The Church, Whitcombe, Dorset
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A saint, a mermaid and a lost dedication
This lovely medieval church looks like a vision from a Thomas Hardy novel. One of Hardy's friends - the poet and scholar William Barnes - preached his first and last sermons here, and the church's setting evokes the rustic atmosphere of old Dorset life. Yet in Barnes' time the parishioners knew nothing of Whitcombe's great treasure - the magical medieval wallpaintings that include an image of St Christopher and a mermaid combing her hair. But the church still holds on to its final secret - its name: the church dedication is lost in time.
The quintessential country squire's church
A riverside church in the Cerne Valley
A church inspired by St Paul's Cathedral. A church from our finest shortlist.
This 12th century church is on single level with stone exterior in churchyard surrounded by fields. At present access for users with limited mobility is difficult due to the stile at the entrance to the footpath.
The level nave is wooden parquet (Victorian) with one step up to the chancel (flagstone floor). There is a single entrance through the south porch with level but slightly uneven access. The door width is 97 cms. Total area of nave and chancel is 77 sq metres.
Due to the historic nature of our buildings, only a very small number of them have heating, running water or toilet facilities. The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor.
2 miles south east of Dorchester, on A352; clearly visible from the main road adjacent to the walled Medieval village of Whitcombe
Nearest railway station: Dorchester West (2.1 miles). Bus route number 101
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