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Tetbury, Gloucestershire

Historical Description

Tetbury, a small market-town, the head of a poor-law union and petty sessional division, and a parish in Gloucestershire. The town stands on a rising-ground, near the source of the Lower Avon and the border of Wiltshire, 5 miles NW of Malmesbury, 10 SW of Cirencester, and 92 by railway and 97 by road from London. It has a head post office and a station at the terminus of a short branch of the G.W.R. from Kemble. It is supposed to occupy the site of an ancient military station, and Roman coins and fragments of weapons have been found. A Cistercian monastery, afterwards called flacket Court, was founded here in the 12th century. The town consists of four principal streets, meeting in the centre of the market-place, and contains a town-hall and market-house, an assembly room, a bank, a cottage hospital, a dispensary, a police station, and a workhouse. The parish church of St Mary Magdalene is a large modern building in the Decorated style. It was erected in 1781 on the site of the old Norman church, and retained the tower and spire of that church; the tower was rebuilt in 1893. St Saviour's 'Church is a chapel of ease erected in 1848. There are Baptist, Calvinistic Methodist, Congregational, and Primitive Methodist chapels, and a place of worship for the Brethren. Markets are held on Wednesdays, cattle markets on the second Wednesday in the month, and fairs on Ash Wednesday, the third Wednesday in July, and the Wednesday before or after 10 Nov. for cattle, &c., and hiring fairs on the Wednesday before 5 April and the Wednesday before and after 3.1 Oct. The town is governed by an urban district council, and is a seat of petty sessions. The parish includes the tithings of Charlton, Doughton, Elmstree, and Upton. Acreage, 4627; population, 3057. The manor belongs to trustees called " the feofees for charitable purposes." Elmstree House, Upton Grove, Highgrove, Charlton, Bartons, and the Priory are chief residences. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol; gross value, £1000 with residence.

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 parishTetbury St. Mary 
Poor Law unionTetbury 

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

Church Records

The register of St. Mary Magdalen dates from the year 1631.

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


Church of England

St. Mary Magdalen, Church Street (parish church)

The church of St. Mary Magdalen is a building of stone, in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, and an embattled western tower, with pinnacles and spire, and containing a clock and 8 bells: the original church is said to have been built by Reginald de Walerie, soon after the Norman accession, but this structure having become very much dilapidated, was taken down, with the exception of the tower and spire, about 1785, and the present building erected on the same site, at a cost of £5,000; the tower and spire were rebuilt and a new clock with chimps placed in 1890-93, at a cost of about £10,000, by W. Hamilton Yatman esq. as a memorial to his son, W. F. Hamilton Yatman, and Mr. Yatman also provided an endowment for their perpetual maintenance: in the north aisle is an altar-tomb, with recumbent effigies of a man in armour and his wife, and the date 1586, to members of the Gastrell family, whose arms appear on the tomb: there is also a monument to Sir William Romney kt. of the 17th century; and one to Thomas Alexander, 1805, a local benefactor: there are sittings for 800 persons: in the churchyard is a mutilated cross-legged effigy of a knight in armour, said to represent one of the barons Braose of Gower; the organ was restored in 1912 at a cost of £550.

St. Saviours Chapel, Church Street

The chapel of ease of the Saviour, erected in 1848, is a building of stone in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, nave of three bays, aisles, porch and a turret containing one bell: there are 200 sittings.


Baptist Chapel, Church Street

The Baptist chapel, in Church street, built in 1720, has 250 sittings.


Brethren meeting house, Union Street


Congregational Chapel, Chipping

The Congregational chapel, in the Chipping, built in 1862, has 450 sittings.


Calvinistic Chapel, The Green

The Calvinistic chapel, on the Green, erected in 1871, will seat 150 persons.

Primitive Methodist Chapel, Union Street

The Primitive Methodist chapel, in Union street, built in 1870, has 100 sittings.

Wesleyan Chapel, Long Street

The Wesleyan chapel, in Long street, will seat 150.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Tetbury from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Tetbury 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.

RegionSouth West
Postal districtGL8
Post TownTetbury