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St Mary’s Church - Turnworth Dorset
Main Street

DT11 0EE


St Mary’s

Turnworth, Dorset, DT11 0EE.


John Tory – Churchwarden & Treasurer – 01258 453491 Jenny Tory – PCC Secretary – 01258 453491


Weekly individual prayer

Mondays – 9am to 3pm.

Throughout lockdown, Turnworth church will be open to all for individual prayer on Mondays from 9am to 3pm.
Whenever possible, Rev’d Lewis Pearson will pray here on the Monday morning.

Please note, it is a legal requirement to wear a mask.
Hand sanitizer will be available.

Turnworth Sunday Services

Feb 27

Morning Worship (also Zoom)

Sun 27th February 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Mar 27

Morning Worship (also Zoom)

Sun 27th March 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Apr 24

Morning Worship (also Zoom)

Sun 24th April 10:30 am - 11:30 am
May 22

Morning Worship (also Zoom)

Sun 22nd May 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Jun 26

Morning Worship (also Zoom)

Sun 26th June 10:30 am - 11:30 am

About the Village

Church History and Interesting Facts

“Full of Beauty” – Thomas Hardy

An early postcard of Turnworth Church, viewed from the backgarden of the Rectory.

In 1086 in the Domesday Book Turnworth was recorded as Torneworde. It had 19 households, was in Pimperne Hundred and the lord and tenant-in-chief was Alfred of ‘Spain’.

The church, with the exception of the tower, was rebuilt in the 19th century with assistance from Thomas Hardy, who designed the capitals and possibly also the corbels. Hardy described Turnworth’s position as being “stood in a hole, but the hole is full of beauty”, and he used Turnworth House as the inspiration for Hintock House in his novel The Woodlanders.
The carved stone foliage for the church’s pillars were designed by Thomas Hardy (although the work was done later).

The west tower is c. 1500, of greensand and flint, but the rest was rebuilt in 1868-69 by G. R. Crickmay to a design of John Hicks, after his death. The ornately carved capitals were reputedly designed by Thomas Hardy, who worked for both Hicks and Crickmay before he became a well-known poet and novelist. The ‘capitals’ represent various kinds of foliage inhabited by song birds (including a very striking owl) and sand lizards.
In later life, Hardy was well aquainted with the Rector (Thomas Perkins, a regular contributor of guidebooks to Bell’s Cathedral Series) and apparently used to cycle over from Dorchester to read the lesson at evensong.