Gloucestershire Home / Church Life / Big Ted / St Mary's Churches / Gloucestershire
I've visited lots of lovely St Mary's Churches in Gloucestershire. Click on a picture to read a bit more about the church (and maybe see more pictures of me!).
Go back to my St Mary's Churches page
There's a sign on this church that says: "This chapel was removed from the place where it stood on the hill above nearly without alteration M D CCC L VI". That seems a really complicated task. Sadly, I couldn't get inside to check up on how good a job they had done.
As I couldn't have my photo taken on a font, I sat in an urn in the churchyard instead! (I think Uncle Les stood a bit too far away with his camera; you can bearly [snigger!] see ME!).
This church was down a really narrow lane and next to a museum dedicated to some chap called Jenner [Dr Edward Jenner was the pioneer of vaccination against smallpox, Big Ted. The museum is in the house where he devloped the vaccine]. Also next to the church was the tower; it wasn't attached to it, which was a bit odd.
The church was open though and had a very smart, square font just for me to sit on.
I couldn't go in this church, a sign on the gate said it was closed for rewiring. There wasn't even a notice board for me to study. So I sat on the wall and had a look around (it was a very comfy wall).
This is a waste of a perfectly good notice board – it could at least have a notice about MY visit in it! [Good grief! Calm down, Big Ted]. But this St Mary's has got a very interesting wooden tower. The font has got a lead lining and a nice flat cover.
Apparently, they're not really sure what the village is called 'cos it has the most different spellings of its name anywhere (the school is Bromesberrow St Mary's C of E (VA) Primary School)! Another interesting fact [For some, Big Ted]: Richard Hammond, the former Top Gear presenter, lived on a farm next to the church for a while.
This was a really nice St Mary's with a lovely sign. They have some very interesting presentations about some poets who used to live nearby.
They also had an annoying squeak that Auntie Fiona could hear but Uncle Les couldn’t until he got nearer where it came from. Of course, I could hear it because I have special ears [Little Ted: No you don’t, Big Ted, you could hear it because you have big ears – tee, hee] [Stop it, bears! The squeaking we all heard was a deterrent against a squirrel that was nibbling at the beams, Big Ted].
Golly, this is quite a font isn't it? It's got four marble pillars as well as the main bit that the bowl sits on.
Apparently, the church was designed by George Gilbert Scott (he designed lots of churches so knew what he was doing).
This St Mary's was up a little hill from the notice board It was open and has a very nice font with legs.
The notice board was next to a pond and some stocks – Uncle Les wanted to put ME in the stocks but I said I'd been very good and didn't deserve it! So I sat ON the stocks instead.
Another nice church that was open for me to have a look around.
160. HartpuryThis church is part of a group of listed buildings including a Tithe Barn and Dominican Chapel and has a handy car park. In the churchyard is something called a "Bee Shelter" (needless to say I had my picture taken in it). I didn't meet any bees there though.
They didn't have a notice board here, so Uncle Les took my photo in the porch instead. Then we went inside to look around.
Apparently, the main body of the church is dedicated to St Mary whilst the tower is dedicated to St Peter (that seems a bit odd to me!)
This St Mary's wasn't on my list, so I was quite surprised to find it. It's a closed church but is run by English Heritage and a group of trustees because it's quite special. It still has a font and a big bible though. It's a Norman church with the oldest timber roof of any building in England.
I was very lucky that it was open (it wasn't s'posed to be), and so I was able to have a good look round. It's got a lot of really old wall paintings that are a bit faded (you can see them in my font photo; frankly Little Ted and I could do much better ourselves!).
According to their website, this St Mary's has been used in television shows; I don't think I've seen it though. [Poldark is not a suitable show for an impressionable bear, Big Ted!].
The church is down a long narrow road and is quite small and a bit overgrown. But it was open. There were these cross-shaped windows in the porch and Uncle Les took this clever photo of me through both of them at once.
I'm not sure you can really see me in my main photo (that's me in the shadow between the notice board and the pillar). I think it's time to have another little chat with Uncle Les.
This church was shut so I soaked up the sun in the churchyard (notice how the sun makes my splendid fur look even more splendid - that's a much better photo Uncle Les!). At this point I was still wearing my hat; I soon got rid of it because it squashed my ears.
Sadly, I couldn't get inside here 'cos they were re-doing the porch floor and didn't want bear footprints in the new cement! I looked round the outside though.
I like the way Uncle Les got the spire in the middle of my notice board photo, it looks really silly!
They have 99 yew trees in the churchyard at Painswick - not 100 'cos that would be unlucky. They've tried counting them a few times but keep getting muddled. I think I would too!
They also have a lovely flat cover for their font; it makes it so much easier to sit on.
149. Prior's NortonThe Sat Nav lady couldn't find this place, then we discovered that it is also just called Norton (bit confusing I think). But we got there in the end and had a look round. I sat on a post box for my "notice board" photo as it was a handy height, and fairly clean.
This was a really nice visit. There wasn't a notice board but I got a good photo and then I went inside where some ladies were cleaning the church. They both said hello to me and then told me a bit about the church.
Apparently, at one point, a chap called Thomas Gambier Parry doodled on the walls (but they didn't like it and so they got rid of all but a little bit behind the altar). There was also a Victorian schoolroom next door that they used as a church hall and for retreats.
154. St Briavels
I thought this church would be dedicated to St Briavel - but it's not! Apparently it's pronounced "Brevels". The village has a castle as well as a church. When I visited there were people painting the view outside.
My notice board picture shows me wedged in railings, it was NOT comfortable. And then there was an "incident", I hit the ground from a height and got all grubby. In the end I had to change out of my white T-shirt into my green one (which I keep safely stored away in my tummy). I also changed my trousis.
My 200th St Mary's, and what a splendid place to celebrate! This is Tewkesbury Abbey, but it is also the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin. According to the nice ladies in the café (very good cakes by the way); it's the second largest parish church in Britain; and it is really big.
It also has an amazing cover on the font. Aunti Fiona wouldn't let me near it for some reason so I sat at the bottom. You can just about see me in the photo 'cos Uncle Les had to stand a long way back to get it all in.
156. ThornburyA VERY comfy sofa in the Children's Corner here. I could do with this at home in Plumtree for some really serious snoozing (I wonder if it will fit in the car).
162. UpleadonThis St Mary's has an amazing Tudor Tower with wooden uprights that rise from the foundations and make it look really tall, so I had to have my photo taken in front of it. Uncle Les has made the tower tower over me! We couldn't get inside the church, but there was also a "portaloo" in the churchyard, which was handy.
166. WoodchesterThere were lots of chairs and tables at the back of this church. They're making lots of changes so that they can use the church for community events as well as for services.
169. Wotton under Edge
This was the last church I visited on my holiday, but it was very special begause I met a lot of bears (and a lazy dog) and had a good chat with them.
And then I met the vicar who was really nice and took a photo of me with Uncle Les and Auntie Fiona, and he put it on the church Facebok page.