Church Knowle is a small pretty village set in a valley around one mile west of Corfe Castle.

‘Cnolle’ is a Saxon word signifying the top of a hill, and so it is believed that there was once a Saxon settlement here.

However, a Roman villa has been discovered nearby and Church Knowle’s parish contains many prehistoric barrows, so there’s no doubt that human habitation goes back to the earliest times in the area.

The village is noted for Barnston Manor that dates back to the 13th century and possibly Britain’s oldest continuously occupied house. It was the home of the well known Dorset family – the Clavells. 

The village is also the location of the popular Margaret Green Animal Sanctuary, a wonderful place to pay a visit with the whole family.

Church Knowle’s St Peters Church is famous as the burial place of the Pike brothers (Purbeck Ball Clay Merchants) famed for bringing the first steam locomotive to Purbeck in 1866. Also buried there is Warburton Pike who was the first person to translate Dante’s Inferno into English in 1881.

Finally, there’s the New Inn (which is actually hundreds of years old) is ideally situated for pub walks around the village.

Attractions in Church Knowle…

St Peter's Church
Given the village is called Church Knowle and ‘Cnowle’ is a Saxon word, there was no doubt a Saxon church nearby. Indeed, the Domesday Book refers to it. Parts of the present building date back to the 13th century, and there is a list of rectors going back to the 14th century.

The Church is the burial place of the Pike brothers famed for bringing the first steam locomotive to Purbeck in 1866. Also buried there is Warburton Pike who was the first person to translate Dante’s Inferno into English in 1881.
Church Knowle village
Church Knowle is a very pretty little village and after calling in to see the animals at the Rescue Centre, or for a swift one at the local pub, it's well worth taking a walk down the length of its main street!
Barnston Manor
The village is noted for Barnston Manor that dates back to the 13th century and possibly Britain’s oldest continuously occupied house. It was the home of the well known Dorset family - the Clavells. The manor is not open to the public, but can be seen from the road or the hills behind.
Previous
Next

Eating out in Church Knowle…

The New Inn

The New Inn

'Traditional village inn set in the rolling Purbeck hills'

Church Knowle, BH20 5NQ
Tel: 01929 480 357
Website

Getting to Church Knowle…

Church Knowle is a 13 minute drive from Wareham. There’s no direct bus route.

Get Directions

  show options

Other Purbeck villages to visit…

Get Directions

  show options
Scroll to Top