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Ozleworth Church Tower

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

OS Map Grid Reference: ST79429328
Latitude 51.63801° Longitude -2.29862°

Ozleworth Church Tower has been described as a Fortified Manor House although is doubtful that it was such.

There are uncertain remains.

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


The hexagonal tower of Ozleworth church was believed by one incumbent to be of Saxon origin though most authorities regard it as 12th century. The shape is almost unique and St Clair Baddeley suggests that it may have been a mural tower of a fortified manor-house formerly occupying this position. The graveyard is circular and Mrs Crook mentioning a canon of AD994 considers the church may occupy a pagan site taken over for Christian purposes (OS record).
Church shown in aerial photographs A1077 Ozleworth from south, A1078 Ozleworth from southwest, and A1079 Ozleworth from west close up including the west end of the church. No earthworks are visible. Two fragments of Medieval tiles found in churchyard. Eight loose tiles in private collection at Newark Park. (Gloucestershire HER)

Redundant small Anglican church. Probably mid C12 foundation, chancel extended in C14, nave lengthened and whole restored in 1873 by Rev. W.H. Lowder. Random coursed stone, stone slate roof sprocketed to tower and with coped end verges, partly removed for repair at time of survey (April 1986). Central hexagonal tower with chancel and nave, and south porch. Tower has 2-light window to each face on upper section with central shaft with voluted capital and cable-mould necking within an arched recess with chamfered abaci. North side of chancel has 2 cusped single lights and central trefoil head priest's door, and nave has 2 single lights and blocked chamfered round headed doorway in early section. Similar fenestration to south side. Two-light ogee head east window. Gabled south porch has inner doorway of 2 orders, inner similar to north, outer with shafts with stiff leaf capitals and additional decorative work probably of C19. Church now vested in Redundant Churches Fund and under repair at time of survey. (Listed Building Report)

St Clair Baddeley was aware that the standing remains were Norman but though the unusual hexagonal ground plan was evidence of an Anglo-Saxon manorial tower. He seems to have though that the old manorial tower was given to the church for use as a church. This is an idea that lay dormant but Michael Shapland has revived this idea although he argues for a number of Saxon Tower-Naves being a more combined manorial lordship symbol and a chapel. This is an interesting idea worth exploring but for this church the evidence is slight.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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