Worcestershire Places of Worship

St Kenelm, Clifton upon Teme (1) (29k) St Kenelm, Clifton upon Teme (2) (25k) St Kenelm, Clifton upon Teme (3) (29k) St Kenelm, Clifton upon Teme (4) (21k) St Kenelm, Clifton upon Teme (5) (20k) St Kenelm, Clifton upon Teme (6) (26k) St Kenelm, Clifton upon Teme (7) (25k) St Kenelm, Clifton upon Teme (8) (38k) St Kenelm, Clifton upon Teme (9) (42k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie
St Kenelm, Clifton upon Teme
St Kenelm,
Clifton upon Teme, Worcestershire.


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 in the 13th century, and we understand it is still open.

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 1] This is one of only eight in England dedicated to St Kenelm, an Anglo Saxon saint, who - legend has it - had associations with this area of Worcestershire. He was the son of King Kenwulf, and is reputed to have been murdered at the command of his sister Cwendrida (Quendreda), who wished to inherit the crown for herself.

It is said that those who went looking for his body were assisted in their search by a pillar of light shining over the thicket in which his body lay. Some versions of the legend say they carried him back to Winchcombe Abbey in Gloucestershire for burial, others that he was buried where he was slain, but there seems to be agreement that over the place where they found his body, a chapel was built. It is near Clent, in Worcestershire, at a place which still bears the name of St Kenelm.[1]

[Image 2] The stained glass in the east window (a Victorian addition in a 13th century window) was given in 1882 by Baron Moncrieff, a former Vicar, in memory of his mother.[1]

[Image 3] The South Aisle to the church was added by the WYSHAM family, owners of Woodmanton Manor (about a mile to the north of the village) during the 14th and 15th centuries. Until 1845, the east end was screened off forming a Chantry Chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and indeed this area of the church does seem to have a more commanding presence than the main body of the church.

The top lights in the east window are “not later than” the 14th century, as is the surrounding stonework, but the tracery is modern. There are 3 coats of arms - in the middle, that of Wysham, to the left Poynings, and to the right, the Warrens. The rest of the glass was given by the COUCHER family who owned Woodmanton from the 18th to 20th centuries (information summarised from the guide leaflet).[1]

[Image 4] The Inscription reads:

Here lieth the body of
Jane / the Daughter of William BLOOME
of Altofts in the County of York Gent.
Who dyd ye 20th of March 1718.
She was Cosen & Heir Adopted,
to Henry JEFFREYES of Home Castle Esq. Married with Edward 3d, son
of Sr. Francis WINNINGTON,
of Stanford Court,
Pursuant to ye Will of the
said Henry JEFFREYES,
They took upon them his Surname;
had Issue,

Henry ( Sepbr. 10 1710) Nov. 26 1713
EdwardBorn( Augst. 21 1713)DydNovbr. 7 1713
William ( Augst, 22, 1714) Novbr. 27 1713

Edward JEFFREYES Esqe. Who was
Eminent in the Law, Beloved by all
that knew Him, and Adored by such as
He Honoured with his Friendship.
Died July 20th Anno Domini 1726

The guide leaflet says the monument is by Thomas WHITE, a pupil of Grinling GIBBONS, and also comments on the fact that the youngest child apparently died some time before he was born![1]

[Image 5] The Inscription reads:

Uxor Henrici JEFFREYES de Home Castle Armig.
Filia Edwardi PITTS de Kyre Wyard Armig.
Fratrisq, sui Jacobi COHOEREDUM altera
Summo dignaologio,
Ni suorum luctus tacere jubeat
Annis quinquaginta sere duobus
pie et relugiose actis
obiit / Aug 26 / 1688
Uxori hoc dicans vivus mantus
Mortuum seipsum Spondet,
Et latus lateri commendat:
Ut ques Mors Separavit
Connubio Sepultchrati
Mors iterum conjungat amantes.
Henricus JEFFREYES de Home Castle Armiger:
Obiit 3d die July. Ano. Dom. 1709,
Aetatis Suae 73

The guide leaflet says this monument was by Grinling GIBBINS, and the only example of its kind in the country. It was erected in 1689 at a cost of £40m and is of Italian marble. The agreement, and receipt for the work is still extant, and includes Gibbins's signature, and the signature of the Vicar of the time, Thomas CREMER.[1]

[Image 6] This Coat of Arms (described as a ‘Royal Achievement’ in the guide leaflet) is on the south wall, directly above the entrance doorway, and its presence indicates that Clifton upon Teme was once a Royal Borough. The doorway below is 14th century, and has a substantial oak door. The gateway into the churchyard has a sign saying visitors are welcome to this church.[1]

[Image 7] The Memorial is on the north wall of the nave and the Inscriptions read:

To Honour
The Memory Of
Alfred Sidney BUTCHER
Frederick John GENEVER
Edwin John JONES
John James MELTON
Joseph Albert NASH
Thomas RYDER
Of this Parish
Who Gave Their Lives
In The Great War 1914-1918
This Tablet Is Erected By Parishioners
Roland JAMES
Sidney STONE
Henry Jefferys TAYLOR (Priest)
Graham G.W. CARTER
Killed In France January 31st 1948[1]

[Image 8] This memorial tablet is one of a pair set in the floor. The Inscription reads:

Here lyeth the Body of Hannah the
Wife of Mr. Francis RUFFORD the
Younger of the Hill in the Parish of
Lower Sapy, who departed this Life
the fourth of January 1756, Aged 44.[1]

[Image 9] This memorial tablet is one of a pair set in the floor. The Inscription reads:

Here lyeth the Body of Sarah Daughter
of Francis RUFFORD (by Mary his ~
Wife) She departed this Life ye 17th Day of
February 1729 Aged 7 Years

Francis RUFFORD Gent. departed
this Life August 29 1763 Aged 88.

Mary Wife if ye said Francis RUFFORD
departed this Life Novr. 17: 1767 Aged 80

Blessed are the Dead which die in the Lord
Rev. 14:13[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 in the town/village nearest OS grid reference SO840460. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


I have found many websites of use whilst compiling the information for this database. Here are some which deserve mention as being of special interest for Clifton upon Teme, and perhaps to Local History and Places of Worship as a whole.

The above links were selected and reviewed at the time I prepared the information, but please be aware their content may vary, or disappear entirely. These factors are outside my control.


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

1. Information provided by Rosemary Lockie.

Information last updated on 3 Feb 2011 at 00:00.

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This Report was created 31 Aug 2021 - 18:04:15 BST from information held in the Worcestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 7 Feb 2019 at 12:48.

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