Stephen Chapman

The second incarnation of my blog

OK, who had the plans upside down?

At the weekend we made a random decision to take Zac for a walk at a village called Clophill, about 20 minutes from our home.

There’s a pleasant circular walk there, but what interested me most was the abandoned church, just out of the village. St Mary The Virgin was built around 1350 and was fine as the village church until a rector in 1843 decided a bigger and more conveniently located church was required. A new church was built in the middle of the village.

There are a few things odd about this little church. The biggest is that it’s the only church in the UK facing the “wrong way”, some said it points away from God and therefore many odd people have used and abused the place over the last century or so. I’m not sure why the church managed to be built incorrectly. The other thing is that nearly all of the gravestones sit against the wall of the graveyard due to the area being cleared of gravestones in the 1970’s.

What surprised me was that, when the building was beginning to fall apart it took substantial funds from English Heritage in 2010 to save the church. They did a great job, but where was the Church of England when it was needed?

It was a sunny but cold day and the little church looked welcoming, despite no roof or windows (one of which is huge and would have been very impressive with stained glass in it). A nice find, but I suspect a bit spooky at night.

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One comment on “OK, who had the plans upside down?

  1. mrsbearfoot
    January 24, 2015

    This is the first time I’ve heard that Christian churches have a specific direction they are to be facing. Your images of the church are beautiful.

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This entry was posted on January 21, 2015 by in Me, Misc., Pete and tagged , .

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