Our visit today is to Knowlton church and earthworks, a quiet hamlet tucked away in the beautiful countryside of the south west Dorset area – ( if you arnt aware of what one of those is, its essentially known as a settlement that doesn’t quite meet village status.
Knowlton church is built within a Neolithic Henge monument tucked away inside a system of earthworks in the area, five circular earthworks that include the southern circle, the northern enclosure, the old churchyard, the great barrow and the church circle. The great barrow is part of a network of ring ditches that surrounds Knowlton. Its suggested that the Knowlton site was associated with burial activity and known for its ceremonial purposes.
The church itself is Norman built in the 12th century church, although the tower was added later in the 15th century, it was generally built in this location as it was the middle of the circle and associated with pagan rituals. The church was built as an attempt to convert the local pagan population to Christianity .
Most view the church first when coming here as it stands out and is something that you are drawn to straight away. Its wonderful to see this church is good standings, you are able to walk around the north of the tower and head inside for a view of the windows where a tower arch opens to a lovely round headed arches. Most of the ruins are now reduced down to just its foundations, but you can still definitely picture the characteristic of the Norman period and how it would have looked back then.
The site itself is quite atmospheric, it has a certain enchantment to it and you can feel quite isolated walking around here, im not sure I would want to be here at night alone. Knowlton is said to be a haunted ruin, with tales about sprits and ghosts that linger here, the church is a hotspot to paranormal groups and investigators so if you are into the more dark and scary , knowlton could be great for you at night.
When exploring more of the site you can see two huge yew trees and a massive collection of brightly coloured ribbons and messages. It seems its somewhere were people can write a variety of prayers for loved ones or symbolising something special to them. I read up on the fact that yew trees generally are important to both paganism and Christianity and its quite common to find them close to a church. It’s a beautiful yet hidden nod to both the pagan and Christian religions, both bold and colourful respectively.
We really hope you’ve enjoyed reading a little bit about Knowlton and the earthworks, its amazing that we are able to go outside and explore more freely now with of course making sure we are looking after one another. And we are so glad to be doing more outdoors and being able to do what we love which is visiting wonderful and hidden sights like these. So we hope that you can join us soon on our next adventure, if you like what you see please head across to our YouTube channel ( youtube.com/pinnedonplaces ) and you can watch a variety of UK walking tours that we have created for you and keep up to date with our outings below on our Instagram.