About this church
The typically austere exterior surmounted by tower and (newly restored) cupola contains an unexpectedly stunningly beautiful and peaceful interior. It is believed that there has been a church on this site at least since medieval times; the present building was erected following the town’s devastation by fire in 1731.
This church was built on the site of an earlier church which was burnt, along with the rest of the town, in 1731. The work was carried out by local builders, William and John Bastard.
The timeless and seemingly unchanged interior, with its wooden box pews, is deceptive. Amongst other things those ingenious Victorians moved the apse back on wooden rollers to put in a chancel and choir stalls.
The Grade I listed organ by GP England, which legend has was originally built for the Chapel Royal in The Strand, has in its time been moved around the building.
It is believed that the pulpit was designed in 17th century by Sir Christopher Wren for the church of St. Antholin in the City of London.
You can also see a wonderfully carved Bailiff’s Chair which was occupied by John Bastard in 1750 and 1752 and is still used by the current Mayor of Blandford. There is also graffiti on some of pew doors and other woodwork of the church, including an inscription by T Dobree who also painted his name on a beam in the cupola.
Recent restoration work to the tower and cupola included the rehanging of the Apprentice Bell in the cupola, which was used to alert apprentices to lunchtime and the end of the working day. It is possible to organise tours of the church and part way up the tower.