Worcestershire Places of Worship

St Leonard, Cotheridge (1) (35k) St Leonard, Cotheridge (2) (22k) St Leonard, Cotheridge (3) (29k) St Leonard, Cotheridge (4) (31k) St Leonard, Cotheridge (5) (23k) St Leonard, Cotheridge (6) (27k) St Leonard, Cotheridge (7) (21k) St Leonard, Cotheridge (8) (18k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie
St Leonard, Cotheridge
St Leonard,
Cotheridge, 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 1125, 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] St Leonard's nestles behind tall trees, and seeing it for the first time one can only say “ahhh” to find such a delightfully fresh, and new looking exterior, apparently stepping right out of the Arts & Crafts Movement. St Leonard's does however date back to the 14th century, circa 1125.

Unusually, the tower is on the south side of the church. It was added about 300 years later, and as the guide leaflet tells us, just before the first Church of England Prayer book was issued in 1548.[1]

[Image 2] The interior of the church is rather plain, but with the unusual feature of having three archway openings between the nave and chancel. The middle one is (as it appears) Norman, with carved pillars and a zigzag pattern to the arch; nothing is known of the two on either side - a rather mismatched pair, but striking, nevertheless. The pulpit is 17th century.[1]

[Image 3] This model of the church when the roof of the nave collapsed is in the porch. It happened in November 1947 and thanks to the generosity of its parishioners its restoration was completed in 1961. The church was surveyed again in 1979, when it was decided unless extensive repairs were carried out, the same could happen again. Thanks to a generous grant from English Heritage and loans from the Historic Churches Preservation Trust and Worcester Diocese, this work was completed in 1987. Today the church is part of the benefice of The Lower Teme Valley, which also includes Broadwas and Knightwick.[1]

[Image 4] The glass in the East Window of the Chancel is by Frederick Preedy (1820-1898), and portrays the Last Supper.[1]

[Image 5] The BERKELEY family lived at Cotheridge Court, opposite the church, and were its patrons for over 300 years, from 1615 to 1949.

The inscription on the left hand memorial reads:

Sacred / To the Memory of /
William BERKELEY Esq of
of Cotheridge Court
who departed this life
on the 15th of November 1869
in the 85th Year of his Age.
Deeply Lamented
by his Affectionate Widow
and Children

Additional Note: William BERKELEY died Dec 1/4 1869
aged 85 registered Martley 6c 164 (FreeBMD)

It wasn't possible to get close enough to the right hand monument to take a photograph of sufficient clarity to be able to read the inscription fully - this is my best attempt:

In / Affectionate Remembrance
of / Harriett Elizabeth
wife of the
Rev. William Comyns BERKELY
of Cotheridge Gent.
[remainder of plaque not readable]
In / Memory of the
Rev. William Comyns BERKELEY
Graduate of
Jesus College Cambridge
Late of the Manor
and ?Parish of Cotheridge
Who died August 7th 18??
In the ?? Year of his Age
Also of
Herbert Bowyer BERKELEY
Youngest son of the above
Born 25 March 1851
Died 15 May 1890
Buried in ?Algiers

Additional Note: William Comyns BERKELEY died Sep 1/4 1885
aged 75 registered Martley 6c 123 (FreeBMD)
He married Harriet Elizabeth, daughter of John Bowyer NICHOLS,
in 1844, and died 7 Aug 1885, aged 75, at Cotheridge Court. (Cambridge Alumni)[1]

[Image 6] This plaque to James Wallace GABRIEL is beside the South Window, which was added to the church around the time of the Magna Carta. The glass in its window is however by Frederick Preedy (1856-1912).

The Inscription on the Plaque reads:

In Memory of
James Wallace GABRIEL
Captain R.N.
Knight of the Guelphic Order
of Hanover
Died August 8th 1849, Aged 66
Also of Anna Maria wife of the above
who died 23rd Decr, 1864. [no age stated]
Heaviness may endure for a Night
But Joy cometh in the Morning

Additional Note: James Wallace GABRIEL mar 12 Oct 1815 Ledbury
Anna Maria HOLBROOK. (IGI)
James Wallace GABRIEL died Sep 1/4 1849 : registered Martley 18 315 (FreeBMD)
Anna Maria GABRIEL died Dec 1/4 1864 : registered Upton 6c 236 (FreeBMD)

The window was added to the church around the time of the Magna Carta (1215). The stained glass looks as though it might be by Preedy, but apparently isn't, as only the East Window in this church is by him.[1]

[Image 7] This memorial is in the Chancel, and the Inscription reads:

In Memory of Thomas BERKELEY Eqr.
The Son of Sr. Rowland BERKELEY of this Parish of Cotheridge Knight.
Who ovt of a generovs cvriosity to see forraigne Cov~
tryes went wt. his Excelcy. Sr. Daniel HARVEY, Embassadovr
Extraordinary from King Charles the second to
Svltan Mahomet Han. Emperovr of the Tvrkes, and
travaileing with the said Embassadovr from Constantinople
towards Thessalonica (where the Embassadovr was to receve.
his avdience from the Emperor) fell sick by the way and
at a city called Megree in Greece, dyed the 25 Day of Oct:
1669 being 30 years of age, and lyeth bvried there
Among the Greeke Christians.
[followed by 17 lines of latin][1]

[Image 8] A rather plain west wall, but an attractive background for the light fittings.[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 SO780540. 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 Cotheridge, 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 16 Jun 2020 - 15:20:15 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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