Dorchester
Church of St Nicholas
& Magnus
Dorset DT2 8RH
 

 

But for a quirk of fate this little 18th century church in Moreton would have remained just another old church serving the community of its local manor. Instead it is now known worldwide for its glorious and unique engraved plain glass windows.

In 1940 a stray bomb hit the church completely demolishing the apse and shattering all the windows. The damage was repaired and the windows glazed with dull, painted glass. Fortunately, in 1955 a decision was taken to replace the temporary windows with modern ones designed by Sir Laurence Whistler.

In 1776 the Lord of the Manor, James Frampton had demolished the old medieval church and replaced it with a contemporary one, more in keeping with his newly finished Georgian mansion.

The gaily painted Georgian Gothic interior is flooded with light from Whistler’s magnificent windows. Completed in 1985 the plain glass windows are etched with modern designs and scenes. Originally only the apse windows were commissioned but over the next thirty years he made every window a work of art. They are a fine memorial to this great 20th century artist.

An excellent descriptive and illustrated article on St Nicholas Moreton can be found on Web: The Historic Dorset Churches Trust website

T E Lawrence
Moreton churchyard is also known worldwide as the final resting place of T E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia). The grave is actually in the new churchyard which is a little distance south of the church near the entrance to Moreton Gardens.
 
The entrance to the new churchyard is marked by a portico with a lych-gate. This splendid structure was once part of the entrance to the 18th century Moreton House kitchen gardens! The portico roof is supported on four white-painted wooden Ionic columns. Lawrence’s simple grave is at the back of the cemetery.
 
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Getting There
Local -  To find the church, park in the road near the Moreton Tea Rooms or in the Moreton Gardens car park, but avoid parking on the bend in the road. Walk through the white ‘Dorset Gate’ and down the peaceful drive of Moreton House for 55 yards (50 metres) and the church will appear on a small knoll to your right.
 
Google Map - Church of St Nicholas & Magnus