Clues To Go    -    Christchurch

The start of the route is in front of the gates of Christchurch Priory on Church Street. Then you proceed along the High Street, through Saxon Square and then onward to the castle & finally down Bridge Street.

At first glance the town centre seems quite modern with a shopping centre of the type that can be found all over the country. However, on careful inspection you notice the finely preserved historic buildings & monuments dotted along this route. When they built the shopping centre they retained the old market cross, restored the market hall and put up plaques informing of the way things were in the town centuries ago. They've even retained the old town stocks and also, more unusually,  a ducking stool down by the river!

The 11th century Prior Church was saved from being pulled down during King Henry VIII's 16th century disolution. Since then many interesting additions have been made, including in 1999 a 900th anniversary West Window & in the same year a half a million pound restoration of the pipe organ, which now weighs 20 tonnes and has nearly 4000 pipes!

Christchurch Castle was built in the late 11th century inside an earlier Saxon fort. The stone keep replaced a wooden structure at the end of the 13th century. The castle was destroyed by the Parliamentarian army in the Civil War in 1645.

 

Several pay-&-display car parks are available close to the town centre and are signposted as you approach.

In the town centre there is of course a fine choice of cafes, pubs & restaurants to provide refreshment during your time spent here.

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