Catherston Lewesdon.

Catherston Manor c.1870
he Original Manor before the 16th Century Porch was dismantelled and rebuilt at the side of the replacement building in 1887
Colonel Bullen is seen here with his family at the entrance to the rebuilt Manor House.
This photograph is from a Postcard by Samuel Hansford of the entrance to Catherston Manor House. It depicts his family -Samuel (Barney), David, Mabel in the wheelchair, Isabel (Mother) and Isabel (daughter).
The same view of Catherstone Manor today
The late 16th Century stone porch was taken down and re- erected at the east end of the modern front in 1887.Dorothy and Nicholas Wadham carved into the stone on the front of the ornate entrance to Wadham College, Oxford
In 1558 John Wadham held the Manor of Catherstone. He was Captain of Sandes Fort, near Weymouth and Recorder of Lyme Regis.He died in 1584 and is buried at Whitchurch Canonicorum.In the same year he was shown as paying 6d rent to Sir William Pole for a Burgage in the borough of Charmouth.His great grandchild sold his Catherstone Estate to Sir John Jeffery of Hampton, who was patron of the church in 1618. In 1645 John Jeffery , a captain in Charles1 army had his farm value £100 sequestered, and in 1647 the Manor of Catherstone was sold to Walter Yonge and Sir John Yonge. He in turn sold it in 1669 to Richard Henville, Esq of Looke, near Abbotsbury in Dorset. By 1783 it was sold again to William Drewe of New Inn, London. In 1824 it was sold by John Rose Drewe and William Tucker to James Ross, and was then sold in 1838 to Richard Charles Hildyard, QC and MP for Whitehaven who passed it on to his son Robert Henry Hildyard, Attaché to the British Embassy at Paris in France. The present Manor House was built in 1887 by Colonel Bullen, but incorporates remains of the older house in the middle of the south side. The late 16th Century stone porch was taken down and re-erected at the east end of the modern front. It is of two storage, Ashley-faced and gabled (see photo).
The Bullens originally owned the the Old Manor House on the Street opposite the Church. It was purchased by Simeon Bullen who died, in 1822. In 1852 John Bullen, his son, was owner and in his will of that date left the western end of his three houses to his great nephew John Bullen Symes, who added Bullen to his name and became known as Colonel Bullen. Colonel Bullen sold it on 22nd January 1889 to Miss M.A. Miller when all the windows were latticed., Unfortunately Miss Miller had these removed. Colonel Bullen left Charmouth and purchased Catherston Manor, where he lived until his death. The eastern portion was owned by Colonel Bullen`s uncle Captain Charles Bullen R.N. who died in 1884.
Catherston is famous for its Stud which was started in 1949 by the late Lt Colonel and Mrs Jack Bullen. With five farms making up the 1000 acre estate, two of which were farmed by Colonel Bullen, it left plenty of grazing near the house, as well as Stonebarrow (now owned by The National Trust) overlooking Lyme Regis Bay, for the stud grazing and, with two dairy herds and sheep, it was ideal for cross grazing. their daughter, Jennie Loriston-Clarke took over the running of Catherston in 1966 and has just recently retired.
The original manor house was sold and divided into units in the 1960s.
Adjoining Charmouth, on the east side of the river is a farm called Newlands, anciently part of this Manor, but sold by Sir William Pole in 1590 to William Wadham of Catherstone. In 1599 it was sold by George Wadham to John Jeffery. He in turn sold it to Anthony Ellesden in 1649 from whose grandson of the same name it passed to the Henvills, and in 1790 it was held by Mr. Coade of Lyme Regis. Stonebarrow Manor, near Newlands Caravan Site, is no doubt the Manor House to Newlands.
