Kempley, a parish in Gloucestershire, adjacent to Herefordshire, 5 miles NW of Newent, and 2 W of Dymock station on the G.W.R. Post town, Gloucester; money order and telegraph office, Dymock. Acreage, 1593; population, 272. The manor and much of the land belong to Earl Beauchamp. Stonehouse, formerly the manor house, which was a large building of the 16th century, has been pulled down and a modern farmhouse erected on its site. It contained some fine old carving of the time of James I., now removed to Madresfield Court, the seat of Earl Beauchamp. Cider and perry are largely made. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol; net value, £14: 4: with residence. Patron, Earl Beauchamp. The church is an ancient Norman building of the 12th century. The chancel has some interesting mural paintings of coeval date with the church, representing the vision of St John as recorded in the Apocalypse. They are considered to be the oldest in England, and were discovered in 1872 beneath several coats of whitewash. There are also some more mural paintings of a later date in the nave. A fine Norman arch divides the nave and the chancel. There are no aisles, and the tower is Early English. A bequest by Mrs Elizabeth Pyndar of £3 to the vicar of the parish for administering Holy Communion once a month is almost unique for its date, 1751. There is a school largely supported by Earl Beauchamp, and a Baptist chapel.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Poor Law union||Newent|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register of St. Mary's dates from the year 1637.
The Gloucestershire Parish Registers are available online at Ancestry, in association with Gloucestershire Archives.
Church of England
St. Edward the Confessor
The church of St. Edward the Confessor, built in 1902-3, at the cost of Earl Beauchamp, who also furnished the design, is of local stone, and consists of nave with north chapel, porch, vestry and a tower containing 2 bells: the whole of the timber used in the constrnction is of oak grown in the parish: there is a rood beam, carved and painted with figures, and three carvings in stone, two on the exterior of the church and one in the porch: there are 160 sittings.
St. Mary (parish church)
The church of St. Mary is an edifice of stone in the Norman style, consisting of chancel, nave, south porch, and a western tower containing 3 bells: the chancel arch and vaulting, the walls of chancel and nave, and the splays of various windows are covered with paintings, discovered on the restoration of the church in 1872; those in the chancel probably date from about the year 1130, others in the nave and south aisle are of the 13th and 15th Centuries, and there are blue letter texts on the west wall of the nave of the 15th or early 16th century: there is a marble monument to the Pyndar family, dating from 1721, and a small stained east window to Mrs. Drummond, d. 1876: there are 120 sittings.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Kempley from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Kempley)
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Gloucestershire is available to browse.
Online maps of Kempley are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Gloucestershire online:
- Gloucester Citizen
- Gloucester Journal
- Gloucestershire Chronicle
- Gloucestershire Echo
- Cheltenham Chronicle
- Cheltenham Looker-On
The Visitation of the county of Gloucester, 1623 is available on the Heraldry page.