WOOTTON FITZPAINE

No Dedication

Wootton Fitzpaine is more a delightful hamlet than a village and it lies stretched out either side of a quiet country lane in the far west of the county. According to A.D Mills's 'Dorset Place Names' the name derives from 'Wodetone' (1086) or 'Farm in or by a Wood' and 'Fitzpaine' refers to tha manorial family as in Okeford Fitzpaine.

The church is located in the grounds of the beautiful C18 Wootton House. The house, as seen from the church is shown below.

The church has its origins in C13 and C15 although the north transept, vestry and major restoration are of 1872 by George H. Birch. Wootton Fitzpaine appears to be the only church this architect was responsible for in Dorset.

The building is interesting for a number of reasons. The nave is probably what you might expect for a church serving such a small and scattered community, but the chancel, south aisle and north transept are very generous and one wonders where all the congregation came from.

The pulpit is constructed from Jacobean panels and must be the longest in Dorset. The font has a scalloped stem and Sir Nikolaus Pevsner thought it might have been a Norman capital.

An interesting suite of buildings in glorious countryside that generously repay a visit.