Saturday, 4 May 2019

St Thomas East Shefford

This was the second of the Berkshire churches I wanted to visit. St Thomas is only about a mile away from the last church in Great Shefford Some history from Wikipedia
"The church has its origins in the pre-Norman era, but the earliest fabric in the present church dates from the later part of the 11th century. The chancel was added in the 13th century, a south chapel in the 16th century, and a south porch in the 18th century. Worship ceased in the church in 1870, and its congregation went to a new church dedicated to the Holy Innocents, which has since been demolished. The church was restored in 1887. The parish of East Shefford amalgamated with the parish of West Shefford in 1926, becoming the parish of Great Shefford. In 1958 there were plans to demolish St Thomas' but this was prevented by the Friends of Friendless Churches. The church was vested in the Redundant Churches Fund, the forerunner of the Churches Conservation Trust in 1972."

You have to park up in a space beside the gates to the property/

You can see the church across the parkland

The church sits alone separate from the main house. The gate seems a little redundant with no fencing beside it

The West end is devoid of windows but though the East then does have one

At the East end you can see a few graves and Tombs
The North side is so near the boundary fence that you cannot see much other that a view along the side

Above the Porch is this plaque 

The porch protects this wonderful old Norman doorway

Inside the church is what you would call minimalistic
Above the chancel arch you eyes are drawn the wall paintings
Inside the chancel is a tomb in the centre

Looking back from the altar to the chancle arch and through into the nave

The chancel window with stained glass

The altar is quite plain with just a cross and candles  decorating it

The early stained glass you see in the chancel window is well worth looking at

The floor tiles look a little older than Victorian

I think this is an early Medieval tomb that is mentioned on the Conservation trust site

Over one side of the chancel is a stoup 

The tomb in the chancel

On the other side of the chancel is this tomb with brasses on

Over one side in it's own chapel you can see the The alabaster statue of local noble Sir Thomas Fettiplace that lies alongside that of his wife.
The Fettiplaace are quite a large family ranging through Berkshire
They are some superb pieces

Nearby is an altar

The altar cross with inscription behind it

Above a cross on the tomb in front of the church brasses, from the look the lady had four daughters. The one showing the sons has gone but looks like she had either two or three lads
A woven wreath sits in front
Right you can see bible verse's hanging on the wall at the back

A painted inscription on the South wall

A faded on on the North wall

A stone coffin lid and the Norman tub font

Above a real oddity is this leather helmet which I think could well be a Funerary one
Left is a tome from 1737 in the nave

Another odd feature is this rood door that would have taken the person to the rood loft. They must have been very small from what I can see

Plaque dedicated to the rebuilding of the church in 1887

A royal coat of arms

Back outside you can look around though there are only a few graves to see

There are a few tombs at the East end including a fenced off one

A couple of memorials in the wall of the South side

The small window is to let light in to the rood stairway The large one I can only think may well have the entrance to the rood loft.
Right the brickwork marks the other side of the tomb in the chancel

Walking away from St Thomas
A last view of St Thomas Church which I can say is well worth the effort of visiting
Till Next tie I wish you a peaceful weekend 


  1. What a fascinating place. Needless to say "If I'm ever that way...."

  2. wow you can see clearly how old it is, love it! I'd like to see how it was originally too.

  3. ...Bill, this lovely little church gives new meaning to old. There nothing like this here. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Lovely and fascinating. Thank you for posting your great pictures of this charming church.


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