From the outside St John the Baptist, Bere Regis is a handsome if unremarkable church.
Sometimes referred to as a hammer-beam, it is in fact technically an arch-braced tie-beam with king and queen posts and mock hammer-beams.
Each of the twelve mock hammer-beams is carved to represent one of the apostles, although only five can be identified with any certainty; I particularly liked St John the Evangelist wearing what looks like a WWI Tommyʼs helmet.
The roof was given to the church by Cardinal Morton in about 1485. He was was born in nearby Milborne St Andrew in 1420, and rose to become Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor by 1487.
He is best known, however, as a tax collector and inventor of Mortonʼs Fork. Under this he levied high taxes on the ostentatiously rich, but taxed more modest spenders equally severely on the grounds that they were concealing their wealth. How times have changed.