Scoles

Scoles, Scowles. Scovilies – a farm of about 145 acres between Afflington and East Lynch. It anciently belonged to the family of Scovill. Sold to the Eldon family 25 April 1807.

The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset Volume 1 by John Hutchins

Scoles Farm

Scoles Farm – the oldest inhabited house in Corfe Castle parish, at a meeting of old roads in the valley south of Corfe Common (SY 964 800). It is a fine piece of 17th-century building, with large open fireplaces and a stone staircase, that also incorporates parts of a small hall-house of about 1300. These include a mullioned window. One original wall was rebuilt and has a series of bee-boles under stone arches.

Corfe Castle Encyclopaedia (2000) by Rodney Legg
The bee boles at Scoles Manor
Scoles Farm, O.S. Map, surveyed 1887, published 1889

Scoles Farm House is a Grade II Listed Building, list entry number 1120229. It was listed on 20 November 1959.

The listing states:

CORFE CASTLE LYNCH SY 97 NE 5/105 Scoles Farm House, including attached outbuilding at rear, 20.11.59 and boundary wall and gate to front garden GV II* House, former farmhouse. C13 origin, main house early C17. Rubble stone walls, stone slate roof with coped gabled to porch. Ashlar stone stacks, one at right end, one left of door, one nearer left end. 3-room and cross-passage plan. One storey and attic. Two large buttresses on front wall. 2-storeyed gabled porch has a round-headed doorway with moulded arch, projecting keystone and imposts. Inner doorway also round-headed. Part-glazed panelled door. Above doorway, a 2-light stone mullioned window with hoodmould, and above this a circular stone panel with ornamental border. Right of porch, ground floor and attic each have 2 casements with glazing bars, that on ground floor with hoodmould. Left of porch, an inserted ledged door and two 3-light stone mullioned windows with hoodmoulds and lead lights. Attic has 2 hipped dormers with similar windows. At rear a single- storey gabled extension in notching construction and a C19 lean-to under catslide roof. Internally the hall has a large open fireplace with timber lintol. Stone spiral stair at rear. Some exposed chamfered ceiling beams. Attached outbuilding at rear part C13, has rubble stone walls and stone slate roof. Single storey. In south wall, a double lancet window with hoodmoulds and lead lights. Buttress right of this, and a C20 glazed door. In west (end) wall, 2 tiers of bee boles. This building under repair at time of survey (1985). Rubble stone boundary wall to front garden, with flat coping. Simple iron gates with shaped finials to up- rights. (RCHM, Monument 126. Dorset. Vol. II). M. E. Wood. “Thirteenth Century Domestic Architecture p. 18).

The outbuilding 5 metres west of Scoles Farm House is also a Grade II Listed Building, list entry number 1278591. It was listed on 10 March 1896.

The listing states:

CORFE CASTLE LYNCH SY 97 NE 5/106 Outbuilding 5m west of Scoles Farm House GV II Outbuilding. C13 origin, probably largely rebuilt C18 or later. Rubble stone walls, stone slate roof. Single storey. In north gable wall, a blocked segmental-pointed arched doorway, chamfered, with iron rides for door. By this a small square window, also probably medieval. Later openings in side wall. (RCHM, Monument 126. Dorset. Vol. II).


In 1790, Scoles Farm was home to farmer William Polden aged 30, his wife Rebecca aged 23 and two young children, Elizabeth aged 2 and Thomas aged 6 months. The family employed two live-in servants, George Smith aged 21 and Elizabeth Vye aged 20.

In 1841, dairy man Charles Foot aged 45 was the occupier, along with wife Mary aged 35, and children Jane 15, Charles 9, Maria 7, George 5 and Eliza 2. Mary Gean aged 75 was also present together with servant Mary Homer aged 25.

In 1851, dairy man James Smith aged 35 was the occupier with wife Eliza aged 39 and children Mary 11, George 8, Eliza 6 and 4 month old William. Ann Marsh aged 23 was house servant. Ten years later in 1861, James & Eliza Smith were still at the farm with Mary, Eliza and William. There was no live-in servant.

