Poole Wesleyan Methodist Church sits
at the very top of the High Street, where it meets North Street.
A chapel was erected on the site in 1793, but the present building
was constructed in 1878, leaving the old chapel at its rear to serve
as a hall. The buildings became badly deteriorated, and the church
closed for worship in summer 2009 after a large section of plaster
fell from a high wall. Radical changes were proposed to convert it
into a lively centre for the community.
Poole Christian Fellowship is at the
north-east corner of the Lagland Street and North Street
junction. Its began in 1989 with a small meeting in a private
house. The first public meetings took place in 1990 in Garland
Road, before switching to Hamworthy Middle School in the mid-1990s.
In early 1996 it merged with Poole Evangelical Church, a
Brethren Assembly that had occupied Lagland Street for over a
century. Prior to that, the building had been Lagland Street
Poole Baptist Church is crammed into
the north end of Hill Street, twenty-five metres or so south of
the High Street junction from where it is almost invisible. This
Grade II listed building was put up about 1815, replacing a previous
chapel of 1735 which is marked by a plaque. It was altered around
1879. Construction of the rectangular building was in brick with
terracotta dressings and a slate roof. The original three-door
entrance was replaced, perhaps in 1879.
The Salvation Army Church in Poole is
on the north side of New Orchard, with Hill Street to the east.
The building is comparatively recent, probably dating to the 1970s
or 1980s. This area was once the market place, with a police station
partially on the church's footprint. The church received some publicity
in February 2009 when sixteen year-old Young Salvationist Bethany
Greenwood was recognised in Poole's 'Young Star' scheme, for her
work among the homeless.
The Church of Scientology Mission of Bournemouth
(High Street Poole) appears as little more than the doorway shown
here, between the public house and Latimer House at 44-46 High Street.
The 'churches' of this controversial cult are open every day of the
week, not only on Sundays, and members come and go at different times
during the week, apparently participating in religious services or
community activities. The church uses the first floor of the building.
St James, Parish Church of Poole, lies
between Church Street and West Street at the south-western end of
the town centre. The original Norman church was built in 1142, but
amazingly little detail is available to describe it. The present
church was a complete rebuild of the original construction which
took place between 1819-1821, creating a Georgian-style building.
Thanks to its associations with the harbour, it is also known as
'the fisherman's church'.
Along with many relics from the Norman church,
the building also contains highly unusual wooden pillars like the
masts of the sailing ships that formerly docked at the nearby
harbour. These pillars were transported from Newfoundland, with
which Poole has centuries of close association. A local story has it
that during the reign of Edward VI, the duke of Somerset ordered eight
bells to be sold in aid of Poole's fortification, but the bells were
lost during passage to Holland.
Skinner Street United Reformed Church
is a Grade II listed chapel on the northern side of Skinner Street,
at the junction with Lagland Street. It was built about 1777 as
Skinner Street Congregational Church, and a vestry was added
in 1814 when the interior was refitted. Further interior
alterations took place in 1880 and 1886. According to the Paranormal
Database, box pews and brass lamps that were removed in the 1800s
can sometimes be seen within the church.
St Mary's Church, Brownsea Island, sits
towards the eastern end of the island around three hundred metres
from Brownsea Island Cafe. William Waugh paid for the construction
of this church, just off the coast of Poole. It was built in the
Gothic Revival style, and named after Waugh's wife rather than in
dedication to any Biblical Mary. The foundation stone was laid by
Sir Harry Smith in 1853 and construction was completed a year later,
followed by consecration.
It was built primarily to serve the small group
of people who lived and worked on the island's pottery works, which
made clay sewerage pipes and chimney pots. Inside is a monument to
Waugh as well as the tomb of the late owner, Charles van Raalte.
Part of the church is dedicated to the Scouting movement and the
flags of the Scout and Girl Guide movements line either side of the
main altar - 'Branksea Island', as it was, served as the
experimental scouting camp in 1907.
Eight photos on this page kindly contributed
by M Kessler, with one each by Douglas Law and Karen White via
the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group.
Additional information by Karen White and Douglas Law.