Weymouth-Dorset.co.uk Local History

Nottington

The Octagonal Spa House, Nottington near Broadwey, Dorset

The Spa House at Nottington 

Each and every village seems to have its own landmark building or feature. Nottington, between Radipole and Broadwey, is no exception. The Spa House here has remained and been carefully preserved, unlike its neighbouring one at Radipole. The octagonal house was designed by Robert Vining and built circa 1830 for its patrons to partake of the sulphuric waters that were said to be so beneficial to the health.

The Times of 1853 carried a notice of sale for the Spa, describing it as a "highly valuable Freehold estate, comprising a substantial and well-built Spa house, with its valuable and medicinal flowing hydrogen spring" and goes on to say "The medical testimony in favour of this extraordinary spring exceeds belief in cases of gout, jaundice and other complaints". The building comprised a pump room, two bath rooms, a dressing room, two sitting rooms, and six chambers.

The house next door came with it and comprised five reception rooms, nursery, ten chambers, domestic offices of every kind, walled gardens, coach-house and three-stall stable. The coach-house was possibly where the more modern bay window is and commands a view of the road ideal for approaching coaches.

The sale was to take place at Garraway's and particulars were available from the Spa itself, the solicitors Messrs Ellis & Co at 12 Clements Lane, London and from Mr Pothecary at the Golden Lion, Weymouth (Melcombe Regis) as well as the autioneer at 30 Royal Exchange, London.

The gate piers are adorned with stone pelicans, part of the grant of arms of the Steward family. Nottington House was the seat of the Steward family and the Gordon-Stewards and is shown on old maps as being just within the boundary of the parish of Radipole. Its outbuildings nearer the road through Nottington have long since been demolished and on the site now stands Nottington Court secluded by mature trees.

In the vicinity stood a house long ago called Hockerhill House that was mentioned in the Beating of the Bounds and perambulations of the parish of Radipole. For this part of Nottington all lay within the parish of Radipole, while the rest lay in the parish of Buckland Ripers. On one occasion in the directories, Mrs Steward the then owner of Nottington House is actually listed as living at Hockerhill House. Perhaps they were one and the same as the land around here was known as Hocker Hill according to the 1837 tithe map.

The 1851 census records Louisa H (Henrietta) Steward as the head, a widow by then as her husband, Lieut. Col. Richard Augustus Tucker Steward, had died in 1842. She is recorded as living with her son Richard, then aged 27, her daughter Louisa aged 20 and her daughter Augusta the wife of Charles W. Gordon and their children.

There are several memorials in St. Ann's church, Radipole of the Steward family including Charleton W. Gordon-Steward, Major 5th Fusiliers, who was killed in action in France on 12th April 1917 aged 40 years. He is buried in the grounds of Gore Chateau, Bethune. Beneath his memorial is a brass plaque in memoriam of Brigadier General C. Steward Gordon-Steward CBE of the West Yorkshire Regt who was born in 1849 and died in 1930. He was a well known cricketer of his time.

Further into the village from the Broadwey end and past the Spa House along the winding road, we come to Nottington Farm on the left-hand side of the road. The old farmhouse and its buildings are in the most delightful setting, tucked away at a right angle to the road and retaining a charm of bygone days. The farmhouse dates from about the late 16th or early 17th century and has with it a former granary and barn. William Miller was the farmer here from at least 1850 until at least 1859 as shown in the local directories.

Across the road and further up near the road junction, there is an old mill. The mill dates from around the 1830's and it is quite possible that there was a mill here much earlier being in such a position on the River Wey as to benefit from its location. Gale and son are listed in a directory of 1844 as being the millers and corn merchants and by 1851 John Gale on his own. The buildings here include Mothermill and Millcot and what delightful gardens the latter has with the Wey gently making its way through.

Back up the road in the opposite direction, taking the road leading to Chickerell and Radipole, dominating the scene are the old maltings. Built in 1834 of Portland stone, the malthouse and its buildings have been tastefully converted to living accommodation without any loss of original features along the roadside view.

Such industry prevailed in such a small village that it is hard to think of any other place with so much in one place. Certainly not crammed in, the old buildings show a once thriving industrial area in such a delightful setting beside the River Wey.

 

Extracts from directories relating to Nottington, listed under Broadwey:

Nottington Farmhouse

Nottington Farm

Nottington Mill, near Broadwey, Dorset

Nottington Mill

Malthouse

Nottington Malthouse

Surname

Forename

Occupation/Location

Years of Directories listed

Bridle

George

Post Office, Nottington

1855

Bridle

Mary

Post Office, Nottington

1859

Furmidge

Ann (Mrs)

Proprietress, Nottington sulphur baths

1851

Gale & Son

 

Millers, corn merchants, Nottington Mills

1844

Gale

John

Miller, Nottington Mills

1851, 1855, 1859

Jesty & son

 

Dairymen, Nottington

1875

Jesty

William

Farmer, Nottington & at East Chickerell, & butcher, Market House, Weymouth-

1889, 1895

Kerslake

Mrs Margaret

Proprietor of Nottington sulphur baths

1855, 1859

Miller

William

Farmer, Nottington

1851, 1855, 1859

Morris

John

Dairyman, Nottington

1875

Mumford

George

Nottington

1889

Stevens

John

Baker, Nottington

1855, 1859

Steward

Louisa (Mrs)

Nottington House

1851

Steward

Mrs

Hockerhill House

1851 listed under Radipole

Steward

Mrs

Nottington House

1844,1855 listed under Radipole

Steward

Major

Nottington House

1859

Swatridge

John

Miller (water & steam 1889), Nottington Mill

1875, 1889

 

 

For more pictures of Nottington: Weymouth Pictures (external link)

 

Nearby Parishes and Places

Bincombe

Broadwey

Buckland Ripers

Preston

Radipole

Sutton Poyntz

Upwey

 

Local Attractions and Places to Visit 

 

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