Bere Regis, Dorset
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: St John the Baptist church with its medieval painted roof
The parish church of St John the Baptist contains memorials to the Turberville family, used by Thomas Hardy as his model for the D'Urbervilles in Tess. Hardy used the village itself as a setting for the novel, calling it Kingsbere.
St John the Baptist Church
The main source of historic interest in Bere Regis is the parish church of St John the Baptist. St John's dates back at least 1000 years, but the current church dates primarily to the 15th century. The real attraction here is the superb medieval roof, carved with a plethora of painted figures of the Twelve Apostles.
The roof is one of the best in southern England and is traditionally said to have been the gift of Cardinal John Morton, archbishop of Canterbury (c. 1420 – 1500). Morton was born at Milborne Stileham, which was then part of Bere Regis parish.
Other buildings of note in the village include the Royal Oak pub, a 16th-century former coaching inn. The other pub in the village is the Drax Arms, named after a local landowner. Unfortunately, many historic buildings erected before 1600 were lost to a series of disastrous fires, and as a result many of the buildings in Bere Regis date to the 18th and 19th centuries.
Just outside the village is the Iron Age hillfort of Woodbury Hill. The hillfort itself fell out of use before the coming of the Romans, but the site was used for an extremely popular fair from the 12th century. The fair grew to become one of the largest in southern England and helped ensure the growth of Bere Regis into an important village.
Three miles away is Clouds Hill, home of TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia).
About Bere Regis
Address: Bere Regis, Dorset, England
Attraction Type: Village
OS: SY 8481 9451
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Bere Regis, St John's Church - 0.2 miles (Historic Church)
Clouds Hill - 2.7 miles (Historic Building)
Winterborne Tomson, St Andrew's Church - 2.8 miles (Historic Church)
Tolpuddle, Dorset, St John's Church - 3.6 miles (Historic Church)
Winterborne Whitechurch, St Mary's Church - 3.6 miles (Historic Church)
Tank Museum - 4 miles (Museum)
Moreton, St Nicholas Church - 4.2 miles (Historic Church)
Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum - 4.3 miles (Museum)
Nearest Accommodation to Bere Regis:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Nearest Tourist Information Centre ('as the crow flies')
Tel: 01929 552 740