St Kenelm's Church, Sapperton, Gloucestershire
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With its spire visible from the surrounding countryside, the picturesque St Kenelm’s Church sits in the heart of a typically charming Cotwolds village.
Walking into the church, you are immediately struck by the unusual light and airy interior – a wonderful example of early Georgian design with vast windows overlooking the churchyard.
As you enter, there are a series of beautifully carved and highly unusual Jacobian pew-ends depicting males and female figures. Not originally from the church, they were donated by The 1st Earl of Bathurst from the banqueting hall of the nearby Sapperton Manor House when it was demolished in 1730.
St Kenelm’s is renowned for its collection of ornate memorials dating from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The chancel houses several 17th-century wall tablets and one dated 1584 which was made for the Poole family. The finest of these memorials made for the Poole family is that of Sir Henry Poole (d. 1616) and his wife Anne.
In the east wall of south transept there is a marble and stone monument to Sir Robert Atkyns junior (d.1711), a historian and politician who was best known for his publication 'The Ancient and Present State of Gloster-shire' (1712)- the county’s first printed history. The monument by Edward Stanton shows Atkyns reclining on one elbow, with elaborate carved structure above and long inscription at the back. The monument shows Atkyns left arm placed on a closed book- most likely his life’s work, mentioned in the epitaph and published a year after his death.
Whilst there is evidence that there has been a church on the site since 1190 times, the current church was largely rebuilt in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
Due to the historic nature of our buildings, only a very small number have heating, running water or toilet facilities. The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor.