Wessex – Churches


Church Street, Bradford upon Avon, Wiltshire, BA15


This church throws up many questions, about when the church was constructed as it shows many different styles, being rediscovered by chance in 1856 by Canon Jones, vicar of Bradford upon Avon when during some repairs on the building, the `Bradford Angels`were discovered which led Canon Jones to believe this was an ancient church.
Finding a passage in William of Malmesbury `Gesta Pontificum` dated C1125 AD which stated that `To this day at that place there exists a little church which Aldhelm is said to have built to the name of the most blessed Lawrence`.
Before this discovery when it was put to secular use, the date of this happening is not known, the nave was used as a school and the chancel was used as a private cottage, because of the height of the building the chancel had two floors used for living space, giving the church a very chequered history, like the different building styles which has led people to think that there was an earlier church, being rebuilt by King Canute after he had destroyed it.
So in 1871 the church as it is now was purchased to be recognized as an `ancient monument`, being rededicated to St Lawrence on reconsecration and is now open with occasional services.


Parish office
18a, Woolley Street, BA15 – 1AF
tel 01225 864444


Contact the Parish office as the services are infrequent.
The church is open daily.



The church is in the centre of the town so no distance to reach.


First Somerset & Avon

route No 264
Bath to Boreham Fields
Mon – Sat every 60 mins and return the same.


route No 265
Bath to Trowbridge
Mon – Sat (5 trips)
Sun (3 trips)

Routes go from or part of and return.
Bath, Bradford upon Avon, Trowridge, Westbury,Warminster & Boreham fields.


Bradford upon Avon on the line to the south coast, Bristol Temple Meads and Wales.


There is parking by the church, but limited space,
there is a large car park by the railway station, the church can be reached by a foot bridge over the river which is near the church.



Breamore, Nr Fordingbridge, Hampshire, SP6-2DF


Breamore, being recorded in 1086 as Brumore which maybe derived form the Old English word of `Brommor` meaning “broom (covered) marsh”, the village being just outside the New Forest .
The church is recodnized as one of the most important Saxon buildings surviving in Southern England, it retains many features from its construction around 1000AD in the reign of king Ethelraed “the unready”.
The church could have been the mother church for the surrounding area and its churches.
Breamore church is a large and handsome building being valuable as it is nearly a complete Saxon church, having an exceptionally long length 96ft 6ins (29.22m), consisting a chancel and an aisle-less nave, seperated by a square central tower from which there opened originally a lateral porticus or chapel or transept on each side, the one on the north having now disappeared and there are indications that a western adjunct also existed opening into and of the same width as the nave.
The walls are composed of whole flints with large quoins of irregular long and short work and pilaster strips of green sandstone ans ironstone, but the appearance it now presents is very different to its original aspect, for the whole church both within and without was covered in pre-conquest times with plaster, the only portions left uncovered being the quoins and plaster strip.


Parish office
tel – 01425 653163 ask for Sarah
E-Mail – church.office@fordingbridge.com


every 1st Sunday, Holy communion
08-30hrs, book of common prayer

every 4th Sunday, Family service

every 2nd Sunday
11-00hrs from B C P

Parish communion
every 3rd Sunday



no walks not known at the moment


use the A338 from Salisbury or Ringwood
car-park by the church, sat nav SP6-2DF


Wilts & Dorset bus company

X3 Salisbury too Bournemouth square
Salisbury bus station

takes 20 mins to Breamore.

Bournemouth square

takes approx 55mins to Breamore.


Salisbury station can be accessed from London,Southampton, Exeter & Bath

Bournemouth can be accessed from London, Weymouth.

Places to eat

The Bat & Ball

Breamore, Nr Fordingbridge, Hampshire, SP6-2EA
tel- 01725 512252
open every day 1200-2359hrs
serves food daily.

The Cart wheel Inn

Whitsbury, Hampshire, SP6-3PZ
tel- 01725 518362hrs
serves food daily.



North Street, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 – 4AG

located at the North end of the town built into the Saxon earth defence mound by the main road.

History of the area.

