Click here to edit subtitle

St Mary's Church - Clophill

Friday 12 October 2012

The church...

The History

The old St Marys Church was built around 1350, and replaced by a new church in the 1840s. The old church gradually fell into ruin. The site has many hundreds of years of stories of hauntings, from monks to strange lights in the sky. It is also meant to be a site of satanic rituals and demonic activity. Humans being sacrificed in the centre of the church ruins.  The ruined church at the village edge is a Grade II listed building, first listed in 1961 and formerly called The Old Parish Church, but later re-listed under the name The Church of St Mary The Virgin. It was built in 1350. It was built in the Perpendicular style, the fabric being mostly of coarse ironstone rubble with ashlar dressings. William Henry Page writing in 1908, dated the two-light windows of the belfry, the two-light west window, and the tower arch to the 15th century, and noted that the nave walls are older than the tower. Improvements were made in the early 19th century, with a west gallery added in 1814 and a new east end to the chancel in 1819. By the 1820s the church's seating capacity had become insufficient. Plans to enlarge it came to naught partly as a consequence of the rector falling ill. He died in 1843, and a new rector was appointed, who wanted to relocate the church to the village centre.

So instead, a new church was built (1848–1849) and the old one used, for a while, as a mortuary chapel for the graveyard, which remained in use. One of those uses, apparently, was extraordinary: according to the 1908 A History of the County of Bedford, vol. 2, edited by Page, "The churchyard possessed the unenviable reputation of being a haunt of body snatchers, and many human bones have been dug up in the fields of Brickwall Farm.

In 1854 the remains of the original church consisted of little more than the nave and tower. The chancel and the galleries had been removed in its conversion for use as a chapel, and several items (including the lych gate and two of the bells) had been transferred to the new building. Steven Glynne in 1854 described it as "a poor, small church on top of a very high hill, having only a nave and tower, the chancel having been destroyed and the church is now wholly abandoned". In 1898, the church was described in Kelly's Directory for Bedfordshire, which said it "contains several interesting memorial tablets to the Rev. Charles Fletcher M.A., 1753, the Rev. William Pierce Nethersole, vicar of Pulloxhill, 1799, and another to members of the family of the Rev. Ezekiel Rouse: the roof is of ancient oak. The register dates from the year 1568".

Repairs were made in 1901, which ironically prevented Page (in 1908) from being able to precisely date the nave and tower. After the lead was stolen from the roof in 1956, however, the building fell into ruin

The Investigation

We have been waiting for a long time to investigate this amazing location. Home to demonic activity and satanic rituals, the church is supposed to have been built facing the wrong direction for a church and so opens the door to hell. If this is true then the night ahead would be a great chance to experience so really exciting activity.

We started off looking the grounds and taking photos. We heard a few strange noises, like heavy footsteps on the grass...we couldn't find the cause of these noises. A policeman called Joel turned to check everything was ok at the church. We had a long chat with him about what he has seen and some of the stories he has been told.

We tried some EVP work in the main church, but didn't really capture any voices. We then headed down to the bottom graveyard, where a monk walks across the graves and vanishes into the hedge. We asked out and spent about an hour down there, but nothing really happened. We finished up back in the church. We tried using the K2 metre. We got a couple of hits on it but then nothing. We also tried using the ghost box, but no answers to our questions or anything of significance, although Michael did think he heard the word Devil come through...paranormal? No!

Throughout the night, we had groups of kids turning up to have a look at the church and then go away again. It interupted the flow of the nights investigation and may have stopped anything paranormal to happen.

The Conclusion

We didn't capture anything on camera, video or audio this time. The K2 only had a couple of hits at the start, and then nothing. We did hear footsteps in the grass but didn't get the noise on our video or voice recorder. The location, we feel, needs further investigation with more equipment!