Pictures of Christchurch
Christchurch is one of Dorset's "gems" it is set on the confluence of two rivers, the Stour and the Avon. In Saxon times it was a walled town, a stronghold of Alfred the Great, as he held out against the Danes. Today, the town still clings to much of its original Saxon street plan and shows interesting houses and cottages from the past.
One of its old buildings, Place Mill is mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086. This still stands on Christchurch Quay, close to the ruins of its historic Norman Castle.
Christchurch has one of the longest parish churches in England. The magnificent Priory dates back to the 12th-century, it has carved choir stalls older than those of Westminster Abbey. The building itself displays a mixture of styles ranging from Norman to Renaissance, amongst its most notable features are the chantry chapels, a so-called miraculous beam, and a monument to the poet Shelley.
Red House Museum was once a Georgian workhouse, this is now a lively visitor attraction where visitors can see exciting displays of local social history, learn of the town's heritage and admire a display of Arts and Crafts furniture made by designer Arthur Romney Green in the 1930's. There are also archaeological finds and a reconstruction of a 19th-century High Street Taxidermist.
Today, the town is very much a centre for tourists, its pleasant harbour acts as a magnet for fishermen, sailors and water-sports enthusiasts. It is also a haven for wildlife attracting naturalists from all over the country.
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