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Dorset Churches

Although Dorset is one of the few counties not to have a Cathedral, it does have plenty of churches both big and small.

St Catherine's Chapel, Abbotsbury

Location

Dorset Map

OS Ref: SY 572 848

Last Visited: 2005

St Catherine's Chapel Interior

St Catherine's Chapel Interior

St Catherine's Chapel

St Catherine's Chapel

St Catherineʼs Chapel was built by monks from nearby Abbotsbury Monastery, probably at some time in the 14th century, as a place for private prayer and meditation.

Its magnificent position on top of a hill with an extensive view of the sea ensured its survival after the dissolution, when it acted as a sea-mark and in more recent times had a light burning at the top of the stair turret.

External Links and References

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Holy Trinity Old Church, Bothenhampton

Location

Dorset Map

OS Ref: SY 475 917

Last Visited: 2015

Bothenhampton Church

Bothenhampton Church

The tiny Holy Trinity Old Church is in fact just the 14th century chancel and the 15th century tower of a slightly larger church, the nave of which was demolished in 1889 when the new Holy Trinity Church built further down the hill.

After that date it was used as a mortuary chapel but became increasingly dilapidated until it was declared redundant in 1971. It is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

The church was open when I visited, but check the CCT web site for details of access arrangements.

External Links and References

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St Mary's Church, Charlton Marshall

Location

Dorset Map

OS Ref: ST 900 040

Last Visited: 2005

Reredos

Reredos

Exterior from the road

Exterior from the road

Exterior

Exterior

Apart from the tower St Maryʼs, Charlton Marshall was almost completely rebuilt in 1713, probably by John Bastard, the father of the famous Bastard Brothers of Blandford. He also added the small pediments and obelisks to the tower, which make the exterior such a pleasing composition.

Church interiors, however, work best if they engender a certain sense of mystery, if not magic. Here, however, the huge imposing reredos and heavy testered pulpit, combined with the efforts of the lively local congregation to make the place feel as informal as possible, results in a space with all the mystery of a messy modern primary school classroom in an old Victorian school.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Charlton Marshall: St Mary the Virgin
      Unusually comprehensive entry on the A Church Near You web site. Includes a brief history of the church.
      https://www.achurchnearyou.com/charlton-marshall-st-mary-the-virgin/
    • Charlton Marshall, St. Mary the Virgin
      More information and photographs of the church from the Dorset Historic Churches Trust.
      http://www.dorsethistoricchurchestrust.co.uk/index.php/our-churches/31-milton-and-blandford-deanery/250-charlton-marshall
  • Recommended Books

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St Stephen's Church, Kingston Lacy

Location

Dorset Map

OS Ref: ST 988 009

Last Visited: 2010

Completed in 1907, St Stephenʼs, Kingston Lacy is a fine example of an Arts and Crafts style church.

It was designed by the architect C E Ponting of Marlborough, and built by Mrs Henrietta Banks of nearby Kingston Lacy House, whose late husband left £5,000 "for the purpose of building and endowing a church at Kingston Lacy"

Usually kept locked. It is rumoured to be open weekends from 2.30pm except in the winter.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Kingston Lacy: St Stephen
      Includes a brief history of the church.
      https://www.achurchnearyou.com/kingston-lacy-st-stephen/
    • Kingston Lacy (Pamphill) St. Stephen
      More information and photographs of the church from the Dorset Historic Churches Trust
      http://www.dorsethistoricchurchestrust.co.uk/index.php/our-churches/32-wimborne-deanery/317-kingston-lacy

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All Saints', Nether Cerne

Location

Dorset Map

OS Ref: SY 669 982

Last Visited: 2014

All Saints' Church Nether Cerne

All Saints' Church
Nether Cerne

Tucked away around the back of an late 17th century manor house, behind a farm, at the top of a no through road is the little church of All Saintsʼ, Nether Cerne.

Most of the church was built in the 13th century, apart from the chancel and the pinnacled west tower which were added in the 15th century.

The font is unusual as it is oval rather than circular in shape, and looks a bit like half a melon. It is 12th century and probably came from from an earlier church on this site.

It was declared redundant on 1 December 1971, and was vested in the Churches Conservation Trust on 8 March 1973. Please see their web site, listed below, for access details.

External Links and References

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St Edwold's Church, Stockwood

Location

Dorset Map

OS Ref: ST 590 069

Last Visited: 2014

St Edwold's Church Stockwood

St Edwold's Church
Stockwood

St Edwoldʼs Church, Stockwood is another church that takes a bit of finding. And certain degree of persistence, as the churchyard has been incorporated into the garden of the adjoining farmhouse.

However, it is accessed via a little arched brick bridge over the stream, so there is no need to actually walk through next doorʼs garden.

This tiny church is dedicated to St Edwold, he of the Silver Well in Cerne Abbas. It dates from the early 15th century. The chancel and nave are undivided, and together measure only 30ft by 12ft (9.1m by 3.9m). The porch and pretty little circular bell turret were both added in 1636.

It was declared redundant on 23 January 1959, and was vested in the Churches Conservation Trust on 1 March 1972. Please see their web site, listed below, for access details.

External Links and References

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