Blaisdon: Church

A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 10, Westbury and Whitstone Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1972.

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'Blaisdon: Church', in A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 10, Westbury and Whitstone Hundreds, (London, 1972) pp. 9-10. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]


There was presumably a church in the parish by c. 1200 when a chaplain of Blaisdon was mentioned, (fn. 1) and in 1262 the Crown granted three oaks for the repair of the church there. (fn. 2) The benefice was a rectory in the late 13th century (fn. 3) and has remained one. In 1922 it was united with the vicarage of Flaxley. (fn. 4) The advowson belonged to the lords of the manor: in 1272 Walter of Blakeney and Ralph of Abenhall agreed to make alternate presentations, (fn. 5) and their successors to the two divisions of the manor continued the arrangement. (fn. 6) In the early 18th century the advowson was shared by the Wades and the Hayles (fn. 7) but from 1778 it remained with the successors to the Wades' estate. Mrs. MacIver's right to the advowson, which after the union of the benefices was exercised alternately with the CrawleyBoeveys of Flaxley, was retained by her trustees until c. 1959 when it was acquired by Mrs. D. F. Place. (fn. 8)

The rector owned all the tithes of the parish. (fn. 9) There was some glebe in 1291, (fn. 10) and it totalled 22 a. in 1679. (fn. 11) The rectory was valued at £4 in 1291, (fn. 12) and £5 1s. in 1535. (fn. 13) In 1679 the tithes were valued at £20 while the glebe was let at £9; (fn. 14) the value of the rectory had risen to £50 by 1750. (fn. 15) The tithes were commuted for a corn-rent of £195 13s. in 1839, (fn. 16) and the living was valued at £200 in 1864. (fn. 17) In 1572 there was a rectory house with four rooms and a barn and stable. (fn. 18) The house, which stands at the bend in the main village street, (fn. 19) was rebuilt c. 1850; (fn. 20) it is a large Tudor-style building of two stories and gabled attics. After the union of benefices it became a private house, the rector residing at Flaxley.

Before 1280 the rectory was sequestrated for a time because of the rector's non-residence and failure to appear for ordination. (fn. 21) William Berkeley, a monk of Flaxley Abbey, was instituted in 1476, having had a papal dispensation; he was presumably the monk of that name who became abbot. (fn. 22) William Marten, the rector in 1518, was enjoined penance for immorality. (fn. 23) Henry a Fowle was found barely satisfactory in doctrine in 1551; (fn. 24) he was deprived, presumably for being married, in 1554. (fn. 25) His successor Henry Hooper was a former chantry priest of Mitcheldean. (fn. 26) Roger Parsons, who was also Vicar of Brockworth, was non-resident in 1563 but had provided a curate who was said to serve diligently. Thomas Cooke, rector from 1570, (fn. 27) was censured in 1576 for failing to preach quarterly sermons and to teach the catechism and for playing cards in low company; (fn. 28) in 1584 he was described as neither a graduate nor a preacher. (fn. 29) In 1650 the rector, Richard Hyett, was described as a preaching minister. (fn. 30) Long resident ministries were served by John Jelf (1728-78) (fn. 31) and William Black (1798- 1846). (fn. 32) A single service alternating between the morning and afternoon was held each Sunday in 1750; (fn. 33) in the early 19th century two services a Sunday were held. (fn. 34)

