Christchurch is a busy market town situated where the River Avon and River Stour join to form a natural harbour. The historic area around the Priory and Castle ruins is particularly attractive with period buildings, a riverside walk and harbour views. The town became known as Christchurch following construction of the Priory in 1074. Historically in Hampshire, Christchurch transferred to Dorset in 1974.
TI tel. 01202 499199.
Housed in the Georgian parish workhouse, the Museum tells the story of Christchurch from before
the Ice Age to the present day. Galleries cover local Saxon princes, Victorian and Edwardian social and industrial life,
including 'fusee' watch chains made by women and children of the workhouse. Exhibitions gallery. Gardens. Café.
Admission free, donations welcome.
Open WThFS 1000-1600.
Originally the Priory church, the 11th-century parish church is one of the longest in England.
The roof is medieval and includes the Miraculous Beam, once the object of pilgrimages. There are panoramic views of the
town and harbour from the tower. Cloisters Café.
Open see website for visiting times and services.
The remains of Christchurch Castle include parts of the keep and a 12th-century house, a very early
example of domestic architecture including a rare chimney. Both are in the grounds of the Priory. Admission free.
Open any reasonable time.
Stanpit Marsh is a mixture of saltmarsh, reed beds, freshwater marsh, sandy scrub and gravel banks -
an unusual combination supporting many plants and attracting a wide variety of birds. The area was used for military purposes
in both world wars and the prototype Bailey Bridge is still used to span a channel south of the Visitor Centre.
Download a reserve map from the website.
Open any reasonable time, Visitor Centre open most days.