Christchurch Local History Society

Our Society is dedicated to the study of the past of this ancient borough and the preservation of all aspects of our surviving heritage. We are unusual in having an archive collection to manage, as well as all the other aspects of a thriving organisation, including regular talks and events, and a programme of projects and initiatives to further our cause.
We are a totally volunteer-based society that was formed in 1989 to promote and encourage the public study of local history in the community. We have a programme of talks that run from September to May, often attracting audiences of over 90 people. We have published and continue to publish numerous local history themed books and booklets.
In addition we organise guided walks and summer, outings including boat trips, for our members. We are the custodians of a large archive of material relating to Christchurch that has been collected by various local historians over the last 100 years. This provides a unique source of material for the family history researcher or anyone interested in the buildings, industries and heritage of the local area.

Mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086 valued at 30s at year, being the property of the Canons of the Holy Trinity Church, PLACE MILL has medieval stonework and Tudor and 18th century brickwork, and was used for both fulling (cleaning and thickening cloth) and corn grinding until 1908

Place Mill, The Quay, Christchurch, United Kingdom

Visible beyond this entrance way, at the terminus for the trolleybuses which replaced the trams in 1936, is the TROLLEY BUS TURNTABLE which enabled the buses to return to Bournemouth and is believed to be the only one left in the country

Wick Lane, Christchurch, United Kingdom

18th century brewer's house. An extensive brewery complex operated behind it on the site of the present car park. BOW HOUSE was also the home in the early 20th century of Hart's Museum, a famous collection of thousands of stuffed birds and other animals

Bow House, High Street, Christchurch, United Kingdom

At the entrance to the town at this point stood the ancient stone gatehouse known as THE BARGATE thought to date from the 12th century, which straddled and constricted the High Street, and was removed c. 1744 by order of the Mayor

Bath Travel, 4 High Street, Christchurch, United Kingdom

Originally constructed in 1746 in the Market Place at the junction with the High Street and Castle Street The Town Hall was rebuilt on this site in 1860 by public subscription generously supported by the Borough's MP, Admiral John Edward Walcott of Winkton Lodge

The Town Hall, Saxon Square, High Street, Christchurch, United Kingdom

On this site from medieval times until demolition in 1788, stood the first recorded Town Hall, known as THE OLD TOLSEY or Market Toll House, used by the Old Corporation until a new Town Hall was built in the Market Place, probably in the 15th century

Millhams Street, Christchurch, United Kingdom

On this site stood the house, and at the rear, the fusee watch chain workshop, of ROBERT HARVEY COX 1754-1815 who introduced the industry to the town in the 1790s. The manufacture which used factory, cottage and workhouse labour, continued in the town until 1914

Superdrug, 50 High Street, Christchurch, United Kingdom

In 1714 a house and shop on this site, with a farm and other land, were left by John Clingan, a mercer, in trust, leading to the establishment in 1736 of CLINGAN'S TRUST to benefit the 'poor of the parish'. The income from the trust continues to assist young people in their advancement in life

Bookends, 67 High Street, Christchurch, United Kingdom

First referred to in the records as 'St George' in 1630 and now the oldest surviving inn in the town, The George Inn or George and Dragon stands opposite the former Market Place with its Town Hall and prison, shops, shambles, pillory and market cross

Ye Olde George Inn, Market Street, Christchurch, United Kingdom

17th-century mercer's house with 18th-century frontage. Later the home of the talented Ferrey family, including George, Priory organist for 50 years, brother of BENJAMIN FERREY 1810-1880 renowned ecclesiastical architect trained by Pugin the Elder, and Hon. Architect to Bath & Wells Diocese for 39 years

Pettengells, 6 Castle Street, Christchurch, United Kingdom

Medieval Borough-owned property dating in parts from the 13th century. By the 19th century it had become known as THE OLD COURT HOUSE as a back room was used to elect the Mayor, Constables, Hayward, Bailiff and Aletaster. The original Court House over the Castle gateway was taken down in 1888

The New Forest Perfumery, Castle Street, Christchurch, United Kingdom

In the Saxon period the adjacent site was occupied by the Church of the Holy Trinity. Between the 11th and 16th centuries evolved the present PRIORY CHURCH The Court House for the Priory Manor of Christchurch Twyneham stood beyond this wall until the late 19th century

Priory Church, Church Street, Christchurch, United Kingdom

Priory House, built c. 1776 on the site of the monastic ruins by a former Governor of the Bank of England, Fellow of the Royal Society and Trustee of the British Museum, Gustavus Brander 1720-1787 who was also Lord of the Manor of Christchurch Twyneham. His will provided for the first organ for the Priory Church

Wall in front of Priory House, Priory Gardens, Christchurch, United Kingdom

Convent Walk. This footpath was opened on 22nd June 1911 by the Mayor of Christchurch, Mr Robert Druitt, to commemorate the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary. The nearby Coronation Oak was planted as a sapling by the Mayoress. This plaque was erected to commemorate the centenary on 22nd June 2011.

Convent Walk, Mill Stream, Christchurch, United Kingdom

Erected next to an earlier barn used as a poorhouse, this building was built in 1764 by the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor as THE PARISH WORKHOUSE. When Christchurch combined with Holdenhurst and Sopley parishes in 1835 it became the Union Workhouse and remained in use until 1885.

Quay Street, Christchurch, United Kingdom