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Fordington - High Street - 2012

All Photographs unless otherwise stated are from the private Photograph collection of Michael Russell OPC for Fordington
Compiled Dec 2012 - Last updated June 2013
© Copyright Mr. M Russell FIPD All Rights Reserved


Ordnance Survey Map 1901



© Copyright Postcard of Fordington Hill by kind permission of Steve Poulter - Dorset Postcard Club


As can be seen in the above Ornance Survey Map for 1901 from the end of Dorchester's High East Street where the road becomes East Parade, Fordington High Street branches off diagonally to the right. These pictures were taken by me on 29th March 2012 in sequence from that junction proceeding for a few hundred yards on the flat to where Holloway Road branches off to the left, before gently climbing Fordington Hill to the Green where sits St Georges Church. I have concentrated upon the older surviving buildings and I would be grateful for any additional historical information concerning them including old pictures of the buildings or the people that lived within them. Names mentioned on House deeds are particularly helpful as we can then locate those individuals in census returns.

Without House deeds it is particularly difficult to relate individuals given in Census returns to particular houses as in most of the early returns numbers of houses were not given [do not confuse with enumerators family number column, as several families often lived in the same house] We also have a difference between Fordington High Street and Fordington Hill and some houses having names rather than numbers which have changed over time. New developments also mean that houses in early returns have sometimes been demolished


(Picture 1) Fordington High Street


No. 1 The Old Malthouse now a private dwelling
(Picture 2) Fordington High Street


The Old Noah's Ark Inn - Now No.s 2 to 5

The Old Malthouse renamed the Noah's Ark Inn in 1860 - Fordington High Street

1. (From c 1785 to 1846)
Elias GALPIN (1756-1846)
was the first known person to own the Malthouse, which is the building shown in the first picture above. He married at Fordington St George's church in 1785 and his first 2 children were baptised in the parish in 1786 and 1789 so occupation may date from that time particularly as English Heritage when they listed the building in 1975 recorded it as dating from the 18th or early 19th Century. Follow this link to a more detailed account of his life and to see a transcription of his will. We have firm evidence that he was operating as a maltster and beer retailer from the site from 1830 until his death in 1846 and there is no evidence to suggest he followed any other trade. A part of the Malthouse (See second picture above) was known locally as the 'Noah's Ark Inn' or often simply as 'The Ark'. This name can be traced as being in constant use for at least 80 years between 1860 to 1940 but there seems little doubt that beer was sold from the premises throughout Elias Galpin's tenure. Elias married three times and his eldest son (by his second wife) was Charles GALPIN (1797-1836) who became a Miller in 1828. He operated the Mill in Holloway Row known locally as Fordington Mill. After Charles death in 1836 the Mill continued to be run by his widow Ann (the daughter of John and Ann LEGG) until Ann died in 1857 and was buried at Fordington.

Elias lived here until his death at the age of 90, being buried at All Saints church on 14th July 1846. He was pre-deceased by all 3 of his wives as well as his eldest son Charles, leaving his household goods, furniture, linen plate and other household effects, his horse and wagon and the copyhold of the brewhouse, cellar and stable to his younger son Robert GALPIN together with a quarter of his residuary estate which included property in Fordington and Loders.

2. (From 1846 to 1859)
Robert GALPIN (1802-1859)
having inherited the brewhouse from his father remained a bachelor successfully running the business until his death in 1859. The 1851 Census shows him living at Fordington High Street and employing a 48 year old Housekeeper, Caroline BROOKS a native of Norwich in Norfolk. Slater's Directory for 1852 confirms Robert to still be a Maltster, Brewer and retailer of Beer so the business does not seem to have changed during his tenure. Robert died on 26th July 1859 and was buried 3 days later at the Civic Cemetery in Dorchester. He left a Will and an estate worth just under £2,000, a considerable amount of money in those days, with the bulk of it, including the copyhold of the brewhouse to Caroline BROOKS (1806-1889) . Follow this link to a more detailed account of his life and to see a transcription of his will. Having inherited the property Caroline BROOKS sold the brewhouse to the brothers John & William BLANDAMER of Fordington and then moved into nearby Durngate Street, changed her name to Caroline GALPIN, and referred to herself as a widow. She lived until 1889.

