Cranborne (SS. Mary and Bartholomew)
Tower of SS. Mary and Bartholomew,
A Benedictine monastery existed on this site in Saxon times. It was
founded in the tenth century and was linked for many years with the abbey
at Tewkesbury. At first, Tewkesbury was subordinate to Cranborne but the
situation was reversed in the late 11th century. Both Tewkesbury Abbey and
its dependent cell of Cranborne came to an end during the dissolution of
the monasteries, being surrendered to the king on the 31 January 1540.
Apart from the church, none of the monastic buildings survive.
There is a late Norman doorway in the north porch - this is the oldest
part of the existing church. The remainder of the building - except for
the nineteenth-century east end (by David Brandon, 1875) is also
pre-Reformation. The tower is Perpendicular in style and built of stone
and flint. The font is of Purbeck Marble and is thirteenth century.
The pulpit is c. fifteenth century, and bears a monogram, T.P., which is
supposed to stand for Thomas Parker, the Abbot of Tewkesbury and Cranborne
- Addison, L.F., Cranborne Church, Dorset. (Notes on famous
churches and abbeys, no. 30). London: Society for Promoting Christian
Knowledge, n.d. (c. 1920s).
- Betjeman, J., Sir John Betjeman's guide to English parish
churches, revised and updated by Nigel Kerr. London: HarperCollins,
1993, p. 182.
- Chafin, W., Anecdotes and history of Cranborne Chase, 2nd ed.
London: J. Nichols, 1818 (reprinted, Wimborne: Dovecote Press, 1991).
- Dorset Historic Churches Trust, Dorset Churches.
[Dorchester]: DHCT, 1988, p. 22.
- Hawkins, D., Cranborne Chase. London: Gollancz, 1980.
- Hutchins, J. The history and antiquities of the County of
Dorset, 3rd ed., edited by W. Shipp and J.W. Hodson, Westminster:
J.B. Nichols, 1861-1873.
- Masse, H.J.L.J., The abbey church of Tewkesbury: with some account
of the priory church of Deerhurst, Gloucestershire. (Bell's cathedral
series). London: G. Bell, 1900.
- Mee, A., ed., Dorset: Thomas Hardy's country. The King's
England. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1939, pp. 78-79.
- Newman, J. and Pevsner, N., The buildings of England: Dorset.
Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972, p. 170-171.
- Pitfield, F.P., Dorset parish churches, A-D. Milborne Port:
Dorset Publishing Company, 1981, pp. 212-215.
- Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England), An inventory
of historical monuments in the County of Dorset, Vol. 5, East
Dorset. London: HMSO, 1975, pp. 5-7.
- Smart, T.W.W., A chronicle of Cranborne, being an account of the
ancient town, lordship and chase of Cranborne in the county of Dorset:
collected from original records and other authentic sources of
information. London: Nichols and Son, 1841 (reprinted, Wimborne:
Dovecote Press, 1983).
8, 17-0-21 in F.
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Maintained by Michael Day,
Last updated: 13 October 2000.