Great Washbourne, St Mary's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Two Norman doorways, carved tympanum, and early wall paintings
The opening leading to the chancel has a semi-circular arch, and on either side are 14th century squints. Usually squints are plain, simple rectangular openings, but in this case the openings are squared off on the chancel side but on the nave side they have trefoiled heads, which is quite unusual. The northern squint has been blocked below to create an aumbry, or cupboard opening.
The church was locked when I visited, but there were three keyholders listed. The first was not at home, but the resident of the manor house was at home, and was extremely helpful and friendly. She was very obviously quite proud of her parish church, and after visiting, I can understand why.
St Mary's was highlighted by Simon Jenkins in his popular book, England's Thousand Best Churches, and it is easy to see why Mr Jenkins was impressed. The church is small, and not architecturally overwhelming, but it is a wonderful example of an English country church, full of fascinating detail and unusual features.
For me the most interesting part of the church was the chancel with its odd timber framed and the font plumped dead centre in front of the altar. Combine that with the unusual decorated squint openings and the vestiges of wall paintings and you have a church full of interest. The setting is simply wonderful, with timber-framed cottages opposite and just down the lane, and the attractive manor house next door.
About Great Washbourne
Address: Great Washbourne, Gloucestershire, England, GL20 7AR
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Beside Great Washbourne House. Often locked, but several keyholders nearby. Parking along the lane.
Website: Great Washbourne
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Little Washbourne, St Mary's Church - 0.7 miles (Historic Church)
Alderton, St Margaret's Church - 1.3 miles (Historic Church)
Ashton-under-Hill, St Barbara's Church - 2.1 miles (Historic Church)
Stanley Pontlarge, St Michael's Church - 2.8 miles (Historic Church)
Woolstone, St Martin de Tours - 3 miles (Historic Church)
Wormington, St Katherines - 3.5 miles (Historic Church)
Bredon, St Giles - 4.4 miles (Historic Church)
Bredon Tithe Barn - 4.4 miles (Historic Building)
Nearest Accommodation to Great Washbourne:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Tourist Information Centre
Tel: 01242 602 925
Fax: 01242 602 925