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St Mary, Little Washbourne, Gloucestershire

(51°59′56″N, 2°1′2″W)
Little Washbourne
SO 989 334
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Gloucestershire
now Gloucestershire
medieval Worcester
now Worcester
medieval St Mary
now St Mary
  • John Wand
  • John Wand

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Little Washbourne lies to the N of the road from Tewkesbury to Stow-on-the-Wold. It was part of Worcestershire, but was transferred to Gloucestershire for civil purposes in 1844. However, ecclesiastically, it remains part of Overbury parish in the diocese of Worcester. The church, which is sited on low ground, now stands isolated in a farm orchard. It consists of a chancel and a nave with a small wooden bell-turret over the W end of the chancel. The building dates from the middle of the 12thc, but has been largely rebuilt at later periods and extensively altered in the 18thc. The earlier work is of rubble masonry, but the N wall of the nave and the greater part of the S wall are faced with ashlar. The pilaster strips on the W wall date from the 12thc, as the N chancel window. The Romanesque sculpture consists of the chancel arch and remains of a stringcourse on the W wall. The church was declared redundant in 1974 and is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.


In 780 Offa gave 10 cassates of land at Little Washbourne to the monks of Worcester (Willis-Bund 1913). This land was subsequently taken from the monks by King Beorhtwulf, but was recovered by them in 840. In 977 Bishop Oswald granted 3 'manses' to a monk named Winsig for three lives. In 1066 Elmer held 3 hides in Washbourne; he later became a monk, and the Bishop of Worcester took his lands, but in 1086 Urse the Sheriff held the estate. His interest passed with his other possessions to the Beauchamps of Elmley (Willis-Bund 1913).


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration

String courses

Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

The far R section of the string course seems to have been reset. There is no base visible to the jamb shafts in the chancel arch; this may be due to the floor being raised as the site is low lying and liable to flooding.

  1. D. Verey and A. Brooks, The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire 2; The Vale and The Forest of Dean, London 2002, 573.

A. Williams and G. H. Martin (eds.), Domesday Book. A Complete Translation, London 2003, 477.

  1. F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications, III, London 1899, 296.

Historic England listing 1091716.

J. W. Willis-Bund (ed.) 'Parishes: Overbury', The Victoria History of the County of Worcester, III, London 1913, 468-78.

Anon., 'Society Report', Associated Architectural Societies, 25 (1900), LXIX.