Church Knowle village is situated about west of Corfe Castle, south of Wareham and west of Swanage. In the 2011 census the parish—which includes the settlements of East Creech and Furzebrook to the north—had 114 households and a population of 261.
The church is named Saint Peter's Church. Buried in the Churchyard at Church Knowle are the two brothers who brought the first steam locomotive (Primus) to Purbeck in 1866 - The Pike Brothers - John William and William Joseph Pike (Purbeck Ball Clay Merchants). They are buried together with their relatives. John is buried with his mother-in-law Charlotte Bridges Mayer, who was the daughter of William Adams of London and wife of the potter Thomas Mayer. John lived at Westport House in Wareham, now the home of Purbeck District Council. William Joseph lived in North Street Wareham. William Joseph's 7 year old son was drowned in Studland Bay and is buried alongside his father. John and William Joseph's clay merchant father - William lived nearby at Bucknowle House and it was here that the Pike Brothers were born. William Pike's father-in-law was Jacob Warburton who founded the New Hall Pottery in Staffordshire and also leased Bucknowle Farm when he retired to be close to his daughters, Ann and Catherine. Catherine had married local land owner William Voss.
Warburton Pike was born at Church Knowle and was another son of William Pike. He was educated at University College London and went on to the Middle Temple where he was certified as a Special Pleader. In 1879 Pike published "Translations from Dante, Petrarch, Michael Angelo and Vittoria Colonna" Pike then went on to be the first person to translate Dante's Inferno into English in 1881. Although he died in Highgate, he is buried alongside his family in St. Peter's Graveyard.
Each August the nationally renowned Church Knowle Fete is held in the grounds of the Old Rectory.