The Church

The Grade 2 church of St Mark was built as the 'serious conclusion' of Talbot Village in the mid-nineteenth century, a philanthropic venture by Georgina and Mary Anne Talbot, daughters of Sir George Talbot of London. They hoped to alleviate the poverty of local people whose rights on the commons had been removed by the Enclosure Act of 1822.

The sisters began their model community in countryside north-west of the town in 1850, building six farms, seven almshouses, a school and nineteen cottages, each with a well, a pigsty and an acre of land. The cottage designs came mostly from J.C. Loudon's Encyclopaedia of Cottage, Farm, and Villa Architecture (1834). The Talbot Village Trust continues as a charitable foundation.

The contractor for the church was Mr McWilliam of Bournemouth, with carving by Richard Lockwood Boulton. The cost of St Mark’s was  £5,000, relatively inexpensive for a church at that date. The architect George Evans of Wimborne (c. 1800-73), was the son of William Evans, County Surveyor of Dorset. George succeeded his father to this post in 1842, and was joined before 1868 by Walter John Fletcher (c. 1842-1913). The church has extensive late C20 alterations and extensions.

Our Work

The church shelters Brown Long-eared and Pipistrelle bats. The PCC and congregation struggle with bat impacts, especially cleaning. The church community was fortunate to include an experienced ecologist, who produced an excellent bat survey in a voluntary capacity in 2020. The project enabled Jenni Reid of Burton Reid Ecology to visit the church and recommend mitigation options. Unfortunately the combination of the location of the roosts and the church architecture mean that it is very difficult to separate the bats from the community. The project helped the PCC with cleaning, funding a deep clean and buying covers and cleaning equipment.

Talbot case study

St Marks Talbot Bat Report

Upcoming events

If you’d like to contact or find out more about the church, visit the website or their page on A Church Near You