St Mary the Virgin’s Church, Bromfield

St Mary the Virgin’s Church, Bromfield

On the southern edge of Shropshire, lies St Mary the Virgin’s Church in Bromfield, a former priory church just a couple of miles from the market town of Ludlow.

St Mary the Virgin's Church, Bromfield

The origins of this church pre-date the Norman conquest in the 11th century. It was rebuilt in the 12th century and the present tower was built in the 13th century. Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries saw the church and priory leased and then sold to a Charles Foxe who converted parts of the church into a house. The house was damaged by fire in the 17th century, but remains are still present at the south side of the church. The church was restored in the late 19th century and is still in use today.

Bromfield War Memorial.
Bromfield War Memorial.

I’m not religious, never have been, but there’s just something about churches and their history. Also, I find that church records and graveyards can provide a wealth of information when researching family history. Although none of my ancestors can be found here, it’s still an interesting place to visit.

At this time of year, much of the churchyard is carpeted in snowdrops, with some daffodils and crocus too, but perhaps the most beautiful part of this church can be found inside rather than outside.

A gravestone surrounded by a carpet of snowdrops.

Snowdrops in Bromfield Churchyard.

Snowdrops

Crocus

A daffodil.

Upon entering the church, you cannot fail to notice the painted chancel ceiling. It was painted in 1672 by Thomas Francis and depicts the Shield of Trinity surrounded by biblical text, cherubs and angels on a cloudy background.

Inside St Mary the Virgin's Church, Bromfield.
Inside St Mary the Virgin’s Church, Bromfield.
The chancel ceiling painted by Thomas Francis in 1672.
The chancel ceiling painted by Thomas Francis in 1672.
A triptych by the artist Charles Edgar Buckeridge.
A triptych by the artist Charles Edgar Buckeridge.
A woodcarving on the choir stalls.
A woodcarving on the choir stalls.
A stained glass window.
A stained glass window.

Back outside, the Priory Gatehouse stands at the west wall of the churchyard. The gatehouse is a medieval stone and timber-framed building and is now in the hands of The Landmark Trust for use as holiday accommodation (yes, you can stay there!).

The Priory Gatehouse.
The Priory Gatehouse.

There are plenty of things to do nearby. If you’re hungry, I’d recommend crossing the A49 and visiting Ludlow Food Centre (I sometimes pop in for lunch if I’m in the area and actor John Challis a.k.a Boycie is a frequent visitor too). The town of Ludlow (described by John Betjeman as “probably the loveliest town in England”) is just down the road, with Stanton Lacey (well known for its snowdrops), Stokesay Castle, Acton Scott Historic Working Farm, Berrington Hall and Croft Castle all just a short drive away.

13 comments

  1. Kelly says:

    I think you know how much I enjoy church architecture (whether small chapels or large cathedrals), so I love all the photos you’ve shared in this post.

    Cemeteries can be interesting places and the lovely blooms are an added bonus. I wasn’t expecting that gorgeous artwork inside the church – quite impressive. I think it would be great fun to stay at the gatehouse!

  2. Jo says:

    What a beautiful church, and that stained glass window, fabulous. I too find churches and their history fascinating and I love looking around the churchyard too.

  3. LL Cool Joe says:

    I’m not religious but I am a Christian and the church I now go to is a brand new building. Ultra modern. 😀 I do appreciate old buildings (I have to, I’m living in one) but I prefer modern.

    We have snowdrops too! Aren’t they beautiful? Great photos.

  4. Hi Nikki,

    Your pictures look pretty much like those hubbie took when we were out and about today, even down to the bees in amongst the crocus and snowdrops.

    On the weekends we have another job with ‘Treasure Trails’ and we were visiting some of our most popular sites, making sure they are in tip top condition before Easter.

    https://www.treasuretrails.co.uk/

    We took pictures of Avebury church and cemetery, then on to Silbury Hill and Marlborough, where the cemetery is divided into old and new and where the old is full of some of those wonky gravestones, which have unfortunately not stood the test of time so well.

    With blue skies, wall to wall sunshine and definitely not a coat in sight, it has been a February day to remember.

    The inside of St. Mary’s is lovely and I am always particularly drawn to the stained glass, as my uncle was trained in the art and owned his own business in the US, working right up until his death last year. Before he and my aunt emigrated some 50 odd years ago, he served his apprenticeship in Kent and worked on one of the windows in Canterbury Cathedral.

    The triptych you feature is certainly a tour de force and so beautiful. Definitely another place for our visiting list, thanks for sharing.

    What a lovely day out you must have had 🙂

    Yvonne
    xx

  5. Anca says:

    Love the church and the little gate house to stay in. Like you, I’m not religious, but fascinated about the history of churches. The ceiling is really interesting and is a bit surprising it was painted in late 17th century.

  6. Jeanna says:

    I love the wide, sweeping view from the graveyard to the church. Those stain glass windows are priceless, probably literally. The triptych makes the altar quite uniqe.

  7. jeanie says:

    I agree with you completely. There is something about churches, their history, their architecture that transcend one’s personal beliefs. This is a magnetic-looking place, with its graveyard (I’m a sucker for old graveyards, too) and pastoral location. Thanks for sharing it.

    And thanks for coming over to my spot this week! Always nice to see you there.

  8. Kel says:

    Gorgeous place!
    Like you, I’m not religious, but do agree churches and the surrounding lands can be beautiful peaceful places to visit! x

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