3. (From 1860 to 1878)
William BLANDAMER (1828-1878)
was the third incumbent of the Malthouse which he owned in partnership with his elder brother John BLANDAMER (1822-1865) and they purchased it from Caroline Brooks in 1860 when William married. John and William, were sons of Robert BLANDAMER a thatcher by trade, and William had been baptised at Fordington on 8th July 1828. His mother was Sarah SIBLEY (1794-1875) and she had married Robert BLANDAMER two months after the birth of her first child, who was undoubtedly Robert's son as he took his fathers name. They married at St George's Church in Fordington on 18th April 1815 and I have provided a link to further information about this family from which you can see that William was the 6th of 8 children. His father at one stage had been a stone mason and he taught William the trade. In 1851 he was living with his elder brother John & his wife near Fordington Cross. Like Elias William married three times (perhaps it's something in the beer!). Whilst working as a builder he met a young lady from Holy Trinity Parish in Wareham and married Eliza AMEY the daughter of a shoemaker there on 31st May 1860. His marriage seems to have precipitated his return to Dorchester and occupation of the Malthouse in 1860. William is shown as living in the brewhouse on 8th April 1861 when the Census was taken. His address is given as 'Noah's Ark' Fordington High Street so its fairly clear that the brothers gave the Malthouse its name.Whilst still living in Fordington High Street Eliza died at the young age of 35, being buried in the Civic Cemetery on 24th Oct 1862.

    Incredibly just 39 days after the burial of his first wife, William moved in the second, marrying the 30 year old Elizabeth KNELL, a native of Evershot and the daughter of another shoemaker. He gives his occupation as 'Inn Keeper' and both he and Elizabeth give their abode as being the 'High Street', at Fordington, so she was already living there when she married. I can only trace two children from the union, an Eliza Jane who, as was traditional at the time for a first child, was born and baptised in Elizabeth's home parish of Evershot on 22nd November 1863. William, shown as being resident at Fordington, gives his occupation as Mason, so its possible that it was Elizabeth that tended the Noah's Ark whilst he took on masonry work when he could get it. Unusually their second child, William John BLANDAMER was also baptised at Evershot, on 12th March 1865 when William describes himself as an Innkeeper resident at Dorchester. On 2nd December 1865 William's brother John died leaving his share of the Noah's Ark in trust for the benefit of his surviving daughter and support of his widow. One of the trustees was their youngest brother Thomas Blandamer (1837-1890). The 1871 Census confirms that William is an Innkeeper and Brewer at the Noah's Ark and resident there with his wife and two children. Elizabeth lasted until she was 43 years old being buried at Fordington on 10th May 1876.

    Again William was quick off the mark, although it took two months this time before he moved in his 36 year old third wife Amelia WOODLAND whom he married at Fordington on 9th July 1876. Amelia was the daughter of John and Charlotte WOODLAND from the parish of Chideock a pretty village just inland from the south coast and 3½ miles west of Bridport. William lived another 2 years expiring at the age of 50 and being buried at St Georges Church Fordington on 11th April 1878.

4. (From 1878 to 1882)
Amelia BLANDAMER We know from the 1881 Census that his widow Amelia continued to run the Noah's Ark until her own death in the 2nd quarter of 1882.


5. (From 1882? to bef 1891) - Kelly's street directory for the year 1889 shows under the Commercial Section ' George TREVETT the Noah's Ark Public House', so presumably he was the Innkeeper.
George TREVETT (1833-1900) was baptised at Winterborne Steepleton in Dorset on 14th July 1833 the son of a labourer Reuben TREVETT by his wife Mary. He grew up in the village helping in the fields, progressing to plough boy by the age of 17. He then left Winterborne Steepleton, probably looking for more lucrative work, making his way to Charminster by 1861 where he worked as an Agricultural Labourer. He married in the district of Sturminster Marshall to Jane Frances LACEY in 1867 and settled in Dorchester All Saints Parish to live in Bell Street where George was employed as a Brewers Labourer.

