Gloucestershire Places of Worship

We have 6 Images St Catherine's Church (formerly St James), Leigh (or Lye) (1) St Catherine's Church (formerly St James), Leigh (or Lye) (2) St Catherine's Church (formerly St James), Leigh (or Lye) (3) St Catherine's Church (formerly St James), Leigh (or Lye) (4) St Catherine's Church (formerly St James), Leigh (or Lye) (5) St Catherine's Church (formerly St James), Leigh (or Lye) (6) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Alf Beard
St Catherine's Church (formerly St James), Leigh (or Lye)
St Catherine's Church (formerly St James),
Church Lane,
Leigh (or Lye), 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.

St Catherine's Church is a Grade I Listed Building - see the British Listed Buildings website for details. Apparently it was built as a church of Deerhurst Priory, confirmed in the following account, from Ralph Bigland in his record of Historical, Monumental and Genealogical Collections relative to the County of Gloucester (1786).

LEYGH, LYE, or THE LEIGH; So denominated, according to Saxon Etymology, from its extreme flatness of Situation, is a Parish in the Vale of Gloucester, containing 950 acres, and divided between the Hundreds of Deerhurst and Westminster. It is six miles distant from Cheltenham, four South from Tewkesbury, and six from Gloucester in the opposite Direction. The Soil is a rich Clay, and chiefly applied to pasture, particularly a Common of some Hundred Acres, the Right of which is jointly possessed by this and the Parish of Deerhurst, who, some years since, refitted the Division of it by a Trench, and obtained uninterrupted Communication by a Suit at Law.

The Living is a Vicarage in the Peculiar of Deorhurst, which, with the Impropriation, were given to the Abbey of St. Dennis at paris, and afterwards annexed to Deorhurst; but when the Alien Priories were suppressed, it was confirmed to the Benedictine Monks at Tewkesbury. Out of the Court of Augmentations the impropriate Tythes were purchased, in 1574, 16 Eliz. by Richard PATE, Esq. who conveyed them in Trust to the President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, for the Maintenance of the Free-school at Cheltenham, subject to an annual Rent Charge of 10£ 10s. to the Crown.

The Church is Dedicated to St James. It retains no Peculiarity of Architecture, and was probably built, at the Charge of the Priory, in the fourteenth Century."

Domesday confirms the Property of one Hide to St Dennis of Paris in La Legh; but the Manor was either never held by them, or afterwards alienated; for, in 1334, 7 Edw. III. GILBERT de KINARDSLEY grants it, with other Estates, to JOAN de RODBOROUGH, of Notgrove, who was succeeded by her Son. JOHN BROWNING, or FITZ NICHOL, of Coaley, having married the Heir of that Family, it passed (1415), in default of male issue, to CICELY BROWNING, the Wife of Sir GUY WHITTINGTON. THOMAS WHITTINGTON, Esq. dying in 1547, left six Coheirs, upon which it was sold to RICHARD BROWNE, Esq. and by his Descendants to Lord Viscount TRACY, about 1686. At the Close of the last Century it belonged to STEPHEN COOKE, Esq. whose Son, RICHARD COOKE, bequeathed it to his Sister and Heir, the Wife of Richard DALTON, Esq. of Sunning-hill, co. Berks, whose Daughter and sole Heir is SOPHIA, married to EDMUND PROBYN, Esq. of Newland, who is the present Proprietor in her Right.

The only Property of consequence, beside the Manor, are the Estates of ANN HILL, Widow, WILLIAM MEEKINGS, Gent. and that held for the Purposes abovementioned by Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

It is not known when the dedication was changed from St James to St Catherine, certainly by 1923 as Kelly's Directory of that year refers to it as "now St Catherine's".

There may be more information available by by selecting one or more of the accompanying images on the right.


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 SO8658025745. 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 Leigh (or Lye), 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 20 Nov 2018 at 15:35.

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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 Catherine's Church (formerly St James) remains open and accessible, this may not remain so.

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This Report was created 17 Aug 2022 - 17:41:14 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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