Architecture and History

We were exploring around the Ludlow area in Shropshire, when I was visiting my parents in England. The weather was lovely, by which I mean it wasn’t raining, so we decided to continue on into Herefordshire. It was while we were travelling around Stoke Lacy that we stumbled upon this small, beautiful and very old church.

This is the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul which was rebuilt in 1863. Listed Grade II, as it still has remnants of the previous Gothic church that was on the same site. Origins of the earlier church are evident with its Norman chancel, listed medieval 14th century churchyard cross base and 13th century font. The woodwork in the chancel is considered well above average.

It still has stained glass windows from the Victorian era and in the tower there are 6 old bells dating back from 1350 to 1625, plus two of them are in memory of local men who died in WW1. It is still a functioning church today.

There are many similar old churches around and they all date back to the 15th or 16th centuries, many of them being re-built sometime in the 1800s. There are usually some remains of the original building left intact and some have brass effigies to previous pastors dating back to the early 1500s.



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Now, this is a small world. A few years ago Kongo spent several days driving around Shropshire looking for traces of ancestors who later become revolutionaries in the American colonies. The family came from the area around Coton Hall and while the monkey can’t identify this specific church, he’s pretty sure he’s driven past it. There are so many of these old structures in this part of England it is certainly difficult to keep them all straight. Nice image!

Reply to  Kongo

Thanks Kongo and yes it is a very small world. Are you related to General E. Lee by any chance as his family lived in Coton Hall? Here is a quote from an article the BBC did in 2005.

“In the United States, the name of General Robert E. Lee is one that commands great respect – especially in the South, where he’s fondly remembered as the finest Confederate general of the American Civil War.

But was isn’t known so widely is that General Lee’s family came from Shropshire, and the family home still exists.

For 500 years, the Lee family owned a sizeable chunk of the county in the parish of Alveley, near Bridgnorth.

The family, originally-named de la Lee and probably of Norman descent, lived in Coton Hall from the 1300s onwards. The tombs of of two Lees with effigies are in Acton Burnell Church.

And it’s only because the present-day Coton Hall was put up for sale early in 2003 that the Lees of Shropshire came to light again.”

Coton Hall is about 50 minutes from where my parents live, I will definitely have to take a gander around there when I am back home next time.

Reply to  Pennie

There are definitely a few great things about England the countryside and some great hidden-away pubs :).

Reply to  Pennie

Well, if you go back far enough there is a common heritage. My mother’s maiden name is Lee. I did find Coton Hall in Shropshire and there is a fallen down parish church nearby. The estate was marked no trespassing when we were there as I imagine a lot of Lees try to go up and knock on the door and introduce themselves as cousins. In America my branch of the Lees do not include Robert E. Lee as they left Virginia and went to North Carolina in the late 1600s. I did like the Shropshire countryside and we had some great times at little pubs in the area.