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Charlton Marshall Village HistorySun, 21st July 2019

Charlton Marshall Village History

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1713: Church Remodelling

Our church is certainly our oldest building. Until I read one of the old guide booklets I hadn’t noticed the distinct difference between the stonework of the mediaeval tower and the rest of the building which was remodelled in 1713.

The church is very light inside because it has no old stained glass. All the side windows are clear glass from 1713. The stained glass in the windows at the east and west ends is twentieth century and the windows commemorate members of the Walker family. Samuel Arthur Walker was Rector from 1886 to 1904. When he retired he bought Charlton Manor and the family played a pivotal role in the village for the rest of the century.

The church is included in Simon Jenkins’ book “ England’s Thousand Best Churches”. Along with the town centre church in Blandford it is reckoned to be one of the best examples of a Georgian Church outside London. It is of course actually from the reign of Queen Anne, and is often referred to as ‘Early English’ in style. Jenkins says ‘interior in style of Wren’. However The Georgian Group was pleased to visit in 1962.

Our church and Blandford’s have certain similarities of style and it is often thought that our 1713 remodelling was done by Thomas Bastard, father of John and William Bastard who were responsible for the rebuilding of much of Blandford after the fire of 1731.

Much of our church is just as it was in 1713 but some fairly extensive restoration work was done in 1895 and at that time the box pews were removed and were remade into the pews that are in the church today. If you want to see pews that are probably fairly similar to the ones we used to have, you should go to the little church in the farmyard at Winterborne Tomsom or the one at Chalbury just off the Wimborne to Cranborne road; both of those churches are of course well worth a visit in their own right.

Another interesting feature of our church is the memorials on the walls; other research that I am doing is bringing some of them very much to life and at some future date I shall hope to write brief articles about some of the people commemorated there.

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