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Anglican Church of All Saints

A Grade II* Listed Building in Kemble, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.6716 / 51°40'17"N

Longitude: -2.0168 / 2°1'0"W

OS Eastings: 398931

OS Northings: 196981

OS Grid: ST989969

Mapcode National: GBR 2Q4.0YC

Mapcode Global: VHB2X.074W

Entry Name: Anglican Church of All Saints

Listing Date: 26 November 1958

Last Amended: 12 February 2016

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1089285

English Heritage Legacy ID: 129357

Location: Kemble, Cotswold, Gloucestershire, GL7

County: Gloucestershire

District: Cotswold

Civil Parish: Kemble

Built-Up Area: Kemble

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Kemble All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

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An Anglican parish church, the tower dating from the C13 with a spire of 1824, the remainder rebuilt by Medland and Son in 1876-7 in a mainly Early English style.


An Anglican parish church, the tower dating from the C13 with a spire of 1824, the remainder rebuilt by Medland and Son in 1876-7 in a mainly Early English style.

The church is constructed from coursed and dressed local limestone with freestone dressings, under stone slate roofs.

West tower, nave with north aisle and chapel, south porch and aisle, and chancel.

The church is in a mainly Early English style. The C13 west tower is in three stages; it is rendered, the stages articulated by string courses, and flat angle buttresses with offsets rise into the third stage. The west door forms the only entrance to the tower, which is no longer accessible from the interior of the church. The pointed-arched doorway has single shafts and moulded capitals, from which springs a filleted arch. There are two mass dials incised on the SW buttress. The second stage is blind save for a small lancet in the south side. The four sides of the third stage have, variously, single and paired openings, with round and straight heads, some with louvres. The belfry houses a peal of six bells. The parapet has a heavily-moulded cornice. The plain, recessed spire is surmounted by a cross.

The body of the church has coped verges and moulded kneelers to the roofs, and a cross finial to the east end. The south side has a high plinth. The south porch has a late-C13 pointed-arched entrance with paired shafts and a trefoil-headed image niche above. The south doorway within has a semi-circular arch with chevrons and a roll moulding springing from single shafts; above it is inserted part of a probably C12 coffin slab with an incised cross. The south aisle has two Perpendicular windows with hood moulds, below which a moulded band extends around the aisle and the buttresses, one straight, the other angled at the SE corner. The east end of the aisle has a four-light Perpendicular window with a hood mould. The chancel has a single lancet with hood mould and a straight buttress with gabled head. The north aisle is formed from paired gabled cross wings, each with a three-light plate-tracery window, and a squat buttress with offset between them. To their left, a high, gabled transeptal chapel (now vestry) with a simple pointed doorway and rose window in the gable; it has an elaborate triple-lancet east window. The chancel to the north is of two bays, each with a single lancet as to the south, with similar buttressing. To the east end is a three-light Early English window of triple lancets.

The interior of the porch has a blocked opening formerly giving on to the south aisle, a moulded pointed archway with single shafts and simple capitals over paired trefoil-headed lancets, later blocked with squared and coursed stone. The interior of the church has polychrome tiled floors by William Godwin of Lugwardine, Herefordshire, plastered walls and timber wagon roofs, the nave and porch with scissor-bracing. The style is Early English, apart from the south (Ewen) aisle, which is Perpendicular. The north aisle arcade of painted arches is carried on squat shafts with simple moulded capitals, and has moulded label stops to the imposts at the end of the arcade, as does the arch to the north transept. The south aisle has a single archway rather than an arcade, with similar detailing. On the west wall are collected a number of monuments dating from before the 1870s rebuilding, including several to members of the Coxe family.

The south aisle, which was built using stone from the demolished church at nearby Ewen, includes a good C12-C13 sedilia, Early English in style: a two-bay recess with one narrower bay. Each arch has a three-roll trefoil on semi-circular capitals and attached shafts with annulets and bases. The spandrel between the arches is occupied by a deeply-cut quatrefoil. Alongside the sedilia is a C14 arched tomb recess, with deeply and richly moulded, chamfered arch with crocketed labels, and unusual cusping bearing carved heads. The arch springs from half shafts on bases, with capitals formed from human heads, that to the east with two female heads, and that to the west a single male head. The recess may have originally included the effigy of a knight now in the north transept, where it was moved in the 1877 rebuilding. Currently, the recess houses a complete medieval stone coffin with a coped lid. The north transept chapel is now used as a vestry. Under a pointed arch, blocked when the north aisle was built, an effigy. At the SE corner the remains of the C15 rood stair.

The high, pointed chancel arch of two orders as a chamfered hood mould with plain stops. The impost is supported in truncated half-columns with simple mouldings to the capitals. The chancel ceiling is boarded, with applied timber ribs having foliate bosses at their junctions. The three-light east window is Early English in style, with single shafts between the lancets, and modern stained glass. The REREDOS, of 1877, is tile, with inscriptions of The Apostles’ Creed, The Lord’s Prayer and The Ten Commandments, by Maw and Co of Shropshire.

