«Iwerne Minster from the north east (Tower Hill) To protect, maintain and enhance the village environment, its surroundings and the quality of life ...»
A. the tree lined A350 to the east at East Park towards Wales Wood B. Clayesmore School across the well-maintained and extensive playing fields and recreational areas westwards towards Hambledon Hill C. The trout farm and across the tranquil working ponds D. Many places in the village up Brookman’s Valley and Coombe Bottom View D - Brookman’s Valley from the recreation View A - East Park towards Wales Wood ground Equally important are the views from the surrounding countryside of the soft green edges of the village that ensure Iwerne Minster nestles into the rural landscape. The soft green edges provide a high quality transition between the village and the surrounding countryside and are characterised by the mature gardens of Home Farm, Brookman’s Valley Bungalow, Cleff House, Brookman’s Farm, Edge House, Preston House and the properties from Thatchways to Brookside Farm. Key views of the
village in which the soft green edges are clearly prominent are from:
E. Hambledon Hill in which the village church spire and other well known buildings and features can be clearly seen against the backdrop of Iwerne Hill F. From the seat half way up Iwerne Hill back down into the village and the vale and Hambledon Hill beyond G. The south into the village and Brookman’s Valley from Preston Hill H. From the C13 looking westward down Bareden Down towards East Park.
There are also views from within the village in which buildings and landscape features play a key role. For example the view of the Chalk (see page 19) is dominated by the prominent beech tree.
The Old School is a prominent building located on a bend in the road providing clear sightlines for those entering the village along Higher Street. Its references to the Arts and Crafts movement with exposed timber framing, infill rendered panels, low brick plinth under a clay tiled roof ensure this building is instantly recognisable as an estate property.
3.3 Water Heritage Surrounded on all sides by open countryside and farmland the village enjoys a truly rural location that owes its existence to the springs around which it has developed.
Indeed Thomas Hardy spoke admiringly of the Vale of Blackmore in The Wessex Novels and described it as a “fertile and sheltered tract of country in which the fields are never brown and the springs never dry”.
Watery Lane Looking towards The Chalk - the beginning of the River Iwerne Today the water heritage is most visible on Watery Lane where after rising in the grounds of Devine House the River Iwerne runs along the road and on through, as well as under, the village westwards to the trout farm and beyond.
The stream is seen as an attractive and particularly valued village feature together with the Tap House in the Chalk, the village pump on the corner of Higher Street/ Shute Lane and the drinking trough outside Tilhayes on Church Hill. All are reminders of the importance of the spring to village life in the past and even today the importance of water to the community is evident from the number of wells that can still be found in many of the private gardens, although they are now decorative features rather than the important source of water they once were.
4.0 SETTLEMENT PATTERN AND CHARACTER
4.1 Overall Pattern of Development Iwerne Minster became a recognised village settlement in the 12th century although there is evidence in the surrounding area of Neolithic through to Roman habitation.
The oldest building in the village is St Mary’s Church and its surrounding walls.
St Mary’s Church, Iwerne Minster Being a nucleated settlement early habitation was focused around the church and later developed out to what is know known as Higher Street, Shute Lane, Hobgoblin, The Chalk, Old School Lane, Post Office Road and Tower Hill. The range of building styles along these lanes reflects the dates of construction scale, form materials and architectural detailing. The historic core of the village is characterised by a tight grain built form that is interspersed by open spaces. Several later phases of building took place in the 18th and 19th centuries, of a philanthropic nature, but of similar grain.
These historic developments have given the village core an overall compact quality and almost grid like plan form contained within the confines of four main arterial routes through the village (Dunn’s Lane, Higher Street/Tower Hill, Watery Lane and A350).
Amongst the historic buildings, detached properties are not uncommon but pairs of cottages, terraces and adjoining properties and grouping are prevalent.
Map 5 Iwerne Minster 1902 Iwerne Minster Village Design Statement The school campus has also developed over recent years with numerous buildings and facilities being built, some of which (but not all) have been designed to be sympathetic to the main building. Some of the lesser buildings are of a utilitarian nature while others, although substantial, owe little to the character of the main house or provide a suitable response to their context. Fortunately, these buildings are screened from public view by existing older buildings and high walls and can only be seen from within the campus.
A second wave of residential building took place around the edges of the village in the 1950’s and early 60’s with The Glebe off Watery Lane to the south and Whitelands/Valley View to the north on Tower Hill. These developments can be clearly seen on Map 6.
This was followed by the Paddocks and Oakwood Drive developments, off the A350, in the 1970’s and a number of in-fill developments within the settlement boundary over the next two decades. In general these more modern developments have a far greater percentage of individual properties although there are some small semi detached cottages. They are mainly representative of the design and style of their age and are fragmented and self contained. As such the effect they have on the rural character of the old village has consequently been limited.
Map 6 – Iwerne Minster 1962
In recent years infill developments in the village have been more small scale and sensitively designed in terms of layout and design and examples include the courtyard at the bottom of Dunn’s Lane completed in the mid 1990’s and the Ash Grove and Bramley Grove developments on the A350.
Iwerne Minster has also benefited from some more individual schemes with the Home Farm development and conversion completed in 2004 that caters specifically for the over 55s, the affordable dwellings on Tower Hill that was a rural exception site outside of the settlement boundary and the bespoke East Park estate to the north of the village that is a substantial contemporary dwelling set in landscaped gardens with outbuildings and gamekeepers lodges.
