Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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St Mary the Virgin's Church, Yate
St Mary the Virgin's Church,
Church Road, BS37 5BG,
Yate, 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 12th century, and we understand it is still open.

Kelly's Directory of 1923 describes Yate as a parish on the river Frome, with a station on the Bristol and Birmingham branch of the Midland railway, 2½ miles west-north-west from Chipping Sodbury station on the new section of the Patchway to Wootton Bassett branch of the Great Western railway, and 10 north-east from Bristol. St Mary's Church is described as "an ancient building of stone in various styles, consisting of chancel, with aisles, nave, north aisle, north transept, north and south chapels, south porch and a western tower containing 6 bells" There is a brass with effigy to Alexander Staples, d.1590, and his two wives, Avis and Elizabeth, and eleven children, and a somewhat curious Latin inscription.

Arthur Mee's The King's England series for Gloucestershire provides a rather more lyrical description of the brass as "one of the treasures of this most interesting church ... Alexander Staples, who was alive when Shakespeare was young, is shown (near the altar of the south chapel) in a brass with his two wives and 11 children, all small figures exquisitely gowned, with quaint expressions".

The inscription has been (roughly) translated as follows:

"This stone guards the body of Alexander Staples. His spirit is concerned with heavenly things in the abode of the blessed. When at the last the trumpet shall sound tarantara, God will join his mortal limbs to his spirit again. He died on St Bernard's Day three hundred and eighteen lustres after Christ (1590). His sorrowing Elizabeth erected this monument to her husband as a token of a wife's devotion".

Kelly's account also mentions a memorial to Hodges Godwin, jun. esq. d.1677; and an inscription to Henry Wogan esq. d. 1661. The stained east window has a design after Albert Durer and there are others to Mr. and Mrs. Edward Burges, of The Ridge, Yate (1898), the Rev. W.S. Goodenough, a former rector, and his widow (1877), Mrs. A.E. Toler (1899), and to the Rev. D.C. Randolph and his son, W.C. Randolph (1898).

The parish records date from 1660. The living in 1923, was a rectory, in the gift of W.R. Emmott esq. and had been held since 1922 by the Rev. Herbert Forster Forster-Morris M.A. of Worcester College, Oxford. Yate Court, built by one of the lords of Berkeley, garrisoned and afterwards burnt by Cromwell's troops was in ruins, "but a fine archway still remains". Stanshawes Court, a large and handsome mansion of stone, erected in 1874, was the residence of Frank Charles Clifford esq. Yate Lawn, a well preserved gabled house of the Elizabethan period, was the residence of Ernest Augustus Hitchens esq. J.P. Also mentioned were Yate House, and The Ridge, residences of W.P. and R.A. Fox esqrs., and Col. William Edward Parry Burges O.B.E. D.L.

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 is located at OS grid reference ST7137382819. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Information last updated on 27 Jan 2014 at 09:11.

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This Report was created 24 May 2022 - 17:39:28 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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