Jane supplemented their income as a straw milliner and they had four children some of which do not appear to have been baptised:- (1) Mary Frances was baptised at All Saints on 16th Jan 1870 (2) Henry Joseph was born in October and buried at the age of 6 weeks at the civic cemetery on 3rd Dec 1870. (3) Elizabeth Jane was buried there aged 4 months on 29th July 1872. (4) Joseph George TREVETT was born in the 1st quarter of 1875 and is shown in the 1881 census living with George, Jane and his sister Mary at Durngate Street. Where George's occupation should be recorded however has annoyingly been left blank, but he seems to have progressed to being an Innkeeper by 1889 although I doubt that he was the owner of the premises. This may explain why by the time of the next Census in 1891 he has moved on again to live at 9 South Walks Terrace in Dorchester and is described as a Newsagent. George died there at the age of 67 being buried at Fordington on 15th September 1900. The parish register unusually contains the entry " Informally certified by Joseph Howard" so it may be worth obtaining the death certificate at some stage to ascertain the cause of death in case this is a Coroner.

6. (From bef 1891 to 1901)
John LEGG (1833-1901) was born at North Poorton in Dorset but baptised at Mosterton on 16th Oct 1832 the son of an Agricultural Labourer Joseph LEGG by his wife Hannah. He also became an agricultural labourer working at North Poorton in 1851. He married at nearby West Milton on 11th June 1857 to Merina [Marina] READE the daughter of another Agricultural Labourer John READE from the village. Merina gave birth to 8 children who were all baptised at Powerstock cum West Milton :- (1) John bap 12 Oct 1862 (2) Mary Ann bap 12 Jun 1864 (3) Anna bap 29 Jan 1866 (4) Herbert Wm bap 11 Oct 1868 (5) Hannah 1870 (6) Maude Mary bap 8th Oct 1872 (7) George Edward Ernest LEGG bap 5th Apr 1874 (8) Helena [Elena] Annie bap 25th Dec 1875. By 1881 however the attraction of higher wages on the Railways drew John LEGG & Marina to Dorchester where John worked as a Railway Carman whilst living at 10 Hill Side Cottages not far from Fordington Cross. It was here that his wife Marina died being buried at St Georges Church on 15th May 1889 at the age of 53.

After the death of his wife and by April 1891 John had moved into the Noah's Ark in Fordington High Street where he is now recorded as a Railway Carman and Publican. Clearly he distributed goods delivered to the railway station whilst his daughter Mary Ann (now 18) helped to run the Noah's Ark and acted as general housekeeper, whilst his son George was a blacksmith probably working at the foundry next door. Kelly's directory for the year 1895 shows John to be a Beer Retailer and the 1901 Census a publican now supported by his 25 year old spinster daughter Helena. His son George married in 1900 (see below for more details) and in 1901 is living with his wife and widowed mother in law at 8 St Georges Road. He is still plying his trade as a blacksmith so probably was still working at the Foundry. John LEGG died on 8th November 1901 leaving a very modest estate of just £125.2s.3d. (Copy of will still needed)

7. (From 1901 to 1940)
George Edward Ernest LEGG (1874-1940) took over the running of the Noah's Ark on the death of his father in November 1901. George had married the year before to Alice Maude Mary the daughter of a licenced Victualler William RIGGS by his wife Dorcas TOOGOOD. Alice had been baptised at Fordington on 14th November 1873 and they married on 3rd December 1900 at Holy Trinity Church in Weymouth whilst they were living at 5 Chickerell Road. They settled initially at No. 8 St George Road to live and had two children that I can trace (1) Ernest William Jack LEGG who was baptised at St Georges Church in Fordington on 5th May 1901 and (2) Joy Dorcas LEGG bap 23rd March 1902 when her father was recorded as a coach smith resident at No. 1 High Street Fordington (i.e. The Noah's Ark). The 1911 Census taken on 1st April that year confirms George to be a Licensed Victualler and Kelly's Directory for 1915 shows that he was a Beer retailer so presumably Alice looked after the Noah's Ark whilst George, initially at least, continued his trade at the foundry. Alice's brother Walter Bertie TOOGOOD was living with them in 1911 and working as a wheelwright and carriage smith so he too probably worked at the Foundry.

