Gloucestershire Places of Worship

St Mary the Virgin's Church, Deerhurst (1) (36k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Deerhurst (2) (23k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Deerhurst (3) (18k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Deerhurst (4) (22k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Deerhurst (5) (42k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Deerhurst (6) (46k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Deerhurst (7) (26k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Deerhurst (8) (32k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Deerhurst (9) (64k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Alf Beard/Rosemary Lockie
St Mary the Virgin's Church, Deerhurst
St Mary the Virgin's Church,
off Severn Way,
Deerhurst, Gloucestershire.


This Church has (or 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 before 1066, and we understand it is still open.

In 1911, the antiquarian H.J.L.J. (Henri Jean Louis Joseph) Massé published an illustrated history of The Abbey Church of Tewkesbury, available elsewhere online. The booklet also includes a brief account of the Priory Church of Deerhurst.

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] Deerhurst Church is full of interest, originally a Saxon Priory - its tower and nave dating from Saxon times, with north and south aisles added later, respectively in the 12th and 13th centuries.

The blocked opening underneath the east archway was the entrance to an apse, now in ruins, apart from a remaining south wall on which is the carving of the famous ‘Deerhurst Angel’.[1]

[Image 3] This double-headed window dates from the 9th century. The blocked up doorway to the right and below it (now apparently suspended in mid-air) provided access to an external balcony on which on Feast Days and Holy Days the precious relics belonging to the monastery would have been displayed.

Access from inside would have been by what was once an extensive west gallery - which was lit by the small triangular windows in its north, south and west walls.[1]

[Image 4] The south aisle was added in the 12th century, to incorporate an existing south transept. A matching north aisle was added during the 13th century, thus the capitals, and stonework of the archways are not an exact match! In my opinion however, this merely adds to the appeal.[1]

[Image 5] One of a group of Cass[e]y Brasses, behind which can be seen portions of Saxon masonry and (yet another) blocked up doorway.

One of the brasses on this photograph is thought to be of Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas BRUGES, Esq. of Coverle, firstly wife of William CASSEY, Esq. of Whyghtfylde, then of Walter NOWDEN, Esq. 1525.[1]

[Image 6] One of a group of Cass[e]y Brasses, behind which can be seen portions of Saxon masonry and (yet another) blocked up doorway.

This brass records the death on 23 May 1400 of Sir John CASSY, Chief Baron of the Exchequer in the reign of Edward III, and his wife Alicia. The inscription reads (in finely cut black letters, with beautiful ornaments between each word) “Hic jacet Johes Cassy miles quondam Capitalis Baro S[ca]cc[ar]ii Regis qui obiit xxiii die Maii Anno Dni MCCCC, et Alicia uxor ejus qu~or [?] aïabus pp~er [propter?] deus.”.

The Chief Baron is represented in his robes, with a lion at his feet; his wife in a long loose flowing dress, fastened at the wrists and round the neck. She has a dog at her feet with his name “Tirri” engraved on his side.[1]

[Image 7] The font is said to be the finest Saxon font in existence - carved from a single block of limestone, with interwoven spiral decoration it is at the west end of the north aisle, seen here by the display boards. The window has on the oblong block of stone beneath it a carving of the Arms of the Strickland family.[1]

[Image 8] 14th Century archway, with a dedication on the rather splendid door. The plaque commemorates 3 members of the BUTTERWORTH family, George Kaye BUTTERWORTH, the composer, and his cousin, Hugh Montagu (d. 25/09/1915) BUTTERWORTH, both of whom died in ‘France and Flanders’ 1914-18; and their grandfather George BUTTERWORTH, who was Vicar of Deerhurst between 1856 and 1893.

According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, George Sainton Kaye BUTTERWORTH was the son of Sir Alexander Kaye BUTTERWORTH, of Hampstead, London, and the late Julia Marguerite (nee WIGAN), and died 25th September 1915; whilst Hugh Montagu BUTTERWORTH was the son of George Montagu BUTTERWORTH and Catherine Lucie (nee WARDE), of The Cashmeer Hills, Christchurch, New Zealand, and died 5th August 1916.[1]

Revd. Butterworth was followed as incumbent by Daniel G. Lysons, Vicar between 1893 and 1903 - a descendant of the compilers of the 19th century Magna Britannia series, perhaps?

[1] George Montagu was a captain of Clifton (Bristol) Rugby Football club in 1880-81, and the exellent website of Clifton Rugby Football Club History provides a detailed account, including photographs, of his career.[2]

[Image 9] The ‘Deerhurst Angel’ - to be found on this remaining wall of a ruined apse, now exposed to the elements, whereas previously it would have been protected by being on an inside wall.[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 is located at OS grid reference SO8704429958. 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 Rosemary Lockie.

2. Information provided by Rosemary Lockie/John Williams.

Information last updated on 17 May 2017 at 09:51.

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This Report was created 21 Aug 2021 - 09:07:46 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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