Shotesham – St. Martin’s Church

This ruined church is in Shotesham St. Mary and it’s dedicated to St. Martin, having originally been constructed in around the eleventh century. Most of the current building, or what’s left of it, dates to the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries.

Looking towards the tower from the east end of the church. Walking with my friend Rob, he mentioned how clear the sky was without any aircraft trails visible, which is quite right but isn’t something that I’d thought about.

The walls are made of flint, with some brick dressing, and are surprisingly robust in the sections that remain. They’ve received some work recently to strengthen them, so hopefully they’ll last for some time yet.

The church was abandoned in probably the seventeenth century and it had become derelict by the nineteenth century. Given how many other churches there are in the Shotesham area, even the Victorians didn’t feel the need to restore this one.

The former roof line where the nave met the tower is visible, but the high quality of the construction is apparent at the top of the arch.

Until a few years ago, this church was covered in ivy which had taken hold from the 1950s and had made it more difficult to visit and it was also causing long-term damage to the structure. The work to clean up the site led to the discovery in the south wall of evidence of the location of the holy water stoup. There are no gravestones visible, but the site remains consecrated and it’s in the care of Shotesham Parochial Church Council.