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By H.J. Moule - 1901.

Sample text :-

' Of old houses, visibly declaring themselves as such, there remain deplorably few. Colliton looks grey and old-worldish, and old it is indeed But unfortunately it was, as regards windows, reduced to the then " modern taste " rather more than an hundred years ago. In the view of Dorchester and Fordington in Hutch ins' History of Dorset, 1773, Colliton seems to appear. It has four charming gables towards Glyde path, instead of the dreary square Georgian front there now. Nos. 6 and 7, High West street, are two good old houses. The latter seems to be little altered. It retains its delightful mellow coloured old roof. One of the dormers was taken down and re-erected lately in a manner beyond all praise. The old tiles were replaced even. No. 6 is a more striking house, but more altered. The roof is altogether changed in pitch, arrangement, and in material also, doubtless. The eastern division of the front originally ran up into a tall fine gable Some years ago the front was carefully and tastefully repaired. The great timbers were made good in an admirably conservative spirit The centre doorway was made new at that time. It is a copy of the side one, which is old. The balustrade has nothing to do with the house. It is part of the fittings of the old part of the Grammar school, which were pulled down when the front portion of it was rebuilt. These two houses are Elizabethan or perhaps earlier. One late Stuart house may be named, No. 3, Trinity street. This is not a bad sample of the house-style then coming in—sash windowed buildings.and with the panelling of painted deal. In *1677 Evelyn speaks of the latter feature. No. 3 has the rooms of two floors thus panelled. There is one rather rich overmantel ;and a very handsome stair-balustrade, all Baltic deal, The grey, ivied ancientry of a small house belonging to West Mill entitles it to be named. Friary Mill is old, perhaps in part the old Franciscan one. Fordington Mill, .again, now rebuilt, was of the sixteenth century. It had .a quaintly carved motto on its hoary front, "Do good to :al men." To return to houses yet surviving, Fordington old Vicarage is almost certainly the most ancient. Parts •of the walls are 3ft. thick. A piece of one of them was pulled down in the thirties. When plaster within and rough-cast without were thereby removed, a fifteenth •century two-light arched window appeared. Its stones were re-set in the new wall, and are there now. In Colliton street is an utterly featureless little old front. It has a history, for it is a fragment of Holy Trinity old Rectory, the dwelling of the great Puritan Rector J. White. At the back it has a pointed arched doorway, bowtell moulded. To some Americans, descendants of Puritan •emigrants, this house, now a workshop, is the object of almost a cult.

This chapter ends with a short note of Dorchester old houses destroyed within the memory of the writer. The Poor-house on Fordington green, close to the churchyard on the east, was a very old, and, as far as is remembered, interesting stone house. The standing stocks were hard by. The writer once saw two lads in durance vile there. A number of picturesque old cottages have -disappeared in Fordington. In particular there was one in excellent condition in Little Britain. One of its windows had four-centred heads to its mullioned lights. The western extremity of the strip of ground between the :stream and Fordington High street was formerly occupied by several rather tall old hous'es. They made a group immensely more pleasing to the eye than the present matlhouse.... '

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