The construction of Christchurch Priory stems back to 1094 A.D. and was commenced
by King William II's Chief Minister, Ranulf Flambard (the Dean of Twynham). Five
years later Flambard was appointed Bishop of Durham but his successors continued
with the building project and by 1150 the a basic Norman Church stood.
of the Miraculous Beam: in the early construction period it was said that a mysterious
carpenter assisted with the work. One day a wooden beam was found to be too short,
but the next day workmen found the beam to have grown to the correct length and had
been placed in the correct position. The mysterious carpenter did not reappear and
so the workmen believed that Jesus Christ had assisted them in building his own church.
Thus from the name of Twynham the place became called "Christ's Church of Twynham"
and later just Christchurch.
The 'Lady Chapel' nave roof has the, what is believed to be, first example of pendant
vaulting in England. The construction of the pendant vaulting is estimated to be
completed in the early 15th Century.
The longest parish church in England (311ft)
Contains the oldest misericords in England dating from the 13th Century - misericords
are wood carved seats with scenes such as a fox preaching to a flock of geese. In
total there are 39 misericords dating from 3 periods, 1250,1350 & 1515.
14th Century Jesse Screen which seperates the choir from the nave.
The Priory is set in its own small grounds with graveyard. There is a rewarding footpath
walk by the small river that runs along the side of the church down to the harbour
and can be easily achieved by most, including disabled.