The Wadhams of Catherstone were cousins of another branch of the family based at Merrifield in Somerset with another estate in Branscombe, Devon who are famous today as founders of Wadham College in Oxford. There is a link with Charmouth as the Village had Sir William Petre as Lord of the Manor from 1564 until his death in 1572. It was his daughter, Dorothy who bought much of her fathers wealth into her marriage with Nicholas Wadham. His estates were worth three thousand pounds a year in the currency of the period, and out of this income he saved fourteen thousand pounds, which he determined to spend on charitable purposes, having no children, and his inherited property devolving on his nephews, Sir John Strangways and Sir William Wyndham , father of Wadham Wyndham .His plans for a College were at once taken up by his widow, Dorothy . She had enough money (£19,200 from her husband and an additional £7270 of her own) and were used in the building and endowing of the College which was opened in 1613.Dorothy Wadham died at Edge on 16 May 1618, and was buried with her husband in Ilminster church, where she is commemorated by a brass and monumental inscription. Her portrait, painted, like that of her husband, in 1595, hangs in the warden's lodgings at Wadham College. On the front of the College today can be seen statues of both Dorothy and Nicholas Wadham set high above the entrance.
Colonel Bullen walking with a crowd down the Street in Charmouth near the George, c.1910
Click on 1840 Tithe Map of Catherston Leweston to see full size version.
click here for1781 Land Tax List for Catherston
click here for 1798 Land Tax List for Catherston
Catherston Manor in 1841
Catherston Manor in 1888
Catherston Manor in 1901
Catherston Lewston, is a small parish containing 242a. 2r. 24p., chiefly situated on the decline of a hill to the north-east of Charmouth. village is hardly worthy of that name, as it is only a small group of buildings, coming the mansion-house, church, a dairy-house cottage, but there are a few cottages in the lower part of the parish which form a portion of village of Charmouth, from which place Catherston is distant only a short mile. : does not occur in Domesday Book, being perhaps included in some other parish. The family of the Paynes held this manor from the reign of Edward I. In 1316 Isabella le Payene was certified by the sheriff as holding Cardeston the hundred of Whitchurch. 18 Edw. II. John Payne held it of the heir of Ralph Gorges, by night's service. 20 Edw. III. John Payne held here half a knight's fee, which John Payne formerly held. Jane, daughter and heir of William Payne, brought it to her husband William, third son of Sir John Wadham of Merifield, Somerset. 1 Eliz. John Wadham held this manor. and that of Westport; John his son and heir 26 Eliz. John Wadham. held at his death manor and advowson of Catherston, and 100 acres of land in Whitchurch; the manor of Westport, clear yearly value 100s.; a messuage in Woton Fitzpain of Edmund  of his manor of Wotton Eitzpain. His great-grandchild alienated it to Sir John Jefferey of Hampton, whose posterity enjoyed it in the reign James I. and were patrons here about 1618. 1645, John Jeffery, esq. a captain in the King's army, had his farm here, value, 1641, 100l per annum, sequestered. Feb. 12, 23 Car. I. 1647, the manor and farm of Catherston were conveyed by John Jeffery, esq. to Walter Yonge, esq. and Sir John Yonge, and the latter conveyed it, 16th Feb. 1669, to Richard Henville, esq. of Looke. Eeb. 1st, 1783, it was conveyed by Henville to William Drewe, esq. of New Inn, London; and Feb. 3rd, 1824, by John Rose Drewe and William Tucker (devisees under the will of William Drewe), to James Ross, esq. who bequeathed it by will to his nephew James Augustus Ross; and on the 27th Nov. 1848, the latter conveyed it to Robert Charles Hildyard, esq. Q.C. and M.P. for Whitehaven, since deceased, under whose will it passed to his son Robert Henry Hildyard, esq. attache to the British Embassy at Paris, and the present owner (1864). Abstract from Hutchins History of Dorset
In 1669 Richard Henvill of Lower Looke purchased of Sir Walter Yonge, BART, and others, the Manor of Catherston,co. dorset, with the advowson of the chapel of St. Mary, in Catherston, which he left to his descendants. The purchase money was £2600.
 Benedicta, dying without issue left her estate of Charmouth to her cousin Richard Henville of St. Kitts, esq, merchant, and her manor and estate of Catherston, with the adowson of Charmouth to her cousin, Robert Henville, esq, of St. Vincent, barrister at law, from whose descendants both estates were purchased by Robert Drew, esq. of Wootton.
A rate on the Tything of Catherston to repair bridges in Dorset in the year 1729
