Gloucestershire Places of Worship

We have 3 Images St Mary Magdalene's Church, Rodborough (1) (63k) St Mary Magdalene's Church, Rodborough (2) (71k) St Mary Magdalene's Church, Rodborough (3) (112k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Alf Beard/John Williams
St Mary Magdalene's Church, Rodborough
St Mary Magdalene's Church,
Church Place,
Rodborough, 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 before 1384, and we understand it is still open.

Kelly's Directory of 1923 describes Rodborough as a parish on the high road from Minchinhampton to Stroud, near the Thames and Severn junction canal, half a mile south from Stroud station on the Great Western railway and 12 from Gloucester. The church of St Mary Magdalen (sic), anciently called "Holy Trinity", was rebuilt, with the exception of the tower, in 1842, and is a building of stone, "chiefly in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, nave of four bays, aisles, south and west porches and an embattled western tower, of Norman date, with pinnacles and containing a clock and one bell". The British Listed Buildings website tells us that the rebuild of 1842 was to a design by Thomas Foster and son of Bristol, "but incorporates the early 16th century tower from an earlier church", thus disputing Kelly's claim of a Norman date!

The Digital Stroud website also provides information about Rodborough, stating that the first known reference to a church here was in 1384, and likewise disputing the tower is Norman, but rather, built in the early 16th century.

The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/338/5/3/9) sums up the age of the church admirably as "the latter part of the 14 Century and rebuilt in the year 1843". The return was completed by William Peyton, of Button Row, Rodborough, so I can imagine he watched the work in progress! The usual attendance on the Sabbath was impressive - 290 in the morning, 260 in the afternoon, and 210 in the evening, with 110 Sunday Scholars in the mornings and 100 in the afternoons. Evening Services were however confined to the Summer Months, of which evidently March was considered to be one, since he remarked that "there is an Evening Service at the Church during the Summer Months viz from March to September at which Service the Sunday Scholars are not required to attend".

Kelly's Directory of 1923 further notes that the church was at one time a chantry of the priory of Minchinhampton, and that the parish registers start in 1692. In 1851, William Peyton noted there were 313 free sittings, and 479 "appropriated", whilst in 1923, Kelly notes there were about 650 sittings. The living was then (1923) a rectory in the gift of the Bishop of Gloucester, and had been held since 1897 by Rev. Walter Waring M.A. of Queen's College, Cambridge - the endowment arising chiefly from land given previous to the Reformation by Hugh de Rodborough and Bridget de Brimscombe, ad Sacra Celebranda (for divine worship).


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 SO8432804443. 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 Rodborough, 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 7 Nov 2018 at 13:30.

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Further Information

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This Report was created 16 Jan 2022 - 21:39:59 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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