Gloucestershire Places of Worship

St Kenelm's Chapel (Ruins), Sudeley, Winchcombe (1) (120k) St Kenelm's Chapel (Ruins), Sudeley, Winchcombe (2) (52k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Google Digitization
St Kenelm's Chapel (Ruins), Sudeley, Winchcombe
St Kenelm's Chapel (Ruins),
Sudeley Hill,
Sudeley, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire.

Cemeteries

We believe the Chapel did NOT have a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded after 812, but we understand it was closed in 1830.

The chapel dedicated to St Kenelm is understood to date back to the Saxon era. In the charters of Winchcombe Abbey it is named and confirmed to the Monastery of Winchcombe. Kenelm was the son and heir of Kenulf, King of Mercia. He was murdered in 812 by his sister Quendred (Quendrida), who together with her husband Askaperius, wished to claim the crown to her father's kingdom. Legend has it that the body was discovered by the lowing of a cow at the place where he'd been buried, in Clent (north Worcestershire), and that a spring of water arose on the spot, over which a chapel or shrine of St Kenelm was built.

In keeping with the times, his remains were sanctified and afterwards were brought to Winchcombe Abbey, which his father had founded, and a chapel was built on Sudeley Hill near to an already-present Holy Well, "for the benefit of pilgrims who were attracted thither by the miraculous healing property of the water".

"...it is very pleasant to imagine the picturesque groups of devout worshippers and gay holiday lads and lasses which must have then assembled on St Kenelm's day (July 17th) even round our Sudeley Well and Chapel. It may be right in this matter of fact, prosaic, and scientific age to condemn such superstitions as we are now recording, but when there was more of nature and less of dogma in religion, it seems hardly surprising that a beautiful fountain of clear water, ever flowing, ever fresh - no one then knowing whence it came, or whither it flowed, should inspire the worship of the people". [Source: Annals of Winchcombe and Sudeley, by Emma Dent (1877)]

The chapel was demolished in 1830, and the remains, now Grade II Listed, incorporated into a 19th century farm house.

The illustrations are from the above book Annals of Winchcombe and Sudeley, digitized by Google and available from The Ebook and Texts Archive. The book also features an illustration of St Kenelm's Well.

Denomination

Now or formerly Roman Catholic.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.

Maps

This Chapel was located at OS grid reference SP0430627702. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Reference

  • Places recorded by the Registrar General under the provisions of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 (2010) is available as a "Freedom of Information" document from the website What Do They Know.
Last updated on 25 Oct 2011 at 18:12.

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This Report was created 31 Jul 2017 - 17:52:06 BST from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 4 Jul 2017 at 10:50.

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