Church Knowle

Church Knowle is a village and civil parish on the Isle of Purbeck in the county of Dorset in the south of England.

Church Knowle
Road through Church Knowle village - - 764717.jpg
Road through Church Knowle
Church Knowle is located in Dorset
Church Knowle
Church Knowle
Location within Dorset
OS grid referenceSY939817
Civil parish
  • Church Knowle
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townWAREHAM
Postcode districtBH20
Dialling code01929
FireDorset and Wiltshire
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
50°38′09″N 2°05′12″W / 50.6359°N 2.0866°W / 50.6359; -2.0866Coordinates: 50°38′09″N 2°05′12″W / 50.6359°N 2.0866°W / 50.6359; -2.0866

Church Knowle village is situated about 1 mile (1.6 km) west of Corfe Castle, 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Wareham and 6 miles (9.7 km) west of Swanage. In the 2011 census the parish—which includes the settlements of East Creech and Furzebrook to the north—had 114 households and a population of 261.[1]

Church Knowle, St Peter's Church
St Peter's Church, inside view

The church is named Saint Peter's Church. Church Knowle Fete is held in the grounds of the Old Rectory every August.

Pike familyEdit

Buried in the Churchyard at Church Knowle are the two brothers who brought the first steam locomotive (Primus) to Purbeck in 1866 - The Pike Brothers - John William and William Joseph Pike (Purbeck Ball Clay Merchants). They are buried together with their relatives. John is buried with his mother-in-law Charlotte Bridges Mayer, who was the daughter of William Adams of London and wife of the potter Thomas Mayer. John lived at Westport House in Wareham, now the site of the home of Purbeck District Council. William Joseph lived in North Street Wareham. William Joseph's 7-year-old son was drowned in Studland Bay and is buried alongside his father. John and William Joseph's clay merchant father - William lived nearby at Bucknowle House and it was here that the Pike Brothers were born. William Pike's father-in-law was Jacob Warburton who founded the New Hall Pottery in Staffordshire and also leased Bucknowle Farm when he retired to be close to his daughters, Ann and Catherine. Catherine had married local land owner William Voss.

Warburton Pike was born at Church Knowle and was another son of William Pike. He was educated at University College London and went on to the Middle Temple where he was certified as a Special Pleader. In 1879 Pike published "Translations from Dante, Petrarch, Michael Angelo and Vittoria Colonna" and went on to be the first person to translate Dante's "Inferno" into English in 1881. Although he died in Highgate, he is buried alongside his family in St. Peter's graveyard.

1945 Air DisasterEdit

On 15 June 1945 a Royal Air Force, Consolidated Liberator C Mk IX (JT985) crashed in the village of Kingston near Church Knowle while on a flight from RAF Holmsley South to Palam, Delhi India via RAF Castel Benito, Libya. The aircraft had low fuel pressure and attempted to return to RAF Holmsley in bad weather. All 27 onboard the aircraft died in the crash. [2] [3] [4]


  1. ^ "Area: Church Knowle (Parish)". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  2. ^ "THE ´UNKNOWN´ (Mystery) D.F.C. ( from Liberator Crash in 1945) JT 985, of 232 Squadron RAF".
  3. ^ "Aircrew Remembered Aviation Personal Histories and Databases".
  4. ^ "Liberator CIX JT985 [Royal Air Force Aircraft Serial and Image Database]".

External linksEdit

  Media related to Church Knowle at Wikimedia Commons