Local Churches

The parish of Shotley has two historic church's within the boundaries, these are below:

St. Marys - Shotley Church

St. Mary’s Church, Shotley is delightfully positioned on the high ground overlooking the low lying fresh water meadows of Shotley Marshes. It is located at the end of an unclassified road north of the B1456 between Chelmondiston and Shotley, strangely removed from the main population hotspots of Shotley Street and Shotley Gate.

Outside the church, the large churchyard descends steeply towards the Orwell estuary, and there are simply hundreds of military graves, mainly Royal Navy, but also some for Dutch sailors who were killed near here. It is the last resting place to many generations of seaman, including from HMS Gypsy, which struck a mine in the Orwell and sank.

To see the images full size click on the image to the right.

There are two entries for Shotley (Scoteleia) and an adjacent settlement of Kirkton (Cherchetuna) listed in the Domesday Book  of 1086. For more on the history of the church see our church history pages.

War Graves 

The war graves are located in two  cemetery’s at Shotley there is are graves in the church yard and a smaller number in the navel cemetery which is located across from the church, to search the  cemetery’s database please click on the links below and this will take you to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site (external) 

St Marys Churchyard - There are 201 Commonwealth burials of the 1914-1918 war here, 8 of which are unidentified.  There are 34 burials of the 1939-1045 war, 2 of which are unidentified Royal Navy seamen and 2 of which are Marchant Navy seamen of the SS Skagerak. There are also 13 German National burials of the 1914-1918 was, 1 of which is unidentified.  (here)

Shotley Royal Naval Cemetery - During the 1939-1945 war, Shotley Gate was the Royal Naval Training Establishment, HMS Ganges. There are 99 Commonwealth burials of the 1939-1945 war here including 3 unidentified sailors of the Royal Navy and 1 unidentified seaman of the Merchant Navy.  There are 5 Dutch Navy burials here.  (here)  



St. Mary the Virgin Church, Erwarton

Much of the St. Mary's Church dates from the 15th century, although a church was there much earlier as can be seen from a 14th century window in the chancel. Inside the church there are monuments to the families that have owned the Hall. The church is in a beautiful location. It is well worth a walk around the churchyard, especially to the rear of the building which affords splendid views across the Stour and over to the County of Essex.


To see the images full size click on the image to the right.


Updated July 2017