Preston Parish Church
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Picture, Preston Church
The porch, parts of the chancel and north wall date from the original structure.  The square-set Norman doorway has a simple tympanum showing a boldly carved “AGNUS DEI” (Lamb of God) carved in stone.  That lamb, with its right forefoot, holds a Maltese cross instead of the usual flag and faces east.  There are only two other similar tympana in Gloucestershire - at Upleaden and at St Mary de Crypt, Gloucester.  It is said by some to be of Saxon workmanship and it’s possible that it was saved from the old church. (Return to Top)

In a window in the south wall are the remains of some fourteenth century glass showing part of a crucifix and the figures of St. John and St. Mary. The stained glass was not painted as was the later method, but colours were melted into the glass as it was being made. (Return to Top)

In 1315, Walter de Maydstone, Bishop of Worcester, consecrated the high altar during his tour of churches in the Midlands for that purpose. (Return to Top)
Restoration and Enlargement
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The church was restored in 1859 and a small new aisle added. In 1896, stone was taken from quarries at Hazards Farm (now a ruin) to build the vestry. This stone was the gift of Sir Robert Parry of Highnam Court. (Return to Top)

The copper weathercock blew down some years ago and was found to be over a hundred years old and weighed 16.5 lbs (7.5kg). (Return to Top)

Although Preston belonged to St. Peter's Abbey of Gloucester from Saxon times, it was in the diocese of Hereford until the abbey was dissolved at the Reformation and St. Peter's became the cathedral church of the new diocese of Gloucester. (Return to Top)
Memorials
Picture, John Masefield Memorial
John Masefield

On the north side of the side aisle is a faded memorial to Richard Rich, probably Anne’s son.  He was known locally as a scholar of some distinction. (Return to Top)

On the south side of the west end is a memorial to Sir Thomas and lady Anne Hanbury.  Sir Thomas was born at Preston and was formerly married to Elizabeth Catsby.  Anne was the daughter of Sir Nathanial Powell. The next occupant of Preston Court was William Pauncefoote of a Newent family.  There are several memorials to the Pouncefootes in the chancel and one on the west wall of the side aisle. Next to the door is a plaque to the Poet Laureate, John Masefield, who was baptised here. (Return to Top)

The stained glass window on the west wall is in memory of Robert Churchill who was killed in the war. Preston Court was leased from the church until it was sold in the mid 20th Century. (Return to Top)