Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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St John the Baptist's Church, Beckford
St John the Baptist's Church,
Main Street,
Beckford, 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 8th century, and we understand it is still open.

The Victoria County History series: A History of the County of Gloucester, Volume 8: Cleeve, Deerhurst and Tibblestone, and the lower divisions of Tewkesbury and Westminster (1968), pp.250-262 (Beckford) tells us that there was a minster church at Beckford by the 8th century. The British Listed Buildings website cites the present church as dating from circa 1130, "on earlier site".

Kelly's Directory of 1923 describes it as "an ancient building in the Norman style, consisting of chancel, nave, south porch and an embattled central tower, with pinnacles, containing a clock and 6 bells". There are five mural tablets, two to the Wakeman family, dating from 1662 to 1833, and three to the Timbrill family dating from 1848 to 1865. The stained east window is a memorial to Samuel Hollins (d.1803), and his wife (d.1879), and son Henry Herbert Hollins (d.1884), and two others to the Dudley family, 1885-97. The chancel arch and that of the entrance doorways of the north and south porches are fine examples of Norman work. There are 400 sittings.

Kelly also tells us that the village is on the River Carrant, on the high road from Tewkesbury to Evesham, and on the Worcestershire border, presenting "a remarkably clean and interesting appearance". At the north end of the village is a monument of stone surmounted by a crown, erected in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, and bearing the names and distances of 27 places. A Village Hall was erected in 1922, and there is a saline spring running through the parish.

In 1923, the living was a vicarage, with the chapelry of Ashton under Hill annexed, in the gift of the Martyrs' Memorial Trust, and in the rural deanery of Tewkesbury, archdeaconry and diocese of Gloucester. Beckford was transferred from Gloucestershire to Worcestershire in 1931. It contained the hamlets of Bengrove, 2 miles south, Grafton, 1 mile north-east, and Didcot, 1½ miles east. The VCH account records that Grafton also had a chapel in the 12th century which survived until circa 1543, and there was a chapel at Didcot, belonging to Tewkesbury Abbey which "passed with the Didcot estate to the Tracy family but had probably been disused since the depopulation of the hamlet".


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 SO9761635838. 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 Beckford, 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 12:16.

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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.

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This Report was created 24 May 2022 - 00:43:59 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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