In 1871, another Smith family was in situ – this time dairy man Aaron Smith aged 48, wife Elizabeth aged 48 and children William 16, George 13 and Sarah 10. Ten years later in 1881, Aaron & Elizabeth Smith were still at the farm along with son George and servant/dairy boy Robert Gillard.

In 1891, dairy manager was Alfred Ball aged 35 with wife Virginia 35, and children George 17, Elizabeth 12, Beatrice 3 and Emily aged 8 months.

In 1901, dairyman Seth Puckett aged 62 was living at the property with wife Jane 57, and children William 22, Mabel 17 and Bessie 15.

In 1911, the dairyman was James Furmage aged 49 aided by wife Ellen aged 51 and sons Thomas 24 and Henry 22.

In 1921, the occupiers were Frederick Audley and his wife Kate.

The farmhouse is now known as Scoles Manor.

Scoles Manor

Scoles Manor is the most interesting of the houses built along the old marble line. It enjoys one of the best situations on the Purbecks, in a natural bowl with an almost unspoilt panoramic view in the direction of Corfe Castle.

Dorset’s Most Beautiful Buildings: A Photographic Portrait (2001) by Bill Hoade & Roger Holman

Scoles Farm Barn

The barn 15 metres east of Scoles Farm House is also a Grade II Listed Building, list entry number 1323445. It was listed on 10 March 1896.

The listing states:

CORFE CASTLE LYNCH SY 97 NE 5/107 Barn 15m east of Scoles Farm House, including attached range on east GV II Barn. Probably C18. Rubble stone walls, hipped stone slate roof. Opposed cart entrances, one infilled with corrugated iron. 4 bays. Simple tie-beam roof. Attached to main barn on east, a lower range, single-storey, of rubble stone with hipped stone slate roof. Range of small shuttered windows. Included for group value.

The listed barns were converted into three holiday cottages in 1990 by owners Peter & Belinda Bell.

The converted barns

Lower Scoles Farm

Lower Scoles Farm, home to Purbeck Ice Cream

Lower Scoles Farm, directly south-west of Scoles Manor, is now the home of Purbeck Ice Cream. Click on the link to see how Hazel & Peter Hartle took their first steps to creating a nationally acclaimed brand.


Scoles Gate Cottages

Scoles Gate Cottages lie north west of Scoles Manor at the end of Scoles Lane Copse.

Scoles Gate Cottages, O.S. Map, surveyed 1887, published 1889

In 1790 a local census showed that fisherman John Battrick aged 62 was living in one cottage with his wife Sarah aged 58 and lodger John Davis, a hurdler, aged 30. In the second cottage widow Jane Mott aged 64 was living with daughter Mary Mott aged 21.

Labourer James Smith was resident in 1841 with his wife Eliza and 1 year old daughter Mary.

In 1851 the property was home to pauper labourers Matthew Fowler aged 70 and his wife Jane aged 65, and their two unmarried sons, James aged 44 and George aged 38, both carters. Matthew died in January 1852.

In 1861 agricultural labourer Joseph Styles aged 36 was living in the property with his wife Jane also 36, two sons William 12 and John 9, and daughter Jane aged 4.

In 1871 the property was occupied by farm labourer John Harris aged 46, his wife Susannah aged 47, and five children George 20, Elizabeth 18, Joseph 9, Mary 7 and William 4.

By 1881 widowed cordwainer Thomas Audley aged 56 was living at Scoles Gate with his five youngest children Emily 17, Henry 15, Frederick 13, Bessie 11 and Thomas 9. By 1891 Thomas senior was living in the Workhouse at Wareham. He died in 1895.

Edward Jefferies was shown on the 1889 electoral roll as living at the property.

In 1891 the residence was occupied by agricultural labourer Henry Bartlett 27, his wife Flora 25 and their two daughters Annie 5 and Mary 2.

By 1911 retired clay miner Robert Welsh 55 was the occupier, along with wife Jessie 53, son Edward 17 and daughter Gladys 14.

In September 1939, the cottage was home to artist & painter Leonard Heron and his wife Mirial.

The property is now a single dwelling known as Scowles Gate.

Scowles Gate

Page last updated: 15 August 2020

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