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St Bartholomew, Whittington, Gloucestershire

(51°53′2″N, 1°58′57″W)
SP 013 206
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Gloucestershire
now Gloucestershire
medieval Worcester
now Gloucester
  • John Wand
11 July 2018

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The small village of Whittington lies 4 miles ESE of Cheltenham on the edge of the Cotswolds. The church is sited about 2m from the manor house on level ground. The building consists of a chancel with S chapel, nave with narrow S aisle, N porch and a vestry in the angle between the chapel and aisle. The E arch of the two-bay nave arcade dates to the 12thc. The aisle was originally wider, and there is a blocked round headed opening in the W wall of the aisle which also probably dates to the 12thc. When the vestry was constructed in the 19thc., Romanesque sculpture was built into the exterior of its W wall.


In 1269 the church was held by the local knight, Richard de Croupes (Willis Bund 1902, i. 33), and his descendants remained in possession throughout the medieval period. In 1318 the church is referred to as a chapel (Harold Pearce 1930, 230). Its medieval dedication remains unclear, and the church was rededicated to St Bartholomew by the 1920s, but in 1750 the dedication was to St Michael---an appropriate saint for an estate chapel (Herbert 2001). The de Croupes family had been in possession of the manor since before the 1160s; the manor of Whittington may even have been the caput of their honour in Gloucestershire (Clay 1944, 129--30). The Domesday return for Gloucestershire records that the manor was held by William Leuric; a share of his estates subsequently passed to the de Croupes family before the 1160s. The builder of the 12thc. church was most likely an early member of the de Croupes family, possibly the Robert de Croupes active in the 1160s. The manor house dates from the 16thc., but probably replaced an earlier seigneurial residence. The proximity of the church to the manor house certainly testifies to the close relationship between the church and the lords of the estate.


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Nave arches

Loose Sculpture


F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications, London 1899, III, 304.

Historic England Building listing 1341364.

A. Williams and G. H. Martin (ed.) Domesday Book. A Complete Translation, London 2003, 462.

N. M. Herbert, 'Parishes: Whittington', Victoria County History of Gloucestershire, Vol 9, London 2001, 233--248.

D. Verey and A. Brooks. The Buildings of England, Gloucestershire I: the Cotswolds (3rd edition), London 1999, 721-722.

Stratton, Davis, Yates and Dolman. 1935. Glos Archives D7942/35.

K. Young. Guide to Whittington Church, Private Press.

J. W. Willis Bund, The Register of Bishop Godfrey Giffard, September 23rd, 1268, to August 15th, 1301, 2 vols, Worcestershire Historical Society 11--12 (1902).

E. Harold Pearce, The Register of Thomas de Cobham, Bishop of Worcester 1317--1327, Worcestershire Historical Society 38 (1930).

C. T. Clay, 'The family of Scrupes or Crupes of Whittington, Gloucestershire', Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 65 (1944), 129--140.