A church with a view

272bSt Andrew’s Church at Shotley on the border of Northumberland and County Durham is one of the Churches Conservation Trust churches I’m visiting as part of my Fifty before Fifty challenge.

And as much as the church is lovely and the Grade I listed monument in the graveyard impressive, what really struck me here was location, location, location.

288b 291b 292bJust look at those vistas, such an amazing view in all directions.

It was one of those places that you arrive at, get the first glimpse and go ‘wow’.

Of course it helped that there were some dark clouds dotted about and sun shining through the gaps, makes for such lovely light.

St Andrew’s Church stands at the top of Grey Mare Hill, 293 metres high. The current church was built in 1769 but it stands on the site of a much older church.

278bThe date is written in the roof.

277bBut the list of incumbents goes back to 1165.

The church itself is a simple cruciform design with box pews and simple decoration.

It is quite small and it almost dwarfed by the incredible monument in the graveyard.



This is the Hopper Mausoleum, built in 1752 by Humfrey Hopper in memory of his wife. He and several other members of the family joined Jane after their deaths.



Although the graveyard was overgrown, you could still make your way to the mausoleum.

290bThe alcoves around the top house carved effigies in various states of repair.

284bAnd in the space below are, I presume, Humfrey and his beloved Jane.

What a location to live out eternity. It’s like being on top of the world.









  1. What a wonderful situation for a church, is it near a village or just on its own. Lovely views and thats a massive mausoleum, never see one that big before :)

    • There was just a large farmhouse and that was it. And the mausoleum almost dwarfed the church :)

  2. Anny said:

    Intriguing to consider the thought processes and emotions that led the the construction of the mausoleum – what a find.

  3. Luanne said:

    Ah, how lovely. I wish I could visit myself, but this is the next best thing.

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