Highcliffe is today the most easterly parish in Dorset but was originally in the county of Hampshire. With a wild slipping short cliff down to sea, there are nice coastal views across the groynes, built to halt the erosion, to the Isle of Wight. Highcliffe consists mainly of recent houses, in well wooded surroundings, with a shopping street that runs parallel to the sea. Set back from it is the main claim to fame, Highcliffe Castle.

Highcliffe Castle after restoration

An odd but attractive building on a large scale, Highcliffe Castle was built in the 1830's in a Romantic Gothic style which is enhanced by the inclusion of real late Gothic French features such as the very elaborate oriel window above the porch and the windows to the right of it. The hall by the road has the appearance of a church. The house was burnt in the 1960's and has now been restored ti it's former glory. A park around the house, with the woodland and small garden south of the house are open to the public.

The church of St. Mark in Hinton Wood Avenue was largely built in 1843 was paid for by the owner of Highcliffe Castle, but is largely plain and lacks the eccentricity of the castle

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