Gloucestershire Places of Worship

Old Baptist Chapel, Tewkesbury (1) (70k) Old Baptist Chapel, Tewkesbury (2) (103k) Old Baptist Chapel, Tewkesbury (3) (125k) Old Baptist Chapel, Tewkesbury (4) (128k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie
Old Baptist Chapel, Tewkesbury
Old Baptist Chapel,
Old Baptist Chapel Court, Church Street, GL20 5RZ,
Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

Cemeteries

This Chapel 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 1655, but we understand it was closed in 1805.

This chapel can be found behind number 63 Church Street. It has an extensive entry in Non-Conformist Chapels and Meeting Houses, Gloucestershire (1986), so clearly it was of some importance. The origins of the meeting can be traceable to a Particular Baptist chapel in Tewkesbury in 1655 "in which year it was represented at the first meeting of an association of Midland Baptist Churches".

In fact the earliest monuments in the burial-ground date from 1680, and the first reference to a meeting house at the present site in Old Chapel Court is 1711; however "a reference in the parochial burial register to Paul Frewen, ejected vicar of Kempley, Glos., later Baptist minister at Trowbridge and Warwick, as 'speaker in ye Diss Bur Place', at Tewkesbury could indicate that some meetings were being held in the open" prior to this date.

By the end of the 18th century, the building was "very old and much out of repair and not sufficient to accomodate the Congregation", so a plot of ground in Barton Street was purchased, and a new meeting house was built 1804-5, opening on 21st June 1805. The former building was then reduced in size by partial conversion to cottages, leaving only the central area intact. By 1968 it was once again in disrepair, but it was acquired by Tewkesbury Borough Council in 1976, and between 1976 and 1979 it was renovated, and restored to its original size.

It is now a Grade II Listed Building - see British Listed Buildings website for details, and it is open to the public by appointment. Our first photograph shows the sign in Church Street indicating its entrance, and a plaque above the passageway provides the following information:

This Court contains an early Baptist Chapel
The Home of the Baptist Church whose records
date from 1655. The building has furniture
of that period. The Burial Ground has the Tombs
of the Shakespeare & other noted families.

Denomination

Now or formerly Particular Baptist.

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 SO8903232534. 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 2 May 2011 at 14:48.

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This Report was created 27 Oct 2017 - 11:47:26 BST from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 30 Aug 2017 at 16:10.

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