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Christchurch

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Dorset  /  Christchurch
(3.8/5 based on 3,600+ reviews for top 20 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, wildlife areas, theme parks
Christchurch is a borough and town on the south coast of England. The town adjoins Bournemouth in the west and the New Forest lies to the east. Historically in the county of Hampshire, it became part of the administrative county of Dorset in the 1974 reorganisation of local government. Covering an area of, Christchurch had a 2011 population of 54,210, making it the fourth most populous town in Dorset, closely behind Weymouth which has a population of 54,539.Founded in the 7th century at the confluence of the rivers Avon and Stour which flow into Christchurch Harbour, the town was originally named Twynham but became known as Christchurch following the construction of the priory in 1094. The town developed into an important trading port and was fortified in the 9th century. Further defences were added in the 12th century with the construction of a castle which was destroyed by the Parliamentarian Army during the English Civil War. During the 18th and 19th centuries smuggling flourished in Christchurch and became one of the town's most lucrative industries. The town was heavily fortified during Second World War as a precaution against an expected invasion and in 1940 an Airspeed factory was established on the town's airfield which manufactured aircraft for the Royal Air Force.
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