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Lower Slaughter Church of St Mary

In the civil parish of Lower Slaughter.
In the historic county of Gloucestershire.
Modern Authority of Gloucestershire.
1974 county of Gloucestershire.
Medieval County of Gloucestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP16572261
Latitude 51.90183° Longitude -1.76058°

Lower Slaughter Church of St Mary has been described as a probable Siege Work.

There are no visible remains.

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.


The church was converted into a castle 1139-48. (Renn 1973 ref. Morey and Brooke)

Gilbert's letters give us other vivid glimpses of the troubles of the anarchy–of St Mary's church at Slaughter (Glos.) also turned into a castle (Morey and Brooke p. 86)

The church is C19 with some C13 work but with nothing to suggest the form of the C12 church or what works were done to convert it into a 'castle.' However, the context of Foliot's letter must suggest a temporary work with, at most, some earthworks and timber hoarding. Was this a siege work of Upper Slaughter Castle or a roadblock and taxation point of the Gloucershire Way/Fosse Way/Ryknild Street junction? Gatehouse suspects more the later with the church occupied as a base by a gang of armed men making use of the breakdown of order during the Anarchy to extort money from travellers. Such a group would have relatively little need for a 'fortified' base since their response to a re-imposition of law and order would be to flee, but a stone built building with a tower would be useful as a base and lookout.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

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