St Mary’s, Charminster, Dorset

St Mary's
St Mary’s

St Mary’s church at Charminster is an 11th century church, extended and improved in the 14th and 16th centuries by the local Trenchard family. The monogram of Thomas Trenchard made up of spirally intertwined Ts is visible in carvings and plaques throughout the church interior and exterior.

The are two compass drawn circles on a column in the north aisle. A carved devil’s head looks down from the south east corner of the tower towards the west door. A mass/scratch dial is beside the south door.

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Three examples of the same mason’s mark (an arrow) are visible in the surrounds of the south windows of the nave.

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The other graffiti is all names and initials. They are to be found on the walls and piers of the tower beside the west door. The dates are all early 18th century. There is one M which may be a Marian mark, or may be a mason’s mark. If it is a mason’s mark, it is one not seen anywhere else in the church.

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St Mary’s Church
East Hill – West Hill

The church is usually open during daylight hours. There is street parking opposite the church.

Report by Anthea Hawdon



Search terms: Compass drawn circle (partial), intials, IS, A, H, IS, 1730, 1730s, 1700s, Henry Harbin, 1717, 1710s, IP, E, I, IA, cross hatching, EA, TC, 1731, MD, 1739, M, W, WC, SM, G, AA, EI, ML, CI, IE, H, T, WG, 1710, IH, RC, 1723, 1720s, Marian mark/Mason’s mark, cross, Mason’s mark, arrow, mass dial, scratch dial, Devil head