South View of Upleadon church.
South View of Upleadon church.

The Church, dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin, was greatly restored in 1969 and is probably well over a thousand years in origin.  Its future is currently uncertain due to changes within the Benefice.  The following message should have been received by all villagers.


Dear Upleadon Parishioner,

The Upleadon PCC ( Parochial Church Council )felt it necessary to write to you all in light of issues raised at a recent Leadon Vale benefice meeting on 1st November 2018 with Canon Tudor Griffiths, representing the Diocese.  We feel the following points will be of interest to all parishioners , church goers or not.

·        There is presently no permanent vicar for the 9 parishes and the suggestion is that there would be more interest if this were reduced to 2 main centres of worship at Dymock and Redmarley, with 5 Festival churches ( services only on significant days in the Christian calendar ) and the closure of at least 2 churches.

·        The PCC and other parishioners who were present believed that Upleadon  along with Preston, will be the 2 churches earmarked for closure.

·        The result of this would be no services of any description and only open for burials in the churchyard.

·        This will also result in issues for the future of  Upleadon Village Hall which is actually owned by the church and is leased to the community.

·        The PCC has fulfilled its obligations to the church authorities ie. paying its share of the cost of employing a vicar ; maintenance and repair of the building; payment of ongoing costs and regular voluntary cleaning, flowers and upkeep of the churchyard.

We fail to understand why the Diocese should wish to consider the closure of a grade 1 listed building ( pre 1066 ) which is part of our heritage and the community of Upleadon. Several parishioners feel that we are being singled out and abandoned for reasons yet to be fully explained.

On your behalf we intend to pursue a policy of objecting to any closure proposals and would appreciate any support from the community as a whole.

Thanking you in anticipation

Upleadon PCC ( contact


Click on this link for a road view of the Church on Google maps.,-2.337231&sspn=0.001513,0.002771&ie=UTF8&split=1&rq=1&ev=zi&radius=0.06&hq=church&hnear=&ll=51.941246,-2.336936&spn=0,359.997229&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=51.941308,-2.337059&panoid=yZfOr8UVQHVkEvcBsP8awA&cbp=12,212.55,,0,14.76

The Saxons

There was a Saxon East Window where the present Chancel Arch stands. At some time or other there was a little priest’s room attached to the East end of the Church, perhaps in Norman or medieval days, and traces of its foundations were noted in the underpinning operation connected with the 1969 restoration.



The Nave: Upleadon Church
The Nave: Upleadon Church

The Nave is of Norman origin, and the later restorers preserved four Norman window shapes and the original Norman masonry.


Upleadon Church Norman doorway
Upleadon Church Norman doorway

Built within about 50 or 60 years of the coming of William the Conqueror. Note the caned figures, the typical Norman design and motifs, and the well-preserved detail. Look for a piece of “mason’s licence” oddity in the top right mouldings.

Norman string course:
A line of ornamentation running along the wall and bending to clear the doorway. Also on South side.

Norman Windows:
The Nave is of Norman origin, and the later restorers preserved four Norman window shapes and the original Norman masonry. In particular, the 12th century North doorway is a fine example of the craftsmanship of that period.

16th century. Bracketed King-post construction. Inserted when original Norman roof replaced and probably raised.

Apparently always free from wall monuments thus giving the clean uncluttered lines.


Upleadon Church Tower
Upleadon Church Tower

The 16th century Tudot Tower is probably unique in that the wooden uprights rise from the foundations.

The Tudor designer set the uprights close together to give an enhanced impression of height.


Naturally-curved bracing timbers c.1500 cross at the ceiling and continue on up beyond like gigantic “X”s.

The timbers are well shaped and smoothed by the craftmen’s adzes whose marks are clearly visible

The tower has been cleverly designed to be intergral with the Church & gives the appearance of one large Nave.


The church of St Mary the Virgin is situated 1 mile from the centre of Upleadon village and is well worth a visit. A booklet is available inside the church and the money raised will go to the Church Restoration Fund.

Within the church is a tapestry produced by the villagers to commemorate the millennium

4 thoughts on “St Mary’s Church

  • 28/01/2017 at 19:07

    It a beautiful church I never seen a church like this before, the tower lookes really good it eye chatch me when I when pass it. Loved it all in side the church.

    My local vicar Jeremy Goulston might visit if that ok 01367821143.

  • 20/02/2017 at 21:14

    Hi. I recently visited your beautiful church. I spotted the head of something in the masonry above the Nave which you can only see if you are in front of the altar. I couldn’t quite make it out. Could you tell me what it is please. Many thanks.

  • 06/07/2017 at 17:59

    I would like to visit this church. What hours is it open ?
    Tim Kestin
    Chalford Hill
    near Stroud

  • 21/10/2017 at 20:44

    What a wonderful Church. I am sorry we missed seeing it when visiting Gloucestershire earlier this year. I’m only seeing it now thanks to a friend on Facebook.

    My husband and I enjoy visiting the different Churches when visiting Britain and discovering their history.

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