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. 


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

5 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.

  • 20/05/2019 at 13:02

    We visited this church about two weeks ago now. Trying to find out where my husband’s uncle was buried. His name was Thomas Albert Hancock, date of burial was the 9 October 1929, aged 30 years.

    Apparently, there is no record as to the exact spot, as we would have liked to place a memorial stone in his memory.

    Lovely church, so pleased we visited.

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