This site is very ancient and deeply entrenched in history from different times and people. Starting with the Iron Age, Christchurch – Dorset has been populated throughout the emergence of man and the tools he would wield while conquering the land. Set between the river Avon and Stour, it is popular for not only tourists but for those ready to retire.
Of course the naming of things always is better when there is a story. For this town, there is a miracle. While building the Priory the workers found themselves with a board too short for the place they needed. They decided to deal with the issue in the morning and went home. But when they returned the next day they found the board had miraculously fit in the space. The obvious miracle meant that Jesus, a carpenter himself, had helped them out and so Christchurch Priory was named.
The spot where Christchurch Priory was built has had a church standing there for over eight hundred years. This Priory is the longest in England and is over three hundred feet long. Based on the Saxon foundation it has Saxon street layouts surrounding it.
The Saxons left their mark on this town and its buildings. The town was first called Twyneham by them which means between two rivers. The harbor was the draw for the Saxons and accomplished the feat of establishing the first trade routes between Britain and other foreign places.
In the Christchurch Mill you see the Saxon ingenuity exemplified. The mill is still functioning today and was grinding corn up until the early nineteen hundreds. As a mill it has the intriguing ability to draw water from one river and then deposit in the other. Visiting here gives you a normal day piece of history.
At Hengistbury Head you find a locale where the earliest people found home. They began here because of the ease of the location and they could develop one of the first ports. But this place now has not only historical impact but scientific as well. These lowlands and the Stanpit Marshes are protected and studied for the impact they are making on the coastline and particularly the migratory bird patterns.
Moving to the hills you find Highcliffe Castle which was built in the mid nineteenth century. While the house was an example of romantic architecture its grounds were designed by the famous Capability Brown. Wander through the gardens and see the expertise and intuition that was used to create them.
The people that have lived and built here are immersed in the culture of Christchurch – Dorset. But the locale on the rivers and the chance to enjoy what others have created before leaves you feeling fulfilled and engaged. This is a perfect balance for a holiday and a town.