The FONT is in the north aisle: a C14 octagonal font with moulding to the stem, on a low C19 base and apron. The cover is of the 1870s. The PULPIT, timber with tracery on a moulded stone base, dates from 1872. The PRIEST’S STALL on the south side of the chancel is a good late Arts and Crafts piece designed by Norman Jewson and made in 1937 by Peter Waals of Chalford, given in memory of Aneurin Gabe Jones, who was vicar 1914-1935. The BENCH PEWS are of 1877. The mahogany ORGAN case, in the south aisle, dates from 1784, by John England and Hugh Russell, with later alterations; it has a broken pediment above a moulded cornice with dentil frieze. It was found in a chapel in Cam, Gloucestershire, and brought to Kemble in the 1960s, given in memory of his wife by S J Phillips. A few fragments of medieval STAINED GLASS survive in the east window of the south aisle, otherwise apart from the east window in the chancel, the glass is plain, diamond patterned, of circa 1877. The bell frame was renewed in 1905-6, and a new bell added to the existing peal of four, dating from the C17, C18 and C19. A further bell was added in 1953.

In the north transept, the C14 effigy of a knight, cross-legged, carved in low relief in lias stone, with a trefoiled canopy over the head, similar to that on the recess in the south aisle; the effigy may be that of Sir Roger Normaund, who died in 1349. Above it, a painted timber monument to Beata Pitt (d. 1650) and her son, Edward (d. 1656). The remaining monuments of note were all resited on the west wall during the 1870s restoration. The monument to Elizabeth Coxe (d.1783), by Ricketts of Gloucester, is of white and grey marble with an urn, volutes and heraldic devices. Ann Coxe’s monument of 1790, by John and Joseph Bryan of Painswick and Gloucester, has a draped urn and heraldry. Charles Coxe (d. 1808) has a Greek Revival monument by Reeves and Son of Bath.

The churchyard has three entrances. To the west, a pair of fat, square gate piers of ashlar limestone, with tapers to the top and octagonal, pointed caps; between them is a simple iron overthrow with a central lamp, and double timber gates.


The Anglican parish church in Kemble, dedicated to All Saints, may have origins in the Anglo-Saxon period sometime after 682, when Cedwalla (King of Wessex) granted land in Kemble to Aldhelm, Abbot of nearby Malmesbury. Documentary evidence records that between 1100 and 1250, a stone church was built, which included a nave, chancel, south aisle – reputedly built from re-used stone from a demolished church at nearby Ewen - and a western tower, with a south porch added a little later. Of the present church the earliest surviving fabric is the C13 tower, which retains its west door from this date. A spire was added in the C15, but replaced in 1824, following damage in a storm on 29 December 1823.

The remainder of the church was largely reconstructed in 1876-7 by Medland and Sons, a busy firm of Gloucester architects. Matthew Henry Medland had become junior partner to his father James and William Maberley in 1862 in Gloucester, where they worked as Medland, Maberley and Medland. The firm, which undertook a number of church rebuilding projects, continued as Medland and Son after Maberley’s departure in 1868. By 1900, Matthew Medland was county architect for Gloucestershire, and worked throughout the county. All Saints was, with the exception of the tower, rebuilt from the foundations, though re-using most of the stone from the previous church, and replacing many of the feature in their original positions; a new chancel was provided, replacing one which had been built in around 1840. A new north aisle was added at the same time, and as many as nine, probably C13-C14, stone coffin lids with incised crosses were used to patch the stone on the SE buttress of the tower. The church re-opened on 8 July 1877. The bell frame was renewed in 1905-6 and a new bell added to the existing four; a further bell was installed to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. The spire was further repaired in 1964.

Reasons for Listing

The Church of All Saints at Kemble, with a C13 tower and C12-13 fabric incorporated into an 1870s rebuilding by Medland and Son, and its entrance gateway, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* Relative date: the church retains its C13 tower, and includes features from the C12 to the C14;
* Architectural interest: the C19 design is of good quality, and sensitively incorporates significant elements from the earlier church dating from the C12 to the C14, including a C13 entrance doorway, a good sedilia of the C13 and an unusual and elaborate C14 tomb recess;
* Architect: Medland and Son is a recognised firm of mainly ecclesiastical architects who worked extensively in the region;
* Fittings: the church has a number of high quality fixtures and fittings, including a C14 knight’s effigy, a good group of C17 to C19 memorials, and late C19 tile reredos by Maw and Co;
* Group value: the church forms part of a group at the centre of the village, with the listed chest tomb in the churchyard to its north, Kemble House to the south, and the war memorial to the north west, each listed at Grade II.

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