Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Gloucester Prison Chapel (Private), Gloucester
Gloucester Prison Chapel (Private),
Barrack Square, The Quay, GL1 2JN,
Gloucester, 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 before 1800, but we understand it was closed in 2013.

According to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/336/1/18/18), the "Chapel erected within the Walls of the County Prison" was licensed for worship "before 1800". Perhaps one can assume from this that it was built at the same time, or shortly after the Prison, in 1791.

The Prison was then in the Ecclesiastical Division of North Hamlet. The return on 8th April 1851 was by J.F. Herschell, Chaplain.

A Chaplain of Gloucester Prison is also mentioned in Kelly's Directory of 1897, in the following account:

"Her Majesty's Prison, built in 1791, at a cost of £35,000, stands in the North Hamlet, Gloucester, on the site of the old castle. It was constructed on a plan suggested by John Howard, for the separation of hardened criminals and juvenile offenders. It has since been enlarged, and there are now 300 separate cells for males and 50 for females, exclusive of rooms for debtors of both sexes. James Keech, chief warder (is) in charge; Rev. James Hughes Owen B.A. chaplain; Oscar William Clark M.A. M.B. surgeon; Frank Walter Gibson, clerk and storekeeper; (and) Miss Kate. T. Curtis, matron."

By 1914, Kelly's Directory of that year records that Captain H.M.A. Hales was governor; Rev. William Christian Malkin B.A. was chaplain; and John Albert Bell M.R.C.S.Eng, L.S.A. Lond. was medical officer. A matron was not mentioned.

The disposal of HM Prison Gloucester after its closure in February 2013 was the subject of an article Gloucester Prison for sale - with the dead bodies buried beneath it, published in the Gloucester Citizen on 11th February 2014, providing a further fascinating insight into its history.

Note: the Chapel was recorded by the Christians in Gloucester website ( as Ecumenical. Like the Prison, this website is also due for closure in 2014.


Now or formerly Prison Chapel/Ecumenical.

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 SO8273918571. 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 Gloucester, 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 15:55.

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Further Information

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This Report was created 2 Dec 2023 - 04:49:23 GMT 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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