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A Brief History of Gretton Old Church and Christ Church
The earliest reference to a church in Gretton is in the Abbey’s Landboc and is to its chaplain Thomas during the reign of Henry III [1216-72]. He would have officiated in a chapel of ease, dependent on the parish church of St Peter. Since the Abbey’s records were only then being reconsitituted after the fire, it may well have been in existence even earlier. A C19th picture shows the church to be in a sad state of disrepair, which no doubt moved Emma Dent to pay for the construction of Christ Church on another site and in 1868 the new church was dedicated and the nave of the old one demolished. The site of the old church is still visible, the foundations of the nave are exposed and the C15th tower is still standing. Although ivy covers much of the stone work, masons’ marks show that it was constructed from stones cut by the same masons who built St Peter’s, St Mary’s Sudeley and the Castle itself, though its Master Mason clearly lacked the same talent. Perhaps the stones cut by Ralph Boteler’s masons were surplus to requirements and he donated them to Gretton, giving a date for its construction of about 1460.
Here too, the earliest reference is in the Abbey’s Landboc in about 1194. It mentions Robert, cleric of Greet, who is presumed to have officiated in a private chapel of the Dastyn family, who from 1171 held a small manor in Greet from the de Sudeleys. A further reference occurs in 1391 in the register of Henry Wakefield, Bishop of Worcester. It records that William Fleter was ordained sub-deacon to the title of John Dastyn of Greet. The building was demolished in 1815, by which time it had ceased to be a chapel and had been used for agricultural purposes, probably since the Reformation,