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HER Number (PRN):00517
Name:Chapel of St Thomas the Martyr, Ludlow
Type of Record:Monument
Protected Status:Conservation Area: Ludlow
Listed Building (II*) 1210446: CHAPEL HOUSE

Monument Type(s):

  • PARISH CHURCH (12th century to Early 20th century (pre-war) - 1100 AD to 1913 AD)


A 18th century parish church, with medieval origins, which is protected by Grade II* Listing.

Parish:Ludlow, South Shropshire, Shropshire
Map Sheet:SO57SW
Grid Reference:SO 5088 7445

Related records

06187Related to: Churchyard (St Thomas' Chapel), Dinham, Ludlow (Monument)
03841Related to: Upper Dinham Gate (Monument)

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESA5219 - 2003 Evaluation in advance of proposed extension to Chapel House, Dinham by Castlering Archaeology
  • ESA527 - 1973 excavations at west end of chapel


This building is mainly C18 but embodies portions of a structure of circa 1190. Following recent discovery of nave foundations, now thought to be the chancel of the original parish church abandoned owing to rapid growth of town (status of building, chapel or church, yet to be resolved MDW comm 1984) Ashlar and rubble. The plinth has early Norman tooling. Blocked arches to ground floor of west and north walls having late C12 detail. C18 lancet window to west front. Old tiles. Interior has vaulted roof with single-chamfered ribs. Lantern with wrought-iron vane. Later conversion at east end. Simple wood doorcase and window <1>

In 1973 a small excavation was carried out at the W end of the structure and N/S walls 2ft 6ins wide, presumably of the nave, were located. These walls projected 6ins each side of the surviving chancel and were of cut and laid stone. If this is correct the present line of Dinham must post-date the abandonment of the church, the nave of which would have occupied the area of the road. It is possible that the building was not completed-vaulted ceiling was intended in the chancel but not built, and perhaps the nave walls were not built. Occasional documentary references up to the C 16. Additions on the East in stone in C17, replaced in brick a short time later. Restoration 1973 <2>

Evaluated for MPP in 1990-1, High score as one of 20 Parish Churches <8>

Dedication to St Thomas a Becket suggests foundation date between 1177 and 1189 as a new chapel, perhaps on site of original parish church of Dinham. The chapel was repaired and in use until the early 15th century, and there are documentary references to repair work in 1519 and 1556, although not subsequently documented as a chapel <9>

The chapel is shown as an unroofed shell in Vogelsank and Leu's panorama (1722). There was said to be a graveyard associated with the chapel as late as the 17th century [cf PRN 06187] <10>

CMHTS Record Sheet <11>
CMHTS Report <12>

A 2003 evaluation outside the south east angle of the chapel found disturbed ground (possibly a result of the 1973 restoration works) and possible evidence of considerable levelling. <13><14>

Photograph taken on 30th January 2016. <16>

Included in an atlas of building stone in the county. The chapel is built of Whitcliffe Stone. <17>

<00> Shropshire County Council SMR, Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards, SMR Card for PRN SA 00517 (Card index). SSA20722.

<01> Department of the Environment (DoE), 1974-Mar-15, 2nd List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, p163, 1/216 (List of Buildings). SSA805.

<02> Burrow Ian, 1977, Notes, 1977 (VERBAL COMMUNICATION). SSA2204.

<03> Pevsner Nikolaus, 1958, Buildings of England (Shropshire), p189 (Monograph). SSA110.

<04> Burrow Ian, 1976, Photo (Photograph). SSA2205.

<05> Shone Ron, 1972, Photo (Photograph). SSA2207.

<06> Watson Michael D, 1984, St Thomas Chapel, Ludlow (Photograph). SSA2208.

<07> Watson Michael D, 1983-Nov/Dec, St Thomas' Chapel, Ludlow (Photograph). SSA2206.

<08> Horton Wendy B, 1990/ 1991, MPP Evaluation File, Parish Churches (TEXT). SSA20084.

