The Church of St. John the Baptist, Shipton Moyne
Shipton Moyne's church is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. It is an Anglican church following the rites of the Church of England. There has been a church on the site since the at least the 13th Century, although the present church was built in 1864/5.
There are some older elements of the church still extant. Of particular note are the 17th Century Estcourt chapel extending from the south facade of the church and also parts of the north aisle and porch, which were kept. The previous church had a central tower, which was removed, whilst the chancel was lengthened. The new tower was built at the south-west corner of the church and is the main entrance porch with a belfrey above.
The 1864/5 building work was undertaken by the architect T.H. Wyatt. It is an example of High Victorian design. Wyatt built many churches and other buildings in the area, largely thanks to his patronage by the Dukes of Beaufort at Badminton.
The Church Clock & Bells
The church clock is built into the west facade of the church tower. It is in full working order and strikes on both the hour and half hour. The clock is remarkably accurate in its time-keeping (largely thanks to the care given to it by one of the Churchwardens).
The main bells sit in the belfrey above the clock. In total there are six bells, five of which were recorded in 1680. The sixth bell, a five hundred weight treble, was added in 1867.
The tenor bell was cast in the mid-15th Century in London and weighs an impressive fourteen hundred weight. In those pre-Reformation times, this bell was dedicated to The Virgin Mary. Of the remaining four bells, two were cast by Roger Purden in 1620, weighing six and seven hundredweight respectively. The final two bells were cast by Abraham Rudhall in 1704 weighing 8 and ten hundred weight.
Monuments & Memorials
Shipton Moyne church has many monuments, primarily to members of the Estcourt family, who reigned over the parish for over 600 years. The finest of the memorials are to be found in the 17th Century Estcourt chapel at the south of the church. Of particular note is the large canopied marble tomb with effigies of Thomas Estcourt and his wife beneath the canopy and the tomb of Sir Thomas Estcourt which was removed to Shipton Moyne from Lasborough.
There are two recumbent figures of knights and a lady, dating from the 14th Century. these are believed to be members of the Le Moyne (Le Moigne) family, who gave their name to the parish.
There is no trace of the original Norman font, despite it last being recorded in 1843. The current font is dedicated to Edward Estcourt.
The pulpit depicts scenes from the life of St. John the Baptist, to whom the church is dedicated. It was carved in Florence by Barbetti.
The churchyard contains the tomb of one of the few holders of the Victoria Cross, Brigadier-General Sir Alexander Hore-Ruthven, 1st Earl of Gowrie, VC, GCMG, CB, DSO & Bar, PC, who also served as Governor-General of Australia from 1936 to 1945.