The town is built on a strategic dry point between the River Frome and the River Piddle at the head of the Wareham Channel of Poole Harbour. The Frome Valley runs through an area of unresistant sand, clay and gravel rocks, and much of its valley has wide floods plains and march land. At its estuary the river formed the wide shallow ria of Poole Harbour, Wareham is built on a low dry island between the marshy river plains.

History of the town

The towns strategic, setting has made it an important settlement throughout its long history. Excavations at the nearby Bestwall site have produced evidence of transient early Mesolithic activity dating to around 9000 B.C. At the same site four large Neolithic pits containing worked flint and pottery fragments  dating to 3700 B.C. were found. Three greenstone oxe-heads discovered also probably date to this period. Flint working  and pottery continued throughout the Bronze Age, with the first house discovered dates to the Mid 15th Century.                              Archaeological evidence exists of a small Roman settlement, though the current town was founded by the Saxons, it is not known the name of the Roman settlement, but in Saxon to as Werham in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 784 this comes from the Old English Wer (meaning “fish trap, a weir”) and ham (“homestead”) or hamm (“enclosure hemmed in by water”)                                                                                                                                                                       The oldest feature of the town is the town walls, which are earthern ramparts which surround the town apart from the southern section where the river is and the quays, no doubt King Alfred the Great had them constructed in the late 9th Century in defence from the Danes and in so doing became a burgh town, this did not stop the Danes attacking and occupying the town in 876, and only left after Alfred accompanied with his army, made a payment of Dangeld and move out and sailed unbeknown to Alfred too Exeter but their fleet was devastated in a storm off Swanage and were virtually destroyed, the Danes returned in 998 to attack again and in 1015 an invasion led by King Canute, King of Denmark, attacked and left the town in ruins, the town was a Saxon royal burial place, King Beothric (d 802) is buried there, Also there is the ancient Minster church of Lady St. Mary where it is claimed is the coffin of King Edward the Martyr who was murdered at his step-mother’s at Corfe Castle in 978 whose body was quickly buried at Wareham then later transferred by his half-brother King Aethelred the Unready to Shaftesbury Abbey where it was found in the 1930s , later the relics were encompassed within St. Edward’s Brotherhood, Brookwood, Surrey.                                                                                                                                                                                                    By the end of the Saxon period, Wareham had become one of the most important towns in the country, to the extent that it housed two royal mints, its Burghal Hideage arra of 1600 Hides making it the third largest town in the realm, it continued as before after the French-Norman Conquest under their feudal yoke and the new church of Roman Catholicism.

History of the church

St Martin`s is the oldest Saxon church in Dorset reputed to have been founded by St Aldhem in the seventh century, destroyed by King Canute in 1015AD the present church being rebuilt in C1030AD, Saxon features include a tall narrow nave and chancel, late Saxon arcading in the North West Isle and the traces of a Saxon door, the building has been altered and expanded over the years, but the nave and the tiny windows in the North wall are original.
The church was used as a refuge after the great fire of Wareham in 1762 and was abandoned as a church later in that century, but in the 20th century the church was in time restored with the help of T, S, Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) hence his stone effigy in the church which was rededicated on 23rd November 1936.

contact information

Tel – 01929 550905

The keys for the church if locked is held by the church warden at F,J, Joy menswear down from the church on the other side of the road,obviously this is only available during shop opening hours.

Church Services

Wednesday morning service

Sunday service telephone as services varies with the other churches in the circuit.



Being in the town it is no great distance from the train or bus.


Wilts & Dorset bus company

Route No 40
Poole to Wareham onto Swanage & return
every 60 mins Mon – Sun

every 1/2 hr end of July to beginning of September.


The station is just north of the town which on the line between London (Waterloo) and Weymouth, trains can be boarded or alighted at main places like, Southampton, Winchester, Basingstoke, Woking, Clapham Junction

Route No 158
Waterloo to Weymouth every 60 mins. Mon-Sun

Weymouth to Waterloo the same.


There is no car-park by the church, there is parking on the high street and there is car-parking in the south of the town.



