Lying on the coast between
the rivers Stour and Avon, this picturesque
town has the world’s biggest maze, covering 16
acres, and the longest parish church in
England at nearly 300 feet. The church, 11th Century Christchurch Priory, also has
England’s oldest bell, dating from 1370.
Meanwhile a house near the village’s bowling
green has the country’s oldest Norman chimney
dating to the 12th Century!
As far back as the 9th Century the local harbour was an important cog in Alfred the Great’s defences against the Danes, but all that remains of the 11th Century castle is its keep. The full story of the area is told at the Redhouse Museum, art gallery and gardens. The building was once a workhouse where children made fine chains for the clock-making industry.