HOLNEST

 

 

 

CHURCH OF

 

THE ASSUMPTION

 

For more information please visit:

www.whitehartvalechurchesdorset.co.uk

 

 

Holnest church outside

 

 

Holnest church inside

 

This medieval church is one of eleven listed buildings in the parish of Holnest. At Grade I it is by far the most important (all the others are Grade II) and dates mainly from the 14th and early 15th centuries. Like most other ancient parish churches it was restored and reordered during the 19th century but with relatively little impact on the earlier fabric. Just the chancel is an obvious product of the 19th century. Today the church stands in splendid isolation in a large graveyard at the centre of its 2270 acre parish beside the busy Sherborne to Dorchester A352 road. The 18th-century painted box-pews, large number of consecration crosses, and Jacobean pulpit are important survivals. As is usual with medieval buildings, the original architects are unknown. The whole was extensively restored in 1855 when the chancel was rebuilt but again the architect is unknown. The south wall of the nave is most probably the oldest part, and predates the three-stage, battlemented tower which was added in the late 14th or early 15th century when the south aisle, porch and possibly a chancel were also added. The porch was altered in the 17th century and has an inscription of 1650. There are no less than fourteen consecration crosses. Internally the nave arcade has two plain round arches, there are two-centred tower and chancel arches. The style is generally Perpendicular.

 

The community that once surrounded the church has long gone, being supposedly destroyed by a plague epidemic, and the church now remains as a sole survivor of an earlier age.