Headbourne Worthy, Nr Winchester, Hampshire


St Swithun`s church was built between 994 – 1035, during the time of Canute.
Laying at the bottom of a hill with the Hyde bourne flowing on two sides.
This is a small church which was common in Saxon times, the west and north walls of the nave as well as part of the chancel west wall is Saxon. There is a rood in the church office, which was completely removed during the reformation all that is left now is an outline, the Rood was above the entrance to the church.
The church commemorates St Swithin whose relics are in Winchester cathedral.

contact information

The Rectory

Tel – 01962 882166

Church Services

1st Sunday 10-00 hrs Holy communion
2nd : : 08-00hrs Holy communion / 10-00 hrs Matins
3rd : : 10-00hrs Holy communion
4th : : 08-00hrs Holy communion / 10-00 hrs Matins
5th : : 10-00 hrs


From Winchester use the B3420 / Worthy road,
the walk is about 2 miles (Grid SU 4831), you will see school lane on your left it has white railings as the lane climbs up, and after this you will see the church through the trees as you walk on, enter the church yard through a linch gate.

<spanclass=”ctmediumboldgreen”> Bus
Winchester bus station- Stagecoach No 64 Winchester to Alton
Mon – Sat every hr at 0945 hrs until 1910 hrs
ask the driver to drop you off the stop nearest the church.
Sunday starting at 08-20hrs every two hrs until 18-30 hrs

Alton to Winchester
At Headbourne Mon – Sat 09-59 hrs every hr until 17-47, 20-07 & 20-43 hrs.
Sunday 09-52 hrs every two hrs until 19-52 hrs


Winchester is on the Waterloo – Southampton line
The Stagecoach 64 can be caught at the station 3 minutes after leaving the bus station, do not Know where the stop is, it is either at the station or down on the main road.


From Winchester take the B3047 / Worthy road the church is about 2 miles, you come into country, will see the school lane on your left as it goes up hill, after this the church will be seen on your left and on your right you will see a 5 bar steel gate it is set back, enter here to the car-park on your right on the grass.
The other way follow the B3047 / London road from the A33 it is about 1/2 mile, go under the A34 road, the road then bears to the left and then a slight hill downwards, ease up here as the car-park will be seen on the left, a 5 bar steel gate.

Places to eat

d`Arry`s Cart & Horses pub,
London road, Kings Worthy, SO23-7QN
This is open from 1200 hrs
good ales and tea to a full meal



Albany Park, Albany, Surrey, GU5-9BB. O/S map 170, ref TQ 063 478

This is the old church of the village which was replaced by a new church within the village in the 19th century, were upon the old church was allowed to decay, until it was repaired in the 1920`s by a Mr P. M.Johnston who directed the repairs also making a detailed account of the work and what was found, it was found that the nave and the core of the tower were the nave and chancel of the original Saxon church. Albury is about 4 miles east of Guildford. Also the church is within a private estate so is only open for limited periods.
Visits between May – September
Time 14.00 – 1700hrs. Cost £2-50p



Church farm lane, Alton Barnes, Wiltshire, SN8-4LE, O/S map 167 ref 107 620

Tel Vicar 01672 851746. e-mail on church web-site.

The village is about 4 miles east from Devizes, at foot of the chalk hills which bound the Vale of Pewsey on the north, there being two villages close together called Alton Barnes and Alton Priors, their two churches are only a field apart with a stream running through.
The church is small with an aisleless nave being Anglo-Saxon, and a chancel of the same being built in the 18th century.
The village name is Saxon meaning “Village by the stream”.



Arreton, Isle-of-Wight, PO30-3AB. O/S map 180 ref SZ 535 867

Tel Vicar 01983 865504 e-mail not available.

There is a car-park by the church.

Arreton village is roughly in the middle of the island, about 2 1/2 miles south-east of Newport, the church consists of a heavily buttressed west tower, a spacious nave with wide aisles included under the main roof, a south porch, and an aisless chancel which opens to a south chapel chapel through a early English arcade.
The west nave wall is Anglo-Saxon and the same with other walls but they have been changed due to later work so there is mix of different periods.



