The story of Knowlton Church and its earthworks is a spiritual combination of Christian and Neolithic history. The 12th century stone-and-flint Norman Knowlton Church is a unique site in that it sits inside a Neolithic earthwork henge. The fantastic sight, for many visitors, symbolizes the radical change between Paganism and Christianity throughout Britain over the course of hundreds – or even thousands – of years.
The earthwork at Knowlton is one of around one of a hundred henges scattered across Britain, each dating from 4,000 to 5,000 years old. Generally believed to have been Pagan ceremonial sites, henges are actually thought to have filled multiple purposes over the centuries during which they were used and inhabited. The Knowlton Earthwork is one of four in the area, all of which are in close walking proximity, but is without a doubt the most photogenic.
In use for half a millennium after its construction during the 12th century, the Knowlton Norman Church served as a place of worship for a now-gone neighboring village by the River Allen. Although it is mostly ruined, the church is recognizably Norman, featuring rounded arches and a door that is very similar to ones found in other churches from that era. The western tower was added after the main body of the church was finished, an estimated 300 years later, but is built in the same fashion as the rest of the structure. Along its eastern face, there is a clearly visible mark where the church’s roof once connected to the tower.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
B3081 (Rd), Sutton Hill, Woodlands, Wimborne
Dorset, England, BH21 8NQ
+44 (0)1202 822 763
- Address: Address: Lumber Lane, Knowlton, Wimborne, Dorset, England, UK, BH21 5AE
- GPS: 50.89200278,-1.967466667
- Part of UK: England
- Sat Nav Postcode: BH21 5AE
- Entrance Fees: Free Access
- Disabled Access: Possible in drfy weather - gravel & grass path - fairly level
- Visibility from Road: Very Good (right next to the road & signposted)
- Image Credits: Header Image: David Crosbie