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ST PETERS CHURCH

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Remains of the former church include the tower and porch. Medieval with 15th century porch, the tower was rebuilt in 1849. The church was demolished in 1952. Excavations on the site by Capt H S Gracie in 1959 revealed the remains of a Roman villa, a Saxon cemetery and medieval churches. Roman occupation was thought to have commenced in the late 1st or early 2nd centuries, and to have continued well into the 4th century. A probable boundary ditch was found to have been filled in and built over in the 3rd century by extensions to a villa presumed to have existed to the north and west of the site and to have extended outside the churchyard on the north side, where Roman pottery and groups of tesserae in their original matrices have been found. Above the Roman floors was a deposit of black earth containing Saxon potsherds, and in this and dug into the Roman level was a row of graves, all orientated E to W and filled with the same deposit. No certain evidence of a building of this date could be discerned, but a college of prebendaries was said to have existed at Frocester before the Conquest, and the application of the term "old minster" to St. Peter's Church in a 14th century document could denote the existence there in Saxon times of a community of secular clergy. A large church built early in the 12th century was demolished in the 13th century apart from the tower, and a narrower one erected, taking advantage of the Roman footings. 100 years later it was enlarged, but by 1849 had fallen into decay and was again rebuilt. Finds from the site, including Roman pottery mainly of the 3rd and 4th centuries and coins of Marcus Aurelius and Constantine I, are now in Stroud Museum. A possible rectangular feature north of the churchyard can be seen on aerial photographs.

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