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Thorpe Achurch, St John the Baptist

Medieval church in Thorpe Achurch

Set in the former estate village for nearby Lilford Hall, this 13th century church with its fine tower and spire was restored and extended by Lord Lilford and his architect, William Slater, in the 1860s.

The remains of the old Lilford church, demolished in 1778 and then reassembled as a picturesque folly, can also be found nearby in the Linches.

The interior of the church contains stained glass windows created as memorials to the 3rd and 4th Lords Lilford. The arrangements of memorials here is amusing. Those to the Elmes family, who originally built Lilford Hall and lived there until the 18th century, were banished to the tower by their successors. However, perhaps they have had the last laugh as the cool, dark conditions of the tower have helped to preserve these early 17th century memorials.

Monuments to the Powys family, later Lords Lilford, take up the south transept. Here you will find one of the great baroque monuments in the county to Sir Thomas Powys (1629-1719), who was Solicitor General and Attorney General to both James 2nd and William and Mary. It is set in a colossal architectural framework over 20 feet high and is the work of the sculptor Robert Hartshorne. Robert Browne, founder of the Brownist movement and an early supporter of non-conformism, was rector of the church for some 40 years.

Now the parish church for 4 villages (Achurch, Thorpe Waterville, Lilford and Wigsthorpe), it is still used regularly for worship.

Please refer to the Glossary for any terms in the text that you are unfamiliar with.

Contact & Opening Times

Thorpe Achurch , St John the Baptist, Lilford Rd, Thorpe Achurch, PE8 5SL|
[email protected]|

Opening Times

The church is open on Wednesdays and weekends from April 1st – October 31st and daily throughout the school summer holidays from 10am – 6pm.


Contact Details

For access during winter months please contact Carmel Crawley – 01832 720364 – [email protected]

Explore the area

Click the pins on the map to see other attractions nearby

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