Ken Ayres captures a beautiful Purbeck village
Published in January ’11
The Scott Arms, with its majestic autumn coat of Virginia creeper, is named for Kingston’s pre-eminent citizens, the Scotts. John Scott, the first Earl of Eldon, was the longest-ever serving Lord Chancellor, holding the role for twenty-six years.
This now-residential building used to be the village schoolhouse in Victorian times in Kingston
Seen from afar, the 1880 Church of St James, known as the cathedral of Purbeck, clearly dominates the village. It was built by the third Earl of Eldon.
The impressive village pump dates from the early 1800s. Kingston itself is 400 feet above sea level, so the source of the well-water from which it drew must be artesian.
As well as picture-perfect cottages, Kingston has a number of lovely gardens complementing the neatness of the village with their cottage foliage and flowers
The village is mainly composed of Purbeck stone-built Victorian cottages, but there is a wonderful array of architecture from the plain to the near frivolous. These estate cottages have ornate diamond (as apposed to square) profile chimneys.
The font inside the church is made from a combination of Purbeck stone and Purbeck marble, as are the columns that support the church itself
The Church of St James was designed by Gilbert Street (who designed the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand) and built entirely from local materials, aside from the oak, which came from Lord Eldon’s Gloucestershire estate
The original church of Kingston, wherein can be found memorials to John Scott and his lifelong love Bessie, seems tiny when compared with the villlage’s cottages, let alone the enormous 1880 church
The Kingston end of the Encombe estate houses a memorial obelisk to Lord Stowell (William Scott), a High Court judge and the elder brother of John.
Stone is a dominant theme in Kingston. These cottages, like most in the village, having massive stone roof tiles, which stand in stark contrast to the more modern, and seemingly frail, modern brick chimney.