St Edith's Church, Shocklach.
Possibly built by Thomas de Shocklach, whose castle was no more than half a mile away, St Edith's has had many alterations over 800 years, although remaining much as George Haswell and Anthony Suffill saw it. It is now a Grade I listed building; the ancient cross by the Norman doorway is Grade II and the churchyard and hay meadows belonging to the church are, together, a Site of Biological Importance. The oldest part of the church, the nave, dates from about 1150, although the original foundations may be considerably older. St Edith, the patron saint, is commonly said to have been the daughter of Alfred the Great; recent research places her as Eadgyþ*, Abbess of Wilton, daughter of King Eadgar I. To dedicate a church to an Anglo-Saxon after the Norman Conquest would be unusual and suggests that the church was already in existence in 1066 (having been built shortly after Eadgyþ's death in 984) and in the charge of Wulgar the priest, owner of the manor of Caldicote.
(* The symbol þ, "thorn", an Old English letter representing "th".)
The Norman Doorway
There is a fine Norman doorway in the south wall, facing the cross. It has a typical semi-circular arch with chevron and cable decorations. The arch ends in carved heads - very worn. There are signs that some of the upper chevrons have been replaced. The arch extends downwards below the current ground level and would seem to indicate an original floor some 18" below the present level. The very low arch, the space beneath the current, wooden floor and the fact that the lower door hinge is at the very bottom of the door reinforces this suggestion.
Church history researched and compiled by the late Margery Waddams
A VARIETY OF MUSIC AT ST EDITH'S AND ST MARY'S
Music enriches our worship in many ways and we try to fit the music, whether formal or informal, to the different styles of service.
A number of groups and individuals play and sing for us:
- Liz Jones, our organist, plays most weeks at St Mary's, Tilston and sometimes at St Edith's, Shocklach. If available, she is prepared to play for weddings and funerals.
- Victoria Williams plays the organ for Evensong at St Mary's.
- The Anthem Choir at St Mary's sings at some services and special occasions, led by Lorna Kettle and accompanied by Liz Jones.
- The Church Choir is led by Su Tedham, assisted by Penny Hearn.
- The Tilston Church Band, conducted by Dave Armitage and accompanied by Liz Jones, comes together for special occasions.
- St Mary's Praise Group provides rhythmic accompaniment to All-Age Family Services on the first Sunday in each month.
- The two School Choirs join us for special services.
- The Churches host Taize and other formal sung services.
- Concerts are sometimes held in the Churches.
If you would like to join one of our groups, contact Su Tedham on 01829 250336