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The Grade I Listed Saint Mary de Lode Church is believed by some to be on the site of the first Christian church in Britain. On Archdeacon Street Gloucester Gloucestershire.

The word Lode is from the old English word for water course or ferry and in this case it refers to a ferry that once crossed a branch of the River Severn to the west of the church which no longer exists. In 1979 archaeological excavations in the nave showed that the church is built over two Roman buildings. The first probably a baths building erected in the second century was destroyed in the fifth century and replaced by a timber mausoleum containing three burials. The mausoleum was destroyed by fire and followed by a sequence of buildings interpreted as churches culminating in the medieval church of St Mary. It is suggested that the original church was a post-Roman British foundation before the Anglo-Saxons occupied this area. The earliest reference to a church in written records dates from the late eleventh century.

It then comprised a nave chancel and tower which was destroyed by fire in 1190. A new chancel was built in the thirteenth century. A local legend first recorded in the eighteenth century holds that the church was the burial place of the legendary King Lucius first Christian king of Britain who was said to have established a bishopric in Gloucester in the second century A.D. This legend combined with the results of the archaeological work has apparently inspired the local belief that the church was built on the site of an ancient Roman templ and was the first Christian church in Britain. A tomb effigy in the north wall of the chancel formerly pointed out as marking the grave of King Lucius is of fourteenth-century date and shows a tonsured priest perhaps William de Chamberleyn who was vicar in 1302-5.

In March 1643 and also in 1646 during the English Civil War the church was used as a prison to hold royalist soldiers captured by Sir William Waller and Lieut. Col. Edward Massey. The church has a Norman central tower of about 1190. The nave was rebuilt in 1826 in early Gothic Revival style with cast iron columns by James Cooke a local monumental mason.

A Norman arch leads from the nave into the tower which is barrel-vaulted and connected through a thirteenth-century arch with the chancel. The chancel was begun like the tower in about 1190 but extended and vaulted in the thirteenth century. Further restorations to the church took place in the nineteent and the west part of the nave was converted for use as a church hall in 1980. There is an octagonal pulpit apparently made up of fifteenth-century carved wooden panels and an eighteenth-century organ brought in 1972 from the now-redundant church of St Nicholas Westgate Street. There are stained glass windows commemorating the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars and the Gloucester poet Ivor Gurney. In the grounds is a monument to Bishop John Hooper.

Tags:   Gloucester Gloucestershire West Midlands Midlands England English UK United Kingdom GB Great Britain Britain British West Mercia Saint Mary de Lode Saint Mary de Lode Church St Mary de Lode St Mary de Lode Church church chapel worship religion Christ Christian Christianity Grade I Listed Grade I Listed Building Listed Building Archdeacon Street St. Mary Before the Gate of St. Peter St. Mary Broad Gate St. Mary De Port Saint Mary Before the Gate of Saint Peter Saint Mary Broad Gate Saint Mary De Port Gloucestershire Hussars poet Ivor Gurney monument Bishop John Hooper King Lucius first Christian king of Britain

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A grainy depiction of Gloucester Cathedral's cloisters.

Tags:   Gloucester Cathedral Gloucester Gloucestershire cathedral church cloisters grainy ghostly architecture gothic medieval middle ages England UK

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Herbert Warehouse, Kimberley Warehouse and Phillpotts Warehouse on the Victoria Docks on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, in Gloucester, Gloucestershire.

Conceived in the Canal Mania period of the late 18th century, the Gloucester and Berkeley Ship Canal scheme (as it was originally named) was started by architect and civil engineer Robert Mylne. In 1793 an Act of Parliament was obtained authorising the raising of a total of £200,000. The project rapidly encountered financial difficulties - to such an extent that Mylne left the project in 1798. By half way through 1799 costs had reached £112,000 but only 5½ miles of the canal had been com-pleted. Robert Mylne's role was taken over by James Dadford who had originally been engaged as resident engineer on the project in 1795. Lack of funds resulted in the company ceasing to employ Dadford in 1800.

Between 1800 and 1810 various attempts were made to raise money to allow further building but they came to nothing. Moneys from tolls and rents allowed for some improvements to be made to the basin at Gloucester in 1813.

From 1817 onwards the Poor Employment Act meant it was possible for the company to loan mon-ey from the Exchequer Bill Loan Commission. This along with further share issues provided enough money to bring the scheme to completion. After these significant delays, the canal opened in April 1827. In the course of its construction the canal had cost £440,000.

By the middle of the nineteenth century it proved possible to pay a small dividend, the debt to the Exchequer Bill Loan Commission having been repaid with the help of a loan of £60,000 from the Peli-can Life Assurance Company. In 1871 the last of the debts incurred in the course of funding the canal including the Pelican Life Assurance Company loan were paid off.

In 1905 traffic exceeded 1 million tons for the first time. Oil was added to the list of cargoes carried by the canal, with bulk oil carriers taking fuel to storage tanks sited to the south of Gloucester. In 1937 the canal was navigated by the submarines HMS H33 and HMS H49.

The canal was nationalized in 1948. At the same time the Sharpness Dock Police which had policed the dock since 1874 were absorbed into the British Transport Police. In 1955 the Board of Survey of Canals and Inland Waterways released a report that, among other things, described the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal as carrying substantial traffic and offering scope for commercial development.

By the mid 1980s commercial traffic had largely come to a halt with the canal being given over to pleasure cruisers with the exception of a few passages by grain barges. The oil trade ceased in 1985 with the closure of the petroleum depot at Quedgeley.

Tags:   Gloucester Gloucestershire West Midlands Midlands England English UK United Kingdom GB Great Britain Britain British West Mercia Gloucester and Sharpness Canal Gloucester and Berkeley Canal Gloucester and Berkeley Ship Canal canal waterway reflection bridge Robert Mylne James Dadford Poor Employment Act Exchequer Bill Loan Commission Pelican Life As-surance Company Sharpness Dock Police British Transport Police Board of Survey of Canals and Inland Waterways The Docks Gloucester Docks Victoria Docks Herbert Warehouse Kimberley Warehouse Phillpotts Warehouse

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Musical angel in stained glass, Gloucester Cathedral.

Best viewed in light box, please press 'L'

Tags:   Gloucester Cathedral Gloucestershire Gloucester cathedral angel music musical instrument church stained glass window playing England UK England UK musician

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Gloucester

Tags:   Transport Maritime British Isles England Gloucestershire Canals + Waterways United Kingdom


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