The remains of St Mary’s and All Saints Church also known as Cold Christmas Church is located in rural Thundridge, Hertfordshire. Although the building is Grade II listed all that remains is the old stone tower and abandoned graveyard.
The church is nicknamed after a nearby village also called Cold Christmas. Although the building is Grade II listed all that remains is the old stone tower and abandoned graveyard and now only the graveyard is accessible.
The church was said to have been built on the wrong alignment which was North to South instead of East to West like many other churches. Many medieval churches were built in this way and people often stated that this was a sign of evil.
It is believed that the graves which lie in the abandoned graveyard belong mainly to young children. It is said that one very cold Christmas time, the children of the village were hit the worst by the cold weather and it lead to their deaths. It was after this supposed tragedy the villagers decided to change the name of the village to Cold Christmas.
However, According to research by parish councillor Clive Brigden, the historical record shows absolutely nothing to confirm the tale of frozen children. Our Team member Gina Marshall also did a historical check on the church and she could also not find anything on it either.
For us we got absolutely nothing through, it felt quite peaceful yet did look eerie as we approached and later on a lingering fog surrounded us which somewhat did set a spooky scene, at least for those watching us on Facebook.
What Ghostly sightings have been seen here?
There are many stories of alleged paranormal activity happening in and around the tower.
These range from sounds of growling reportedly coming from within the tower, to beep breathy sounds which have often been heard by people around the area of the graves.
In 1978 a lady walking through grounds of the church was reported to have come face to face with a marching army. They appeared to have come from come from through the door of the tower and marched up to the lady and straight through her. There are numerous other reports of strange and unexplained things happening in and around the tower.
We wouldn’t be the only team to state its been a quiet night, upon looking up other teams visits here they have suggested the same.
However, I don’t doubt the church and the graveyard isn’t haunted, I personally just feel the hauntings could be of more residual energies and some people have just been lucky enough to be there and witness the residual recordings being played out.
There as beeb accusations of it being associated with the sign of the devil and rumours of black magic and witchcraft when the ruin was open. Growls and whispers around the ruins have often been heard.
I would assume as it is built in the wrong alignment, this could draw some unwanted attention and I have read that it did at one time draw many teenagers and ghost Hunters to the site where its possible worship of the wrong kind could have happened.
However, the legend of Brent Pelham’s 11th century knight Piers Shonks could fit with the devilish things reported here.
Shonks’ tomb is lodged in a wall of St Mary’s church and the inscription above it tells how Shonke one serpent kills t’other defies. And in this wall as in a fortress lies.
According to lore, the ‘one serpent’ was a dragon that hailed from the nearby village of Barkway, and terrorised the people of Brent Pelham. Nominated to handle the problem, the lord of the manor of Pelham (and, as the story goes, anything up to 23-feet tall) set out with his hunting dogs to slay the beast at its lair under a yew tree. The battle was long and bloody but finally the serpent lay at the knight’s feet.
However, in so doing he angered a second serpent, the Devil himself, who vowed, in payment for the death of his creature, that he’d come for Shonks’ soul, whether he was buried inside or outside the church.
Shonks was as smart as he was brave. On his deathbed he drew his bow and shot, pronouncing that he would be buried where the arrow landed. The arrow went through the south window of St Mary’s and struck the north wall. Buried neither inside nor outside the church, but in an alcove, his soul forever escapes Satan’s clutches. The coffin’s elaborately carved black marble slab depicts a dragon breathing fire at Shonks, but the flames are deflected by a cross. He is being raised to heaven by an angel.
So could the devil be lurking outside the ruin growling after shonks? It’s possible, if the devil does indeed exist.
However, my initial feelings are I think the land as been possibly blessed over the years, cleansed and even rid of anything that may have once been there. It just had that feeling about it.