Gloucestershire Places of Worship

We have 2 Images Bayshill Unitarian Church (1844), Cheltenham (1) (67k) Bayshill Unitarian Church (1844), Cheltenham (2) (153k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of John Williams/James Barry
Bayshill Unitarian Church (1844), Cheltenham
Bayshill Unitarian Church (1844)   [no longer registered]
Chapel Walk,
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 1844, but we understand it was closed before 1996, and the premises are now in secular use.

This is the former premises of the Bayshill Unitarian Church, built between 1842-44, to a design by H.R. Abraham of London, worthy of mention on the 'Listed Buildings' website as the first building in Cheltenham to be built in the Anglo-Norman style. It is currently in commercial use, as 'The Cotswold Auction Room', and church meetings now take place in the former church hall, in Chapel Lane, which adjoins this building to the rear. The latter can be seen just behind the building on the left of the modern photograph.

The first image is a modern photograph by John Williams. The second image is a reproduction of a wood-cut from Pictures of Unitarian Churches, by Emily Sharpe (1901), available in the Document Library of the Unitarians UK website. Note that it shows the building as it was before the mini-turrets were removed from the tops of its side pillars.

The text at the bottom of the image reads:

Unitarian Chapel, Bayshill, Cheltenham (Gloucestershire).
A "Unitarian Conventicle" is known to have existed in Albion Street, Cheltenham, before the death of the learned Mr. John Biddle in 1662. This was closed through difficulties in 1879, and let to another Sect. The Unitarian cause was revived in 1832, and the present Church was built at Bayshill in 1844.

Non-Conformist Chapels and Meeting Houses, Gloucestershire (1986) provided the further information that the congregation established in 1832 was by Thomas Faber of Bath. According to other sources, before Bayshill Chapel was built, Unitarian meetings would have been held in premises vacated by the Society of Friends in 1836. The old Friends Building, erected in 1701-3, is understood to have been near to the old Shaftesbury Hall, and was indeed demolished towards the end of the 19th century. The whereabouts of the Conventicle mentioned above, in Albion Street, is unknown.

[Image reproduced by kind permission of James Barry, Unitarian Church HQ. Other Sources: the British Listed Buildings website, and the Church Album of The Roughwood Homepage]


Now or formerly Unitarian.

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 SO9462822281. 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 15 Nov 2018 at 08:30.

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Further Information

This site provides historical information about churches, other places of worship and cemeteries. It has no affiliation with the churches or congregations themselves, nor is it intended to provide a means to find places of worship in the present day.

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This Report was created 19 May 2022 - 06:06:01 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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