Milton Abbas, Dorset

Click on photos to enlarge.
Notes in italics from Dorset by John Newman and Nikolaus Pevsner (2002)
Yale University Press, New Haven and London.

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When the 1st Earl of Dorchester built his mansion at Milton Abbey he had the medieval market town of Milton Abbas close to the abbey demolished and rebuilt 3/4 mile away. Sir William Chambers, who designed the mansion, made designs for the new cottages which were built c.1780. The pert white thatched boxes that line the long street look charming behind broad mown verges and with the wooded hillside at the back on each side. ... Accommodation was very limited, however, for each box is a pair of cottages, just a room front and back on each floor, and a midget communal vestibule. Half-way up on the r. the church:

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St James. 1786 by James Wyatt. Unfortunately in 1888-9 W.J. Fletcher built a new chancel and a new S aisle so that the interior no longer has the Wyatt character. Externally that is not so. The W tower and the N side along the street, in their rich ashlar and with they Y- and intersecting tracery, represent the orderliness of late Georgian Gothic. 

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Opposite, the Almshouses, for six. One-storeyed, with a higher central room fronted with a centrepiece of three arched openings on crude Tuscan columns between two larger, but also crude, Corinthian columns, carrying an entablature. Top gable with bullseyes. The almshouses were built c.1674 in the old town, and so show a backward rusticity in grasping the classical vocabulary. They were re-erected here in 1779.

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To Milton Abbey



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