The Forest of Dean.

Bygone Days

Bygone Days

Littledean Parish Church.

The first advice one should give to anyone visiting the Parish Church is to take a very close look at the church clock. Notice anything unusual?

The Church Magazine recalls that there have been two churches on the site, the first one probably dating back to Saxon times. It is dedicated to a Saxon Prince, Ethelbert, who was murdered by Offa, King of Mercia, in the Eighth Century. Over his body Hereford Cathedral was built. Hereford Cathedral and Littledean Church are the only churches known to be dedicated to this particular saint, St. Ethelbert, but it is not known if ther is any connection between the two.

The Chancel Arch is now the only visible remains of the earlier church. The Nave, Chancel and South Porch (the latter is now the Vestry) date from 1320 AD. The North Aisle was added about 1380 AD and the Brayne Chapel in 1412 AD. The ceiling is also 15th Century and is supposed to be a copy of an original Saxon ceiling of the earliest period.

A peal of six bells was hung in the tower in 1752 AD. An old picture of the church shows it having a tall slender spire. During a gale in 1890 this was seen to be swaying and although some repairs were carried out, it was finally taken down four years later.

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