Our second trip out took us took us north-west from Hereford but a little further this time, to Shobdon, north of Pembridge and in blackcurrant-growing country. (I hope you realised that Herefordshire is top of the tree for these delicious little beauties: look out for Pixley blackcurrant cordial – https://www.pixleyberries.co.uk/home for instance).
Shobdon Church is a big of surprise too: the rural rarity of a full-dress eighteenth century Strawberry Hill Gothic interior, nestled next a faux Early English tower. Why here of all places? The uncle of Viscount Bateman, who built the (now largely lost) pile next door, was a pal of Horace Walpole and a member of his ‘Committee of Taste’ and they fixed it up between them.
As Pevsner says, the interior demands to be kept in a state of high finish to keep its wedding-cake looks, and kudos to the local team who do just that. (And what a setting for a wedding it must be.)
Don’t miss the classic Herefordshire-Style Norman font though or the lion will NOT be happy. And don’t forget to walk up the Arches, more Norman work from before the Gothickers got to work, relocated to make an eye-catching folly. Christ in Majesty still looks down on us from there.