St Edward’s Church
St Edward’s Church is our own estate church, located in the hamlet of Athelhampton, separated from the Garden by the old A35 road.
Built in 1861 the St John’s church was an improvement over the old church which stood closer to the house.
The church was designed by the firm of Hicks of Dorchester, whom Thomas Hardy worked for and he wrote in his diary that he had set out the building on the first day of works.
In 1975, with a dwindling population, the church in poor repair and churches in Tolpuddle and Puddletown, services ceased. The church was then purchased by Athelhampton, repaired and used a store for many years.
In 1996 Father John Nield started an Orthodox congregation. The church was dedicated to St Edward, King & Martyr who died at Corfe Castle in AD978.
Sadly Father John, died in 2001, but the congregation continues to worship and grow, and the church has seen much restoration, including refurbishing the Italian bells.