Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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St John's Church, Aust
St John's Church,
off A403,
Aust, 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 15th century, and we understand it is still open.

Kelly's Directory of 1897 records Aust as a tithing and village in Henbury parish, "on the navigable river Severn, and on the high road from Sodbury to the Old Passage ferry (now disused) to Chepstow", 12 miles north from Bristol, 4 south west from Thornbury, and 4½ north west from Pilning station, on the Bristol and South Wales section of the Great Western railway. Kelly avers that it derives its name from the ancient Roman passageway - Trajecti Augusti - across the River Severn.

The church, of which the dedication was then unknown, is described as an ancient building of stone, consisting of chancel, nave, south porch and an embattled western tower containing a clock and 2 bells. The parish registers are separate from those of Henbury, and date from 1538. In 1897 the living was a chapelry attached, together with that of Northwick and Redwick, to the vicarage of Henbury, in the gift of trustees, and had been held since 1860 by the Rev. John Hugh Way M.A. of Oriel College, Oxford, who resided at Henbury; but the Rev. Albert Turner A.K.C.L. M.A. of Aberdeen University had been curate since 1883.

Kelly also notes that John Wickliffe, the reformer, was presented to this living by King Edward III in 1374. Also of note is that by a Local Government Order of 25 Mar 1884, a detached part of Olveston, known as Cote Farm, was amalgamated with this parish.

For a small settlement, therefore, Aust was evidently of some importance, but this is perhaps to be expected, since it was a portal to Wales, a "ferry port", one might say, such as Dover is today for the Channel. This may of course have changed when the "Old Passage" was superseded by the "New Passage" with the advent of the railways. It is surprising Kelly omits to mention that the Severn railway tunnel had been completed a mere 10 or so years earlier than their account, when one would think it must have been quite ground-breaking in its time, as the longest under water tunnel (over 4 miles) that had been built to date.

Aust would once again have come to prominence when the first (M4) Severn Road Bridge was being built, in the early 1960s.

The "New Passage" is now beneath the M48 new Severn Road Bridge.

Also of note is St John's Church Listed Building status - see the British Listed Buildings website for details, where once again it is recorded as of Unknown Dedication. Interesting also is that St John's Church in Elberton is also recorded under Aust, and indeed the Churches do also have a superficial similarity, as both have towers with a stair turret. Elberton is however larger, and includes aisles and a spire.

You may also want to visit the Olveston & Aust Community Website, and compare the two churches for yourself, and for the wealth of information on the surrounding area it also provides.


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 ST5724089077. 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 Aust, 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 5 Nov 2018 at 09:59.

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Further Information

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This Report was created 3 Dec 2023 - 17:35:20 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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