Do come and visit us...
Not today, of course, during this Time of Corona... But soon, when the joy of life returns, and our wonderful churches are once more open to visitors as they have been open to seekers of both truth and beauty for a 1000 years...
So, please plan, dream, imagine... And we look forward to welcoming you to the Land of the Twelve Churches.
St Mary's, Westwell: west end
TWELVE GLORIOUS CHURCHES!
Twelve glorious churches set in 30 square miles of south Cotswold natural beauty, from the north bank of the Thames at Kelmscott to St Mary's Westwell perched above the village pond. A great place to explore by car or bicycle down the country lanes, and plenty of paths to walk too. And, of course, half a dozen country pubs, some with rooms, and all with a warm welcome.
Do come and visit The Land of the Twelve Churches
St Peter's, ALVESCOT: An ancient church which even now sometimes reveals further Norman and Saxon stones, and even Roman bricks in the masonry. Originally there was no tower, but during the 15th century, John Bonde gave 100 sheep to pay for its building. During the 1870s Messrs Slater and Carpenter (no, really!) replaced the roof, and you can see the original roof corbels marooned half way up the wall.
St Mary's, BLACK BOURTON: waiting for copy
St Peter & St Paul's, BROADWELL: waiting for copy
St Peter's, BROUGHTON POGGS: tucked away on the edge of the hamlet of Broughton Poggs, St Peter's is almost entirely medieval, but the the 18th century and later memorials to the Goodenough family (and a cracking modern one to Richard Burls) bear testament to a continuous and continuing 1000 year history. To sit in the simple calm of St Peter is a joy worth travelling for.
St Peter's FILKINS: Generally reckoned one of George Edmund Street's finest early works, and substantially unchanged since its consecration in 1857. Street, like other Gothic Revivalists liked to design the fittings and fixtures as well as the buildings themselves, and this adds to the atmosphere of 'completeness'. This Victorian gem is a great counterpoint to St Peter's Broughton Poggs only ½ mile away.
St Mary's, HOLWELL: waiting for copy
St George's, KELMSCOTT: waiting for copy
St George's, KENCOT: waiting for copy
St Matthew's, LANGFORD: waiting for copy
St Margaret's, LITTLE FARINGDON: waiting for copy
Holy Rood, SHILTON: a church of infinite medieval variety... Changed and extended during several centuries in the care of the wealthy Abbey of Beaulieu, until Henry VIII fell out with e Pope in the 1530s. Thereafter, Holy Rood changed little until the Victorian 'improvers' added a wooden rood screen, and scraped off the internal plaster. There is a finely carved medieval font, vestigial paintwork on the arches, and some bale tombs in the churchyard.
St Mary's, WESTWELL: waiting for copy
Here's a suggestion...
TWELVE GLORIOUS CHURCHES!
Here's a possible route round all of our Twelve Glorious Churches. Of course you can start and finish where you like around the route, stop or not and explore any of the churches (they all welcome visitors!) and villages... And of course there are the five lovely pubs to stop at too! Plus Cotswold Wildlife Park and Cotswold Woollen Weavers...
The c. 30 mile circuit avoids any main roads (eg the A361), and backtracks as little as possible.
What a day you'll have! Do let us know how you get on.
If you would like a copy of the church descriptions, map, and tour guide,
please get in touch at
and we will happily email you one.
We start at Broughton Poggs (B Poggs on the map.) From the wood in which nestles St Peter’s Broughton Poggs, drive back into Filkins, and turn left opposite The Old Bakehouse, under the A361, and left on the Barrington Road. After about 3m take the third right to St Marys Westwell. Continue to St Mary’s Holwell, and onwards to the small crossroads, where we turn left, past the entrance gates of the Cotswold Wildlife Park, across the A361, and on to Shilton.
Go right down through the village and turn right just before the ford, and round ‘the triangle’ (passing Holy Rood Shilton). Then half way up the hill, left towards Alvescot, crossing the B4477 on the way into the village. Turn off by the school to find St Peter’s Alvescot, and then back into the village, left towards Black Bourton turn, and left, and left again onto the lane to St Mary’s Black Bourton.
Back onto the B4020, and left towards Clanfield. Just before the village, turn right on the ‘gated road’, over the old railway bridge, and eventually left opposite Colston Tennis Club towards Langford. Left at the Old Crown, past St Matthews Langford, over the railway again, and right opposite the new farm barn towards Kelmscott, turning right as you enter the village, and past St George’s Kelmscott.
Turn left, then right across the flat river valley to St Margaret’s Little Faringdon. Backtrack slightly, and left to Langford past the village school. Take a left by the war memorial, and right by the Old Crown (the only re-visited road) eventually past St Peter & Paul Broadwell. Then left opposite Astall Farm and past St George’s Kencot, and left onto the B4477. Turn right along the Clock Round, and left through Filkins to St Peter’s Filkins. Enjoy the jaunt!