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The Church of St James the Great

Abson is a small village and parish in the Pucklechurch Hundred of Gloucestershire. The parish is alternatively known as Wick and Abson.


Abson is located on a minor road between the villages of Wick and Pucklechurch. It is a mainly nucleated in pattern with some additional outlying farms and settlements. The centre of the village is a small village green and the church.


The name Abson is a corruption of Abbots Ton - a place belonging to the Abbot. This was the Abbot of Glastonbury, as the manor of Pucklechurch (including Abson and other surrounding villages) was given to the Abbot after the murder of King Edmund at neighbouring Pucklechurch.[1] In the 16th century the village was called Abston, and was since shortened to Abson.[2]

Blue Lodge, one of the houses, was once the home of Anna Sewell, author of Black Beauty. Whilst staying there she witnessed a man killed by a cart and this was incorporated into the novel.[3]

The Church

Abson is centred on the church. It is dedicated to St James the Great, and is a Grade-I listed building, as are the churchyard walls (with distinctive Bristol Black coping) and many of the graves. The neighbouring farmhouse, stables and barn (which have been converted into homes) are all Grade-II listed.[4]

There are two fragments of carved knotwork masonry on the walls as well as a Sheela na Gig carving of a male figure high on the East wall.[5] This figure is believed to date from Saxon or early Norman times.[6]

The church contains an early 17th-century pulpit with a sounding board and 18th-century woodwork.[7]

The belltower contains six bells which are still rung by hand.[8]


  1. Pucklechurch Then And Now
  2. Richard Kent (compiler), Doynton Local History Group Booklet #2 (Feb. 1990), p. 12.
  3. About Anna Sewell
  4. Listed buildings in South Gloucestershire
  5. Sheela na Gig at Abson
  6. E Mason & D Mason, Avon Villages (Hale, London, 1982), p. 78.
  7. E Mason & D Mason, Avon Villages (Hale, London, 1982), p. 79.
  8. Abson church bellringing

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Abson)