All Saints Church, Tarrant Monkton. NGR: ST94396 08830, Lat:50.8789 Long:-2.0810. Lead author: JT
The overall impression of All Saints is of a church built of banded Flint and ashlar, with ashlar dressings, but the different ashlar blocks indicate the different dates of building or restoration. Upper Greensand from the Shaftesbury area has been used as ashlar in the 14th to 16th century, but the Portland Main Building Stone from the Vale of Wardour was used from the 18th century onwards. Both of these have a greenish colour, due to the presence of glauconite, an iron mineral that forms in offshore sandy deposits, but the Wardour stone is finer than the Cretaceous Upper Greensand. Lengthy weathering results in the Upper Greensand fading to grey, and the Wardour stone gaining a ‘golden’ tone.
The oldest part of All Saints church is the chancel, dated about 1400, the exterior built of flint banded with Upper Greensand, but restored in the 18th century, when the windows were added. All the windows are of the Wardour Main Building Stone, a sandy limestone, though the eastern one on the south wall has its original Upper Greensand cill.
In the 15th century the nave and the lower stage of the west tower were built of banded flint and Upper Greensand. The western window is of the original Upper Greensand. In the 16th century the western window in the south wall of the nave was built of Upper Greensand, but has been repaired with Wardour MBS, probably during the 1873 restoration. The blocked doorway was 16th century, being blocked in 1873. The upper stage of the tower was added in the 18th century.
The north aisle and the south chapel were added in the 1873 restoration, with walls to match the banding of the original, except that the ashlar bands include the Wardour MBS. At the same time the window and the north wall of the nave were restored.
In the interior, the piers and arches leading to the north aisle appear to be of Portland Freestone from the Isle of Portland. The square font is of traditional Purbeck style, dated 12th century.
Text and images by JT, June 2018