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Bishops Cleeve, Gloucestershire

Historical Description

Bishops-Cleeve, a township and a parish in Gloucestershire. The township lies 1¼ mile E of Cleeve station on the M.R., and 3½ miles N by E of Cheltenham. It has a post and money order office under Cheltenham, which is the telegraph office. Acreage, 1297; population of civil parish, 646; of ecclesiastical, 1794. The parish includes also the hamlets of Gotherington, Woodmancote, Stoke-Orchard, and Southam and Brockhampton. Cleeve Hill, the highest point of the Cotswold range, has a crescent-shaped ancient British camp, a race-course, and exhibits brilliant scenery of cliff and wood. There are mineral springs. The Grange, Clevelands, and Southam House are the chief residences. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol; net value, £600 with residence. The church is chiefly Norman, is cruciform and large, and contains some ancient monuments. The rectory was at one time the residence of the Bishops of Worcester. There is a chapel of ease at Stoke-Orchard, Congregational chapels at Stoke-Orchard and Gotherington, and chapels for the Countess of Huntingdon's connexion at Bishops-Cleeve and Woodmancote. The highest point of Cleeve Hill is 1083 feet. On the top is a valuable common of 1111 acres, waste land of the manors of Cleeve and Southam, over which the owners in Cleeve, Southam, and Woodmancote have commonable rights; it is now regulated by Act of Parliament, and there is a Board of Conservators.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyGloucestershire 
Ecclesiastical parishBishop's Cleeve St. Michael 
HundredBishops Cleeve 
Poor Law unionWinchcomb 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1563.

The Gloucestershire Parish Registers are available online at Ancestry, in association with Gloucestershire Archives.


Church of England

St. Michael (parish church)

The church of St. Michael is a large cruciform structure of stone, mostly in the Norman style, with some later additions, and consisting of chancel, nave of three bays, aisles, transepts, a noble south porch of curious workmanship and an embattled central tower with pinnacles, containing a clock and 5 bells with chimes: there is a handsome marble monument with two recumbent effigies to the De la Bere family, dating from 1735 to 1742, and restored in 1803 by Thomas Baghott De la Bere esq.: in the south transept, in a recess, is the recumbent effigy of a knight, cross-legged, and still bearing traces of colouring: at the east end of the south aisle is a recumbent effigy of a nun, and there are remains of mural paintings on the wall of the north aisle: in 1898 a stained window was erected to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her late Majesty Queen Victoria, and there is also a memorial window to Arthur Henry Jones Carroll, d. 1890, and another erected by Miss S. E. Meadows, of Blockley, and a memorial brass to the Rev. William Lawrence, 56 years rector of this parish, d. 1883: the beautiful triptych in this church, painted by Eadie Reid, was given by the widow of the Rev. B. F. Heming M.A. curate here 1871-83 and rector of the parish 1883-95: at the west end is a handsome carved oak gallery, and a massive oak chest with three heavy locks: the church has been restored since 1897 at a cost of about £4,000: there are 350 sittings.


United Methodist Chapel, Cleeve Hill
Wesleyan Methodist Chapel

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Bishops Cleeve from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Gloucestershire is available to browse.


Online maps of Bishops Cleeve are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Gloucestershire online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of the county of Gloucester, 1623 is available on the Heraldry page.