Gloucestershire Places of Worship

We have 3 Images Tewkesbury Independent Chapel (later United Reformed Church), Tewkesbury (1) (87k) Tewkesbury Independent Chapel (later United Reformed Church), Tewkesbury (2) (109k) Tewkesbury Independent Chapel (later United Reformed Church), Tewkesbury (3) (114k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie/John Williams
Tewkesbury Independent Chapel (later United Reformed Church), Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury Independent Chapel (later United Reformed Church),
Barton Street, GL20 5PX,
Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.


This Chapel 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 after 1700, but we understand it was closed in 1977.

The entry for this building (described as "Congregational, Barton Street") in Non-Conformist Chapels and Meeting Houses, Gloucestershire (1986) refers to three licences for Congregational preachers issued in 1672, "including one for William Davison, ejected rector of Notgrove, Glos., and a society (presumably in Tewkesbury) which developed by the early 18th century, perhaps from these origins, [that] was Presbyterian, and continued to be so described until the later years of that century".

By 1819, when Henry Welsford became minister, it was then an Independent Church, but 'in a very low state'; however during his ministry, it was 'much altered and enlarged', and possibly this was when it was rebuilt as the present building, which the British Listed Buildings website dates as 1820, with galleries added in 1828, and classroom wing(s) 1838 and 1839. It is still labelled as an Independent Chapel on OS Maps of the later 19th century (1884-1886).

The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/345/3/6/34) is also for an "Independent Chapel", erected for an "Independent or Congregational" congregation "before 1800" as a separate building, used exclusively as a place of worship. It had free sittings for 200 and 400 "other" sittings, and standing room for 50; and the estimated congregation on March 30th was 300 in the morning, with 150 Sunday Scholars, 180 Sunday Scholars in the afternoon, and 400 worshippers attending evening service. The return was completed by Henry Welsford himself, as Minister, of "Barton Street, Tewkesbury". The average attendance figures for the previous 12 months were somewhat higher, which prompted him to remark that "the Congregation was smaller, & fewer Children were at the Sunday School on the 30th of March on account of the many cases of Measles in the Town. H.W..

The building became Tewkesbury United Reformed Church after the merger of Congregational and Presbyterian Churches and the Churches of Christ in 1972, however in 1977 its URC congregation joined the Methodist Church at The Cross, and the church was closed. Shortly after, in the early 1980s, the building was sold to a group of Jehovah's Witnesses, and it became a Kingdom Hall, an account of which may be found elsewhere in this database.

There is a small graveyard at the rear, with about 30 headstones.


Now or formerly Presbyterian/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 Chapel was located at OS grid reference SO8949732697. 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 Tewkesbury, 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 28 Aug 2015 at 16:21.

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This Report was created 5 Jul 2022 - 20:13:28 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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