Buckland Newton

Buckland Newton

The Holy Rood

 

The church rests on the edge of the village near an early C19 manor house.  The building is unique in Dorset because it is the only church to be completely rendered externally.

The nave is essentially C15 and very light and airy, but the chancel, originally C13, was 'improved' several times by the Victorians and the final result is gloomy, despite triple lancet windows and some marble shafting.  The reredos in the sanctuary is brilliantly coloured and by a Mr. Tolhurst of Mowbrays 1927.  Two squints and an aperture high up on the left side, which once led to a rood screen, makes the chancel arch particularly interesting.  There is a C15 font and an intriguing Elizabethan alms box, heavily carved from a single piece of oak.

Very early in the C21 a bequest was received, which funded the building of a superb gallery against the west wall and the installation of a superb new organ.

Above the splendid south porch, with its vaulted ceiling, is a priest's room where once, before the days of vicarages, visiting monks would have been expected to spend the night.  Note, above the door, the small Norman seated Christ.

This is a most interesting church that generously repays a visit.

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Buckland Ripers

Buckland Ripers

St. Nicholas

The tiny church and hamlet are fitted into a fold in the downland.  This is delightfully rural Dorset.  The origins of the church are ancient with the first recorded patron, Peter de Mallory, in 1310. However, owing to a fire in 17c it had to be largely rebuilt in 1655.

As usual, the Victorians were busy, providing  a new roof, pews and a new window in the medieval chancel.  Note, the handsome lectern.

 

 

 

 

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Burstock

Burstock

St. Andrew

This charming church in a peaceful and very rural setting is, for once, a happy marriage of a C15 tower with a Victorian remainder.  The successful rebuild of 1877 is by P H Peters and is the only recorded example of his work in the county.  

Note, there is no pulpit although there is a generous reading desk.  The tub font with rope moulding is Norman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Burton Bradstock

Burton Bradstock

St. Mary

This is an impressive church standing on the edge of the village it serves.  At first sight, the building appears to be in every respect conventional, but with a lean-to extension attached to the south side.  Yet it really seems to work rather well and the overall effect is pleasing.  

The church is mainly C14 and early C15, but in 1897 E.S.Prior (famous for his work at Bothenhampton) designed a new south aisle and arcade.  The central tower is impressive and there is a delightful chapel in the north transept.  There are some lovely wagon roofs in the nave and transepts and the unique sea-green panelling was installed and painted at the same time as the south aisle was built.  The pulpit is from the 1930s and the splendid seagull lectern from 1969.  The organ by Bate and Sons was installed in 1938.

 

 

 

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Canford Cliffs

Church imageCanford Cliffs

Church of the Transfiguration

The Church of the Transfiguration is one of the youngest ecclesiastical buildings in the county, having been built during 1962-5 to a design by Lionel Gregory, who was also responsible for an interesting industrial unit in the nearby Nuffield Industrial estate.

When Sir Nikolaus Pevsner visited the church, which cannot have been long after it was built, he observed that it was .."the exact ecclesiastical equivalent of Dunromin and Thistledo!" It is certainly true that the walls are clad in crazy-paved walling and the dormers are saw-toothed, but this was a little unfair.

 

 

 

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Canford Magna

Canford Magna

No known dedication

In the past, there have been some who have suggested that this church is not very beautiful, but 'beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder' and this commentator finds much of it most attractive. More importantly, it is hugely interesting, steeped in history and obviously very much loved by its congregation. The setting, despite its proximity to the famous school of the same name, is both peaceful and charming. 

This is the oldest building in the Borough of Poole, with a foundation reaching back to the late Saxon period, probably around 1050. That structure now forms the chancel. A nave was grafted on to it by the Normans, who also added the slightly oddly placed northern tower of 1180. It may have been erected to buttress the church from falling down. There are still some little Norman windows, although the lighting must have been considerably improved in C14 by the addition of further windows. The chancel arch, south chapel and aisle are also Norman. High in the north wall of the south aisle there are the remains of an excellent example of a Rood loft access stairway. 


