The Chapel of the Holy Trinity at Staunton Harold
Built for Sir Robert Shirley between 1662 and 1665 in Gothic style this was the private chapel of the Shirley's who lived in the nearby Hall for generations. This is one of the few churches built between the outbreak of the English Civil War and the Restoration period.
Set in a beautiful landscaped area with the lake and rolling wooded hills of Leicestershire as a backdrop it really is a special place and one of the few churches built during the Commonwealth period.
Above the west entrance in the tower is the inscription:
'In the year 1653 when all things Sacred were throughout ye nation, Either demolisht or profaned, Sir Robert Shirley, Baronet, Founded this church; Whose singular praise it is, to have done the best things in ye worst times, and hoped them in the most callamitous. The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance.'
An important reminder is that this church was built during the Civil War and that Sir Robert Shirley who was a Royalist and supporter of the King never saw his church completed. Cromwell on hearing of Shirley’s fine church apparently asked why he could not pay towards a ship for the Navy when he could afford so fine a building. When Shirley refused to contribute he was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London, where he died, aged 27. The church was completed by the guardians of his son.
Come and experience an important period of history in this little altered unique church of the Holy Trinity.