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Knowlton Church

Knowlton, Dorset

Featured Location Guide

Knowlton Church is a small ruined Norman chapel, sited in the middle of Neolithic earthworks in the Dorset countryside. Surrounded by farmland, the site feels very isolated particularly if you manage to be there alone. You can get some fantastic sunrise shots here, complete with rolling mists if the conditions are right. Try catching the sun peeping through one of the windows, or through the clump of trees to the rear of the site.

Martin Dixon

I first visited to the site when I was seventeen, along with my girlfriend and her family. They had a touch of the new age about them and told me that the site saw the convergence of several ley lines Ė whether or not thatís true I donít know. However, the site is clearly popular with pagans and/or wiccans; at the rear of the site is a small wooded area, through which people have spun intricate webs of various wools and twines, attached with messages of hope and lines to lost loved ones. The site is also reputed to be very haunted, although when I visited (in the dark, on my own) there was nothing to report on this front.

Martin Dixon

Iíd strongly recommend getting to the site early in the morning to catch the sunrise. It is a deceptively small site, and being there with groups of other people will not give you the best atmosphere. The location truly suits those moments where you feel completely alone, sinking into the landscape itself.

Approaching at sunrise Martin Dixon See Larger Image The Sun Rises over the Henge   Martin Dixon See Larger Image

See Larger Image Click on the smaller images to see a larger version See Larger Image

Further information Grid



Knowlton Church, Knowlton, Dorset

Ceremonial County: Dorset

Grid Reference:


Map Link:


Aerial photo: Google Aerial



Best Times to Visit:

Early mornings for the sunrise. The site can get very busy during weekends and summer holidays, and judging from discarded beer cans nearby, may be an occasional drinking spot in the evening.



English Heritage

Other useful websites:


Nearby Locations:  
Other Relevant pages:  


Planning Grid


Knowlton Church, Knowlton, Dorset

Grid Reference:


Getting there:

From the A31, take the exit onto the B3081 towards Verwood. Stay on this road until the T-junction, turning left onto the B3078 towards Knowlton. Take the first turning on the right into Lumber Lane, and the site is a little way down the road on the right.


Through a gate, which was open when I visited at 4.30am on a July morning.


There is space for two or three cars at the very entrance of the site. When the site is busy people tend to park along the side of Lumber Lane, but do this at your own risk! I understand that people sometimes park at the Horton Inn, around 1 mile away, before walking up to the site Ė around 20/25 minutes.


Nothing on site. Closest is probably the Horton Inn.

Things To Do, See and Photograph:

A ruined Norman chapel sited in the middle of Neolithic earthworks. A small wooded area to the rear filled with pagan/wiccan messages and items.

What to take:

A tripod is essential, along with a good range of lenses. Telephoto wonít be much help for the site itself, but is worth having for some of the surrounding countryside. A torch or some other form of light for strobing or light painting might also be useful.

Nature highlights:



Lumber Lane,




BH21 5AE



Opening times:

Any reasonable time. The site was open when I visited at 4.30am in July.



Photo Restrictions:


Other Restrictions:  
Special Needs Access: If busy, may be difficult exiting vehicles. The ground on the site is mainly grass, not totally flat but fairly accessible. Earthworks themselves are fairly small, but might present a problem.
Special Needs Facilities: None
Children Facilities: None
Dogs Allowed: Yes

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By: Martin Dixon Section: Abbeys Key:
Page Ref: knowlton_church Topic: Abbeys Last Updated: 09/2012


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