An abstract from the Will of Richard Henvill Will of 1692. He was father of Richard who married Mary Ellesdon, daughter of William Ellesdon.
I give unto my said son, Richard, all my stock of cattle on the farm at Catherston Lewson now in the possession of him together with all such goods, household stuff as I have in his house at Catherston Lesson aforesaid. I give to my said son Richard, one bond of the penalty of £500 whereby Anthony Ellesdon of Charmouth in the said County of Dorset Esq, by the name of Anthony Ellesdon of the Inner Temple, Esq, and Charles Ellesdon his brother stands bound jointly and separately to me for the payment to my executors the sum of £200. The said bond dated 1688 was given to me for securing part of my said son, Richards wives portion.
An Abstract from the Will of Charles Henvill dated 1761 in which he gives his niece, Benedicta Durston his large Estate including Catherston Manor and its surrounding fields. Charles Henvile Will.
I Charles Henvill of Yandover, Esq. my sister Margaret Henvill, deceased. Her will dated 1739 left her estate to me. If there is no issue between the children of her brothers, Richard and Robert. She wanted to give £100 to Phillip Henvil and Elizabeth, his sisters son and daughter of her cousin Philips Henvill of Look and £100 to her cousins Philip and Mary Henvill son and daughter of her cousin William Henvill of Heyden, and. £50 to Robert Henvill of Look, yeoman. Give and bequeathe unto William Henvill of Haydon, within Parish of Lidinor in Dorset.
All that my capital messuage, Barton and Farm of Great Catherston with the parsonage advowson unto my beloved friends the said William and Philip Henvill and Daniel Case and their heirs for the benefit of my beloved wife during her life and the interest on £1060 made on our marriage. Thereupon on trust to my niece Benedicta Henvill, daughter of my late deceased brother, Richard Henvill. 
I give and bequeathe to William, Philip Henvill and Daniel Case, all my lands and messuages in Winterbourne, Stapleton, Winterbourne Abbas, Litton Cheyney and Symondsbury. To my niece.
The said Close was purchased by the said Barbara Clapcott of the said Ezakiad Smith. In the tenure of Barabara Jackson, Widow, whose maiden name was Barbara Clapcott afterwards of Thomas Ellesdon, suits of Anthony Ellesdon, but now of the said Charles Henvill. After his wife’s decease to her nephew and niece William Hodder and Elizabeth Hodder, Son and daughter of her brother, Henry Hodder. Elizabeth Hodder, Widow.
I Elizabeth Hodder of the parish of Catherston, Widow, I will that my body may be buried in the Parish Church at. Charmouth, near my late husband. I give my godson, William Hodder of Netherbury £100 and my silver tankard marked with Mr. Ellesdons Arms. I give to my niece, Elizabeth Hodder, daughter of the said Henry Hodder, all my silver table spoon and tea spoons. I like wise give her all my wearing apparel she distributing some of the most indifferent of it between my two servants. I give to my niece Susannah Hodder, daughter of John Hodder of Litton Cheney if she survives her mother 20 Guineas. I give to Mr. William Henvill of Hayden, 1 Guineas to buy him a ring. I give to William Combe of Charmouth , Clerk, half a dozen Coffee Cups and 1 guinea to buy him a ring. I give to Lucy Brown 5 Guineas. I likewise give her daughter, Mary Hood 5 Guineas. All the rest of my residue of my goods , chattels and money I give to be equally divided between John and Elizabeth Hodder, Children of the said Henry Hodder whom I appoint joint Executors of this my last Will 1769
1781 Land Tax for Catherston
1783 land tax has Robert Elmes Henvil Esq renting his estate, Great Catherston to Samuel Paul. Francis Phipps Henvill. Esq is renting Newlands also to Samuel paul.
The following year in 1784 Robert Elmes Henvill has sold his Catherston estate to William Drewe.
1788 Land Tax for Catherston with William Drew as major landowner.
By 1789 Francis Phipps Henvill had sold his Catherston estate including Newlands to Mr. Coade. In the same year Charmouth manor was sold by him to James Warden.
Catherston Land Tax for 1811 showing William Drewe as the major Land Owner and Richard Knight second.

