Verwood & Three Legged Cross



The church was built in 1886/7 when Verwood became a Parish in its own right, having previously been part of Cranborne.    It replaced an earlier Chapel of Ease erected in 1829 to serve the parishioners of this outlying district.   As such it could conduct baptism and burial services but was not licensed for marriages until it became the Parish Church.    It stands on Church Hill on a plot previously carved out of the heathland owned by the Squire William Rolles Fryer and donated by him for a peppercorn sum.   


This photograph shows the ornamental railings with surmounted the wall around the churchyard.   They also served the practical purpose of preventing animals from wandering in off the common.   The railings were removed during World War II supposedly to help the war effort.


By the late 1970s the population of Verwood had grown considerably.   The decision was made to enlarge the Parish Church by extending the side aisles and adding a Meeting Room at the west entrance.   Internal reorganisation created a light and airy space.   As can be seen, the basic fabric of the older building is contained within the new structure.  



Verwood Methodist Church in Vicarage Road was built in 1909 to replace an earlier 1876 Primitive Methodist Chapel on the same site.   Prior to this meetings had been held in houses, barns and the open air.   In recent years the brick wall has been removed and the front redesigned to create a more approachable and beautiful entrance.   The rear contains a modern hall and a garden.



The two Chapels standing alongside each other in Manor Road have excited some curiosity.   There have been Independent Chapels or Meeting Houses in Verwood since the early 19th century but in 1877 a purpose built brick structure was erected in Manor Road to serve as both church and school.    This is the building second left which now houses the Library and was one of the junior schools in the village until 1967 when Hillside School was built.    In 1906 the Chapel near left was built for worship so that the other could remain dedicated solely as a school.    It was an Independent, later Congregational and now United Reformed Church.   It has an adjacent hall, the foyer of which has been tastefully improved in recent years.



Bethel Chapel in Ringwood Road was opened in April 1931 by a group who preferred a more evangelical form of worship than was then available.    Three of the founding fathers gave up their jobs in order to build the chapel accepting only 37 between them for their labour.   The building has since been extended and in 2004 the old doorway was replaced by a porch.    It has remained an Independent, Evangelical Church throughout.


For further information on these churches, please see their websites

St. Michael & All Angels with All Saints

Methodist Church

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