purbeck.
Worbarrow or Worthbarrow Tout is a conical-
The Tout is now adorned by the flagstaff and other appurtenances of a coastguard station. Worbarrow Bay is one of the most beautiful in Dorset. From Worbarrow Tout on the east to Mupe Rocks on the west is a little more than a mile. Within the bay the coast-
Rings Hill, the western extremity of the Purbeck Hills, extends from the inlet of Worbarrow to that of Arish Mell, and with the termination of this range of hills we come to the termination of Purbeck itself. But Rings Hill has a greater interest even than being the boundary of the island ; on its summit are still to be seen the remains of the ancient fortification called Flowers Barrow.
Historians and archaeologists, and all those learned in such subjects, differ as to whether the fortification was of British or Roman origin. As it stands on the top of a hill, 560 feet above the sea-
Charles Warne, f.s.a., in his Ancient Dorset, a work only published for its author and subscribers, gives an interesting and learned account of Flowers Barrow, from which I will quote : —
" The area of the Camp is between five and six acres ; the ground on the north and west falls very precipitously ; on the south side it presents the aspect of a lofty cliff, some six or seven hundred feet high, with its base gradually yielding to the incessant action of the waves ; while the summit, scored with numerous fissures, shows the destructive power of atmospheric agencies.
" For ages exposed to these influences, the results may be readily imagined ; the defences on this side of the Camp, whatsoever they may have been, are now, with the exception of a few slight traces, entirely swept away. Judging from the inclination of the area, and aided by their few vestiges, it is natural to infer that the entrenchments on the south side were parallel to those on the north. On this, the opposite side, the declivity of the hill increases rapidly as it recedes from the area; from this circumstance protection was readily obtained by scarping the face of the hill, the effect of which was to produce a confused series of irregular banks, ditches, and platforms.
"An exception, however, must be taken to the inner line of defence, which, from its greater strength and better finish, plainly bespeaks either an addition to the original work, or a reparation of the rampart, by increasing its width and adding to its height ; the surface of the area adjoining it show^s signs of disturbance. It is easy to be seen, by comparison, what parts have been restored. This additional or improved rampart is attributable to a period of Roman occupation, and the reader is referred to the essay on Vespasian's early conquests in Britain, where he will find the explanation fully given. The entrances to FIorus-
" On passing through the outer approach, a broad level space, about thirty yards wide, occurs, and a little way within, on the right hand, an embankment or middle line of defence extends for about fifty yards, purposely as an additional protection to this the most vulnerable quarter of the camp.
"The entrance through the inner rampart is more to the north-
"At the west end, the outer vallum is, as on the east side,thrown up somewhat in advance of the inner ; and the exterior entrance is about fifty yards more to the north than the interior one ; hence the passage is carried diagonally through the defences. The form of the camp seems originally to have been somewhat of an oval, and its area is still marked with vestiges of early occupation, concerning which the late J. F. Pennie observes : ' In this mountain fortress the wells are to be seen that were dug by the warlike inhabitants to retain the water that fell from the clouds,' and ' a long series of circular excavations in this ground over which were erected their principal tents or booths, while on the south-
This description brings a past world before our eyes, and if remembered when from the summit of the hill one beholds the rugged coast, the treeless hills, and heather-
The derivation of Flowers Barrow remains obscure. Hutchins suggests that it was named Florus-
Beyond Cockpit Head, as has been said, Mupe Bay extends to Mupe Rocks, which form the western extremity of Worbarrow Bay ; and behind its shore the great mass of Bindon Hill rises and stretches like a vast rampart defending the coast, till it descends abruptly at the east side of Lulworth Cove.