I hate to talk about churches being redundant. After sometimes a millennium as the beating heart of a community the term “redundant” seems unkind somehow. Retired seems nicer. Maybe, to use a modern cliche, “pre-loved”? Anyway, there is no getting away from the fact that Whitcombe Church has been ecclesiastically redundant since 1971 and it is in the care of the wonderful Churches Conservation Trust.
Diana and I loved this church and if you are a seasoned church crawler, the odds are that you too have churches you love and you can’t explain why. Whitcombe is the sort of church I love to write about when I’ve been seeing the big proud self-confident town churches. I always think that if I found God it would be in a church like Whitcombe: a humble place.
It’s just 2 miles west of Dorchester on the A352 road on the right hand side as you approach the town. You will have to keep your eyes peeled otherwise you will whizz past it.
Externally, there is nothing to indicate that this aisle-less church is redundant. The grey stonework is in fine fettle. You can tell it is an old church because it has plain Norman doorways on both the south and north sides, the northern one -inevitably - blocked. The east end has an Early English triple lancet window but this looks like a replacement from the 1912 rebuilding of the east