Wimborne Minster

This is a large and exciting church founded, like Sherborne in 705; a nunnery here was dissolved in the 11th century and a college of canons served the parish until the Dissolution.

About this church

There is a small fragment of Saxon work but today the grand late Norman nave and lantern tower are succeeded by a raised chancel of the following century, with its famous 12th century Moses corbel and an east window of three elegant lancets.

The tall west tower was added in the late 15th century, as was a nave clerestory and timbered roof, and later still, completely inappropriate but rather charming battlements on the tower. The stone used for the church is of several different kinds and colours, giving it a mottled appearance.

Monuments appear in profusion inside the church and include an unusual one to 17th century lawyer Anthony Ettricke, who committed the Duke of Monmouth to the Tower. He was such an awkward man that he announced that he would not be buried in the church or out of it, so his was set tomb half in and half out of the south wall of the Chapel of the Holy Trinity.

Nearby are the dignified effigies of John and Margaret de Beaufort, grandparents of Henry VII. They are holding hands. In St George's Chapel is the tomb and effigy of Sir Edmund Uvedale, who died in 1606. He is in armour, lying on his side and propping himself up on his elbow. He has two left feet, the result of the right one being broken off in an accident and being replaced with a copy of his left foot by mistake. Next to Sir Edmund is a wooden Saxon chest made from a solid lump of oak in about 900.

An astronomical clock dating from about 1320 shows the sun and the moon going round the earth. On the first floor of the south transept there is a chained library from 1686, with many ancient books. Under the west tower is a memorial tablet to Isaac Gulliver, a well known smuggler who was also twice church warden.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Other nearby churches

Christ Church

Originally dedicated in 1985, in the heart of Creekmoor in Poole.


All Saints

Tiny and remote, the whitewashed church at Chalbury dates back as far as the 12th century but contains a full 18th century set of perfectly preserved furnishings, including three decker pulpit, squire's pew and box pews.

St Bartholomew

People have been worshipping in this beautiful place for over a thousand years, the church dates back to the 13th century and there is a real feeling of tranquillity and spirituality here standing on the bank of the River Stour.

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