The first known church at Shobdon was a timber chapel, built in Anglo Saxon times. The second was a stone church built in the 12th century, the brainchild of Oliver de Merlemond, who employed the knight Bernard to build it for him. A tower was added in the 13th Century. The third and present church consisted of a completely new nave, which was built onto the 13th Century tower, by the Bateman family in 1756.
The original structure was fascinating, mainly for its Romanesque decoration, which connected it to the important Herefordshire school of masonry, and the remains of which can still be seen on the hill above the church.
The current church could hardly be more different. Its rather bland exterior gives little clue as to what you will find within : a unique combination of Rococo and Gothic, often called ‘Strawberry Hill Gothick’, and reflecting the links between the Batemans and Horace Walpole.
It is the striking blue and white interior with its wealth of ornamental arches, lavish pulpit based on the Kent design for York Minster and extensive Gothic detailing that makes Shobdon so unique among churches in Britain.
Major repairs have been carried out over the past 12 years and were finally completed in early June 2012. Now, after some £1.25 million pounds of expenditure, the building is at last safe for the foreseeable future… as long as it is properly cared for and used.
The Shobdon Church Preservation Trust’s (SCPT) function is to assist the Parish Church Council (PCC) in looking after the fabric of the building, the cost of which is likely, in future, to far exceed the PCC’s own resources.
For suggestions as to how YOU may be able to help us to take care of this iconic building for years to come, click here: –
What they say:
“Shobdon Church is a wonderful building, of unique architectural interest and a treasure which we must preserve…”
HRH The Prince of Wales
‘Nothing quite prepares the visitor for Shobdon…. a complete masterpiece, English Rococo executed with confidence at a time when new churches in the Gothick style were rare.’
Simon Jenkins – “England’s Thousand Best Churches”
‘Chief among the Drawing Rooms of the Lord‘
Sir Alec Clifton-Taylor
HOW YOU CAN HELP
To support the Trust and ensure the long term future of this magnificent building.
1. By gift-aiding cash donations – either by post to our registered address
2. By *Legacy. This can be in the form of money, stocks and shares or even some forms of property which could then be sold.
*Note: because the SCPT is a registered charity, there are significant benefits to those estates liable to Inheritance Tax. For details of these tax concessions and how they work, please contact us and we will be pleased to advise.