Gloucestershire Places of Worship

We have 4 Images St Mary's Church, Great Washbourne (1) (58k) St Mary's Church, Great Washbourne (2) (78k) St Mary's Church, Great Washbourne (3) (108k) St Mary's Church, Great Washbourne (4) (79k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of John Williams
St Mary's Church, Great Washbourne
St Mary's Church,
Great Washbourne Village,
Great Washbourne, 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 12th century, and we understand it is still open.

Kelly's Directory of 1923 describes St Mary's Church as "a small and very ancient building of stone, in the Early English style, consisting of chancel and nave, north porch, and a turret on the western gable containing one bell, cast in 1857".

According to the Victoria County History series: A History of the County of Gloucester, Volume 6: Slaughter hundred, and the upper divisions of Tewkesbury and Westminster hundreds (1965), pp.232-237 (Great Washbourne), it was built in the early 12th century, as a chapel of ease to Beckford (Worcestershire), but "in 1177 the Rector of Beckford, in an agreement about tithes, released all his rights in Great Washbourne to Tewkesbury Abbey", and from then on it was administered from the Abbey, with presumably one of the monks holding services in the church - "the priest who was curate in 1532 and 1548 was described as formerly religious in 1540". Evidently that changed after the Dissolution, as "the rectory estate, including all the tithes and the right to nominate the curate, was granted in 1574 to Drew Drury and others", though for much of the 18th century it was served from Beckford. However between 1842 and 1875 and from 1884 onwards the perpetual curacy was held together with the rectory of Alderton. "From 1875 to 1883 the living was held by Robert Winning, a qualified physician and barrister as well as a clerk in holy orders".

The building itself, according to the VCH account, dates from the 12th century, most of which still survives. "The north doorway has a plain semicircular arch; the south doorway has a similar arch internally but on the outside has an unusual lintel carved with panels arranged in a semi-circle like a tympanum". "The royal arms, a palimpsest on canvas, are those for the period 1801-16 though inscribed for George IV, suggesting that they have been brought up to date more than once".

The children from Great Washbourne in 1923 attended school at Beckford, whilst those from Little Washbourne attended school at Alderton.

Great Washbourne remained a separate parish until 1935, when it was merged with the parish of Dumbleton. [Source: Units & Statistics on the Vision of Britain Through Time website]


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 SO9867734443. 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 Great Washbourne, 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 30 Dec 2014 at 14:15.

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Further Information

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This Report was created 9 Aug 2022 - 20:14:07 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.

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