Hailes Parish Church



Monday 2 April 2001



We make a short visit to an interesting 12th Century church a few miles north of Cheltenham.  Hailes is better known for the ruins of an old abbey, which is signposted as a tourist attraction, and there is also a fruit farm, shop and tea-room nearby.


But today we looked at the medieval church, which stands on the left of the road just before the entrance to the abbey site.





The building is of stone under a stone tiled roof, and is small and simple, with just nave and chancel. 


It is a working church.


A single bell hangs in the bell tower.








The only extension to the building is the south porch and doorway, through which we enter.


Inside, there is a pervasive smell of damp masonry, but the building is relatively light, as there is minimal stained glass in the windows.










The aisle and screen, looking east.




Most of the plaster walls bear faded decorations; notably, on the south wall, there is a hunting scene, with the hounds about to set upon their prey. 


The remainder of the murals have more traditional religious subjects.











At the west end, a lead-lined font.


Around it, the floor is partly covered with old ceramic tiles.





The altar and east window.  The floor around the altar is also tiled. 


The niches at either side of the altar are painted.










The wooden pulpit.  (A later addition.)







We conclude by looking around the churchyard.



Though many of the graves are old and overgrown, some are recent.






We leave on a poignant note.  The flowers beside the two old tombs decorate the grave of one of the victims of Fred West, the notorious mass murderer from Gloucester.  As a girl, she had attended the same school as Teresa.






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