Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Forest of Dean (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 66987 31257


SO 63 SE, 4/128

KEMPLEY, Church of St. Mary




Former Parish Church, now in the care of the DOE. C12, C13, C14, late C17, restored C19, C20. Squared, coursed stone with ashlar dressings: timber-framed porch on stone plinth, stone slates. Nave, chancel, west tower, south porch. South face: squat west tower, large square-set buttresses project to south, 3 offsets. Pointed lancet to ground floor, slight offset above, further pointed lancet. Sundial on right above buttress. Slightly projecting eaves: low pyramid roof; flat-roofed, square, louvred dormers each face; weathervane with gilded cock on apex. Nave: chamfered plinth. Porch towards left, open end with arch braces with moulded edge: cambered tie beam, collar. Left side 2 panels high, curved braces halved over rail, brick infill below, wattle and daub above. On right rail lower, board below, rendered infill above, probably originally with central window, one mullion surviving. Internally, half truss, repeated against nave, one pair clasped purlins, curved braces, no ridge timber. C12 boarded door with original half-moon hinges, in flat-headed opening, columns each side, with remains of holy water stoop projecting on right: scalloped capitals with volutes. Semi-circular tympanum with tree of life, chevron moulding, plain hoodmould. To right 2- light reticulated-tracery window; late C17 segmental-headed window for pulpit with leaded lights. Three late C17, early C18 headstones against wall below. Set-back for chancel; chamfered plinth; blocked doorway on left; mid C20 concrete buttress faced sawn stone; trefoil-headed lancet to right. East wall, widish semi-circular headed lancet with roll moulding to edge: small lancet in gable: small stone cross on ridge. North side: tower flush with nave, very small buttress on right at foot: two lancets; roof as south. Nave: semi-circular headed wide C17 window, chamfered edge, original iron opening light. Set back for chancel: arched opening for door, one stone to arch set irregularly: original boarded door and hinges. Buttress on left as south side, and window. West face, plain wall to tower spreading into buttress on south: very small buttresses left and right, large plinth between. On quoin to main south buttress inscription commemorates John Prescott, died 1693. Two lancets: roof as south side.

INTERIOR: nave, thin plaster on stonework, original boarded door to tower, half-moon hinges, corner columns with scalloped capitals, plain, semi-circular tympanum, roll moulding above, chamfered hoodmould. Semi-circular headed window above, with stepped sill. Chancel arch in 2 orders, Ionic volute to inner capitals with roll moulding to semi-circular arch, scalloped capitals to outer with chevron moulding to arch, and to hoodmould. Flat-headed boarded door to chancel roof space above left. Trefoil-headed piscina by pulpit. Flat boarded ceiling on exposed joists, all save easternmost 6 chamfered:, each joist sits on a moulded baluster- like pilaster, on a corbel, at each end (actually replacing ashlar pieces). TH 1670 carved on one pilaster, 1671 on one joist: traces of painting on joists. Roof above original C12 rafters, high collars with 2 vertical struts, housings for original low collars (slightly above present ceiling) and 3 hangers: angle strut now each side. Chancel, plastered walls, roll moulding to east window, semi-circular headed aumbry on left, plastered barrel vault ceiling. Roof above 3 bay, late C19 or early C20 king-post trusses with iron bolts, 1 pair purlins. Square holes left by erection of scaffolding visible in tower. Frescoes: most complete sequence in England to chancel, c1130-40: each side 6 apostles in niches, chequer work on window reveals, architectural feature over. Roundels over window on east, bishop to south. Christ in majesty on vault with seraphim and signs of 4 evangelists. Nave: two periods on south wall, one above other: chequer pattern and possibly doom on east wall, wheel of life on north, with figures to east (probably C14). Pulpit semi-octagonal wooden, either Jacobean or 1913: single C17 pews at rear. Font, plain circular bowl on stem, brought from Blaisdon 1913. Marble wall monument, 1722, to Pyndar family, Doric pilasters, cornice, urn and lamps, gadrooning and consoles: late C17 monument by door. Glass in east window by Kempe (1876). C14 chest. Norman church, tower added C13, porch C14. Wall paintings discovered in 1872 by John Middleton, restored 1950's by Mrs. E. Baker. Church restored 1913 by Temple Moore, gallery removed either then or in 1870's. Further restoration late C20.

(Kelly's Directory of Gloucestershire, 1881; D. Verey, Gloucestershire, The Vale and the Forest of Dean, 1970.)

Listing NGR: SO6698531259


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Verey, D , The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire 2 The Vale and The Forest of Dean, (1970)
'Kelly's Directory' in Kelly's Directory, (1881)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 13 Apr 2005
Reference: IOE01/14225/15
Rights: © Mr Brian R Edwards. Source: Historic England Archive
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