Church walk, Avebury, Wiltshire, WN8-1RG. O/S map 157 ref SU 100 699

No telephone number or e-mail address

This small village, is about 6 miles west of Marlborough and 1 mile north of the Great West road, formerly a Roman road A4361.
The church is just outside one of the greatest stone circles in England, although the church was heavily restored in the 19th century, but the nave retained much of its Anglo-Saxon fabric with other features from this period.



Boarhurst road, boarhurst, Hampshire, PO17-6HP O/S map 180 ref SU 604 084

Tel Vicar 023 9237 7568 e-mail on the church web-site.

Parking next to the church.

The church, now does not stand within a village, there is a farm across the road, and two homes next to the church, which is about
2 miles north-east of Fareham, also being well away from the main roads.
Apart from interior fittings and minor changes of fabric, the church stands today substantially as it was built in late-Saxon times, built of uncut flints, partly plastered, with quoins of dressed stone in side-alternate fashion.
This originally was an Orthodox church as different features within the church shows this, the church over the centuries changed as the Christian faith changed.



1, Lodowicks, Bremhill, Wiltshire, SN11-9LD O/S map 157 ref ST 979 730

Tel Vicar 01249 817926 e-mail look for The Marden Vale Team ministry you will find how to contact.

Parking cannot be verified, but probably by the church.

Bremhill is about 2 miles north-west of Calne, the church standing on high land to the west end of the village, the church consists of a wester tower, an aisled nave with south porch, and an aisleless chancel, inside the church is a short length of walling of an aiseless nave still stands at either end of each of the arcades, with the nature of this wall being high and thin, it is evident of pre-conquest date, this can be seen externally between the tower and the western wall of the north aisle where the quoins can be seen, it is about 15 feet in length.



Church lane, Chaldon, Surrey, CR3-5AL. O/S map ? ref ?

Tel Vicar 020 8660 4015 e-mail on the church web-site

Parking is available by the church.

Teas & cakes are available on a Sunday afternoon, between 14.30 – 16.00hrs during British summer time, late March – late October, you will be made most welcome.

The church is about 2.5 miles west of Caterham valley. Chalvedune is the first written record of the place in 676 A. D. meaning the hill (down) where the calves are pastured. Prior to the Conquest a Saxon lord Dernic held the land, which consisted of two hides, approx 200 acres, in this instance.
The church was built before 1086 A. D. when it was registered in the Domesday Book, having an originally a rectangular nave with high walls and a chancel, which might well have had an apse, the west wall of the nave is of traditional flint construction, and is almost certainly original, on the inner west wall there is now a late 12th century wall painting. It is thought to have been painted by a travelling artist-monk with an extensive knowledge of Greek ecclesiastical art. The picture depicts the `Ladder of Salvation of the Human soul`.



Church lane, Britford, Wiltshire, SP5-4DX, OS map 165 ref 163284

Contact – CVTM administration, High road, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, Wiltshire,

Tel – 1722-781112 or chalkvalley@googlemail.com

The church is pleasantly situated beside the Avon river, about 2 miles / 3 km south-east from Salisbury on the A338 road, the village is on the left from the road, the church being the other side of the village.
Britford was a royal manor in the days of Edward the Confessor, two centuries before the city of what became Salisbury was moved from Old Sarum, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Earl Harold`s brother Tosti was staying here with King Edward in 1065, when news arrived of the rebellion in Northumberland against Tosti who was Earl at the time, who was to lose this title not long after and banished, hence him siding with the King of Norway Harold.
This royal connection makes it easier to understand the unusual elaboration of this parish church in so quite a village. The church at first sight looks of the Decorative period, with aisleless nave, south porch, transepts, chancel and a central tower capped with a low spire, but it true character with its Anglo-saxon nave which was detected by Rackman, who discovered two blocked round arches which lead to, two side-chapels either side of the nave, plus indications of transepts with the sighting of Anglo-Saxon brick work in the west transept wall.