 

In 1829 the nave was extended westward and it was into this extension that a gallery to carry a magnificent organ was installed in 1976. In 1846, Canford Manor was bought by Sir John Guest of Guest Keen and Nettlefold (G.K.N.), who during a period of frantic railway building, had made a fortune from creating most of the world's railway lines. In 1876 his son ,Ivor, retained the architect, David Brandon, to restore the church. He furnished the chancel with individually sized stalls for the benefit of the various members of his family. The chancel's east window depicts the four gospel evangelists and was erected in memory of Sir John Guest. On either side there is an exquisite, if somewhat glum, mosaic angel by Salviati, which were probably installed during the 1876-8 restoration.

There are some very good monuments to the Guest and Willett families, mainly C19 and 20. Of particular interest is the one that records the unfortunate and apparently untimely death of Montague (Monty) Guest at Sandringham, while he was attending the King's birthday party. The octagonal Purbeck marble font is Early English C13. 

The lack of a known dedication is worthy of comment in that it may actually have been St. Augustine because the 'east' end is not orientated directly to the east, but in the direction of the sun rising on St. Augustine's day.

Outside, near the south porch is a Scottish granite tomb dedicated to Sir Henry Austen Layard, who brought a frieze from Nineveh to Canford during C19. This frieze was subsequently sold by the school for £7.7 million.

This is an exceptional church, which is a real delight to visit.

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Catherston Leweston

Blandford

Catherston Leweston

St. Mary

There has been a church on this site since 1337.  However, the present chapel-style building dates from 1857 when it was completely rebuilt to a design by J L Pearson of London.

This is an estate church and closely related to the large Tudor-style mansion nearby.  Church and house share the same drive and the slightly inappropriate huge gateway.  The church bell came from Sevastopol.  

This is also a church for those who particularly appreciate fine workmanship in wood.  It is one of only two built by the Victorians in Dorset that employed oak both for the roof and pews, whereas the normal was pine. (The other is Frampton.)  The beautifully carved roof is supported on carved stone angel capitals.  There is an impressive stone pulpit, an interesting organ and some important stained glass.  Note, the sad lament by a mother for her son on a grave under the east window outside.

This is a gem of a little church in a charming setting.

 

 

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Cattistock

Abbotsbury

 

CATTISTOCK

St Peter and St Paul

 

The village of Cattistock is an ancient place with a history reputedly reaching back to before the reign of the King Athelstan (924-39), who was the first recorded king of England and who gave the settlement to Milton Abbey.  Now it is a peaceful and quintessentially English village, which still supports a shop, a pub, a very famous pack of foxhounds and some delightfully rural architecture clustered around the triangular centre.  However,  dominating this and the scene for miles around stands George Gilbert Scott jnr's supremely elegant church tower.

 

 

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney © 


 

The monks of Milton Abbey built a church here in C12, although nothing is now left of that structure.  The present building is essentially Victorian, although the north transept was rebuilt in 1630 by the Rev. John Mayo, with the exception of the Arts & Crafts glazing in the east window, depicting St Dorothy, which is from 1923.  The church is unique in the annals of Dorset ecclesiastical design, because it is the result of a very talented son adding to his father's work.  The nave, south aisle and chancel were entirely rebuilt in 1857 by the eminent London architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811-78).  He was a High Churchman, closely associated with the Tractarian Movement and Gothic Revival and being entirely unconstrained by any notions of humility, he wrote in his autobiography that he considered himself to be a great architect and guided by Providence in all his work!  Certainly, he was professionally very successful and responsible for more than 1000 projects, which included, apart from countless churches, the Albert Memorial, St Pancreas station, 39 cathedrals and many workhouses.  In Dorset apart from Cattistock, he restored Milton Abbey (1865) for the Hambros and designed Holy Trinity, Bimport, Shaftesbury (1841) and Woolland church (dedication unknown)(1857).


