More on Christchurch
Located at the confluence of the rivers Avon and Stour, Christchurch dates back to AD 650, when it was founded by missionaries sent by St Birnus,the first Bishop of Dorchester. Originally known as Twynham, meaning “between the two rivers”, it was renamed Christchurch following the construction of the town priory in 1094.
In the early 12th century, Richard de Redvers, first cousin of King Henry I, built a wooden castle in Christchurch. It was rebuilt in stone by Baldwin de Redvers and was eventually destroyed on the orders of Oliver Cromwell in 1652.
In the 18th and 19th century, many of the townspeople of Christchurch depended on smuggling, accumulating vast wealth through the illegal trade and bypassing official customs. The railway line to Christchurch was built in 1847, helping it develop as a modest coastal destination. Today the town’s economy is supported by a number of industries headed by transportation and distribution services.
Coming from London, take the M3 motorway until Eastleigh, then continue on the M27 followed by the A31. At Ringwood, exit the A31 and head south on the A338 until interchange with B3073, then continue southeast on B3073 to reach Christchurch.
Places of Interest to visit in Christchurch
- Christchurch Castle
Built in AD 1160, the castle now lies in ruins, destroyed under orders from Oliver Cromwell in 1652.
- Christchurch Priory
Ecclesiastical parish of Christchurch dating to the mid 11th century.
- Highcliffe Castle
A Grade I listed mansion built for the 1st Baron Stuart de Rothesay in 1835.
- Museum of Electricity
Housed in an old power station, it showcases educational exhibits centered on electricity.
- Red House Museum
Museum with exhibits on local history, with displays of costume, geology, natural history and archaeology.