Shobdon shown within Herefordshire
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Hereford and Worcester|
|EU Parliament||West Midlands|
|UK Parliament||North Herefordshire|
Shobdon is a small village in Herefordshire, England, situated 19 miles north of Hereford and nine miles west of Leominster. It is also only 2 miles west of the Mortimer's Cross. According to the 2001 Census, the population of the parish of Shobdon was 769, consisting of 386 males and 383 females.
The village has a primary school with approximately 67 children attending. When the children leave Shobdon Primary they mostly progress to Wigmore High School, although some go to either Weobley or Kington. Co-located with the Primary School is Shobdon Village Hall which consists of a community room and kitchen, as well as shared access to the school hall. Occasional fundraising activities are undertaken by the village hall committee, the most significant of which is the Village Fete and Produce Show held in mid September.
Shobdon is famous for its church (St John the Evangelist) located north of the village. Shobdon Church is a hugely important work of architecture. It has a direct connection to Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill in Twickenham and the members of the "Committee of Taste" which strongly influenced its design. Its amazingly intact interior and matching furniture are the sole example of this Walpolean Gothick style of Georgian church architecture and furnishing. 4 November 2013 saw the culmination of 12 years and £1.25 million of repair work to restore this unique "Strawberry Hill Gothic" Church. Nearby is the visitor centre/cafe together with the Shobdon Arches folly www.shobdonchurch.org.uk/arches.php. The original interior arches of the church were removed in 1756, being placed at the top of the adjacent hill as a folly where they still stand.
The Shobdon Arches consist of a central chancel arch and two Norman doorways. The fine, though weathered, carvings are the work of the Herefordshire School of sculpture, which dominated in the western counties during the mid 12th Century. Tympana were once probably part of the original doorways.
At the western end of the village is Pearl Lake caravan park, which has a number of permanent caravans as well as access for tourers. This is situated adjacent to Pearl Lake, the largest natural body of water in Herefordshire.
To the south is situated Shobdon Airfield, formerly a WWII RAF glider training facility, now used for commercial and recreational helicopter flying www.tigerhelicopters.co.uk fixed wing power flying herefordshireaeroclub.com and glider flying www.shobdongliding.co.uk.
Shobdon's football team, Shobdon F.C, plays immediately to the east of Shobdon Aerodrome. The football team are currently in the Hereford Times League 1 and recently[when?] got to the Herefordshire Junior cup final but lost to Pegusus Juniors F.C. The club have recently opened a new kitchen area and referee's room at the ground, which is due to be opened by members of the Herefordshire FA. For the 2012-13 season the club colours have changed from Navy and Light blue to Green and Black Stripes, Black Shorts and Socks, returning to the original colours which Shobdon played in 30 Years ago when formed. The current squad is made up from a mixture of older players, who have experience of playing a higher standard, and the young up and coming players, mostly from Leominster who are keen to progress into senior football. Crowds of around 20 regularly attend home games.
Shobdon Cricket Club
Shobdon CC Is situated on the east access road to Shobdon Church, the ground, known as 'The Haize', was originally played on in the 1920s. The club disbanded but reformed in 1984 and initially played home games on the Torvale Works Sports Ground, south-west of Shobdon Airfield. In the early 90's, the club lost the use of this ground and for 3 seasons played at The Grange in Leominster. In 1995, thanks to the generosity of the Corbett Family, the club moved back to The Haize. A grant was received from The National Lottery which enabled a Pavilion to be built opposite Shobdon Church. In the past few seasons 2010 & 2012[when?] the club has won The Marches Cricket League Division 2 title on 2 occasions and yearly receives praise on the standard of the pitch and outfield. Sadly, in 2013 the club disbanded, due to shortage of players. The cricket pitch has now been ploughed up. The fate of the clubhouse is uncertain.
The Bateman Arms http://www.thebatemanarms.co.uk/ is located in the centre of the village and offers a warm welcome to locals and visitors to the Marches area alike. Built in the 18th century The "Bateman" is a traditional village pub that offers public and lounge bars, a restaurant, six en-suite letting rooms in the adjacent coaching house and a large garden area. New landlords took over in the autumn in 2013 and the pub is now flourishing. Herefordshire Aero Club herefordshireaeroclub.com operates from Shobdon, on the WWII airfield. The Aero Club has a bar and restaurant and is located on Shobdon Airfield, one mile south of the village, in a Nissen hut which was formerly a pilots rest room.
In the 17th century the village of Shobdon was run by the Bateman family (hence the Bateman Arms). They were living in Shobdon Court.
Shobdon Airfield was constructed in 1942. Possibly originally conceived as a bomber base out of range of German attackers, in operation it was only used as a glider training base. Pilots who trained here took part in both the Normandy landings and Operation Market Garden at Arnhem in the Netherlands.
Every third year Shobdon church hosts a flower festival. This has been expanded into an annual food, drink & flower festival which is held on the last weekend in June. The tenth anniversary Festival will be held on Shobdon Airfield on the weekend of 28–29 June 2014 www.shobdonfoodfestival.co.uk.
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