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St Leonard, Upton St Leonard, Gloucestershire

(51°49′57″N, 2°12′6″W)
Upton St Leonard
SO 862 149
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Gloucestershire
now Gloucestershire
medieval Worcester
now Gloucester
  • Rita Wood
  • Rita Wood
5 August 2019

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Upton St Leonard is part of the Gloucester conurbation, but lies to the S-E of the M5 motorway. The church is on the edge of the settlement. It has a chancel with a N vestry and a S chapel, a nave with N and S aisles and a N porch, and a W tower. It was restored in 1889.

When the S aisle was added in 1835, a Norman doorway, presumably the former S nave doorway, was reset at the W end of the S aisle. The N arcade was rebuilt in the 1850s, and one pier may be of Transitional date. The ground plan of the early nave can be detected in the ICBS plan.

As well as the reset doorway and pier, there is also a plain tub font.


The early history of the church of Upton St Leonard is obscure. At some point in the medieval period, the church was granted to St Peter's Abbey, Gloucester, but the circumstances and context of the grant remain unknown.


Exterior Features


Interior Features






The author of the parish guide states that the font had been removed from the church in 1775, but was replaced in 1913; a photo of the interior before 1889 shows another font in place.

In his remarkable study of Gloucestershire fonts, A. C. Fryer, ‘the ancient font of Upton St Leonard was discovered at Barnwood in the early years of the nineteenth century doing duty in a farmyard, and now stands on a circular plinth in the churchyard near to the south door of the church’ (Fryer 1911, 198, with illustration following p. 207). Francis Bond also provides an illustration on the font outside the church (Bond 1908, 276).

The font seems a more worked-on version of the tub fonts seen at Owlpen and Lasborough: the side of the rim is heavier, the top edges chamfered. Neither of the comparisons give a clue to the incised crenellation or battlement pattern at Owlpen.


F. E. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications, 3 vols, London, 1899), 289.

F. Bond, Fonts and Font-covers, Oxford 1908, reprinted with 8 colour plates, London, 1985.

D. Carroll et al. Upton St. Leonards – A Village History, 1999.

A. C. Fryer ‘Gloucestershire Fonts. Part 4’ Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 34 (1911), 195--207.

N. Pevsner, D. Verey and A. Brooks, Gloucestershire 2: the Vale and the Forest of Dean, 3rd edn. New Haven, 2002, 788--89.

D. Verey, Gloucestershire, 2nd edn. New York, 1976-79, 395.