Stokesay

 

 

St John the Baptist

The original church of St John the Baptist at Stokesay, near Craven Arms, was built around 1150 as a chapel to Stokesay Castle and was probably expanded once the castle site developed in the 13th century.  As a result of the Civil War destruction Stokesay church is a rare example of a church extensively rebuilt during the Puritan period (1654) although some Norman features survive at lower levels, especially on the north side of the building.
 

Featuring in Simon Jenkins England's Thousand Best Churches its most striking features are the biblical texts on the walls, two decker pulpit, box and canopied pews and a West Gallery.  This has a staircase leading to it and at the north side, space for the musicians.  Originally the band would have included a bass viol, flute and clarinet, and was replaced about 1855 by a harmonium, and later still by the present organ.  Today it is still the parish church which serves Craven Arms and there is regular worship at 10am on most Sundays.

Stokesay is a Caring for God's Acre church.  For more information on the conservation work of this organisation, visit their website.

Open daily April to Sep, and the rest of the year in line with Stokesay Castle.

PIcture; AP