<09> Faraday M A, 1991, Ludlow 1085-1660: a Social, Economic and Political History, p56-58, Plate 19 (Monograph). SSA11536.

<10> Lloyd D J & Klein P, 1984, Ludlow: an Historic Town in Words and Pictures, p65 (Monograph). SSA11577.

<11> Dalwood Hal, 1993/ 1996, CMHTS SMR Records Shropshire: Ludlow, Ludlow 517 (Record form). SSA19968.

<12> Dalwood Hal et al, 1996, Archaeological Assessment of Ludlow, Shropshire (CMHTS) (Historic landscape survey report). SSA12072.

<13> Frost Pat, 2003, Chapel House, Dinham, Ludlow: archaeological evaluation (Excavation report). SSA21179.

<14> Watt S (ed), 2005, Archaeological reports 2003, p89 (Article in serial). SSA22197.

<15> Newman J & Pevsner N, 2006, Buildings of England: Shropshire, P385 (Monograph). SSA23518.

<16> Haynes J B, 2014 onwards, Comments by J B Haynes, HER Compiler (SMR comment). SSA27226.

<17> English Heritage/BGS, 2012, Strategic Stone Study: a building stone atlas of Shropshire, p.14 (Field survey report). SSA28555.


[00]SSA20722 - Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards. SMR record cards. SMR Card for PRN SA 00517.
[01]SSA805 - List of Buildings: Department of the Environment (DoE). 1974-Mar-15. 2nd List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Vol 825-0. List volume. p163, 1/216.
[02]SSA2204 - VERBAL COMMUNICATION: Burrow Ian. 1977. Notes, 1977.
[03]SSA110 - Monograph: Pevsner Nikolaus. 1958. Buildings of England (Shropshire). Buildings of England. p189.
[04]SSA2205 - Photograph: Burrow Ian. 1976. Photo. Colour.
[05]SSA2207 - Photograph: Shone Ron. 1972. Photo.
[06]SSA2208 - Photograph: Watson Michael D. 1984. St Thomas Chapel, Ludlow. Colour.
[07]SSA2206 - Photograph: Watson Michael D. 1983-Nov/Dec. St Thomas' Chapel, Ludlow. Black and white. 35mm.
[08]SSA20084 - TEXT: Horton Wendy B. 1990/ 1991. MPP Evaluation File. Parish Churches.
[09]SSA11536 - Monograph: Faraday M A. 1991. Ludlow 1085-1660: a Social, Economic and Political History. p56-58, Plate 19.
[10]SSA11577 - Monograph: Lloyd D J & Klein P. 1984. Ludlow: an Historic Town in Words and Pictures. p65.
[11]SSA19968 - Record form: Dalwood Hal. 1993/ 1996. CMHTS SMR Records Shropshire: Ludlow. Central Marches Historic Towns Survey record form. Vol 5. Ludlow 517.
[12]SSA12072 - Historic landscape survey report: Dalwood Hal et al. 1996. Archaeological Assessment of Ludlow, Shropshire (CMHTS). Hereford & Worcester CAS Rep. Rep 327.
[13]SSA21179 - Excavation report: Frost Pat. 2003. Chapel House, Dinham, Ludlow: archaeological evaluation. Castlering Archaeol Rep. 151.
[14]SSA22197 - Article in serial: Watt S (ed). 2005. Archaeological reports 2003. W Midlands Archaeol. 46 (for 2003). p88-96. p89.
[15]SSA23518 - Monograph: Newman J & Pevsner N. 2006. Buildings of England: Shropshire. Buildings of England. P385.
[16]SSA27226 - SMR comment: Haynes J B. 2014 onwards. Comments by J B Haynes, HER Compiler.
[17]SSA28555 - Field survey report: English Heritage/BGS. 2012. Strategic Stone Study: a building stone atlas of Shropshire. p.14.
Date Last Edited:Nov 30 2018 2:26PM