Gloucestershire Places of Worship

St Mary's Church, Ampney St Mary (1) (37k) St Mary's Church, Ampney St Mary (2) (34k) St Mary's Church, Ampney St Mary (3) (54k) St Mary's Church, Ampney St Mary (4) (53k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Alf Beard/Phil Draper
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St Mary's Church, Ampney St Mary
St Mary's Church,
Ampney Brook,
Ampney St Mary, Gloucestershire.


This Church had 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 in the 12th century, though it is now closed, but we don't yet know when.

St Mary's Church lies about a mile to the east of the village, now isolated in fields by the bank of Ampney Brook. It is very small, with just a nave and chancel, and used to be covered in ivy, hence its name of the "Ivy Church". It is now cut off from the present village of Ampney St Mary by the busy A417. The usual reason given for this is that the settlement surrounding the church was abandoned after the 15th century after an outbreak of the Black Death, and villagers moved to a hamlet to the north, formerly called Ashbrook. Looking at the area around the church today, close to the brook, suggests to me an equally likely reason, of the course of the brook changing, or becoming more prone to flooding, and the land became too wet for habitation.

The following information about the Church has been provided to accompany the photographs on the right. A list of people who have supplied the information is included in the Acknowledgements, below.

[Image 2] The church has been sensitively restored, and inside there are considerable surviving wall paintings, although they are difficult to make out (oddly they are easier to see in my photos!)[1]

[Image 3] The village of Ampney St Mary today is on the far side of Ampney St Peter to this church! However, St Mary's is known locally as the Ivy Church, because it was abandoned and brought back to life after emerging from under an ivy canopy in the early 20th century. Consequently the church has been sensitively restored, and inside there are considerable surviving wall paintings.[1]

[Image 4] An unusual Norman tympanum or rather lintel, with four strange beasts, two ammonite-like creatures below, with a large animal above attacking the left hand one, whilst further left comes what looks like a goose with a spear![1]


Now or formerly Church of England.

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


This Church was located at OS grid reference SP0756301537. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


A special thanks to the following people who have contributed information for this web page:

1. Information provided by Phil Draper.

Information last updated on 20 Feb 2013 at 13:07.

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This Report was created 19 Aug 2021 - 18:54:57 BST from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 27 Mar 2021 at 10:54.

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