St Andrew, East Lulworth

St Andrew's Church is within the grounds of the Lulworth Estate but it is open to the general public

via track outside the ticketed area. The church was originally at the centre of the village which was built up around it until the park grounds of the castle were laid out in 18th century. The houses were demolished and rebuilt outside the walls of the park. Only the church remains where it has stood for some 500 years.

The following account was provided in a leaflet available at the church c.1990:


Welcome to East Lulworth Parish Church, dedicated to St.Andrew.

This church stands in the beautiful setting of Lulworth Park near to the ruins of the castle. The church has occupied its present site for at least 500 years.


The building is outstanding on account of its very fine tower, dating in its present form from the late 15th century. The belfry contains three bells of which the second is of pre-reformation. There was also space for a fourth bell which tradition says is at the bottom of the sea off Arish Mell, the vessel bringing it having been lost. Prior to 1965 the bells had not been rung for many years, the floor of the belfry was unsafe, and the rope wheels were completely rotten.

Royal Arms

The Royal Arms which is seen hung above the vestry door was presented to the church in 1785 by the squire Thomas Weld., During the restoration work referred to later, this Royal Arms was found in the belfry in the most awful condition. It was beetle infested and much of the carving had been completely eaten away. It would not be possible to describe the Arms as it was, when it was found unless it was seen. To commemorate the work done in the church by the Rev John Stone and his wife their daughter Phyllis commissioned its restoration. Today returned to its former splendour the Royal Arms once again hangs in the the church nearly 200 years after it was first presented.

Charity of Dorothy Pickering

Dorothy Pickering who was a member of the Weld Family died in the year 1707. She was a good Protestant and in her will there was a bequest of £600 for the foundation of a charity, the income to be divided equally among "Twelve Poor Protestant Widows and Maidens together", each of these to belong to the Parish of East Lulworth and to be present in the said church on the ninth day of May every year when a service was to be held and a sermon preached. The recipients must be at least 40 years of age. If there are not found in East Lulworth, twelve who qualify for benefaction, the number may be made up from widows and/or maidens living in the adjoining parish of West Lulworth. The £600 was invested in West Lynch Farm in Corfe Castle Parish. In 1947 the trustees sold the property with consent of the Charity Commissioners to the sitting tenant for £2,500 and invested the proceeds in Government Stock. Today 270 years after the death of Dorothy Pickering a special service takes place on the nearest Sunday to 9th May, where the beneficiaries of the charity receive their 'May Money'.


Following an inspection of 1961 the task of restoration was commenced. At that time the church was in a most pitiful condition. External repairs were carried out first in order to make the church water tight and a new electrical heating system was installed. Next the inside of the tower was restored. All the rotten timber was taken out and burnt and replaced with new beams and flooring in hardwood. The bells were sent to the Bell Foundry of Messrs Taylor of Loughborough for adjustments and modern fittings and have been rehung for chiming on new beams of African hardwood. (The cost of the work inside the tower alone was £1,200).

Plasterwork on the ceiling of nave and chancel has been done. Altogether over £4000 has been spent on restoration, but there still remains more work to be done. One of the most pressing needs today is for the organ to be completely overhauled. It is hoped that this can take place in the not to distant future.

We cannot hope to raise the money needed from such a small congregation to keep the fabric and the furnishings in the quality and beauty that this church deserves without the help of friends unconnected with the church and district. Therefore we appeal to all who love ancient buildings to help preserve this church. Donations will be gratefully acknowledged and it would be most convenient if cheques or postal orders are made payable to East Lulworth Church. Please come to our aid.

Thank you.

Extracted from the Evening Echo, Bournemouth, Thursday 9 September 1993:


Villagers rally to restore church


VILLAGERS at East Lulworth have already raised £28,000 towards the restoration of their historic church.

The village has rallied round the appeal after successfully beating off a threat that the church, which is listed as a grade two building, would be closed.

The fund raising has been achieved by the village which has a population of only 150 people and a regular congregation of between 15 and 18, with 30 at festivals and up to 80 at Christmas.

Purbeck council has now approved making a three year loan of £2,250 to the parish church of St. Andrew towards the work.

The restoration appeal for the 15th century church is now into its third year.

Earlier this summer organisers of the appeal revealed that the fundraising effort was likely to continue into the future.

The main problem at the church is the ravages caused by damp. Repairs have been estimated at £86,000. This is much more than the appeal organisers had expected.

Grants have been offered towards the work totalling more than £43,500 from English Heritage, the Talbot Village Trust, the Dorset Historic Churches Trust and the Manifold Trust.

The church boasts a 500 year old tower, although the nave and the chancel, as they now exist, date from Victorian times.

At one time the village of East Lulworth would have been clustered around the church, which is set near the castle and the historic Roman Catholic chapel. The village, however, would have moved away from that site during the enclosures of the 1700s.

The appeal’s chairman Keith Lewis has said ‘What is so good is that the community has come together to work together!




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Past Vicars of East Lulworth






Additional Notes





Johannes MAXWELL






Carolus or Charles CHERRY






Joseph TOMES



William DALE

Vicar, institution 1728, died 1772


Samuel Lambert MILBOURNE

Vicar, institution 1772



Curate, licensed 1787



Vicar, institution 1787



Vicar, resignation 1832


- 1835

Edmund WITT

Vicar, B.A. (Oxford, Wadham College); ordained priest on 15 February 1812; Appointments:  (licensed on  21 December 1826 as Stipendiary Curate of , institution on 13 April 1832 as Vicar of East Lulworth; died 7 Apr 1835


Isaac Urban COOKE

Vicar, B.A. (Oxford, St Edmund Hall); M.A. (Oxford); ordained priest on 21 September 1834 (Llandaff Cathedral); Appointments: Domestic Chaplain to Rt. Hon. Elizabeth, Dowager Baroness Le Despencer; licensing on 21 March 1833 as Stipendiary Curate of Swanswick alias Sandwich [Swanage]; institution on 7 April 1835 as Vicar of Coombe Keynes with Woolbridge Chapel [Wool], (living £130 p.a.); institution on 19 May 1835 as Vicar of East Lulworth



died 19 December 1887



son John Herbert Roberts was killed in action in WW1 and is named on the War Memorial



Robert USHER

son Christopher Lancelot Usher died of wounds in WW1 and is named on the War Memorial



Vicar M.A. formerly curate of Steeple, with Tyneham and East Holme






Formerly Vicar of Kimmeridge


Reginald Percy FARROW

Died 1961 and buried at East Lulworth



Died October 1974 and buried at East Lulworth



© Copyright David Dixon and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence.

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