St. John the Baptist, Bere Regis (Lead author: Jo Thomas)
St. John the Baptist church (SY84742 94756) is of Saxon origin, but was largely rebuilt in the 12th century Additions were made in the 13th to 16th centuries, and it was restored in 1875 by G.E. Street. The interior is of great interest, and the churchwardens often give guided tours.
The south chapel has Purbeck limestone and flint in the lower half and Purbeck limestone and brick above, where it was rebuilt in the 19th century.
The walls of the south aisle were originally built of
Cypris Freestones and Heathstone from Black Hill, and were later rebuilt with the limestone banded with brick from Doddings brickyard. Photo: JT
Most of the village buildings are of brick, made at Doddings Brickyard east of the village, which was working the London Clay from the 17th to 1911. This is almost certainly the same source for the bricks in the church. The walls around Charborough Park came from Doddings.
South of Bere Regis is Black Hill, where the Poole Formation and London Clay will have produced random blocks of Heathstone.