Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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St Oswald's Church, Compton Abdale
St Oswald's Church,
Compton Abdale, 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 the 13th century, and we understand it is still open.

Kelly's Directory of 1923 describes Compton Abdale as a parish and village, 3 miles south-east from Andoversford station on the Banbury and Cheltenham branch of the Great Western railway, about 2 east from Withington station on the Cirencester and Cheltenham section of the Midland and South Western Junction railway, 4 west-north-west from Northleach and 16 east from Gloucester. St Oswald's Church "is an ancient building of stone in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave of six bays, north aisle, north porch and an embattled western tower with lofty pinnacles, containing 6 bells".

As an aside to the above, there is a rather picturesque description of the pinnacles in the present day, on the website of St Peter & St Paul, Northleach - they have "on each angle an animal on its hind legs (probably wolves)".

Continuing with Kelly's description - the chancel was restored in 1881-3 at the cost of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and in 1904-5 the whole fabric renovated. The chancel and choir were enlarged and reseated, a new pulpit in carved oak, an altar table, altar rails, six clergy seats and a vestry were added, the restoration carried out under the direction of Mr. F.W. Waller, architect of Gloucester.

The parish records date from 1722. The living (in 1923) was said to be a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Bristol, and had been held since 1817 by the Rev. Edmund Alexander Thomas Lowndes, of the London College of Divinity. The lord of the Manor was the Earl of Eldon, D.L., J.P.

Upper Hampden farmhouse and cottages were transferred to Shipton by Local Government Board Order on 25th March 1883.

In 1923, St Oswald's was said to have 120 sittings. At the time of the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/341/2/5/9) there were only 25 (all free), yet the average number of worshippers at morning services, 30, and 60 in the afternoons, more than twice that! There were no evening services. The return was completed by Ew [Edward?] Yarrow, Perpetual Curate, whose address was "Compton Abdale, Northleach, Gloucestershire". He also completed the return for Sevenhampton (HO 129/341/2/9/17), where he was Officiating Minister.

The Victoria County History series: A History of the County of Gloucester, Volume 9: Bradley hundred: the Northleach area of the Cotswolds (2001), pp.31-41 (Compton Abdale) notes that the manor of Compton Abdale belonged to the minster (later priory) of St Oswald in Gloucester, of which a chapel at Compton was recorded from 1291. It was subsequently part of the rectory estate of St Oswald's which was granted by the Crown to the dean and chapter of the new cathedral of Bristol in 1542. "It was often known as Great Compton (or Compton Magna) to distinguish it from other Comptons in Gloucestershire, particularly the adjoining Little (later Cassey) Compton, which is mainly in Withington parish". The suffix "Abdale" was recorded from the early 16th century.


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 SP0593316578. 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 Compton Abdale, 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 24 Jan 2019 at 13:50.

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Further Information

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This Report was created 2 Dec 2021 - 09:59:34 GMT from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 13 Oct 2021 at 14:13.

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