Christchurch is a borough and town in the county of Dorset on the south coast of England. The town adjoins Bournemouth in the west and the New Forest lies to the east. Historically within Hampshire, it joined Dorset with the reorganisation of local government in 1974 and is the most easterly borough in the county. Covering an area of 19.5 square miles (51 km2), Christchurch has a population of approximately 45,000, making it the fourth most populous town in the county.
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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.
The town’s harbour, beaches, nature reserves and historically important buildings have made Christchurch a popular tourist destination attracting some 1.5 million visitors a year. Bournemouth Airport, an international airport which handles approximately 800,000 passengers a year, is located within the borough boundary at Hurn. The airport’s industrial park contains a number of aerospace and engineering businesses and is one of the largest employment sites in Dorset. Christchurch is a popular destination for retirees and has one of the oldest populations in the country with 30 per cent of residents aged over 65.
Christchurch is the most easterly coastal town of Dorset and lies within the historic county boundaries of Hampshire. The town abuts Bournemouth to the west and is approximately 9 miles (14 km) east of Poole, 20 miles (32 km) west of Southampton, 23 miles (37 km) south of Salisbury. The town centre lies between the rivers Avon and Stour which flow directly into Christchurch Harbour. The borough boundaries stretch to Hurn Forest in the north encompassing Bournemouth Airport and eastwards along the coast as far as Walkford. The River Stour forms a natural boundary to the west; the estuary and harbour form the southern boundary – www.wikipedia.org
Mayors Mead – River Stour
This council-owned slipway gives access to the River Stour through Mayors Mead car park, Wick Lane, BH23 1HU. There is currently no charge for using this slipway. This slipway should only be used at or near high tide.
Trailer parking is permitted within the designated area adjacent to the slipway where trailers require a parking ticket in addition to the one for your vehicle.
Bridge Street – River Avon
This slipway is free of charge and gives access to the River Avon directly from Bridge Street. The access point is adjacent to the Bridge Street car park, BH23 1EB. Trailer parking facilities are not available.