Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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St Mary the Virgin's Church, Marshfield
St Mary the Virgin's Church,
Church Lane,
Marshfield, 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 1242, and we understand it is still open.

Kelly's Directory of 1923 describes Marshfield as a parish on the Cotswold Hills, and on the road from London to Bristol, bounded on the east by Wiltshire, 5 miles north from Box station on the Great Western railway, 8 north from Bath, 12 east from Bristol, and 9 south from Chipping Sodbury. The church of St Mary, erected about 1470 "is a large edifice of stone in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave of eight bays, aisles, south porch, and a western tower with open parapet and crocketed pinnacles, containing a clock and 8 bells". In the north aisle there remain some square-headed Decorated windows. The chancel retains sedilia, and monuments to Thomas Feckenham, vicar (1704); Alworth Merewether M.D. (1791); John Merewether, of Chippenham (1792); and to the Rev. Lancelot Michell LL.B. (1779).

Also in the north aisle are memorials to the Powell family (1797-1846), and to John Gostlett (1692) and his wife Mary (1698). In the south aisle are other monuments, to Jane wife of John Hodges (1696); Mark Harward and his wife Mary (1679); the Rev. Thomas Willis, of Bletchley (1789) and his wife Catherine (1823); Rev. Isaac William Webb Horlock, vicar of Box, Wilts (1829) and his wife Ann (1849); Samuel Briscoe (1694) and his wife Hester (1696). In 1894 the churchyard was enlarged by about a quarter of an acre of land, acquired by public subscription. The parish records date from 1559, and are in excellent condition. The living was then a vicarage in the gift of New College, Oxford, and had been held since 1912 by the Rev. Leonard Oberlin Asplen M.A. of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

The Rocks, anciently known as Southern Wood Castle, was then the property and residence of Darcy Edmund Taylor esq. J.P. and described as "a fine embattled mansion of the Jacobean period (c.1610), beautifully situated on an eminence, about 3 miles south-east of the town... approached by a noble avenue of trees, and the park and estate extend over an area of 1,188 acres". Ashwicke Hall, the ancient seat of the Webb family, and subsequently belonging to the family of Horlock, was purchased and rebuilt in 1857 by John Orred esq. and is a fine example of a domestic mansion of the Edwardian period. At the east end is a lofty octagonal tower. The park and estate, consisting of 1,050 acres, were then the property and residence of Major Maurice Edward Weston Pope.

Beeks, 2 miles south, Oakford, 3½ south, Ayford, 2½ south, and Westend Town, half a mile west, were then said to be hamlets. They survive in the present day in the names of farms.

Note: according to an account by Ian Cousins of A History of Marshfield available on the Marshfield Parish Plan website, a church has stood on St Mary's site for over 1000 years. The first church was dedicated to St Nicholas, and in 1242, a new building was dedicated on June 1st that year by Walter de Cantelupe, Bishop of Worcester. The date cited by Kelly, above, was of (another) rebuilding, by the Monks of Tewkesbury Abbey, by which time it was dedicated as it is now, to St Mary the Virgin.


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 ST7821773675. 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 Marshfield, 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 21 Nov 2018 at 16:10.

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Further Information

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This Report was created 1 Jul 2022 - 05:33:29 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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