 

When Scott snr. arrived there was a gallery that extended for a third of the length of the nave and is said by the excellent church guide to have given the area a "forlorn appearance", so he removed it and installed a new west window, known as the Jesse window.  The Rev. Henry Hughes paid for all Scott's work probably through the sale of land in Wiltshire for railways.  The south aisle is also by Scott snr. and contains some very important stained glass windows. One window, erected in 1882 in memory of Mrs Digby, is by William Morris and Sir Edward Burne Jones and another is by Hardiman.  The south transept Lady chapel is lined with C17 wood paneling and was endowed by the Strodes of Chantmarle.

The baptistry is perhaps the most memorable area inside this marvelous church.  It is dominated by the truly magnificent 20 ft high font cover, designed by Scott junior's assistant and successor, Temple Moore, and installed in 1901-6.  The walls are lavishly decorated with a 1901 mural of St George and the Dragon  by W O & C Powell.

The organ of 1869 is by F W Walker of London.  The octagonal pulpit, adorned by figures of the Apostles in Caen stone, is constructed from Ham Hill stone supported on four columns of Serpentine marble.  The oak lectern of 1922 features a Pelican pecking her breast.

Outside, the building is dominated by Scott junior's superb tower of 1872, which was paid for by the Rev Keith Henry Barnes who was the rector. It was his first major church brief and the structure rises to 100 ft. It was designed to accommodate a baptistry in the base with a ringing chamber above, a clock chamber above that and a carillon chamber at the top.  It proved to be stunningly expensive. From an original estimate of £2,700, it rose in cost to £6,046 when it was completed in 1876.  The clock was certainly designed to be seen from a great distance because it had a face which was almost the entire width of the tower and has been described as being not much smaller than Big Ben!  However, the great attraction was the 35 bell carillon, which was regularly played to the great delight of people who came from far and wide, even before the advent of the motor car.  Quite tragically, since it was not started by enemy action, the tower was consumed by a fire in 1940.  The bells melted and the whole structure had to be pulled down.  It was rebuilt in 1950 using Scott junior's original design by the Arts and Craft architect J.S. Brockerley, although, sadly, there was not enough insurance money to replace the carillon.

This is one of the finest examples of a C19 church in Dorset and handsomely repays a visit.

 

 

Caundle Marsh

Caundle Marsh

St. Peter and St. Paul

This simple chapel style church, enhanced by a central bellcote, was built in 1857 to a design by R. H. Shout of Yeovil.  The wooden porch is particularly worthy of note.  There is a grave and monument to General Fox-Pitt, who was a co-founder of the Welsh Guards and lived nearby at Marsh Court.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Cerne Abbas

Cerne Abbas

St. Mary the Virgin

Cerne Abbas was once one of the most important towns in Dorset.  It owes its origins to the presence of the great abbey founded there in 987 by Ethelmar, Earl of Devon and Cornwall, but during the C19 the railways went elsewhere with the inevitable result that it withered commercially.

Nevertheless, the town is a most appealing place set in its own beautiful fold in the chalk hills and blessed with some exquisite half-timbered buildings, which nowadays attract tourists from all over the world.  All that remains of the great abbey, which was dissolved in 1539, is a gate house with a most impressive oriel window.  Slightly outside the settlement is the famous Cerne Giant cut into the chalk on the side of a hill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©


 

The church of St. Mary is almost entirely C15 and at first glance, the eye is naturally drawn to the elegant, if slightly dominating, tower. But take a longer look and the overall effect is breath-taking. Soon other features reach out to you, for example, the Madonna and child above the west door that miraculously escaped desecration by Cromwell's men and the generous battlement decoration of the porch. 

Inside, the building is flooded with light. Tall slender ham stone pillars reach up on both sides of the nave to support elegant arches that in turn support a clerestory above. Apart from the generous impression of space, perhaps the most interesting artefact is the stone screen that divides the nave from the chancel. Before 1870 a wall literally excluded the congregation from sight of the chancel. After that date the wall was reduced to form a base for the screen and the chancel arch, as seen today. The pulpit of 1640 is an excellent example of Jacobean craftmanship. The C15 font has a richly painted modern cover (1963) designed by Kenneth Wiltshire. 

