“Probably the finest Georgian parish church in England, outside London.”
Donald Buttress LVO OBE D.Litt MA FSA ARIBA
Surveyor Emeritus of Westminster Abbey
The Parish Church of St. Michael and All Angels at Great Badminton is a grade one listed building in the Diocese of Gloucester. The church is located at the south-eastern corner of the Duke of Beaufort’s seat, Badminton House. Although the church sits in Badminton House’s grounds, it does not belong to the Duke of Beaufort or his Estate, but is very much the parish church and is the responsibility of the parochial church council (PCC).
It is not until one steps through the doors of the church that the true splendour of the building becomes apparent. The eye feasts upon the wealth of sights as one looks down the length of the nave; past the rows of chandeliers; past the tall box pews and their accompanying armorial stained glass windows; past the dominating pulpit and on to the Duke of Beaufort’s standard flying from the entrance to the apse. Flanking the apse are the enormous ornate monuments to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Dukes of Beaufort by Rysbrack, with the vast Grinling Gibbons monument to the 1st Duke of Beaufort facing the gilt-piped organ. Finally the vision settles on to the altar with its gilt reredo surmounted by angels. This is as splendid a sight as one will find in the greatest churches of the land.
Taking time to look upwards, one sees the delightful plasterwork of the ceiling, along with the gentle domes of the ceiling of the side aisles. The interior of the church is a work of art throughout.
However, there is much work to be done to keep the interior looking as fine as it should do. There are signs of water ingress in a number of places with staining and peeling paint. To stop this worsening we need to spend significant time and money in restoring and replacing the stonework on the exterior of the building. Cracks and missing stone are allowing water to seep through into the church. The Great Badminton Church Restoration Fund was established to help raise funds to stop any further deterioration to the fabric of the building and to restore it to its former glories for future generations to enjoy.
To see a more detailed description of some of the works that are needed, please visit our Restoration page. You can also see pictures of the damage to various bits of the church by viewing the galleries on The Church pages.