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St John the Evangelist Hinton Martell  

The present structure replaced a much earlier version, which by 1869 had reached '..a state of general decay..' so that it was universally resolved to take it down and build a bigger new church on the site.  The estimated cost was £1,640, a huge sum for a parish largely consisting of farm labourers and without a wealthy landlord to help.  A £200 loan was promised by Queen Anne's Bounty and advertisements taken in local newspapers appealing for subscriptions.  At some point around this time there was a fire and there is some doubt about the provenance of the tower, which maybe the original C15.  The money was raised and a new church built in 1870 to a design by G. R. Crickmay (the author Thomas Hardy was working for him at the time so there maybe some of his work here).  The quite excellent church guide by Canon Wm Bernard suggests that the architect was John Hills of Dorchester, but since there is no reference to him in Pevsner's Guide, it is probably a misprint for John Hicks, who practiced in Dorchester and died in 1869 after which his outstanding work was carried forward by Crickmay. Canon Barnard gave an exemplary service to the parish of 40 years, which must be something of a record in modern times.

The building has a splendid decorated wagon roof to the chancel and some superbly executed corbels by sculptors Boulton and Weaver.  The Purbeck stone font is C13.  This is a 'High Church' and there are some beautiful artefacts associated with this calling of Christianity.


The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©



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