Gloucestershire Places of Worship

We have 10 Images The Old Church, Hailes (1) (101k) The Old Church, Hailes (2) (57k) The Old Church, Hailes (3) (52k) The Old Church, Hailes (4) (77k) The Old Church, Hailes (5) (66k) The Old Church, Hailes (6) (73k) The Old Church, Hailes (7) (76k) The Old Church, Hailes (8) (58k) The Old Church, Hailes (9) (83k) The Old Church, Hailes (10) (92k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie
The Old Church, Hailes
The Old Church,
Hailes Estate,
Hailes, 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 1175, and we understand it is still open.

The Church at Hailes has no known dedication. It is situated opposite the more famous Hailes Abbey, originally its "Capella Ante Portas" (chapel before the gates). Whilst its building as a place of worship is understood to predate the Abbey, possibly by more than a hundred years, it came under the jurisdiction of the Abbey from its foundation in 1246 until the Dissolution.

There is more information about the Abbey elsewhere in this database but briefly it was founded by Richard Earl of Cornwall, brother of King Henry III, and was settled on a group of Cistercian monks from Beaulieu Abbey. Their beliefs required them to live "far from the concourse of men", so the existing settlement at Hailes - apart from its church - was removed towards Didbrook.

Didbrook's own church was not yet built, so the little Church at Hailes would still have been needed for public worship, and it may also have been used by visitors to the Abbey, and by those who worked there.

The Wall paintings were added during this period of Abbey ownership. Opposite the entrance is a painting of St Christopher. On the south wall (shown on our third photograph) is a secular scene of a huntsman, with three dogs racing towards a hare crouching underneath the branches of a spindly tree.

Other paintings on the walls of the nave are less distinct, but those on the chancel walls give a taste of what must have been their original splendour. In the recesses of half-blocked windows on either side of the altar are paintings representing two female saints. On the left, north side is St Catherine of Alexandria (the best preserved, shown on our seventh photograph) and on the opposite wall, St Margaret of Antioch. Elsewhere the walls are painted with a mixture of roses and heraldic arms, interspersed with figures from medieval bestiary.

The glass in the east window is 15th century, and came from Hailes Abbey by way of Toddington. It was taken from the Abbey in 1789 to be installed in the church of the Toddington estate, but when Hugh Andrewes, the owner of Toddington estate in the early 20th century restored Hailes Church, he took the glass from Toddington as part of its restoration. He was also responsible for the excavation of Hailes Abbey.

Floor tiles around, and to the sides of the altar also came from Hailes, though they were moved here after the Dissolution. On either side of the altar are two knight's tombs, believed to date from the 14th century, which may also have been from the Abbey. Our final photograph shows a montage of the two. Underneath the floorboards between the choir stalls is an inscribed tomb lid (shown on the last but one photograph), protected by a "trapdoor" arrangement. Unfortunately, however it has not been possible to read its inscription.

There also several monuments inside the church belonging to the later period, after the Dissolution. A large floor tablet at the entrance to the chancel to commemorate John PEAT of Hailes, who departed this life 20th May 1683. The pulpit too, belongs to this later period, and is believed to have been installed in 1606. The original stone altar was removed and destroyed, and replaced by a communion table at the entrance to the chancel, and worshippers sat round it - apparently each with his or her own goblet of wine, so our guide told us. [Sources: "Hailes Church", on the Sacred Destinations website]


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 SP0504430144. 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 Hailes, 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 15 Nov 2018 at 11:49.

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Further Information

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This Report was created 17 May 2022 - 03:09:37 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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