Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Former Saxon Church / St Leonard's Priory, Leonard Stanley
Former Saxon Church / St Leonard's Priory,
Church Road,
Leonard Stanley, Gloucestershire.


We don't know whether 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 10th century, but we understand it was closed in 1539.

This is Grade II Listed, described as Former Saxon church to west of Priory House and approximately 10m south west of Church of St Swithin on the British Listed Buildings website. The site also mentions St Leonard's Priory at the same location, which "may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure".

Certainly, it is part of the site designated as St Leonard's Priory on the Ancient Monuments website. However the Victoria County History account for Leonard Stanley - A History of the County of Gloucester, Volume 10: Westbury and Whitstone Hundreds (1972), pp.257-259 (Leonard Stanley - Introduction) - states the Priory was founded by Roger de Berkeley c.1131, and was built close to a Saxon chapel, which was included within the precinct. Their account suggests that the latter, "thought to date from the late 10th or early 11th century", continued to function as a chapel until the Dissolution, after which time it passed into agricultural use.

Thus it comprises an interesting building architecturally, as some of its saxon, and medieval features do remain. Both the above-referenced accounts mention herringbone masonry in the south wall, and originally, an apse at its eastern end, which was destroyed when the church was lengthened in the 14th century.

The above-referenced VCH account records that the village was usually known as Monks' Stanley in the Middle Ages - originally, one assumes, to distinguish it from Kings Stanley, belonging to the King. It was named for the dedication of the priory, Stanley St Leonard's, or Leonard Stanley at a later date. The priory was a cell to Gloucester Abbey, a house of Benedictines, but it is marked on OS 1980 1:10,000 as Augustinian.


Now or formerly Benedictine.

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 SO8020003242. 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 Leonard Stanley, 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 30 Dec 2014 at 15:27.

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This Report was created 19 May 2022 - 07:01:10 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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