1. A Tour of the Historic Quarter of Christchurch around the Priory

Richard Randerson

Priory Car Park to Workhouse

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

Residents and visitors alike wandering around Christchurch cannot helped to have noticed the nineteen Blue Plaques put up by the Christchurch Local History Society (which in 2011 became Christchurch History Society) at locations of historic importance, normally on buildings as close as possible to the true location.

Back in 2000 Christchurch Borough Council publish a booklet  “ Christchurch Blue Plaques Millennium Trial”1 detailing forty-four key locations and the plaques and what they commemorated from research undertaken by the Christchurch Local History Society,

Priory Car Park

This virtual historic tour around the Priory Area of Christchurch will show some of the secrets that the town has to offer.   The tour starts from the Priory Car Park, which used to be the monastic precinct.    Once, no females would be permitted here.  Most of the monastery buildings were sold off by Henry VIII, he did, however, give the Priory to the townspeople.     There are still some of the monastic precinct walls standing and a building towards the Town Quay, inside the wall, perhaps once a bakery or a brew house.    By walking back along Quay Road, which at one time was Monastery Street, you will very soon see to your right is Christchurch Priory standing majestically over the town.

Christchurch Priory

As you leave the Car Park if you look to your right the south side of Christchurch Priory is in view.     For details of Christchurch Priory follow this link.

South Side of Christchurch Priory

South Side of Christchurch Priory

Porter’s Lodge

At the entrance to the Car Park on the right hand side and set back is the Porter’s Lodge.   Together with the stone building visible at the back of the Car Park , the Porter’s Lodge survived the ravages of the Dissolution in the the 16th century.   Within are the remains of wall paintings from the monastery era.   Just beyond can be seen the remains of the Priory gateway where the main entrance to the monastery would have been.

As you proceed along Quay Road you will follow the wall to the graveyard of Christchurch Priory and a view of the North Porch of the Priory.  

It is in the first floor room above the Porch that the Christchurch History Society holds its Archives.    Use this link to get more information on the Christchurch History Society Archives.

On the Christchurch Blue Plaques Millennium Trail Leaflet1 this location is identified as number 23 but no Blue Plaque has been erected.

To continue the tour, go to the Christchurch Workhouse.


1 For details see “Christchurch Blue Plaques Millennium Trail” Produced by Christchurch History Society and Christchurch Borough Council.   Published by Christchurch Borough Council