Hooke is another of those Dorset villages in two parts. The northern part of the village is clustered around a large pond with Hooke Court, a 17th century manor house, on the hill above. About a quarter of a mile to the south is the remainder of the village and its church around a small crossroads.

Village Cottage at Hooke, Dorset

The church of St. Giles is unusual in that it reverses the common pattern in the development of Dorset churches. It has an 19th century tower with the rest of the church late medieval. The tower was designed by the Weymouth architect Crickmay in 1874, (More famous as the employer of Thomas Hardy), at which time the chancel arch was also rebuilt. Most of the windows are 15th century, apart from the early 16th century south chapel, with a fine arch, intrically and formally decorated.

The church also contains a 15th century font and a niche from the same period containing a stone carving of St. Giles made in 1878 by Benjamin Grassby the Dorchester carver.

This small village has an ancient history as witnessed by the following deeds from the collection held by the Harvard Law School Deeds Project. They refer to the transfer of one or more pieces of land in the village during the 12th century. Could the Hantesforde/Hantisforde mentioned be an ancestor of the Hansfords who still live in the area today?

ca. 1290. a Quitclaim by John le Gale to Robert de Stockeye of all his right and claim in a 1/2 furlong of land in Westhoke (Dorset). Witnessed by Roger Cole, Richard de Hamptenesford, Henry de Wynescote, Walter de Lollardesdon, Richard le Wyte, Roger Baudewyn and John le Yreys.

June 26, 1325 a Grant by Gilbert de Westhok, son and heir of Arnulph de Westhok, to John de Barkedene, jr., of a messuage and all his land of Westhok (Dorset) with the rents and services of Roger le Hore. Given at Westhok on Wednesday after the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. Witnessed by John de la Bury, William de Hantesforde, William de Rasselegh, William atte Brygge, Henry de Halsbury, Robert Dobbe and Richard de Cadebury.

December 8, 1328 a Quitclaim by Sonota, widow of Roger le Hore, in her liege widowhood to John de Barkedon of all her right and claim in 1 messuage with a furlong of land in Hoke (Dorset), which the said John de Barkedon had of the gift and feoffment of William, son of Roger le Hore, and in all the other land in Hoke which the said John holds and which formerly belonged to Roger le Hore, her husband. Given at Hoke, Thursday after the feast of St. Nicholas. Witnessed by William de la Brigge, William de Hantisforde, Hammund Elis, Henry de Halsbury and John de Southdon.

January 8, 1329 a Grant by William, son of Sonota de Hoke, to John de Berkedene of a 1/2 furlong of land and 1 acre of meadow in Westhoke (Dorset), and all his land of Syghenepytte (Dorset) which he had of the gift and feoffment of Roger le Hore of Westhoke. Given at Westhoke, Sunday next after the feast of Epiphany. Witnessed by William de Hantesforde, William de la Brygge, Henry de Hallysburye, Richard de la Heghtun and John de Southedon.

August 21, 1369 an agreement Whereas William de Berkadon has granted an annual rent of 60s. to be levied on all his lands in Hoke (Dorset) to Niel Loryng, the said Neil grants for himself and his heirs that if William, his heirs, and executors pay at Landekeye (Devon) at Michaelmas next six marks sterling to Neil's executors, then the writing of the said annual rent shall be void; otherwise it shall remain in force. Given at Landekeye on Wednesday, the feast of the Assumption. Witnessed by John de Dikelane, Robert Foukes and Robert de Loccombe.

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