The church of ST. MICHAEL, (fn. 35) rebuilt with the exception of the tower in 1867, comprises nave, chancel, north aisle and vestry, south porch, and west tower. The old church had no aisle; it was apparently built mainly in the 13th century, and had a large east window, thought to have been of the 14th century, a south door to the chancel, and a western gallery. (fn. 36) The tower is of three stages with battlements and stone water-chutes and apparently dates wholly from the 15th century; it is capped by a low, tiled pyramid. The rebuilding of the rest of the church, which is in the Early English and Decorated styles, was carried out to the designs of F. R. Kempson of Hereford, and the cost, £2,000, was borne by Henry Crawshay. (fn. 37) Some 16th-century pews with ends carved with linen-fold design survive in the aisle and back of the nave. A wooden chest bears the date 1709 and the name of John Hayle. There were four bells in 1680, (fn. 38) which were recast by Abraham Rudhall in 1732; another was added then or later and one of the five was recast by John Rudhall in 1829. (fn. 39) All five were recast, a sixth added, and the tower repaired by Mrs. MacIver in 1912. (fn. 40) A pewter flagon was given by Gabriel Bourchier of London in 1628 and there is also a silver chalice of 1720. (fn. 41) Incomplete registers survive from 1635. (fn. 42)


  • 1. Glouc. Corp. Recs. p. 80.
  • 2. Close R. 1261-4, 31.
  • 3. Reg. Cantilupe, 240.
  • 4. Lond. Gaz. 26 May 1922, p. 4041.
  • 5. C.P.25(1)/74/29/671.
  • 6. e.g. Reg. Swinfield, 541, 543; Reg. Mascall, 168, 173; Hockaday Abs. cxxvi. In 1544, however, John a Fowle presented, presumably by virtue of a grant from Flaxley Abbey or the Kingstons, and in 1559 John Oswald presented by assignment of Edmund Kingston.
  • 7. Hockaday Abs. cxxvi; G.D.R. vol. 381A, f. 2.
  • 8. Hockaday Abs. cxxvi; Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1856 and later edns.); Glouc. Dioc. Yr. Bk. (1929-30 and later edns.). In 1846 Anne Hurle presented by a grant from Robert Gordon: cf. Glos. R.O., D 1348, Gordon fam., draft deed of 1842.
  • 9. G.D.R. Blaisdon tithe award.
  • 10. Inq. Non. (Rec. Com.), 416.
  • 11. G.D.R. Blaisdon terrier.
  • 12. Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 161.
  • 13. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii. 500.
  • 14. G.D.R. Blaisdon terrier.
  • 15. G.D.R. vol. 381A, f. 2.
  • 16. G.D.R. Blaisdon tithe award.
  • 17. G.D.R. vol. 384, f. 24.
  • 18. G.D.R. Blaisdon terrier.
  • 19. Cf. G.D.R. Blaisdon tithe award.
  • 20. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1856), 231.
  • 21. Reg. Cantilupe, 177, 240.
  • 22. Reg. Myllyng, 186, 203.
  • 23. Hockaday Abs. cxxvi.
  • 24. E.H.R. xix. 121.
  • 25. Hockaday Abs. cxxvi.
  • 26. Trans. B.G.A.S. xlix. 106.
  • 27. Hockaday Abs. cxxvi.
  • 28. G.D.R. vol. 40, f. 254v.
  • 29. Ibid. xlix, state of clergy 1584, f. 46.
  • 30. Trans. B.G.A.S. lxxxiii. 97.
  • 31. Hockaday Abs. cxxvi; overseers' accts. 1728-78, marr. reg. 1758-98, penes the rector.
  • 32. Hockaday Abs. cxxvi; G.D.R. vol. 382, f. 18; 383, no. cvi; Blaisdon tithe award.
  • 33. G.D.R. vol. 381A, f. 2.
  • 34. Ibid. 383, no. cvi.
  • 35. Reg. Myllyng, 194.
  • 36. Rudge, Hist. of Glos. ii. 65. No detailed architectural description of the old church has been found, but see Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1856), 231; TS. notes by Helen A. Hurle, 1913, penes Mr. Etherington.
  • 37. Glos. Chron. 15 June 1867; Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1870), 478.
  • 38. G.D.R. Blaisdon terrier.
  • 39. Ibid. 1828; Glos. Ch. Bells, 34.
  • 40. Plaque at W. end of nave.
  • 41. Glos. Ch. Plate, 24.
  • 42. B. & G. Par. Recs. 70.