Though many of English Heritage’s Free to Enter sites remain open to visitors, unfortunately it has been necessary – as a result of advice relating to coronavirus - to close St Catherine's Chapel for operational reasons, in order to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our visitors, volunteers and staff. We look forward to welcoming you again soon. During this time it is still possible to walk up to the chapel to see it from outside and enjoy the amazing views.
Set high on a hilltop overlooking Chesil Beach and the Isle of Portland, this barrel-vaulted 14th century chapel was built by the monks of the nearby Abbotsbury Abbey as a place of pilgrimage and retreat. Today the chapel still sits in splendid isolation.
Make your way up the hill, take in the fantastic views of the abbey ruins, and explore the nooks and crannies of this curious little chapel, including the 'wishing holes' where local women used to pray to St Catherine and ask her to find them a husband.
The local parish holds occasional services throughout the year, which are open to the public.
Read more about the history of St Catherine's Chapel.
Before You Go
Access: The chapel is accessed on foot up a steep incline of approximately 1/2 mile.
Parking: Parking is available in town centre off Rodden Row (car park postcode DT3 4JL) a short walk from Chapel Hill.
How to find it: The path to the chapel can be reached via Chapel Lane (opposite Red Lane) off Market Street in the centre of the village.
Facilities: There are no facilities at the chapel but there are shops, food and toilets available a short walk away in the village centre.
Please be aware: The path takes you through land grazed by cattle, so please keep dogs on leads.
English Heritage does not permit drone flying from or over sites in our care, except by contractors or partners undertaking flights for a specific purpose, who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have the correct insurances and permissions, and are operating under controlled conditions.
Plan a Great Day Out
Enjoy the panoramic views over Chesil Beach, perhaps with a picnic.
On the way from the car park be sure to visit the remains of Abbotsbury Abbey. This lonely wall was once part of a much bigger abbey complex.
Also within easy driving distance is the dramatic Iron Age hillfort of Maiden Castle near Dorchester. Or head to the coast and visit one Portland Castle, of Henry VIII's finest coastal fortresses. It overlooks Portland Harbour and boasts a great tearoom and stunning views out to sea.