 

 

 

 

 

Chalbury

Chalbury

All Saints

All Saints is one of the most delightful little churches in Dorset and benefits from an elevated position where the views can be really magnificent.  It is a small whitewashed building under a tiled roof with the chancel and part of the nave reaching back to C13.  The rest is C18 and the curved tops to the south windows are typical.  There is a bellcote.

Inside is an entirely unspoiled C18 interior complete with box pews, a three-decker pulpit and musicians' gallery, which now houses the organ.  In the chancel there is a long bench on the south side, where once, the servants from the rectory would have sat and opposite, but raised up, is another, once  reserved for the Earl of Pembroke should he be minded to visit from Wilton.  The boxes in the nave were traditionally used by individual farms in the parish. The font is a good C18 example.

In 1974, the altar rails were presented by the Dorset Historic Churches Trust as a tribute to Sir Owen Morshead, the first Chairman of the Trust.

This is a really splendid little building, which deserves to be on any list of churches to visit while in Dorset.

 

 The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Chaldon Herring

Abbotsbury

 

CHALDON HERRING 

St Nicholas

 

This is an interesting and attractive church in a delightful little village.  The unusual name is probably derived from the old English 'Calvedon', which means "the hill where calves are pastured" and the C12 manorial family 'Harang' whose family crest includes herrings.  This family also gave their name to Herrison, Langton Herring and Winterborne Herringston.

Originally, there was also a church at Chaldon Boys, but its closeness persuaded the Bishop to amalgamate the two parishes under one Curate in 1446.  The exact C12 origins of the present building appear to be obscure, however it is certain that the north wall and tower belong to the C14, although the tower was not completed until the C15.  As usual, the Victorians could not resist a major rebuild and G.R.Crickmay of Weymouth was retained to design and oversee the work in 1878.  It is to his great credit that the alterations were done with such sensitivity that it was possible to incorporate the genuine medieval windows and arches in the final structure.

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©


 

The church has two fonts.  The plain cylindrical C12 font was turned up by the plough in a field in West Chaldon, near the site of a now lost church or chapel at Chaldon Boys (bois probably) and replaced in the church in 1897.  There is evidence of a hinge mounting that would have supported a lockable cover to deter the unauthorised use of Holy Water for sacrilegious purposes. The second font, although rather splendid, is clearly Victorian and presumably installed around the time of the restoration.  There are several examples in the county of ancient fonts being thrown-out by the Victorians, who felt their design was inappropriate (see Kimmeridge and Beaminster).

Note the attractive organ with pipes to the ground.  Also the wooden pulpit with a curved stone stairway to it and a truly magnificent central heating radiator.

 

 

 

Charlton Marshall

Carlton Marshall

St. Mary the Virgin

This is an exceptionally attractive church, although its setting so close to the main A350 road cannot possibly have been envisaged when it was built.  All that remains of the original medieval church is the tower.  The rest was rebuilt in 1713 entirely at the expense of Dr. Sloper, who was the rector.  At the time the living was one of the wealthiest in England.


 

The design was almost certainly by Thomas Bastard, whose sons William and John, were to be largely responsible for the rebuilding of nearby Blandford Forum after the disastrous fire of 1731.  The walls are of chequered flint and stone.  Pevsner says that the north aisle arcade "has the medieval elements superficially georgianised".  Nevertheless, the interior is exceptionally pleasing. The rather dominating pulpit decorated with very fine marquetry and a magnificent tester with golden pelican above is of particular interest.  The reredos, which entirely fills the east wall, has the Lord's Prayer written in gold lettering on the middle section and the Ten Commandments on either side.  There are some good monuments. The font with a superb wooden cover, which can be raised by means of a pulley and a golden cherubic counter weight, is of particular interest.  Note, it is very similar to the font in Blandford parish church. The pews are not of 1713 because the original box pews had to be removed when the burial vaults below the church began to give off a bad smell.  However, the current seating and some of the wall paneling was made from the old pews when remedial work was done to the vaults.  The choir stalls and lectern are relatively new.

