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Christchurch Priory

Christchurch Priory

Artist: Blore, Edward

Medium: Pencil on paper

Date: 1850

Shelfmark: Additional MS 42017

Item number: f.15

Length: 19.2

Width: 27

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Drawing

A church has stood on this site since Saxon times when the town was originally called Thuinam or Twynham. In 1094 Ranulf Flambard, a minister of William II, began to build his church here. In 1099 he was appointed to the Bishopric at Durham, but building of the priory continued. It was during this time that the town and priory changed its name from Twynham to Christchurch. As workmen were constructing the roof, a mysterious carpenter appeared one day to assist them. One evening a beam put in place was found to be too short. The next morning the beam had "grown" to the proper length and the mysterious carpenter was not to be seen again. They assumed that Christ himself had come down from heaven to help build his own church and the church was thus renamed Christ's Church of Twynham, and later Christchurch.

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