Worcestershire Places of Worship

We have 9 Images St Mary's Church, Kempsey (1) (86k) St Mary's Church, Kempsey (2) (142k) St Mary's Church, Kempsey (3) (54k) St Mary's Church, Kempsey (4) (107k) St Mary's Church, Kempsey (5) (63k) St Mary's Church, Kempsey (6) (110k) St Mary's Church, Kempsey (7) (111k) St Mary's Church, Kempsey (8) (124k) St Mary's Church, Kempsey (9) (122k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie
St Mary's Church, Kempsey
St Mary's Church,
Church Street,
Kempsey, Worcestershire.


This Church has (or 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 1155, and we understand it is still open.

Kempsey is one of the many villages situated close to the River Severn, and the Romans had a camp here, taking advantage of the proximity to the river, and also the road between Tewkesbury and Worcester (now the A38). There was a religious house in Kempsey in AD 799 and an oratory dedicated to St Andrew in AD 868.

The first reference to dedication of a church is when Bishop John granted 8 acres of land to Godfrey Ardes around 1155. The present church developed from an aisleless cruciform building.

The Chancel appears to have been rebuilt about 1250, and the east window of five stepped lancets inserted at this time. Later in the same century, the south aisle and arcade was added, the north aisle being added in the early 14th century.

In 1759, a Musicians Gallery was erected at the west end, blocking the archway between the nave and tower, but this was removed in the Victorian era when modern pews also replaced existing box pews.

The seventh of our photographs shows the monument to Sir Edmund Wylde, who died in 1620. He was appointed Sheriff of Worcestershire that year, and died in office. His widow Dorothy Clark, of Houghton Conquest, Bedfordshire, erected the monument over his grave. The two kneeling figures are his sons Edmund and Walter. Note also the helmet and sword above the memorial.

The graveyard has some interesting memorials. There are two graves with figurines representing what appears to have been a happy life of domesticity - a chair, miniature horse and cart, and two of the family pets. The newer graves feature memorials with illustrations etched into the marble. Many of the older gravestones from the 18th and 19th centuries appear to have been cleared, and are lined up either side of a path leading away from the west door. [Source: A Short Guide to St Mary's Church (13th reprint, 2011), available from the Church]


Now or formerly Church of England.

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 is located at OS grid reference SO8482449063. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Information last updated on 3 Jul 2011 at 00:00.

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This Report was created 30 Nov 2023 - 13:27:26 GMT from information held in the Worcestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 7 Feb 2019 at 12:48.

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