Tuesday, 8 October 2013


Technically this is a fraudulent entry as St Mary Magdalene was demolished in 1957 and all that remains is an overgrown churchyard - or so I thought. The site has been/is being cleared and the chancel foundations have been revealed, so to my mind it's a lost church re-found and therefore qualifies for entry. A history of the church can be found here.

ST MARY. Norman nave and chancel, and weather-boarded belfry. Of the Norman time two Windows (one blocked) survive. The chancel was built early in the C14, as shown by the small ogee-lancet on the S side. Timber S porch with ogee-headed partitions on the E and W sides. Original nave and chancel roofs. The belfry rests on four posts with cross-beams and curved braces. - FONT. Early C13. Square bowl on five supports. Decoration on one side with interlaced arches, on another with trefoiled arches, on the other two with fleurs-de-lis and crosses in niches. - BRASS to Thomas Stapel d. 1371. In armour, but the figure mutilated.

St Mary Magdalene (1)

St Mary Magdalene (5)

SHOPLAND. A farm in the fields, a row of cottages, and a church deserted except on evenings in high summer, are all that remain of this village. The church is old, with two blocked Norman windows and a roof and timbered porch of the 15th century. By the 700-year-old font, beautiful with arcading, fleur-de-lys, and other devices, lies a brass portrait of Thomas Stapel, sergeant-at-arms, wearing the armour in which he probably fought at Crecy. The tracery of the east window is filled with fragments of bright medieval glass and there are medieval tiles in the floor of the nave.


  1. I think that who ever has done this should be congratulated and supported. It is too much of a shame to let what was once a beautiful church with so much history to go unrecognized and remain overgrown and unknown. The person/people who are attempting to uncover this church yard obviously care about the future of the church grounds and grave site. To call this a fraudulent entry is quite an unfair judgement. Obviously you can't be as open minded as they are.

    1. If you had read beyond the first sentence you wouldn't have left this comment. I go on to say "so to my mind it's a lost church re-found and therefore qualifies for entry" - this blog is mainly about extant churches so in the sense that St Mary has been demolished and therefore no longer exists this is a fraudulent entry. I am in no way demeaning the work being undertaken here and actually applaud whoever is doing it.

      If you're going to post snotty comments please read the full entry beforehand.

  2. Hi, we would like to thank you so much for reinstating Shopland Church on your list. Our names are Steve and Faye and together with a team of dedicated volunteers we have completely restored this site to its former glory. This has been a self funded effort and many hundreds of hours of work have restored it to a beautiful garden of reflection and saved a historically rich site from being stolen by nature. We have reinstated an ancient tradition which is an annual service commemorating those interred there. Any support to keep the project rolling is always appreciated. We have the full support of the Parochial Church Council and the Friends of Sutton with Shopland. Our website is www.shoplandchurchyard.co.uk. You do a fantastic job on here........Keep the good work up!

    Kindest Regards,

    Steve, Faye and the Team.

  3. PS The photos on your site are from the early part of the restoration. If you would like some updated pictures, please let me know. We also loved the entry as "fraudulent" and are honoured to be recognised as such.


    1. Thanks for your comments, both much appreciated. I'd love to see photos of the fruit of your labours - I imagine much has been accomplished in the, almost, two years since I visited.