Bradford Abbas must rank as one of Dorset's most important village churches. This is a largely 15c building with a magnificent embattled and pinnacle west tower with many niches, two still having the original figures. Close to the tower is the remains of a 15c preaching cross.
The exact origins of this church are unknown, but according to the excellent guide book, when St Aldhelm became the Bishop of Sherborne in 705, his policy was to encourage churches in the nearby villages and this may have been one of them. Certainly, the present building was started by William Bradford, Abbot of Sherborne (1436 - 59). Originally, there would have three altars in addition to the high altar. By 1828 when a new incumbent was installed, he had to report that the building was in a sorry state with the roof leaking so badly that it could not be used in wet weather. By 1848, things had improved and the seating increased by 183. The wall above the rood screen and the box pews were removed in 1848. In 1890 the roofs were completely repaired and the internal walls stripped of their plaster and re-pointed with the grim grey seen today. The vestry was added in 1911.
The chancel screen is 15c. The pulpit is good example of Jacobean craftsmanship and dated 1623. There is a superb 16c font carried on four pillars decorated with the figures of Aldhelm, the first Bishop of Sherborne, Bishop Osmund of the 11c, Richard Beauchamp and John the Baptist.
The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©
|St. Mary the Virgin||Bradford Abbas||DT9 6SP||0|
|St Mary Magdalene||Thornford,||DT9 6QF||1|
|St George||Higher Langham||SP8 5DP||2|
|St Michael||Beer Hackett||DT9 6QT||2|
|St Michael||Over Compton||DT9 4QU||2|
|St Nicholas||Nether Compton||DT9 4QA||2|
|St Hippolytus||Ryme Intrinseca,||DT9 6JX||2|
|St Andrew||Yetminster,||DT9 6LG||2|
|St Andrew||Trent||DT9 4SL||3|
|St Martin||Lillington||DT9 6QX||3|
|Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin||Sherborne,||DT9 3BP||3|
|St Peter||Chetnole||DT9 6NZ||4|
|St James||Longburton||DT9 5PF||4|
|St Andrew||Leigh||DT9 6HL||4|
|St. Osmund||Melbury Osmond||DT2 0LZ||4|
|St Lawrence||Folke||DT9 5HP||5|
|St James||East Chelborough (or Lewcombe)||DT2 0QB||5|
|St Edwold (CCT)||Stockwood,||DT2 0NG||5|
|St. Cuthbert||Oborne||DT9 4JY||5|
|St Cuthbert Old Chancel (CCT)||Oborne||DT9 4JY||5|