Holy Trinity Brimscombe – A Brief History

Brimscombe was originally served by the parish church of Minchinhampton, but in 1837, a meeting was held in The Ship Inn ‘To consider the best means of erecting a Church at Brimscombe’. Formal consent for this was later signed by the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol.


The Foundation Stone of our church was laid on 6th June 1839 and we will be celebrating the 175th anniversary of that occasion this year (2014). The building was then consecrated on 7th April 1840, Rev Charles Whatley being licenced Minister of Holy Trinity Church Brimscombe, on the nomination of David Ricardo Esq.

The nearby Church School was built at the same time as the church. It was sold to the Nelson Trust in 1997 when the new school was built lower down the Hill.

The original gift of the Living of Brimscombe was in the hands of the Ricardo family, Lords of the Manor of Minchinhampton, until c.1895. Following other changes the Living is now in the gift of Simeon Trustees.

Due to the shape of the land, the church was built the ‘wrong way round’, to fit onto the site. (Various local legends give other reasons!) The nave, normally at the east end of a church, faces the west; and the west door to the east!

The original seating was in pews for which there was a charge, whilst some were ‘Free’, but this was changed in the 1880s to the present open seats, during the first general rearrangement, when the West door was also opened up.

Stained Glass windows are memorials to previous churchwardens, parishioners, and the most recent one above the pulpit, to Rev Michael Gee, Vicar here 1967 – 1980. Photographs of previous vicars are kept in the Vestry. There are a number of memorials to previous vicars and their families on the nave and chancel walls. A Baptismal Roll shows the names of children baptised here since 1960.

The organ, noted as being of very good tone, with it’s accompanying organ chamber, was installed by public subscription commemorating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It replaced a smaller one which was originally in the gallery.  In the days when a robed choir accompanied services, choir stalls faced each other across the chancel, by the organ.  Worship is now lead by the talented church Band, and the organ is used in most services.

The Tower contains the clock which chimes the quarters, and strikes the hours. The same bells are used by the carillon played by one person before services.

In 1950, the church was struck by lightening; the resulting fire badly damaging the roof; services had to be held elsewhere until repairs were completed some eighteen months later.

In 1985 considerable alterations took place, choir stalls removed, the chancel and aisle carpeted, pews removed from the back of the church to make  an open gathering space, a kitchen for serving refreshments, and toilet facilities improving the usefulness of this area.

The gallery, previously containing raked tiers of pews, was transformed in 2004 into the current Upper Room, used for Sunday Club, and other meetings.

There is no more space now for burials in the churchyard which was extended once in 1920, a new cemetery was opened lower down Brimscombe Hill in 1930.