Although George continued at the Noah's Ark until his death in 1940, by 1930 there is some evidence to show that it was also being used for other purposes. On the 4th Dec 1930 an order was issued by the Court for Summary Administration of Horace Edwin WRIGHTON who was actually living at No.1 Harvey's Terrace in Fordington but carrying on business at the Noah's Ark Inn as a 'fish hawker, greengrocer and cycle depot manager. The only other reference I have of him is in Kelly's Trade Directory for 1931 which shows that he was employed at No. 1 Fordington High Street as a cycle repairer. Horace had been born at Guildford Surrey on 24th Dec 1894 and worked on the Railways there from 1910. Initially as a signal and lamp lad and in 1913 as a Porter at Horsley. His Railway employment record shows that on 8th Aug 1914 he 'absconded' to join the Royal Flying Corps which was the forerunner to the RAF which was not formed until 1918. Clearly his manager was annoyed at his leaving but he obviously wanted to be more than a porter and the new corps presented an ideal opportunity. As things turned out being 20 he would have been called up for service anyway. He appears to have remained in the RAF until about 1928 rising to the rank of Corporal (Service number 1375) and is listed from 1918 to 1921 as a resident of Pinewood Upper Ham at Poole in Dorset under absent voters lists. It seems likely that he arrived in Fordington circa 1828 after leaving the Air Force but his tenure there was short lived as he died in the district of Weymouth aged 56 in 1895.


Genealogical Notes:-

The Old Malthouse & Noah's Ark Inn - Fordington High Street
Health Warning - This account has so far been based on references to the Old Malthouse or the Noah's Ark Inn found in old documentation such as trade directories and wills etc showing who was living there. The lives of individuals were then researched to build up a better picture of its history. Whilst up to at least 1882 these individuals also clearly held the copyhold to the property, further research is necessary to ascertain / confirm actual ownership in later years and when sub division of the property occurred as it is now several privately owned dwellings. Further information is still required including:-

(1) The Will of John LEGG 1901
(2) The Will of George Ernest LEGG 1940
(3) Documents in the Coombes Archive held at Dorset History Center: Under Deeds of estate: Fordington: Messuage, brewhouse and cellars in west tything of the manor of Fordington, called Noah's Ark Public House and Brewery, boundaries noted, with counterpart and assignments (Brooks alias Galpin, Hurdle, Barnard, Woodhouse) D/COO:H/T/8 1860-1887.
(4). Any Deeds of the property still held prior to modern land registry.
(5) Old Photographs of the building or people that lived there

(Picture 3) Fordington High Street


Five Buildings From left to right No.10 (white); 8 and 6 (Brick white & dark blue doors)
No. 4 (white light blue door) & No 2 San Telmo
(Picture 4) Fordington High Street


Four Buildings From left to right No. 10 (white rendered) No.s 8 and 6 (Brick white & dark blue doors)
No. 4 (white light blue door)
(Picture 5) Fordington High Street


No. 10 was grade II listed in 1975 - The Grey House to the left with the apex roof is No. 12
(Picture 6) Fordington High Street -


The Foundry - Lott & Walne Ltd - No. 5 now Re-named Foundry Place - Housing Flats

Lott & Walne Ltd (Picture 6) Situated at the start of Fordington High Street along the road on the left at Number 5 according to English Heritage (See pictures 1 & 2 above) was the Iron Foundry of Lott & Walne which became a grade II listed building in 1975. There are two really great pictures of The Foundry taken circa 1910 showing the inside, and machinery in the street, in 'The Archive Photographs series for Dorchester by Jo Draper published in 1997. According to Jo the Iron Foundry was established here about 1830 but there is no mention of a Foundry etc in Pigots Street Directory of that date. It has now been converted for use as housing and a workshop.


GALPINS Iron Foundry: All the evidence I can gather seems to point to John GALPIN (1813-1882) of Dorchester being the original owner. He was the grandson of William GALPIN Senior (1741-1818 a Cooper of Dorchester who died in 1819 and was a beneficiary with his sister Charlotte, among others, in his grandfathers will. His father, William GALPIN Junior (1774-1837) was also a Cooper by trade and John was baptised on 22nd Mar 1813 at All Saints Church Dorchester the 6th of 7 children. When his father died in 1837 he inherited a dwelling house at Cornhill in St Peters Parish and each of his sisters received £1,000 so he was a wealthy man. Link to transcription of his fathers Will.

