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The Decollation of St.John the Baptist, Coln St Aldwyns, Gloucestershire

(51°44′43″N, 1°47′39″W)
Coln St Aldwyns
SP 143 052
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Gloucestershire
now Gloucestershire
medieval Worcester
now Gloucester
  • Jean and Garry Gardiner
  • John Wand
12 June 1998

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Feature Sets

The church consists of a 13thc chancel, a nave, S porch, and an imposing S tower. The S wall of the nave and the lower stages of the S tower are substantially of the later 12thc.

Late Romanesque S doorway, in situ, has been restored and partly recut; two carvings and two fragments of Romanesque sculpture are reset into the exterior walls.


Culne, as recorded in Domesday Book, was held by Gloucester Abbey and the manor had two mills. In 1086 Roger de Lacy's Estate had two ploughs in demesne with 6 servi. A grant of tithes at Coln St. Aldwyns to Gloucester Abbey in 1100 suggests the existence of a church there, but no record of it has been found before the later 12thc.


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration


The S doorway is in superb condition with no overt sign of retooling. The designer appeared to enjoy experimenting with three variations of chevron moulding; the third order is a particularly sophisticated and skilful type. The dragon-head stops appear anomalous with their detailed treatment of facial features, quite unlike the clean-cut sculpture of the capitals and arches. Perhaps these are spolia.

The restoration of the interior was undertaken in 1853.


F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or England’s Patron Saints, London 1899, III, 93.

Historic England Building Listing 1089209

C. E. Keyser, 'An essay on the Norman doorways in the county of Gloucester', in Memorials of Old Gloucestershire, London 1911, 170.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Gloucestershire 1: The Cotswolds, Harmondsworth 1979, 197-99.

RCHME, Ancient and Historical Monuments in the County of Gloucester Iron Age and Romano-British Monuments in the Gloucestershire Cotswold. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1976, 36-37.

Victoria County History, Gloucestershire, Vol.7, 1981, 49, 53; Vol.8, 53.

D. Verey and A. Brooks, A. The Buildings of England, Gloucestershire I: the Cotswolds (3rd edition) London 1999 298-299