Have you sauntered round this spectacular Stevenage landmark? Well, now’s your chance

PUBLISHED: 06:59 31 March 2015 | UPDATED: 13:33 31 March 2015

Shephalbury Manor is now the headquarters of the Coptic Church in the UK, and the new St George's Cathedral has been built in the grounds

Shephalbury Manor is now the headquarters of the Coptic Church in the UK, and the new St George's Cathedral has been built in the grounds

Archant

One of Stevenage’s heritage highlights is not as familiar as it should be to many in North Herts – but now there’s a chance to put that right.

Heritage pictures of Shephalbury Manor, StevenageHeritage pictures of Shephalbury Manor, Stevenage

Shephalbury Manor, once the home of the Heathcote family and put to a number of other uses before becoming an international hub of the Coptic Church in the UK, is a grand Victorian pile with many period features still intact – and it also now features a cathedral in the grounds.

The house which stands on the site was built for Unwin Heathcote and designed by architect and civil engineer T. Roger Smith.

This year the main house set back from Broadhall Way and within earshot of Stevenage FC’s Lamex Stadium marks its 150th birthday and to celebrate the occasion a special open day is being held on Sunday, April 26.

The free event will feature tours of the Cathedral of Saint George and the manor house, a photography exhibition arranged by the team at Stevenage Museum, and a chance to find out more about the work being done by the Coptic community.

Heritage pictures of Shephalbury Manor, StevenageHeritage pictures of Shephalbury Manor, Stevenage

Mayor of Stevenage Sherma Batson said: “Shephalbury Manor has played an important part in the history of Stevenage and this open day is a fantastic chance for people to learn more the history of the site, as well as find out what happens there now.”

His Grace Bishop Angaelos, general bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK, added: “Shephalbury Manor is a core part of the history and heritage of Stevenage and we are inviting the community to take part in celebrating that heritage with us.”

Along with the Celebrate Your Manor open day, on St George’s Day itself – Thursday, April 23 – a service will be held in the cathedral presided by Bishop Angaelos and attended by civic dignitaries and ecumenical guests, along with members of the wider Stevenage community.

To find out more about the work of the Coptic Church visit www.copticcentre.com.


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