Outside, note the village stocks to the left of the porch and, above, the double-faced sundial to catch the morning and afternoon sun.

This is a delightful church, which generously rewards the visitor.

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Charminster

Abbotsbury

 

Charminster

Charminster takes its name from a combination of Celtic words. 'Cerne' and 'Char' have the same meaning, so Charminster simply means a church by the River Cerne. For a village church this must surely rate amongst the superlatives. It is magnificent and has origins in the 12th century, but all that remains today is the impressive nave with early pointed arches to the arcades and the round-headed chancel arch with nail-head decoration on the west side. The original chancel was demolished in C17 when the arch was partially blocked with an east window set in it. The present smaller structure was probably built in 1838 and is very restrained, being serenely simple and peaceful. By the late C19 the church was in a poor state and C.E. Ponting of Marlborough, who was the diocesan architect, was briefed to carry out a major restoration. This proved to be an inspired choice because he approached the work with great sensitivity. He would have liked a new, larger chancel to follow the footings of the original, but in the end it was left as it now is.

 

 

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©


 

 

Above, are beautifully executed roof timbers and there are the remains of some C15 wall paintings.  These were discovered in 1890s and restored in 1969.   The pulpit is dated 1635. There is a sumptuous memorial to Grace Pole, a Trenchard daughter, who died in 1638, which was restored in 1970.  The organ, housed in the north aisle, was originally built in 1906 by Norman and Beard of Norwich for a convent in Kilburn. It was bought by the PCC in 1957 and completely rebuilt by W.G Voles of Bristol with a remote console controlling an electro-pneumatic action.

The western tower was erected early in the 16th century by Thomas Trenchard, a local landowner who lived at nearby Wolfeton House and entertained the Spanish royal family when they landed at Melcombe Regis in 1506.  It is perpendicular in style and very striking. The font under the tower is probably C12, but re-cut and shaped C15.

This is one of the most important and beautiful churches in Dorset, which is well worth a visit. There is an excellent and informative church guide.

 

Charmouth

Charmouth

St. Andrew

Erected in 1836 to a design by Charles Fowler (this was his only church in Dorset) it replaced an earlier building of 1290.  This is a very tall Commissioners' type church, featuring a gallery with a rather splendid organ across the western end of the nave.  The area below the gallery has been sensitively enclosed to form a church room.  The 1885 open pulpit, constructed of stone and marble, with tester of 1961 above, is interesting.  The reredos with a painted Lamb is also of great interest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Cheselbourne

Cheselbourne

St. Martin

The origins of this very attractive church, with a proud upstanding tower and constructed largely from flint, are shrouded in mystery, although the guide suggests there has been worship taking place on the site for about a thousand years.  However,  the oldest elements of the present building are the superb C13 pillars with moulded Purbeck marble capitals and arches found in the south arcade.  The chancel is C14 and the north arcade is late C15.  The Victorians could not resist a restoration in 1874, but it was restrained and the medieval atmosphere of the building was mercifully allowed to survive.

There is a good, largely unembellished, Jacobean pulpit.  A strange stairway  leads very steeply to the bell chamber and is well worth a look.  Other items of interest include two hagioscopes (or squints), a piscina, a stoup and an ancient font reputedly from the original church.

The organ was bought from Holy Trinity, Dorchester when it was declared redundant in 1977.

This is a lovely country church that generously rewards a visit.

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Chetnole

Blandford

Chetnole

St. Peter

Like many village churches Chetnole's has evolved over the centuries, but somehow the result here is exceptionally pleasing.  As you approach you are confronted with a magnificent C15 tower with a working clock and some intriguing gargoyles.  

The nave is C13 with a wooden barrel roof and one original lancet window.  The chancel and north aisle are by Slater (1859 - 65).  There is a most attractive, if tiny, organ in the chancel.

