Westbury Parish Church
Church of St Mary, St Peter & St Paul
Gloucestershire GL14 1PD
The parish church of St Mary, St Peter and St Paul has a most unusual feature - the 13th century tower and broach spire which is separate from the church.
The tower has massive buttresses and a spiral staircase turret on the north-west. The steeple is built of wood and rises 153 feet (46.6 metres). It is roofed with wooden shingles some of which were replaced in 1664 and 1680 with wood from cider casks.
Nothing remains of the original 11th century church but on the east side of the tower can be seen the place where a medieval chantry chapel was attached. It is thought this may have been St Mary’s chapel which was built before 1407.
The main body of the church was rebuilt in the late 13th (1290) and 14th centuries, and comprises a chancel, clerestoried nave, north and south aisles with porches, and a south vestry. It has undergone several restorations but plenty of the ancient church remains.
The aisle arcades, each of the seven bays with alternating octagonal and clustered piers, some of the aisle windows, and the west door date from the 14th century.
The pews in the nave have 16th century linen-fold panelling on the ends, the Elizabethan font pedestal bears the "Royal Arms" and is dated 1583. The Norman bowl inside was found outside the church collecting rainwater from the guttering!
English Heritage Membership - Join here:
Carved Crusader Crosses - "Crucifixion"
In a 14th century cinquefoil niche above the west door, is a relief carving of the crucifixion, and on the porch door jamb are carved two crusader crosses. There is a piscina drain in the form of a rose in the sill of the south chancel window.
In the chancel are two huge 18th century brass chandeliers hanging from the roof. These glorious chandeliers were stolen not so long ago and it was thought that they were gone forever. Amazingly, a local person was rummaging around in a metal scrap yard and came across them, instantly recognizing them as coming from Westbury Parish Church. They have now been restored to their proper place in the church.
This church is special to your writer as it is the church in which the writer was married.
Contact & Further Information
Beside the church is a path leading to Westbury Court Garden and across Bell Lane is the Red Lion Inn.
Please refer to directions in the Westbury-on-Severn article in this website.
Google Maps - Westbury-on-Severn Parish Church