2. Millhams Street

Richard Randerson

 NOTE: By placing cursor over each way point you can identify the location of points of interest described in the text

By retracing your steps you can turn right and go down Millhams Street you will find to your right the back of The Ship Inn, the front of which you have just seen, but to your left is the splendid Christchurch Congregational Church

 Congregational Church

Congregational Church, Milliams Street

Congregational Church, Milliams Street

This site has been used for worship by the “Dissenters” since about 1655, at first in a barn which was later rebuilt as a Meeting House.  The Non-Conformist Minister was ejected from Christchurch Priory at the Restoration in 1660 when the Church of England Vicar was returned.  This in turn was rebuilt in 1867 as a Congregational Church and a lecture hall added where a variety of educational and entertaining events took place.  Just to the east of the Church was a schoolroom now ‘The Cloisters’ housing development but the tiny cottage for the schoolmistress remains, nicknamed ‘the Doll’s House’.

 

A full account of the history of the Congregational Church and the various trials and tribulation that it has experienced is given in an Interesting Article on this website.

The road passes the Non-Conformist church and so has been called Meeting House Lane, its correct modern name is Millhams Lane but is often called Millhams Street which really does not start until the corner at Millhams Meade.

On the Christchurch Blue Plaques Millennium Trail Leaflet1 this location is identified as number 8 but no Blue Plaque has been erected.

By continuing along Millhams Street you will come to a sharp right hand turn in the Street


Millhams Meade

Millhams Meade House

Millhams Meade House

The centre house in the row of 18th Century houses just after the right hand corner in Millhams Street is an attractive building called Millhams Meade, named for the meadow beyond the Mill Stream, where once the Town Mill stood on a trench or ditch that conveys water to a mill wheel on the River Avon north of Town Bridge.     Millhams Meade was for two centuries the home of Solicitors prominent in the life of Christchurch.   The gardens to these properties are historically important extending right down to the River Avon.

On the Christchurch Blue Plaques Millennium Trail Leaflet1 this location is identified as number 9 but no Blue Plaque has been erected.

Continue along Millhams Street you will come to a lane off to the left and it is at the end of this lane that the next interesting item can be found


Ducking Stool

The Ducking Stool

The Ducking Stool

At the end of the end of the Cul de Sac off to the left is located a Ducking Stool.  Supposedly used to punish ‘scolds’ by immersion in the Mill Stream.  Other implements of coorection favoured in medieval Christchurch were chains for ‘vangabonds’ and a mysterious device called a “worlygog or whirligig” which is apparently some sort of spinning cage kept in Castle Street.

On the Christchurch Blue Plaques Millennium Trail Leaflet1 this location is identified as number 10 but no Blue Plaque has been erected.

After looking at the Ducking Stool return to the point on Millhams Street that you departed from it and turn left to continue along Millhams Street.    When you reach Castle Street turn right and walk up to the Site of the Old Market Square 


Site of Old Market Square

Site of the Square House in 2016

Site of the Square House in 2016 looking up the High Street with Wick Lane off to the left

The Old Market Square area covered in the Priory Historic Walk which includes 6 / 6A Castle Street, the George and Dragon Inn (The George), The Square House and Bookends.

To continue with the High Street Virtual tour go to the Christchurch High Street or alternatively to continue with the Priory Virtual tour go to Castle Street.