This is a delightful little church.

 

 

 

 

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Chickerell

Chickerell

St. Mary the Virgin

This delightful little church has possible origins in Celtic Christianity, but the present building dates from about 1260.  There is a gentle approach with clipped yews, which leaves one quite unprepared for the huge graveyard behind.

On entering through the porch of 1722, one's attention is immediately drawn towards the most attractive chancel beyond the arch.  A northern aisle was added by public subscription in 1834.  This appears to create an almost square body to the church and means that the occupants of the new aisle cannot see into the chancel.  There is a balcony across the entire west end, which accommodates both pews and organ.  There are two bells, housed in a C14 bellcote above the west wall, with an intriguing mechanism of levers and chains to ring them.  One bell, C13, is the second oldest in Dorset. (The oldest being in St. Michael and All Angels in the parish of Hanford near Child Okeford.)

Registers date from 1699 and churchwardens' accounts from 1729.  There is a well preserved stoup, an excellent Jacobean pulpit, a font dated at about 1150 and an interesting C15 grave slab (mounted on the north wall) engraved with the effigy of a man, possibly an early incumbent

 

 The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Chideock

Chideock

St. Giles

 

There has certainly been a church on this site since the 13th century (maybe earlier) and, being alongside the busy main road, it must have seen many changes from the stage coach to the roar of almost continuous modern traffic.  Yet this building really is a delightful sanctuary from the rigors of modern life.

The nave is C13 and the north transept C14.  The building had to wait until C15 to receive a south aisle, the tower, the porch and the Arundell chapel for the Lords of the Manor.  The 1883 chancel and nave north windows arrived to a design by G.R.Crickmay of Weymouth.  The perpendicular font 14 or C15 has a flat bowl and a simple more recent cover.  The attractive organ appeared in 1892 and was originally placed in the Arundell chapel, effectively obscuring it.  However, in 1969 the instrument was moved to its present position. 

                     

The ornate cross, displayed in the chancel and shown right, came from Palestine where it was damaged when used by Christians to separate Jews and Palestinians.

Detail of the black marble monument in the south aisle thought to be Sir John Chideock dressed in typical Henry VIII armour.

This is a beautiful little church, well worth visiting.

 

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

Chideock RC

Abbotsbury

 

CHIDEOCK

Roman Catholic

Mary the Immaculate Mother of God and Queen of Martyrs and St.Ignatius

The Christian community here can trace its roots to the 11th Century, but nothing remains of the earliest building in the parish church of St.Giles, which was erected in C14 in the mainly Perpendicular style.

The Roman Catholic church of Mary the Immaculate Mother of God and Queen of Martyrs and St.Ignatius at Chideock is not easy to find. Like so many Dorset churches you need to know roughly where it is before setting out in search. Turning north off the A35 by the parish church leads eventually to the church on the right side of the road (not to be confused with the mortuary chapel, which lies near the parish church). The effort will be abundantly rewarded.

The building lies at the bottom of a sloping path and one is immediately struck by the large circular moulding, incorporating a statue of Our Lady, which forms part of the elevation above the entrance narthex. Inside, there is a breathtaking riot of colour and craftsmanship, with the eye being drawn towards the exquisite gilded stature of Our Lady above the altar and immediately below the domed cupula. The building was completed in 1872 in the Romanesque style and is largely, physically, the work of Charles Weld who lived in the attached manor house behind. 

 The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©


 

Above the nave and on either side below the clerestory are paintings by members of the Weld family of the Chideock Martyrs and others. Of the 360 people who died for the Catholic faith between 1535 and 1681, five are regarded as the Chideock Martyrs.

Either side of the altar are chapels. One dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the other to St. Ignatius, the founder of the Society of Jesus. The sculptures on either side of the chancel arch and supported on columns were executed by Charles Weld.


 

 

At the rear of the church on the southern side is a beautiful little baptistry.

This is a really wonderful little much loved church that most handsomely repays a visit.