Climbing the steep path up to this church, set above a quiet village in the Sandlings, brings a great sense of anticipation and there’s a distant view of the Deben estuary from the churchyard.
- The position on a knoll above the village with the pretty pub below.
- The warm feeling of stepping into a cheerful and cared-for church.
- The fine roodloft stair set into a window with a piscina at its foot which indicates there might have been a nave altar in earlier times.
- The beautiful altar kneelers, designed and stitched by Marjorie Crossley who lived in the village until 1986. You can buy a postcard of them in the church.
How old is it?
- Author Arthur Mee reckons there are Roman bricks in the medieval tower which has curious collection of heads and gargoyles round the top.
- A Saxon church in Shottisham is mentioned in the Domesday Book and the present building was said to have been built in 1313 by the monks of Butley Abbey – now known as Butley Priory.
- The nave and chancel are 14th century and the octagonal Purbeck marble font is thought to be 13th century – the style known as Early English (1180-1275).
- The church was extensively restored and enlarged by Victorian architect Edward Hakewill in 1867. The three narrow east windows depicting the ascension were designed by stained glass producers Ward & Hughes shortly after.
Look for the brass in the nave floor for Rose Glover, the rector’s wife, who died in 1612. It features a rose and sunflower and this is what it says:
As wither’d rose its fragrant sent retains, so beinge dead, her vertue still remains. Shee is not dead, but chang’d. The good ne’r dies, but rather, shee is Sun-like, sett to rise.
Arthur Mee writes that Rose’s husband lived on to marry again and fathered a family of 12. One of his successors as rector, William Kett, shepherded his own flock for 50 years.
Author Norman Scarfe, in his Shell Guide, mentions the possible site of Edmund’s martyrdom in the heath on the east of the parish.
The local community is pulling together to support a successful Heritage Lottery Fund project for the restoration of the tower.
Visit their Facebook page to find out the latest
The Sorrel Horse pub – Community-run, food, real ale and dog friendly.
Camping at St Margaret’s Caravan and Camping Site.
You are on the Bawdsey peninsular and the Boathouse Café is nearby.
You are also in the Sandlings where the heathland walks are unforgettable.
Shingle Street with its haunting coastline and secret stories of WW2.
Things to note: parking and disabled access
There is an alternative path from the back of the neighbouring pub which has less of a gradient. For anyone needing wheelchair access, you are advised to park in the small car park which is accessed via a turning on the left as you go up the hill from the village centre.
Food and Drink Available Locally