St. John the Evangelist Parish Church, Shobdon
Standing within an idyllic, pastoral landscape in Shobdon, the stone exterior of St. John the Evangelist Parish Church is deceptively humble compared to its dramatic interior of richly decorated finishes and matching furniture and fittings. Between 1755 and 1758, Sir John Bateman and his uncle, Richard Bateman, demolished all but the west tower of the twelfth-century Romanesque church on the site to build a rococo Gothic structure largely influenced by Horace Walpole’s “Committee of Taste.” This parish church has remained virtually unchanged since, though a lack of conservation attention has resulted in significant challenges. During a restoration campaign in 2003, workers discovered that the large concealed timbers embedded in the damp masonry have rotted, causing the walls to tip over and the beam ends to give way. Emergency supports were installed, but a comprehensive intervention is necessary to mitigate these structural problems.
How We Helped
Included on the 2010 World Monuments Watch, Shobdon Church received much media attention, increasing public awareness on the state of the church and the pressing need for stabilization and repairs. As a result, WMF, English Heritage, the Paul Mellon Estate contributed financial support and technical assistance to assist with urgent repair work. Based on previous non-invasive condition surveys, repairs began in early 2011 with the installation of a new roof. The project finished in time for an unveiling at the annual local food festival on June 2, 2012.
Why It Matters
Shobdon Church is listed as a Grade I historic structure, it is of great national architectural and artistic significance and an integral part of the community. The Shobdon Church Preservation Trust and local community has been an essential advocate in soliciting support and funding from individuals and organizations.