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The church is set in the oldest part of Shepshed. Back in the Middle Ages, only churches, castles and bridges were made of stone. All other buildings were made out of wood or clay and now, therefore, have rotted away. This building is probably the oldest building still standing in Shepshed.

Our Church!

The construction of this would have begun in the 11th century, possibly on the site where a wooden church once stood. At first, the church would have been a humble place, but then as the village became wealthier from the wool trade, money was spent on expanding and improving the church. The spire was added in the 13th century and the side aisles were added in the 14th century. This church was named after St. Botolph, the patron saint of travellers. It is probable that Queen Elizabeth I visited the church in the 16th century as there is a carving which looks rather like her.

Many different materials have been used to construct this church, as fashions in church building changed frequently during the Middle Ages. Graveyards were usually placed on the south side of the church with a yew tree in. During the Middle Ages, villagers would rely on the church for telling the time. The church bells would sound on the hour. Sundials would sometimes be placed on the south side of the church. Later on, clocks were placed on church towers or steeples.

The reverend Harold Mack has written a history of Saint Botolph’s. In it, he says, “To the north lies the ancient Oakley Wood… many a fallow deer used to roam. To the south and south-west tower the rugged crags of Sharpley and Iveshead, while westwards lies the lovely spire of Belton and the misty outline of Breedon-on-the Hill.” According to him, the church must have been placed in beautiful surroundings.

Challottee | Charnwood Hall | Old Queens Head | Pied Bull | Shepshed Names
St Botolphs Church | St Winefrides | Style-Twy-Chell | War Memorial

Shepshed Today