Bere Regis (St. John the Baptist)

Bere Regis Church

Limestone and flint tower of St. John the Baptist, Bere Regis, Dorset (June 2009).

Bere Regis Church is one of Dorset's most interesting. It has a fine early sixteenth century tower constructed of local limestone (Purbeck) and flint. The treasure of this church, however, are the carved and painted oak roof beams, which date from the fifteenth century. The protruding beams are carved into twelve figures dressed in medieval costume, probably either monastic figures or meant to represent the twelve Apostles. Whoever they are meant to be, the roof if definitely worth a look.


Church guide (as of 1997):

Bere Regis Church, Dorset, written and illustrated by F.P. Pitfield, 1983-94. Wincanton: Dorset Publishing Company, [ca. 1994]. ISBN 0-948699-00-0.
An 8 page illustrated history by local author and illustrator. Also available is a 12 page colour booklet entitled "Bere Regis Church, Dorset" (text by John England and Fred Pitfield) which commemorates the 500th anniversary of the oak roof, and which was published in 1986.


6, 18-2-17 in Eb

See also: John England, Tower 500: History of the Tower of the Church of St. John the Baptist, Bere Regis (2000). Available from: John England, 10 South Mead, Bere Regis, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 7HY. Cost: £5.00 + postage.

Bere Regis Church

St. John the Baptist, Bere Regis, Dorset (June 2009). View from the North East.
War Memorial (1919) in foreground.

Images of the interior

Bere Regis church contains some interesting tombs and carvings. The carved capitals by the main entrance are particularly fine. There is also a stunning fifteenth century roof, probably undertaken by Cardinal Morton, who had been born in the parish (Milborne Stileham). Some images of the roof can be found here

Hammer Beam Roof, Bere Regis

12th century carving of a man who has just accidentally dropped his car keys down a drain, Bere Regis, Dorset

Hammer Beam Roof, Bere Regis

12th century carving of dog baiting a tethered bear (?), Bere Regis, Dorset

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Maintained by Michael Day, Last updated: 7 August 2009.