Gloucestershire Places of Worship

We have 1 Image Highbury Congregational Church (19thC) (Demolished), Cheltenham (66k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie
Highbury Congregational Church (19thC) (Demolished), Cheltenham
Highbury Congregational Church (19thC) (Demolished),
Winchcombe Street / Albion Street,
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.


We believe the Church did NOT have 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 1852, but we understand it was closed in 1932.

Highbury Congregational Church, built in 1852, stood on the corner of Winchcombe Street and Albion Street. It was designed by Samuel Onley as a replacement for Highbury Chapel (formerly 'Snow's Chapel') in Grosvenor Street, which had become too small. Its congregation were led by the charismatic Dr Andrew MORTON BROWN, said to be the leading non-conformist minister in the town and a very strong Liberal. He remained pastor of the Church until July 1879, when he retired due to ill health. He died shortly after at Bridport, Dorset, aged 67 ("the sixty-eighth year of his age".

The Church remained open until in 1932, when a new Highbury Congregational Church was built in Priory Terrace. The Winchcombe Street building was then demolished to make way for the Gaumount Cinema:

"Half a million bricks, 300 tons of steel - and all of it British - will be used in building Cheltenham's new super-cinema', enthused the Chronicle" of the Gaumont's construction. The Gaumont subsequently became the Odeon Cinema, which in turn closed, and as can be seen on our photograph, the premises are now (2011) awaiting redevelopment.

The site had been occupied prior to 1852 by Albion Livery stables. [Sources: Hart, Gwen - A History of Cheltenham (1965); Brooks, Robin - The Story of Cheltenham (2003), p.125; and Stratford, Joseph - Gloucestershire Biographical Notes (1887), digitized by Google and available from The eBook and Texts Archive]


Now or formerly Congregational.

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 SO9517022518. 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 Cheltenham, 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 16 Nov 2018 at 14:03.

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This Report was created 7 Jul 2022 - 15:39:47 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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