The houses of the town are not of much architectural interest, and are for the most part of comparatively modern date, the bulk of the new building being to the north, where the presence of the railway station has caused a suburb to spring up.
There are, however, one or two red brick 18thcentury fronts, and in Castle Street is an ancient timberframed house which has been refronted and is now a butcher's shop.
Louisa Marchioness of Waterford, the daughter of Lord Stuart de Rothesay, records that her father brought from 'la Grande Maison des Andelys, near Rouen,' cornices and window settings for incorporation in the building, (fn. There are three tumuli on Foxbury Hill and two on Matcham's Plantation in the far north; upon the latter a height of 124 ft. The highest point, however, in the parish (160 ft.) is upon St. On this hill are numerous tumuli and an ancient earthwork, (fn.
26) and it is from these that the style of the house was developed, with more success than might have been expected from the period. 30) within which, to the south-west, can possibly be traced the foundations of an ancient chapel.
West of the town is the picturesque village of Iford on the River Stour, close to which is the ground preserving traditions of Saxon battles. The parish of Christchurch East lies to the northeast of Christchurch and contains 6,755 acres, (fn. O., and the residence of Sir Harold Harmsworth, bart.
There was probably always a school in connexion with the priory; it was included among the possessions of the priory when these were confirmed by Baldwin de Redvers in about 1140. 13) At the time of the Dissolution a master was kept to teach the children grammar, and a daily lecture in divinity was given. 14) At a subsequent date, which is not known, a free grammar school was founded, (fn. 19) of which 1 acre is covered by tidal water and 27 by inland water; 2,285½ acres are arable, 1,737¾ permanent grass and 1,224 woods and plantations. 20) There are many gravel and clay pits in the parish, mostly now disused. It is an imposing modern building in a style based upon the French architecture of the 15th century.
The house has its place in modern history as the residence in 1907 of the German Emperor during his 'rest cure.' Wolhayes is the residence of Mrs. The Cottage Homes and workhouse are in this parish.
Just off the main road, close to the county boundary, are the hamlets of East Parley and Parley Green, while those of West Hurn and Merritown are west of the village.
The whole building is crowned by an elaborately pierced stone parapet, and at the north-west angle is an imposing carriage porch with ogee-headed side openings, and a two-centred arch to the full height of the north face, which is steeply gabled and flanked by panelled octagonal turrets. Somerford Grange, which was once the grange of the prior of Christchurch, was inhabited by John Draper, the last prior after the Dissolution. Cottages and farm-houses are scattered over the whole parish, and the open country is for the most part low-lying.The harbour, formed by the junction of the Avon and Stour, is for the most part shallow, with a winding channel leading to the narrow mouth known as the Run, where the harbour communicates with the sea by a deep channel formerly running eastwards between the cliffs and a low sand-spit outside.In December 1910 the channel was altered to a southerly direction, passing through the sand-bank at a point opposite Sandhills and Gundimore.The land surrounding the harbour is mostly low and marshy, except on the south, where it is shut in by the lofty peninsula of Hengistbury Head.A little way to the west of this is Southbourne, a growing watering-place 1½ miles from Christchurch town. 18) The burial-ground in Jumper's Road, opened in 1858, covers 14 acres and contains two mortuary chapels.