Gloucestershire Places of Worship

We have 1 Image Church of St Mary (Ruins), Woodchester Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Alf Beard
Church of St Mary (Ruins), Woodchester
Church of St Mary (Ruins),
Church Lane,
Woodchester, 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 1884.

By the early 19th century, the old church of St Mary had become both too small, and too dilapidated for a rising population, so it was decided to build a new parish church closer to the centre of the village. The new building was designed by S.S. Teulon, architect of London, and erected 1863-4; and the old building was thereafter almost completely demolished, to leave the remains we see today - the Norman Chancel Arch, and a section of the north wall. These now qualify for Grade II Listed Building status - see the British Listed Buildings website for details.

The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/338/5/2/6), some 12 years earlier, summarises this situation succinctly. The old building is described as "the Parish Church of Woodchester in the County of Gloucester said to be dedicated to St Mary - a very antient structure where once stood a Roman Pavilion - the tessellated pavement still remains in the Churchyard ... 'Consecrated' time immemorial ... it has a fine Norman Arch between the Church and Chancel". There was seating for 346 worshippers, none of which was free, "except Benches in the Isles - occupied by the Sunday School", leading to the Rector's remarking that Free Seats are much needed. Large seats capable of accomodating 10 adults are appropriated to mansions from which only three or four attend and sometimes less". Nevertheless, attendance appears to have been good - 223 worshippers at morning service and 236 in the afternoon of March 30th, and 81 Sunday Scholars. The return was completed by John Williams D.D., Rector, of Woodchester Rectory, near Stroud, Gloucestershire.

I have been told the church was closed officially in 1884. This is 21 years after the new church of St Mary was consecrated.

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 SO8396403142. 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 Woodchester, 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 8 Jun 2017 at 14:14.

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This Report was created 17 Aug 2022 - 17:01:57 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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