During the nineteenth century, the Church of England enjoyed a huge renaissance propelled by the twin, if very different, flames of the Evangelical Revival and the Oxford Movement. In the first half of the century 2,000 new churches were built and the same again between 1851 and 1870. Old churches were modernised to bring them in line with the 'correct' ecclesiastical style, which many commentators regard as acts of quite unprecedented architectural vandalism and which resulted in countless important heritage buildings being destroyed. On the other hand, the neglect of the previous century had left many, including the priory church of East Holme, so decayed that if nothing had been done they would have certainly become ruins. In Dorset, hardly a church survived unscathed. Yet, despite all this patronage and enthusiasm, the national census of 1851, which also measured church attendance, showed that only 40.5% of the population went to any sort of church and a mere 21% were practising Anglicans. Disturbingly, the number would fall even further by the end of the century. Nevertheless, works went on unabated in a genuine attempt to encourage the population by providing places of worship that were ecclesiastically correct and usually within walking distance of their homes.