St Michael and All Angels Church, Badminton

St Michael and All Angels is a Grade I listed church[1] on the estate of the Duke of Beaufort in the village of Great Badminton, Gloucestershire, England. Attached to the Duke of Beaufort's residence, Badminton House, it is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Gloucester.[2] Although within the grounds of the Badminton Estate, the church is owned, and its upkeep met, by the Badminton's Parochial Church Council, rather than the Ducal estate. There is a smaller church of the same name in the neighbouring hamlet of Little Badminton.[3]

St Michael and All Angels


The current church was built in 1785 by Charles Evans in the style of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, in miniature, but with a plain tower. The medieval predecessor church, which was then demolished, lay slightly further to the west.[4]

The nave of the church has a tunnel-vault with ornamental panelled plasterwork and classical four-bay arcades and aisles with four small saucer domes. The chancel and apse were added in 1875 to accommodate the elaborate monument to Henry Somerset, 1st Duke of Beaufort by Grinling Gibbons.[4] The 1st Duke was buried alongside his ancestors in the Beaufort Chapel in St George's Chapel, Windsor,[5][6] but the monument was moved to Badminton in 1878.[7]

Within the church, the pulpit and box pews date from 1785, while the organ case, choir stalls, reredos and communion rail were made by Temple Moore in 1908. The eight windows for the aisles, four on each side, have stained glass of 1846-1847 by Thomas Willement with heraldic designs, blue borders, and badges in the yellow of the Beaufort livery.[4]

Somerset family tombsEdit

St Michael and All Angels serves as the principal burial place of the Somerset family of Badminton House. Until about 1910, the Dukes and Duchesses of Beaufort and distinguished relatives were buried in a vault under the church. The later Dukes and Duchesses were interred in the tiny churchyard.[8]

Within the church, the monument to the 1st Duke of Beaufort (1629–1700) by Grinling Gibbons is now on the north side of the chancel, and consists of an effigy of the Duke in Garter robes, reclining on a sarcophagus and a plinth with relief of St George and the Dragon. There are twin Corinthian columns with embossed shafts, acanthus frieze, cornice with flaming urns, and the Duke's arms and supporters. At the top, 25 ft from the ground, is a tasselled cushion supporting a coronet; on the plinth are full-length female figures of Justice and Truth. Above the Duke's effigy, parted curtains show the heavenly host with palms and crowns. The Latin inscription displays the names of his family and the many offices he held.[4] Two of his successors, the 2nd Duke (1684–1714) and the 3rd Duke (1707–1745), are commemorated in the East end of the north aisle by a splendid monument by John Michael Rysbrack, signed and dated 1754. The two dukes are depicted in Roman costume, one standing, the other seated on the sarcophagus and holding a medallion. Decorative, asymmetrical drapery hangs down over the sarcophagus.[4]

Burials of members of the Somerset family in and near the church include:[8]


  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSeccombe, Thomas (1898). "Somerset, Henry". In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 53. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 242–245.

  1. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1155177)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  2. ^ St Michael and All Angels Church, Great Badminton, 19 July 2013
  3. ^ St Michael and All Angels Church, Little Badminton, 19 July 2013
  4. ^ a b c d e St. Michael and All Angels, Great Badminton (webpage), 19 July 2013
  5. ^ St George's Chapel, Windsor: The Beaufort Chantry Archived 2014-11-24 at the Wayback Machine, 19 July 2013
  6. ^ For the inscription see Ashmole's Berkshire, iii. 163 (Seccombe 1898, p. 245)
  7. ^ Seccombe 1898, p. 245.
  8. ^ a b St Michael and All Angels Churchyard at Find a Grave, 18 July 2013

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 51°32′39″N 2°16′48″W / 51.5443°N 2.2800°W / 51.5443; -2.2800