Dorset OPC

Ryme Intrinseca

Dorset OPC

Ryme Intrinseca Church
© Kim Parker/Dorset OPC 2011

Ryme Intrinseca is a village and parish in North West Dorset near the border with Somerset, one mile West of Yetminster and five miles South-West of Sherborne. Formerly it was a separate liberty, consisting of only the parish itself. In 1298 Edward I granted a weekly market and an annual fair on the vigil, feast and morrow of St Hippolytus’s Day (August 13th) to Humphrey de Beauchamp, Lord of the Manor at that time. Later the Manor became the property of the Duchy of Cornwall, which possibly explains the presence of the Prince of Wales' feathers high up on the end wall of Ryme Intrinseca’s old Post House, an inn where riders refreshed or exchanged their horses.

The name is perhaps the most poetic of all Dorset’s place-names, and indeed is featured in a poem by Sir John Betjeman, but its meaning is rather prosaic. ‘Ryme’ is from the Old English ‘Rima’ meaning an edge or a border, thought to be a reference to the geographical situation of the parish on the slope of a ridge. The Latin addition of ‘Intrinseca’, meaning ‘lying within the bounds’ distinguished this Manor from the former Manor of Ryme Extrinseca in Long Bredy and Langton Herring. Until 1102 Ryme Intrinseca lay within the boundary of Somerset. With the reassignment of Ryme Intrinseca to Dorset, the sense behind the differentiation between ‘Intrinseca’ and ‘Extrinseca’ may have been lost.

The dedication of the Church to St Hippolytus is unusual – there is only one other church in England dedicated to him, in the village of Ippolyt near Hitchin in Hertfordshire. Given the royal grant of a fair on the feast day of St Hippolytus, the dedication was probably chosen by the Beauchamp family who were Lords of the Manor here in the 13th century. Hippolytus was the jailer of St Lawrence. So impressed was he by Lawrence’s example that he converted to Christianity and rose through the ranks of the Church to become the Bishop of Ostia near Rome. He criticised Pope St Callistus I and was elected anti-pope, becoming the most important ecclesiastical author of his time. He was martyred in 236 AD.

At a time when most Manor chapels were built of wood, the Beauchamps built St Hippolytus’s of Ham stone from their quarries in Stoke-sub-Hamdon (Somerset). The nave and chancel were built in the 13th centuries, and some of the lancet windows date from that time too. There was a significant renovation of the church in the 17th century, which included the construction of a handsome embattled tower and the installation of a trefoil window in the nave wall specifically to light the pulpit. The earliest memorial is to John Elford, vicar of both Ryme Intrinseca and Rampisham, who died in 1664. There are also several memorials to members of the Blennerhassett family. John Blennerhassett was the incumbent here for sixty years until his death in 1897 and he and his family did much good work for the parish, including founding the village school.

Post House, Ryme Intrinseca
© Kim Parker/Dorset OPC 2011

The post of Online Parish Clerk (OPC) is currently vacant
If you would like to volunteer for the role, please contact the OPC Project Co-ordinator
Contributions of additional resource materials for the site are always welcome

Census 1831 Census (head of household only) [Caryl Parsons]
1841 Census [Mari Viertal]
1851 Census [John Ridout]
Parish Registers Baptisms 1813-1880 [Terry Pine]
Marriages 1631-1836 [Tony Higgins]
Burials 1813-1880 [Terry Pine]
Trade & Postal Directories  
Other Records 1641 Protestation Return for the parish [Tony Higgins]
School Log Book 1875-1890 for the parish [Caryl Parsons]
Monumental Inscriptions  
Records held at the Dorset History Centre
Christenings 1631-1992. Marriages 1631-1990. Burials 1630-1992

Cottage, Ryme Intrinseca
© Kim Parker/Dorset OPC 2011

Lych Gate, Ryme Intrinseca Church
© Kim Parker/Dorset OPC 2011


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