Blog – Stourpaine Moat: Stourpaine: Stures: Stour-Payne: Sture Payne.


    • Stourpaine, Dorset.
    • OSGB – ST 86040 09250
    • Scheduled Monument.
    • Monument Number – 205404.


Medieval moated fortified manor house.

Situated near Stourpaine church, near where the River Stour and the River Iwerne meet.

Remains are rectangular in shape with a central platform. The banks measure approximately 7m wide and up to 1.5 m in height. The ditch is partially filled in and measures 7m wide and between 1.5-3m in depth. The moat is recorded as being deeper on the eastern side than the western side.


Moat and Enclosure at Stourpaine.
‘Stourpaine’, in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 3, Central (London, 1970), pp. 259-265. British History Online


On the platform there is evidence of buildings including the main residence which was a large structure.

There are circular earthworks to the south of the main moated area. These have a bank measuring 7m wide and 0.5m in height. The outer ditch measures 6m wide and 3m deep. There is a gap in the north west side. It has been suggested that this circular enclosure was used for cock or bear fighting.

The lands are mentioned in the Domesday Book.

The most interesting person, from my point of view, associated with the site is Humphrey the Chamberlain. This gentleman was the Chamberlain to Matilda of Flanders, the wife of William I. He had previously been Steward of the Count of Ponthieu, and was the brother of Aiulf, the Sheriff of Dorset. According to sources Humphrey was a favourite of Matilda and she bestowed many lands upon him including Stourpaine.


‘Stourpaine’, in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 3, Central (London, 1970), pp. 259-265. British History Online


As with many early sites like this one, there is little in the way of written records. Some family names have come up but there is little information of those mentioned.

Here is a short timeline for the site,


Saxon                Held by Alward.

1086                  Mentioned in the Domesday Book as being held by Humphrey the Chamberlain, Lord of the Manor.

1135                   Held by Hilias de Oresculz.

*                          Held by Richard, son of Hilias de Oresculz.

*                          Richard de Oresculz granted lands to the Priory Church of Christchurch in Twyneham.

*                          Inherited by the third son of Richard de Oresculz, Bartholomew de Orescultz.

1316                  Bartholomew de Orescultz was knighted and became Lord of Sture Payne and Edmondsham.

1377-1399          Between: Manor was granted to Edward Payne.

14th-15th C          Some remains date from.

1461-1483          Between: The last of the Payne family died and the lands passed to the Hussey family.

1483                   Held by John Husee.

1863                  The construction of a railway damaged part of the site to the south west.

1955                  Field Investigation.

1969                  Shown on the OS Map.

1987                 Scheduled.

2000                 Watching Brief.




References & Bibliography

Bettey. J. H. 2014. Wessex from AD 1000. Taylor & Francis.

Borman. T. 2012. Matilda: Wife of the Conqueror, First Queen of England. Vintage Books.

Fox. P. 2003. A Study of Kinship and Patronage: The Rise of the House of Bek. Medieval Prosopography, 24, 171-193. Retrieved March 23, 2021, from

Hanney. C. 2019. Stourpaine. Dorset Life. August 2019 (Issue 485). Available at

Hilton. L. 2010. Queens Consort: England’s Medieval Queens. Orion.

Hutchins. J. 1774. The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset. W. Bowyer and J. Nichols.

Moore. J. 1963. The Domesday Teamland in Leicestershire. The English Historical Review, 78(309), 696-703. Retrieved March 23, 2021, from

Newman. J., & Pevnser. N. 1972. Dorset. Yale University Press.

Pastscape. 2021. Monument Number 205404. Available at

‘Stourpaine’, in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 3, Central (London, 1970), pp. 259-265. British History Online [accessed 23 March 2021].

Wier. A. 2017. Queens of the Conquest: The Extraordinary Women Who Changed the Course of English History 1066 – 1167. Random House.


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