John first appears as an Ironmonger and Ironfounder in the 1839 edition of Robert's Directory for Dorchester. In the 1841 census he is shown as an Ironmonger by trade living in Holy Trinity parish Dorchester with his unmarried elder sister Charlotte who appears to have been a shareholder in his business. Pigots Street directory of 1844 refers to him again as being an Iron Founder and in the 1851 Census he is living at 43 High West street when he is described as an Ironmonger, Iron and Brass Founder employing 28 men and 4 boys. This all suggests that when his father died in 1837 he and his sister invested in the foundry at Fordington but continued to live in Dorchester. On the 8th Oct 1857 John GALPIN married Emily HANSFORD at Holy Trinity Church in Dorchester when he describes his father William as a butter merchant. In fact his father had been dead for 20 years but John was the 6th of 7 children and his eldest brother George, although he inherited the Phoenix Inn in Dorchester and his fathers business as a cooper, had long been a butter merchant. John & Emily had 2 children Francis William GALPIN MA (bap Holy Trinity 26 Apr 1859 who was educated at Trinity College Oxford joined the church in 1883, served his curacy at Redenhall in Norfolk and became Vicar of Hatfield Regis) and Arthur John GALPIN MA (born April bap Holy Trinity 12 Jun 1861, also educated at Trinity college entered the church in 1888 and became Head Master of Kings School in Canterbury Kent). John went from strength to strength employing 39 men, 4 apprentices and 4 boys at the Foundry in 1861. He went on to become Mayor of Dorchester 1861/2 and become its JP and an Alderman of the town. Harrod's Directory for Dorchester for the year 1865 confirms him still to be living in High West Street and the owner of the Foundry at Fordington, but prior to 1871 he has sold his interest in the business. The Post Office directory for 1875 still shows him to be Borough Magistrate and Alderman of Dorchester. His sister Charlotte remains a spinster lives with relatives for some years and dies in Dorchester in 1886 leaving her estate of £2,720.5s to be administered by Rev Francis Wm Galpin, Johns eldest son. John GALPIN died at Cullford House in Dorchester on 14th July 1882 leaving an estate of £58,133.

The Foundry in the 1870's appears to be run by CROCKER, Fenner & Co who are described in the 1875 Post Office Directory as being 'Ironfounders & ironmongers of High East street & The Foundry'.

By 1889 this has become CROCKER & Co of 'High West street, Ironmongers and at the Foundry'.

By 1891 it has been taken over by Foster Lott & Company the driving force behind the company being John Green LOTT an engineer making agricultural implements who lived at 64 High West Street with his wife and 4 children employing a governess and servant.

By 1901 John James WALNE a mechanical engineer & Iron Founder appears upon the scene and the Company appears to be a partnersip trading as Lott & Walne Ltd hence the name on the building.

Advertisement by Lott & Walne Ltd - Kelly's Directory 1915

(Picture 7) Fordington High Street


Looking back to the start of Fordington High Street
at the Old Baptist Chapel DORFORD & the Old Malthouse
(Picture 8) Fordington Court


No. 16 Grade II Listed 1975
(Picture 9) Fordington High Street


No. 20
(Picture 10) Fordington High Street


No. 22
(Picture 11) Fordington High Street


No.s 26 & 24
(Picture 12) Fordington High Street


Holloway Road braches off to the left - Fordington Hill to the church continues to the right
(Picture 13) Start of Fordington Hill (on the right)


No. 31
(Picture 14) Start of Holloway Road


The Infant's school was further down the road on the right
(Picture 15) Fordington Hill


Looking up Fordington Hill to St Georges Church at the top
(Picture 16) Fordington Hill


No. 35
(Picture 17) Fordington Hill


The Old Farmhouse No. 39
(Picture 18) Fordington Hill


No. 41 (Chalkhill) No.s 43; 45; and 47
(Picture 19) Fordington Hill


5 houses from the Old Farmhouse to No. 47
(Picture 20) Fordington Hill


No. 47
(Picture 21) Fordington Hill


Dunloe House - No. 70
(Picture 22) Top of Fordington Hill - St Georges Church


Viewed from Pound Lane

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