Gretton Church (ruins of)
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1002085
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Tewkesbury (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SP 00879 30413
Part of the old parish church of Gretton 285m west of Manor Farm.
Reasons for Designation
A parish church is a building, usually of roughly rectangular outline and containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate to its use for Christian worship by a secular community, whose members gather in it on Sundays and on the occasion of religious festivals. Children are initiated into the Christian religion at the church's font and the dead are buried in its churchyard. Parish churches were designed for congregational worship and are generally divided into two main parts: the nave, which provides accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which is the main domain of the priest and contains the principal altar. Either or both parts are sometimes provided with aisles, giving additional accommodation or spaces for additional altars. Most parish churches also possess towers, generally at the west end, but central towers at the crossing of nave and chancel are not uncommon and some churches have a free-standing or irregularly sited tower. Many parish churches also possess transepts at the crossing of chancel and nave, and south or north porches are also common. The main periods of parish church foundation were in the 10th to 11th and 19th centuries. Most medieval churches were rebuilt and modified on a number of occasions and hence the visible fabric of the church will be of several different dates, with in some cases little fabric of the first church being still easily visible. Parish churches are found throughout England. Their distribution reflects the density of population at the time they were founded. In regions of dispersed settlement parishes were often large and churches less numerous. The densest clusters of parish churches were found in thriving medieval towns. A survey of 1625 reported the existence of nearly 9000 parish churches in England. New churches built in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries increased numbers to around 18,000 of which 17,000 remain in ecclesiastical use. Parish churches have always been major features of the landscape and a major focus of life for their parishioners. They provide important insights into medieval and later population levels or economic cycles, religious activity, artistic endeavour and technical achievement.
Despite deliberate dismantling the part of the old parish church of Gretton 285m west of Manor Farm will retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction, development, social and religious significance of the original church.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 25 September 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes the ruins of the old church probably of 14th century origin situated in the heart of the current settlement of Gretton. The church survives as the buried foundations, structures and deposits connected with the church nave and porch which was deliberately dismantled in 1868 following the construction and opening of a new church nearby. The foundations for the nave and porch walls have been re-used for the erection of a later 1m high drystone built enclosure which is attached to the fully standing and roofed western church tower which was retained. This stands complete with corner buttresses, a 14th century nave arch, rectangular loops, a 16th century mullioned three light window and tiled roof. This part of the church is excluded from the scheduling because it is protected separately as a Grade II Listed building (134097). This listing does not include the scheduled parts of the ruined church.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: GC 415
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing