Priory Veterinary Group – an Independent Veterinary Hospital in Christchurch, & Associated Practices in Highcliffe & Bransgore.
Priory Veterinary Group – Christchurch, Highcliffe & Bransgore
Priory Veterinary Group was established in the 1960’s and has a rich history of providing quality veterinary care for pets in our community, no matter the time of day or night!
The practice is owned by local vets Daniel May, Emma Newton and Jess Roose. They are supported by an amazing team of skilled Veterinary Surgeons, Nurses and Client Care assistants, who share their passion for providing the best possible veterinary care for each and every one of their patients.
Our Veterinary Hospital in Christchurch is R.C.V.S. accredited, and acts as the hub of the practice, with branch surgeries in Bransgore and Highcliffe offering convenient locations for routine consultations. The Christchurch surgery has been awarded with Hospital status by the R.C.V.S. (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). This means we have met the highest possible standards of facilities, care and service for our clients and their pets, confirmed at regular site inspections. We remain the only R.C.V.S.-accredited Veterinary Hospital in Dorset to provide our own 24 hour emergency cover.
We are proud to support our staff in further training and continuing professional development, and are the only veterinary practice in Dorset to have a combination of vets with advanced qualifications and expertise in Ophthalmology, Surgery, Cardiology and Dermatology.
The very start of Priory Vets can be traced back to before the First World War, when the veterinary practice was started in Christchurch by Colonel Martin, and run by Major Davenport before the practice split into two. In 1960, Robert Strang and Eric Pocock brought one of these branches and moved into 59 Purewell, where we were known as ‘Strang and Pocock Veterinary Practice’ (some of our clients may still remember!)
Robert and Eric worked hard renovating the building, creating an operating theatre, replacing floors and blocking up chimneys (after a cat escaped up one!) Robert was called the James Herriot of the New Forest by the Agisters. He was a larger-than-life character who loved to tell stories of how he rescued a crocodile from a bath in Somerford, and was once called to a brothel to see a poorly python which had become embossed in sequins and had to be transported back to the surgery to be de-sparkled!
In 1966, they bought 57 Purewell, knocked it down to create the space we have today and were joined by Andrew Belars. Philip Hughes joined in 1980, and worked with us right up until he retired recently in 2021. Philip’s love of horses is immense, but he loved his job too, and we joked when he retired, that he had been on-call for the past 40 years! Alistair Graham-Evans was a partner from 1994-1998, and Steuart Jones joined in 1988 before retiring in 2015. Steuart oversaw the creation of hospital status for 59 Purewell, and was a big drive behind the increase in ‘small animal’ facilities. Therefore, although the practice was founded on farm-animal work with some equine, our small animal division has gone from strength to strength, leading to us becoming an 100% ‘small animal’ practice in January 2021.
The practice is now owned by Daniel May, Emma Newton and Jess Roose, all of whom have ties to the local area and worked at Priory as Veterinary Surgeons before taking on the business. For them, the work continues… the practice will continue to evolve to serve our community and provide the best care for our local pets.