The most amazing little church… is struck by the sheer fairy tale quality of the interior, although this description rather demeans the beauty

The following was written in 1854:

The Shobdon doorways are remarkable instances of the triumph of genius, in giving expression to an imagination which, throwing off all the trammels of the past, sought out in the sacred writings a new field over which it might range undisturbed.

That the old church of Shobdon is not of Norman origin is clear, not only from an attentive examination of its design and structure, but also from historical records.

In the reign of King Stephen, one Hugh de Mortimer requested the architect who had built a church in Paris which pleased him vastly, to come over to Shobdon and erect a similar one.  This architect was a Byzantine, or Greek, and the church was completed under his superintendence.

The old church no longer exists, having been pulled down a few years since in order to erect a new one on its site.  By the exertions of Mr. Lewis, the act of vandalism was arrested before the old doorways were completely destroyed, and Lord Bateman, struck by their extraordinary character, caused them to be safely removed to his park where they were set up.”


Shobdon - Herefordshire - St. John the Evangelist - exterior










Shobdon - Herefordshire - St. John the Evangelist - interior 2










Shobdon - Herefordshire - St. John the Evangelist - interior












This font  is of Romanesque origin, embellished with four lions nose to tail


Shobdon - Herefordshire - St. John the Evangelist - font







View showing lid



Shobdon - Herefordshire - St. John the Evangelist - font lid








Victorian Font, given to the church when the original twelfth century font was thought to be out of keeping with the church




Shobdon - Herefordshire - St. John the Evangelist - victorian font











Sacred to the memory of John, Lord Viscount Bateman, Baron of Culmore in the Kingdom of Ireland. One of His Majesty’s most honourable Privy Council and many years Lord Lieutenant of this County. His virtues did honour to human nature, he was generous and charitable without ostentation; of elegant manners, friendly and hospitable. He lived revered and died lamented by all who had the happiness of knowing his worth. In grateful remembrance of the many benefits received from him, this monument was caused to be erected by his near kinsmen, and, through his munificence the present possessor of this Estate.




Shobdon - Herefordshire - St. John the Evangelist - wall plaque










Epitaph to John Handford

Died 5th July 1778 aged 18

Look, reader, on this stone with weeping eye,

Twill serve thee as a glass to dress thee by.

Twill show thee thy true face, altho’ though be

At the highest pitch of frail mortality;

This brave young man had all this life could give,

And since he’s dead, canst thou presume to live?

From death, nor with, nor youth, nor art can save;

Go reader, and prepare thee for they grave.