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Christchurch >  Google™ Map Sep 2022  Christchurch Coat of Arms

Population - 31,372.

England-Dorset Flag UK > England > Dorset

Sep 2022

Christchurch Coat of Arms

You'd have thought this cold open would be all about the 11th-century priory that, quite simply, named that toon. Not so, most of today's worshippers can be found down at the marina, a marvellous, watery feature that's the start of a much larger, natural harbour.

Christchurch 'Marina'
Christchurch Sailing Club

With a sandy barrier keeping the Solent at bay, that makes for some relatively safe sailing and the pick of at least four clubs in the area, not that SlyBob would know much about that.

No, the only boats that we're familiar with are ones normally filled with gravy.

Convent Walk, a big clue as to what's behind, leads away from what's not really a single marina, really, passing an old watermill that's worth a glance, perhaps?

Christchurch - The Mills Place

Parts of it are Anglo-Saxon, they say, whenever that was exactly, but it's disappointing to find that it's no longer providing the power for a frothy coffee. It does, however, have an amazing fact and you might want to strap yourselves in...

The wheel took water from one river, the River Avon, not that one, but emptied into another, the River Stour, not that one. That makes it unique in the world, wow! If only you could get a frothy coffee in it and who says none of this nonsense is worthwhile?

Convent Walk suggests centuries of cloaked ecclesiastics, contemplating and praying as they promenaded? Not quite, it's a 20th-century invention, laid to commemorate the coronation of George V, no less, and now seemingly used by visiting families to shout at their children outdoors.

The church soon reveals itself and has its own amazing fact. It's not the oldest, nor the tallest, neither, in the UK but, get this, the longest.

Christchurch - Convent Walk

It's so long, you'll do well to fit it into a single photograph, actually.

The path continues under one of the roads out to arrive at a ducking stool, which wasn't used for witches, wouldn't you know it. Rather the public humiliation of, in the main, erm, 'troublesome' females and the dunking of the drunkards continued until the early 1800s.

Christchurch - Ducking Stool

Nowadays, it's a fixed penalty notice and a warning to lay off them bottomless, Prosecco™ brunches, right ladies?

The priory gardens are free to wander, since you ask, but, with the rain starting to spot, that just leaves some darting in and out of the outlets on the fine, if functional, high street.

Christchurch - High Street
Christchurch - Church Street

The church is never far from sight and there's an eye-catching Victorian town hall, just about shown. SlyBob, however, has one eye out for the Twynham, the Wetherspoon™s that's inevitably named from the original town before the priory appeared.

Amazingly, Christchurch is thankfully free and, besides, the Director of Contrived Waterhole Naming would only be getting a (2/5) for that. It's not that difficult to Google™.

This is Dorset's easternmost town so it's a short hop into Hampshire and the New Forest where the canopy there can surely provide some cover? Except it's a forest in the traditional sense of a royal hunting ground with way more wide-open space than you might expect.

Something else indoors needs to be sought but with the priory expected to take 15 minutes max, looks like another bottomless, Prosecco™ brunch it is, then.

Saying that, somebody needs to be careful. We all remember what happened last time, right ladies?