DorsetBLANDFORDFORUMStPeterStPaul(markjacquesPERMISSIONBYEMAIL)1 MarkJacques

St Peter & St Paul

St Peter & St Paul is arguably the best Georgian church outside London and stands at the very heart of its community.

Blandford Forum, Dorset

Opening times

At the moment the building is used only on Saturday mornings when the porch and side rooms are open for coffee, but when the scaffolding is down we will be open daily as before.

Address

Market Place
Blandford Forum
Dorset
DT11 7AD

The typically austere exterior surmounted by tower and (newly restored) cupola contains an unexpectedly stunningly beautiful and peaceful interior. It is believed that there has been a church on this site at least since medieval times; the present building was erected following the town’s devastation by fire in 1731.

This church was built on the site of an earlier church which was burnt, along with the rest of the town, in 1731. The work was carried out by local builders, William and John Bastard.

The timeless and seemingly unchanged interior, with its wooden box pews, is deceptive. Amongst other things those ingenious Victorians moved the apse back on wooden rollers to put in a chancel and choir stalls.

The Grade I listed organ by GP England, which legend has was originally built for the Chapel Royal in The Strand, has in its time been moved around the building.

It is believed that the pulpit was designed in 17th century by Sir Christopher Wren for the church of St. Antholin in the City of London.

You can also see a wonderfully carved Bailiff’s Chair which was occupied by John Bastard in 1750 and 1752 and is still used by the current Mayor of Blandford. There is also graffiti on some of pew doors and other woodwork of the church, including an inscription by T Dobree who also painted his name on a beam in the cupola.

Recent restoration work to the tower and cupola included the rehanging of the Apprentice Bell in the cupola, which was used to alert apprentices to lunchtime and the end of the working day. It is possible to organise tours of the church and part way up the tower.

  • Captivating architecture

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Accessible toilets in church

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Café within 500m

  • Church shop or souvenirs

  • Dog friendly

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Parking within 250m

  • Tea and coffee weekly Saturdays 10am to 12noon. Mothers Union monthly 2nd Thursdays 2.45pm to 4.30pm, all welcome.

  • Church of England

  • Cornerstone Grant, £20,000, 2021

  • Our Cornerstone Grants fund urgent repairs and essential community facilities such as toilets and kitchens to help keep churches open.

  • Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant, £7,500, 2021

  • Wolfson Fabric Repair Grants are awarded for urgent repair projects, based on our recommendation, to help keep churches open.

Contact information

Other nearby churches

Blandford Forum URC

Blandford Forum, Dorset

The church traces its history back to 1661 when after the Act of Uniformity, Revd William Alleine, who had been appointed to Blandford Parish Church in 1650 was forced to resign his living.

St Bartholomew

Shapwick, Dorset

People have been worshipping in this beautiful place for over a thousand years, the church dates back to the 13th century and there is a real feeling of tranquillity and spirituality here standing on the bank of the River Stour.

St Mary

Almer, Dorset

Dating from the 11th century, St Mary's has an interesting collection of stained glass, well worthy of a visit.