Hermitage (St. Mary)

Hermitage Church

St. Mary's Church, Hermitage, Dorset

A small church sheltered by the northern edge of High Stoy, part of the scarp slope of the Dorset Downs. The small village gets its name from a hermitage established here in the middle ages, eventually becoming an Augustianian "Priory Hermitage" estabilished under a license granted by Edward II in 1314. The hermitige was annexed to the Abbey of Cerne in 1513, not very long before the Dissolution.

The priory probably stood on the site of the farm house directly next to the church. St Mary's Church itself was extensively restored in the seventeenth-century and again in 1800. There is one bell, in a stone bell-turret topped with a decorative ball at the west end of the church. It is now part of the Wriggle Valley Benefice.


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Maintained by Michael Day, Last updated: 29 March 2010.