Gloucestershire Places of Worship

We have 1 Image St Catherine's Church (now Private), Westonbirt Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Alf Beard
St Catherine's Church (now Private), Westonbirt
St Catherine's Church (now Private),
Westonbirt Park (east off A433),
Westonbirt, Gloucestershire.


This Church 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 12th century, but we understand it was closed in 1996.

St Catherine's Church is a Grade II Listed Building - see the British Listed Buildings website for details.

Kelly's Directory of 1923 describes it as "an ancient building of stone in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave of two bays, north aisle, south porch and an embattled tower on the south side containing 2 bells". In the church is a monument, by Westmacott, to the Holford family, and another to R.S. (Robert Stayner) Holford esq. M.P. d.1892. There is a tablet to the memory of the men of the parish who fell in the Great War, 1914-1918. The parish register dates from 1611 "but is very imperfect". The living was then a rectory with Lasborough annexed.

The Holford family dominated the community of Westonbirt from the late 17th century, following the marriage of Sir Richard Holford, to Sarah, heiress of the owner, John Crewe in 1665. However it was Robert Stayner Holford who was responsible for Westonbirt as it is today. He created the arboretum in 1829, on former common land, and in the 1840s enlarged the park surrounding the 17th century manor house. Its extension involved the rerouting of several roads, culverting of a brook, and resiting of the part of the village. It was rebuilt further to the west, where the school and some cottages already stood. A golf-course was laid out before 1936 on the site of the former village.

The above is a precis of an extensive account of the Manor, and Economic History in the Victoria County History series: A History of the County of Gloucester, Volume 11: Bisley and Longtree Hundreds (1976), pp.283-285 (Westonbirt with Lasborough). They suggest the prefix of the name -"Weston" - derives from it being to the west of the original road, to distinguish it from Easton Grey (Wiltshire), on the opposite side. The affix Birt, first recorded in 1309, supposedly relates to when the manor was in the hands of the Bret family.

In 1995, St Catherine's was declared redundant, and was handed over to Westonbirt School the following year. The 3 plaques commemorating those who died in the two World Wars, and a pair of stained glass windows were left in position, but the names have been recorded, and a list is preserved in St Mary's Church, Lasborough. The names of the twelve people are:

First World War
George Henry SELWOOD
Ernest John CLARK
Ernest William JEFFERIES
William Tipton BROWN
William John JONES
Frederick CLARK
Albert John UZZELL

Second World War
Stanley George ALEXANDER (Major, Reconnaissance Corps)
Edwin Holbrow ALEXANDER (Pilot Officer, R.A.F.)
Robin Eric APPLETON (Sgt. Air Gunner, R.A.F.)
Bernard Leslie HANCOCK (Sgt. Pilot, R.A.F.)

All are described as "of this parish", except Albert Uzzell, for whom the plaque is separate and is "placed by his wife in the parish church of his old home". The brothers Stanley George and Edwin Holbrow Alexander are also commemorated in a pair of stained glass windows.

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 was located at OS grid reference ST8636689524. 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 Westonbirt, 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 15:14.

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This Report was created 29 Nov 2023 - 02:07:23 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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