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St Giles, Upper Gravenhurst, Bedfordshire

(52°0′43″N, 0°22′46″W)
Upper Gravenhurst
TL 113 361
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Bedfordshire
now Bedfordshire
  • Hazel Gardiner

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Feature Sets

The ironstone church has a 15thc. W tower, 19thc. chancel, N vestry and S porch and a 12thc. nave and plain, round-headed, blocked, 12thc. N doorway with chamfered jambs. 12thc. sculpture is found on the chancel arch.


The Domesday Survey does not mention a church in Upper Gravenhurst, but records that Hugh de Beauchamp held land in Gravenhurst. VCH records that the manor of Upper Gravenhurst (also known as Great Gravenhurst or Tewelsbury) was held by Ramsey Abbey and that this remained the case until the Dissolution (VCH, 333).

Upper Gravenhurst did not have a parish, so a chantry was provided. The existence of the chantry is mentioned in 1189 and 1195 in documents recording that Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln granted the tithes belonging to the chapel of Gravenhurst to Ramsey Abbey (VCH, 336).


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

At the time of visiting it was not possible to record the exterior of the N doorway as it is covered by a locked, lean-to storage shed attached to the N wall of the nave. However, a watercolour by Thomas Fisher (1772-1836), in the collection of the Cecil Higgins Gallery, Bedford, shows the church from the NW and the doorway appears to be round-headed of one continuous order.

Domesday Book: Bedfordshire, Ed. J. Morris, Chichester, 1977, 23, 21.
The Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford, London, 1908, 2:333-36.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England, Bedfordshire and the County of Huntingdon and Peterborough, London, 1968, 161.