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St. Peter and St. Paul Blandford Forum

 By the beginning of the C18 Blandford was a 'hub' for the coaching business with numerous coaching inns and there was a thriving button manufacturing industry making it a most successful town.  In 1731, it suffered a quite catastrophic fire, which left 480 families homeless and created countless orphans.  It was, however, an opportunity to rebuild most of the town and the result is that succeeding generations have been bequeathed some of the finest Georgian façades in the country.  Without question the jewel in this architectural crown is the parish church designed and built by the Bastard brothers, John and William, between 1733 and '39.  It is probably the best C18 church outside London and has a plain classical exterior with a western tower surmounted by a wooden cupola.  This last element was not by the brothers, who had intended a spire

 Inside, the building is exceptionally fine with Portland stone columns and impressive roof.  There is a very grand mayoral chair made by the Bastards for the Bailiffs of Blandford, dated 1748 (John occupied it from 1750 to '52).  In 1794, a gallery was built over the west end and a new organ installed.  This superb instrument with Crown and Prince of Wales feathers adorning the top was destined for the Chapel Royal, Savoy, but proved to be too large.  More galleries, north and south, were created in 1819, but have since been removed.  Originally, there was just a shallow apse, however in 1895 this whole end of the building was moved bodily eastwards so that a chancel could be inserted.  This was Victorian ingenuity at its best and the decorated ceiling of the 'new' chancel is most attractive

There are box pews and a Wren pulpit from St. Antholin in London.  An interesting C18 octagonal font, probably designed by the Bastards, rests on a beautifully tiled floor at the rear of the church and is very similar to the font in Charlton Marshall.

Outside the west entrance, note the monument to the Blandford Fire.

This is an exceptional building and worthy of any effort required to visit it!

Grants

Grant date Reason Amount Extra amount Extra reason
01/11/16 12:00 amRepairs to roof and plasterwork£6,500£5,000NCT

Churches Nearby

Ref Title Town Postcode Distance
St. Peter and St. PaulBlandford ForumDT11 7AF0
Our Lady of Lourdes & St CeciliaBlandford ForumDT11 7BN0
St. MaryBlandford ForumDT11 9ND1
St. MartinBryanstonDT11 0PX1
All SaintsLangton LongDT11 9HS1
St. Mary the VirginCharlton MarshallDT11 9PJ2
St. PeterPimperneDT11 8UB2
St. NicholasDurwestonDT11 0QA2
Holy TrinityStourpaineDT11 8TQ2
Saint John the BaptistSpetisburyDT11 9DF3
All SaintsTarrant KeynstonDT11 9JB3
St Mary'sTarrant CrawfordDT11 9HU3
St. MaryTarrant RushtonDT11 8SD3
St. MaryWinterborne SticklandDT11 0NJ3
St. MaryTarrant RawstonDT11 8SD3
St. NicholasWinterborne ClenstonDT11 0NY4
All SaintsTarrant MonktonDT11 8RX4
St. AndrewWinterborne HoughtonDT11 0PD4
St. MaryTurnworthDT11 0EE4
St. MaryShrotonDT11 8PU4
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