Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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St Mary's Church, Bitton
St Mary's Church,
11 Church Road,
Bitton, 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 Saxon period, and we understand it is still open.

Bitton was the site of a very early church, according to the British Listed Buildings website. It describes St Mary's "Anglo-Saxon origins on an earlier British site", followed by its Norman remodelling, and the addition of a chapel dedicated to St Catherine in 1298-9. There is a "former porticus arch in north wall (which) gives the width of the Anglo-Saxon church".

It appears to have escaped massive reconstruction in the Victorian Era, though the "Saxon chancel arch (is) now masked by Norman chevron work of 1846", executed by the Rev. H.T. Ellacombe. The nave roof, "of hammer-beam type, made from wood out of a wrecked ship (cedar boards on oak)", of 1867 was designed by H.N. Ellacombe who also designed the pew ends. It sounds a fascinating church.

Notable also is Rev. Ellacombe's contribution to bell-ringing in St Mary's. He was Vicar of Bitton from 1817 to 1850, and "wanted some means of enabling the bells to be rung by one person … the ropes are housed in a frame on the wall of the church porch … 'the Bitton Method' is said to be kindest to the bells and the least likely to cause damage". [Quote from The Bells of St Mary's - an account on the website of the Parish of St Mary's, Bitton.

St Mary's is Grade II Listed. St Catherine's Chapel is now the Lady Chapel.


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 ST6819369335. 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 Bitton, 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 25 Jan 2019 at 11:33.

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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 Mary's Church remains open and accessible, this may not remain so.

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This Report was created 28 Nov 2023 - 16:39:27 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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