Iwerne Minster Village Design Statement
4.2 Trees, Hedges and Open Spaces The character and appearance of the village is enhanced by the numerous trees, woodlands, hedges and communal open spaces. Map 7 shows those trees that have the extra protection afforded by specific Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) and so anyone wishing to lop; top or fell one of these protected trees would require consent from the Council.
TPOs are not only made in respect of individual trees but they can also cover groups of trees or whole areas of woodland in the interest of preserving public amenity. In Iwerne Minster there are a number of TPO groups and areas. One is the parkland areas around Clayesmore School although over the years it has been changed from an area with a generous number of trees and planted avenues to one now laid out to sports pitches although it does maintain a number of significant mature native species worthy of protection. A second area is the landscape grounds of the East Park estate and the ancient neighbouring Woodlynch Wood. Finally the mature grounds surrounding Devine House in the centre of the village have been protected as there are a number of notable trees surrounding the lake that can been seen from many vantage points in the village.
Many other individual and ancient trees also make a significant contribution to the character and appearance of the village, but two in particular are focal points for all villagers. The first is the ancient beech that dominates the central open space known as The Chalk where the four “main” village lanes meet and the second is the beech at the junction of School Lane and Church Road The Chalk Junction of School Lane and Church Road Boundary walls and hedges also provide a strong sense of enclosure throughout the village often defining the edge of the public realm and reinforcing the rural character.
In addition, there are many public open spaces for both general and specific recreational purposes inside and outside of the settlement boundary that also contribute to the character of the village. Some have been identified in Section 2.2 as Important Open and Wooded Areas, but the three main recreational areas in the village are the Parish Field, the children’s playground in Watery Lane and the village cricket pitch.
The Parish Field is a small playing field to the south east of the village that also contains a small pavilion that is home to the Village Club. The field is owned by the Parish Council and used by the local community for fetes and other activities at a nominal charge, the building on the edge of the field is owned by the Village Club.
Recently the decision was made to erect some goalposts on the field for the benefit of young people in the village.
Iwerne Minster Village Design Statement
South of Watery Lane there is a separate children’s playground that is also owned and maintained by the Parish Council. It provides swings, slides and other recreational equipment for small children together with a seating area so that parents or guardians can view their children in pleasant surroundings while their children play.
In addition to these two recreational areas there is also a village cricket pitch in a field to the south of the playground. The pitch was professionally constructed and is regarded as one of the finest amateur grounds in the South West with fine views of the Brookman’s valley and the hills to the east of the village. During the construction of the pitch many villagers spent several days clearing the ground of stones demonstrating the strong sense of community that exists within the village. The purpose built cricket pavilion was constructed using locally raised funds together with Lottery funding.
The cricket pitch viewed from the south. The The cricket pavilion pavilion is on the top right of the track In addition to these more formal open areas there are many residential properties in Iwerne Minster that enjoy large gardens and adjoining paddocks. These open spaces help to afford good views of the countryside from within the village and soften the view of the village from outside or within. Specific important views from the village are identified on Map 4.
5.1 Building Types There are four main building types in Iwerne Minster.
1. Residential (Private dwellings, social housing and accommodation for older people)
2. Educational (Classrooms and boarding houses)
3. Commercial (Shops, pubs and other businesses)
4. Community (Churches and halls)
Residential dwellings Historically the majority of residential properties in Iwerne Minster are to the east of the A350 around the historic core of the village although there has been some limited development on the edge of the village to the west in the 1960s with the construction of Oakwood Drive and, more recently Bramley Grove and Ash Grove.
Residential properties make up the bulk of buildings within the village with the range of styles, use of materials and architectural detailing reflecting the various stages of development within Iwerne Minster. Evidence of its agricultural heritage can be found at properties such as Brookman's Old Farm and the Old Bakery, reflecting a period of gradual development as a rural village before the growth of the 19th and 20th centuries.
During the latter years, in the 19th and twentieth centuries, significant growth (relative to the scale of the existing village) took place. Other than the later twentieth century developments, development used a limited pallet of materials and architectural styles which has resulted in a very distinctive and recognisable character and appearance.
Properties such as Devine House, Oak House and Apple Tree, Yew Tree and May Tree Cottages in Shute Lane all provide evidence of the various phases of development and all demonstrate attention to design, materials and architectural detailing.
Educational The main Clayesmore School complex is west of the A350, but it also occupies several buildings within the village, namely the Grade II listed Old School, dating from 1884 and built in the timber framed “estate style”, possibly by A Waterhouse. This is a prominent building located on a bend in the road providing clear sightlines for those entering the village along Higher Street. The building incorporates typical exposed timber framing, infill rendered panels and a low brick plinth, with a clay tiled roof and front school yard surrounded by boundary walls topped with metal railings. The building is now utilised as the Art Block.
For accommodation purposes, the Grade II listed Devine House located on Church Road is also used by Clayesmore’s boarding pupils. Set behind high stone walls, its spacious curtilage is entirely concealed from public view, forming an important private green space in the heart of the village.
Facilities at the school also include an astro-turf pitch, theatre, sports centre and an extensive range of specialist subject facilities. Local residents also benefit from being able to use the schools well equipped sports hall and swimming pool.