UK Genealogy Archives logo
DISCLOSURE: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we may receive a commission.

Kempsford, Gloucestershire

Historical Description

Kempsford, a village and a parish in Gloucestershire. The village stands on the river Thames, at the boundary with Wilts, adjacent to the Thames and Severn Canal, 3½ miles S of Fairford station on the Oxford and Fairford branch of the G.W.R., and 10 N of Swindon. It is supposed to have occupied the site of a Roman settlement, and has a post and money order office under Fairford (S.O.); telegraph office, Fairford. The parish contains also the hamlets of Dunfield, Horcott, and Whelford. Acreage, 4953; population, 790. The manor belonged to Earl Harold, was held at Domesday by Emulf de Hesding, passed to the Chaworths, the Despen-cers, the Dukes of Lancaster, the Thynnes, and the Lords Coleraine. A manor house was built on it by the Thynnes on the site of the old castle belonging to the Duke of Lancaster; its place is now occupied by the manor farm. A battle was fought here in 800 between the Hwicii of Gloucestershire and the Walsati of Wilts. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol. Patron, the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol. The church was built in the llth century, altered about the middle of the 14th century by Henry Duke of Lancaster, and has a remarkably fine central tower. It has been restored. There is a chapel of ease at Whelford, and a Roman Catholic chapel at Horcott.

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 parishKempsford St. Mary 
Poor Law unionCirencester 

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

Church Records

The register of St. Mary the Virgin dates from the year 1578.

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


Church of England

St. Mary the Virgin (parish church)

The church of St. Mary the Virgin is an edifice of stone in the Norman and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel with south aisle, lofty nave, and a remarkably fine central tower with pinnacles, containing a clock and 6 bells: the church, which is richly adorned with stained windows, was partially restored and a chancel aisle added in 1858, and the restoration has since been completed during the periods 1885-7 and 1889-91, at a total cost of £2,560: there are about 400 sittings. An acre of land, the gift of the trustees of the Faulkner estate, has been added to the churchyard and inclosed with a wall and railing, put up at the expense of the late John Hampson Jones esq.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Kempsford from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Kempsford 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:

Villages, Hamlets, &c


Visitations Heraldic

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

RegionSouth West
Postal districtGL7