Church of St Mary Magdalene, Battlefield, Shropshire
- What's nearby
A memorial church to a bloody battle
This large, dignified church stands in open countryside on the site of the ferocious Battle of Shrewsbury, which took place in 1403.
Thousands of soldiers are thought to have died in the fray, and the church remains a quiet, some would say melancholic, memorial to the 1,600 people who were said to have been buried there. A statue of Henry IV, who defeated Henry "Hotspur" Percy in the battle, stands on the outside east wall. On the roof beams inside are representations of the shields of the knights who fought with Henry IV. A service is still held each year in July to commemorate the anniversary of the battle.
Much of the church we see today is the result of an extensive restoration in the 1860s, by a distinguished local architect S Pountney Smith, who saved the church from ruin. Though he kept the original shape, tower and walls, the magnificent hammerbeam roof, the reredos, and all the fittings and furniture were installed by him. He was also responsible for installing the fine stained glass typical of the 1860s.
Especially memorable is the east window with its wonderful palette of colours. One particular treasure is the Piet, carved in oak, showing the Virgin Mary holding Christ's body. It is a remarkable and moving piece dating from the fifteenth century and thought to have been brought here from another church.
A survivor of re-modelling
An ancient church with world famous stained glass. A church from our finest shortlist.
A Saxon church built on the Roman site of Viroconium
Access to the church is via a key held at the Farm Shop of 1403 Battlefield. (Battlefield 1403 Facilities - car parking, cafe, toilets, farm shop).
Footpath access from Farm Shop to the church is along uneven verge edge of an arable field of approximately half a mile to the church.
Sloping stone path to church from Lych Gate. West porch door can be opened fully to permit ease of access.
Disabled access information
Wheelchair access is possible along a stone path to the church and there is a low step through porch door. Ramp set into mortuary chapel for access.
Facilities & Hire
Due to the historic nature of our buildings, only a very small number have heating, running water or toilet facilities. The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor.
3 miles north east of Shrewsbury. Access off A49 Battlefield roundabout adjoining A5124 Battlefield Link Road. Brown 'Battlefield church' tourism sign on roundabout opposite livestock market.
Nearest railway station: Shrewsbury (3 miles).
Bus routes no 511 via Wem to Whitchurch, and 64 via Shawbury to Market Drayton - a walk of approx 1 mile from the church.
History & Further Information
Why not make your visit more enjoyable and informed by finding out more about this church before you visit? You can download a range of publications below including the relevant county guide, and any walk round guides we have for this church.Battlefield - St. Mary - Your Church Tour Shropshire County Guide 2012
This free of charge short guide contains details of all the churches we care for in Shropshire & Staffordshire. Printed copies of the county guide are also available at the church.
All our Shropshire churches are in CCT's North region.
The Friends of Battlefield Church
The Friends assist The Churches Conservation Trust in caring for the church, organising events and raising funds for the building's upkeep.
Contact Mr David Hulton-Harrop on 01743 357006
Useful local links:
- Shropshire Tourist Information
- Shropshire Tourism website
- Secret Shropshire website
- Shropshire Family History Society
- Family Days Out in Shropshire
- Shropshire Days Out website
- Shropshire History website
- Shropshire Historic Churches Trust
- Shropshire County Council Discover Shropshire website
- Shropshire Archaeological & History Society
- Ironbridge Gorge Museum
- Visit Ironbridge
- Ironbridge Gorge Guide
- Shropshire is in the Diocese of Hereford and the Diocese of Lichfield
- List of churches in Shropshire