SO6729 : The Rood, St Edward's church, Kempley

taken 9 years ago, near to Kempley, Gloucestershire, Great Britain

The Rood, St Edward's church, Kempley
The Rood, St Edward's church, Kempley
Carved by David Gibb.
St Edward the Confessor church

Grade II*listed

The church of Saint Edward the confessor was designed in the Arts and Crafts style of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
It was originally built in 1903 as a Chapel of Ease for the 12th century church of Saint Mary's in Kempley .
The project was started by the 6th Earl Beauchamp, and his successor the 7th Earl laid the foundation in 1902 and appointed project manager Randall Wells to oversee its construction. Wells was working with W.R.Lethaby, who was building an Arts and Crafts church at Brockhampton nearby.

The church was constructed by local people with local materials and within a very modest budget. The church was designed to be a rustic place of worship for local people. It is unusual that it does not have an east window. The seventh Earl gave the architect a free hand with the design but wanted an external stone relief on the east end of the church as a roadside shrine. The church is designed like a tithe barn with external buttresses, and is built in the local red sandstone. The timbers for the support beams and other woodwork came from local Oaks on the Earl's estates. The west window has a diagonal stone grid and is similar to that at Brockhampton.
There are three stone relief sculptures on the outside walls.

Internally there is a carved Rood beam with a figure of Christ triumphant on the cross by David Gibb. He was the last remaining carver of ships' figureheads in London.
Unfortunately the Bishop of Gloucester would not dedicate the church unless certain high church fittings were removed, namely the Rood statues, a baldachin and an altar stone from the Lady Chapel. These were all reinstated when the Bishop resigned in 1905.
The old parish church of St Mary's was still in use following restoration in 1913.
In 1919, much of the Beauchamp estate was sold to pay death duties, but the church of Saint Edward was kept and given to the Diocese. The church was consecrated by the Bishop of Gloucester in 1934.

Internally all the fittings are designed in the typical Arts and Crafts form.

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SO6729, 91 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Thursday, 8 August, 2013   (more nearby)
Thursday, 15 August, 2013
Geographical Context
Religious sites 
Place (from Tags)
Church (from Tags)
St Edward the Confessor 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SO 6713 2960 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:57.8340N 2:28.7888W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SO 6712 2960
View Direction
East-northeast (about 67 degrees)
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