Fretherne – St Mary’s

About this churchyard

St Mary’s is a small church and churchyard in the rural area of the Severn Vale.  The current church was built in the 1840s and is the third known church building built on the site over the past 700 years.  The church is an unusual example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture and is little altered from when it was built.  It has been described as Gloucestershire’s mini cathedral as it is very ornate.

The churchyard is open for burials so our gravestones date from the 1720s to the current day.  There are several rather ornate Victorian memorials from the Darell family who were the major funders of the new Victorian building.

The churchyard is actively managed as a wildlife friendly area and as a church we are working towards our Bronze Eco church award.

We have several mature trees (firs, an unpruned yew, and a lime tree) together with our clipped yews along our pathway.  Our spring display of primroses can be, weather permitting, very good.  Generally, the primroses bloom from Christmas to March or even April in a cold spring.

During the mowing season our grass is cut at different lengths to give a wide variety of habitats.  We take part in Plant Life’s No Mow project over the months of May, June, and July where areas are left unmown to see what blooms.  Over 30 species of wildflowers have been identified including selfheal, bird’s foot trefoil, oxeye daises, buttercups, lady’s bedstraw and creeping Jenny.

2021 species list


Key Features
  • Wildflower area
  • Wildlife haven
  • Peaceful space for quiet reflection
  • Memorials with famous or infamous connections
  • Stones with stories
  • Fascinating monuments
  • Birders’ Paradise
  • Lichen haven
  • War Memorial


Fretherne Church
Arlingham Road

Visitor Information
Opening Times

The Churchyard is accessible at all times.  The Church building is usually open on Wednesdays and Sundays, 9.30 am to 4 pm, or by arrangement at other times.

Contact details

Jane Cleaver, Churchwarden
[email protected]


The churchyard has a slight incline from the road up to the church, the main path is tarmac leading into a chippings pathway around the church building.  Areas of long grass have paths mown through.

Parking & Transport

There is  parking for up to two cars outside the church gates.  Otherwise, cars can be parked in the lane opposite.

The nearest bus stop is at Frampton-on-Severn about a mile away by road, or 2 miles if using the section of the Severn Way footpath (re-join road at the Hock Ditch).

Nearest railway station is Cam & Dursley (about 10 miles away).


Frampton-on-Severn has 2 pubs and a café.

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