John wadham of Catherston
Mar. 1553
Apr. 1554
Family and Education
b. by 1520, s. of John Wadham of Catherston Leweston by 1st w. Mary, da. of John Farringdon of Devon. educ. I. Temple, adm. May 1533. m. by 1545, Margaret, da. of Nicholas Willoughby of Turners Puddle, Dorset, 4s. 3da. suc. fa. 10 May 1558.2

Offices Held
Capt. Sandsfoot castle, Dorset 9 Aug. 1550; recorder, Lyme Regis, Dorset 1558-d.3

John Wadham received a legal education but he is to be distinguished from an older namesake (perhaps his cousin of Merrifield, Somerset) who studied civil law at Oxford; he does not appear to have practised as a lawyer although he was to succeed his father in the recordership of Lyme Regis. Presumably he gained some military experience during the 1540s before being appointed to one of the royal forts protecting Portland harbour, a command which made him a figure of authority in the neighbouring ports of Melcombe Regis and Weymouth. On his election for Melcombe in the spring of 1553 he discharged the borough of any payment for his parliamentary service and he probably did the same at Weymouth in the following year. Whether or no by his own choice, he was not to sit again for either borough although he kept his command until his death. After he inherited the family estates his interests in the neighbourhood of Bridport and Lyme absorbed most of his attention.4

In his will, dated 12 Jan. 1584, he composed the following inscription for his tombstone: Here lieth John Wadham of Catherston, esquire, who was during his life time captain of the Queen’s majesty’s castle of Sandsfoot besides Weymouth in this county of Dorset and also recorder of Lyme Regis, whose soul God rest to his good will and pleasure Amen.With the addition of the date of his death, 14 Mar. 1584, this was engraved on a brass plate in the church of Whitechurch Canonicorum. Wadham left 20s. each to the master gunner at Sandsfoot and all the garrison, 20s. to Richard Carpenter, town clerk of Lyme Regis, and £20 each to his younger sons. He left his eldest son and executor George Wadham burgages in Bridport, Charmouth, Dorchester, Lyme and Wareham, and named as overseers his ‘cousins’, Thomas Hannam†, Thomas Molyns the elder, William Pole, Nicholas Wadham and his servant William Crocker.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

History of Catherston Leweston Manor
At the time of the Norman Conquest, Catherston Leweston was known as Cerneli, and was owned by Lord Aldbert (also referred to as Aelbert or Ealdbeorht).  By the time of the compilation of the Domesday Book in 1086 the landowner was William de Lestre.  The current name is thought to have come from derivations of two local families:  de Leweston, (sometimes referred to as Leuston, or Lesterton, so presumably a corruption of de Lestre) and de Chartrey (sometimes corrupted to Chartreston, Cartreston, Carterestone and Catherston).
In the mid-13th century, during the reign of Henry III, Richard Payn, and his wife Avicia, of Chartersestun bought rights to manorial land from William, son of Walter de Leweston.  Presumably it was from this point that the village and its manor was known as Catherston Leweston.
The Payn/Payne/de la Peine family held the manor until 1455 when Jane Payne, heiress, married William Wadham of Merifield in Somerset.                               
The Wadham’s were an influential family; many were members of parliament or barristers.  John Wadham, was Captain of Sandsfoot Castle, near Weymouth, in 1550, and is buried in the church of St Candida in Whitchurch Canonicorum.  The Catherston Leweston Wadhams were distant relatives of Nicholas and Dorothy Wadham, who founded Wadham College, Oxford in 1610.
Parts of the house the Wadhams built in the 16th century form part of current manor house, including the tower porch to the east of the building.
The Wadham family conveyed the estate to the Jeffrey family. Sir John Jeffery has an impressive tomb in the church in Whitchurch Canonicorum (1611).  A later Sir John was a Captain in King Charles 1’s army in 1641.
It is believed that the Henville family, who owned the manor from 1669 until 1783, altered the house, adding an impressive panelled staircase in the early 18th century.
In 1848 it was bought by Robert Charles Hildyard QC, MP for Whitehaven.   Robert Charles had the church of St Mary’s in Catherston Leweston rebuilt in 1858 but died just before it was completed.
His only son Robert Henry Hildyard inherited the Manor in 1858 at the age of 22 and joined the Diplomatic Service the following year.  He served on a number of postings, St Petersburg, Athens, Paris and Buenos Aires amongst others.  He became a close friend of Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, a young fellow diplomat.  Blunt later became well known in Victorian society: he was an explorer, poet and political polemist, and he often caused scandals due to his reputation with society ladies. He admitted in his biographies, held at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, that he liked Hildyard for his various amorous adventures – a passion they both had in common!  Sadly Hildyard died suddenly in 1876 at West Hay farm on Stonebarrow at the young age of 40.Col John Bullen Symes Bullen bought the Catherston Leweston estate in 1887.  JBSB undertook a major renovation, adding a front façade of three gables, oriel and leaded windows, and porches to the south and west.  The house is in the style of early 16th century ‘prodigy houses’ of Dorset and Somerset.  The Bullens, a keen equestrian family, also developed the famous Catherston stud.The Bullen family sold the estate in 1959.  The manor house itself was then redeveloped into seven freehold houses, each with its own distinct character.


Abbey gate Street three tuns old bath maps East Gate 1 Abbey Green