Leigh Village

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The Chancel

It may be small, but it is still a real church on consecrated ground with room for a congregation (albeit in single figures). One service is held at the Grade II* building annually, usually in July.

Since the year 1250, this used to be the location of the parish church. But in 1896 it was decided by the local church authority - despite campaigns from various individuals and groups including the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings - to dismantle the religious building close to the Waterhay track in The Leigh, and move it to a more accessible location next to the village school on Swan Lane.

This process involved numbering each stone individually, loading them onto carts, taking them on a half mile journey and then reassembling the building on the new site. The name of the church, All Saints, was unchanged.

For some reason, part of the thirteenth century building was left behind - and that is what remains at The Chancel today. The site can be accessed by walkers all year round (suitable clothing may be required).

As you can imagine, a decision requiring such man-power over a hundred years ago would not have been taken lightly, and was weighed up as the most practical solution for saving the church, which had fallen into a bad state structurally and was difficult to access in the winter months because it is enclosed by marshy ground.

The surrounding graveyard has been left undisturbed. It is home to an abundance of wild flowers, shrubs and wildlife. In  the summer you can find orchids and quaking grass with dozens of varieties of moths and butterflies.

Getting There

You'll only find this fascinating building if you're on foot, hidden away on soggy farmland. Heading south on Waterhay look for signs to The Chancel. It has also been referred to, quite aptly, us ‘The Lonely Church’.

Clearing the Chancel ready for summer service

It is that time of year again.  The Chancel services are on Sunday 30th July.  As usual we need volunteers to help get the churchyard ready, so anyone with a strimmer, rake or fork (no mulching mowers) would be more than welcome to come and help!!  The more the merrier and takes up a lot less time.

Looking at 6pm on Monday 24th or if the weather is unkind Wednesday 26h at 6pm.

Please let anyone else you think might be interested know.

Our outdoor services in the graveyard around Leigh old chancel are July 30th 10 am and 6 pm. All welcome and if it's a nice evening, bring a bottle and glasses, to help us all chat together after the 6 pm service. We hope the sun shines, if wet we'll use Leigh church.

Chancel stars in Poldark

To millions of Poldark fans, this derelict old chapel is known as The Old Meeting House.

But yes, it is indeed our very own Chancel!

Filming took place last winter, and the building made it’s first appearance in Episode 3 of the latest series.

Poldark is mostly filmed on location in Cornwall, however several sites local to us have been regularly used, including Chavenage House near Tetbury and the Royal Agricultural University buildings in Cirencester.

Update - June 2017

Unfortunately the decision has been taken to lock the Chancel after parts of the alter rail were broken and strewn across the floor.

The vandalism was found on June 10th 2017. The Police and Churches Conservation Trust have been informed.

Tourist Information Chancel Poldark1.jpg Chancel Poldark2.jpg
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