The Great Chamber is one of the towns
most prominent buildings, sited opposite the Kings Arms Hotel it forms one
corner of the triangle in which sits our bowling green which must be one, if not
the most beautiful places to have a bowling green, in England if not the world.
The other corners are represented by the Castle and the Priory.
The plaque outside the Great Chamber, (shown at the foot
of this page) describes some of the history. Again a ruin but one that should
not be missed by the visitor.
The plaque says:
'Across a period of
500 years Christchurch gradually took on the form it still shows today. The
Great Priory Church occupied the prime position nearest to the river. Beside it
the late Saxon town was defended by timber walls and gates, the buildings
arranged along a regular grid of streets with garden plots behind.
this orderly arrangement the Normans built a castle. This involved diverting the
main east-west street so as to make room for the great earth mound carrying a
timber tower. Between the mound and the river a defended courtyard containing
the residential buildings of the castle.
During the course of the 12th
century most of the castle building and defences were rebuilt in stone. The old
wooden tower on top of the earth mound was replaced by a great stone keep whose
remains can still be seen. Of the buildings in the courtyard, only the great
Chamber still remains'.
This information is provided by Mr B.G.