Gloucestershire Places of Worship

We have 9 Images St Philip & St James's Church (originally St Philip), Cheltenham (1) (140k) St Philip & St James's Church (originally St Philip), Cheltenham (2) (118k) St Philip & St James's Church (originally St Philip), Cheltenham (3) (59k) St Philip & St James's Church (originally St Philip), Cheltenham (4) (63k) St Philip & St James's Church (originally St Philip), Cheltenham (5) (74k) St Philip & St James's Church (originally St Philip), Cheltenham (6) (65k) St Philip & St James's Church (originally St Philip), Cheltenham (7) (81k) St Philip & St James's Church (originally St Philip), Cheltenham (8) (70k) St Philip & St James's Church (originally St Philip), Cheltenham (9) (84k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie
St Philip & St James's Church (originally St Philip), Cheltenham
St Philip & St James's Church (originally St Philip),
Grafton Road / Gratton Street,
Cheltenham, 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 in 1844, and we understand it is still open.

St Philip and St James's church owes its existence originally to St James's Church in Suffolk Square becoming "inadequate for the growing population of Southtown". As a consequence, Henry Norwood Trye gave a piece of the Manor of Leckhampton for a church to be built in "Gratton Grounds".

The present church is however the second on the site. The first church was an early commission of Edwin Shellard, who was born in Cheltenham in 1815, however he was later based in Manchester, where most of his designs are now to be found.

The foundation stone of Shellard's Church was laid in 1838. It records a dedication to St Peter, but almost immediately it was changed to St Philip, possibly because neighbouring Leckhampton Church is also dedicated to St Peter. "St James" was added 2 years later.

The original building, completed in 1844, was replaced by a larger church in 1879 designed by John Middleton. The work was finished in 1882, at an overall cost of £9,700. Middleton was born in York in 1820, and apparently came to Cheltenham to retire, but he was responsible for 4 other churches in Cheltenham, as well as working on the Ladies College, Cheltenham College, and the Delancey Hospital, so obviously a workaholic!

He died in 1885, however, before the church's most notable feature was added - the 'saddleback and fleche', which were a replacement in 1903 for the intended spire on the south-west tower. There are imposing views of it from the streets on all four sides, as befitting a church which was originally intended to serve the 19th century fashionable area of The Park.

Inside, the church is no less spectacular. It has a little of everything - fine woodwork, delicate stone carvings, wrought iron and stained glass. Many of the memorials in the south transept belonged to the first church, whilst the font and lectern were commissioned for the new church. The fifth of six stained glass windows in the north aisle is a memorial to John Middleton. It was made by Heaton, Butler & Payne, to a design by his son, and presented to the church by his family.

The four figures on the pulpit are King Edwyn with crown and sceptre, St Alban with mitre and sword, St Augustine in archbishop's robes, and Joseph of Arimathea "with box of ointment and his flowering staff of Gladstonbury legend". The reredos behind the High Altar displays some 29 figures; the firm of H.H. Martyn carried out the work in 1880.

A second reredos, now set at the east end of the north aisle was brought here from St James's Church in Suffolk Square in 1977 after it was closed the previous year. It depicts the Last Supper, and at its base are the arms of the Province of Canterbury and the Diocese of Gloucester.

Further details are available on the British Listed Buildings website.

Note: In some sources St Philip & St James is listed as being in Leckhampton. Given that it was built on land which belonged originally to Leckhampton Manor, this seems highly appropriate. On the other hand, the parish is bordered on the east by Bath Road, on the north and part of Lansdown Road (excluding Tivoli), to the south by the A46, and on the west extends as far as Warden Hill - all now parts of Cheltenham, so both seem appropriate. [Source: The Church of St Philip and St James, a Brief History and Guide, Aylwin Sampson (2009)]


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 SO9446021111. 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 Cheltenham, 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.

Information last updated on 3 Sep 2011 at 11:01.

Search for other Places of Worship in Gloucestershire, or in another County in this Database

Please choose a County by selecting one of the Tabs below.
Note: you MUST choose a County - searching all four at once is not an option!

Search Tips:

You can specify either a Place, or OS Grid Reference to search for. When you specify a Place, only entries for that place will be returned, with Places of Worship listed in alphabetical order. If you specify a Grid Reference, Places of Worship in the immediate vicinity will be listed, in order of distance from the Grid Reference supplied. The default is to list 10, but you can specify How Many you want to see, up to a maximum of 100.

You can further refine your search by supplying other search terms.

Please note the above provides a search of selected fields in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database on this site ( only. For other counties, or for a full search of the Database, you might like to try the site's Google Custom Search, which includes full webpage content.

Further Information

This site provides historical information about churches, other places of worship and cemeteries. It has no affiliation with the churches or congregations themselves, nor is it intended to provide a means to find places of worship in the present day.

Please also remember that whilst the above account may suggest that St Philip & St James's Church (originally St Philip) remains open and accessible, this may not remain so.

Do not copy any part of this page or website other than for personal use or as given in our Terms and Conditions of Use.

You may wish to take a look at our About the Places of Worship Database page for an overview of the information provided, and any limitations which may be present.

This Report was created 17 May 2022 - 03:12:43 BST from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 13 Oct 2021 at 14:13.

URL of this page:
Logo by courtesy of the Open Clip Art Library