Glooston St John the Baptist

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Glooston church from the south

In 1086 the recorded population of Glooston was eight. This village increased to 177 by 1831 but has steadily declined to 54 in the 2001 census. There has been some new housing near the road to Goadby so perhaps this has increased.

But we can still safely say that this is a small village like so many others in this area of Leicestershire, and like them it is also located in beautiful countryside. It has been occupied for centuries, a Roman Villa was excavated in 1946 by the stream, and today the Brudenell family own much of the land as they do at Stonton Wyville and the surrounding area.

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The view to the nave and the west windows

The church of St John the Baptist was largely rebuilt in 1866-67, although it kept to the original plan which dates back to to 15th or 16th century as well as some of the fabric. A 13th century piscina is still housed in the nave and a 13th century font is by the southern door entrance, the northern door has been filled in. It is a small church with a nave, chancel, south porch, and a bellcote, a small graveyard which is a rather unkempt falls away on the south side into a small valley. The church is surrounded by trees and I might add crows, on both my visits they were very vocal.

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The chancel and east window of this Victorian restored church

Glooston is a very quiet peaceful village and although the church is not in such a good setting as Cranoe or the delightfull Stonton Wyville, if you are in the area its definately worth a visit – you could walk to all three in a few hours and then have a pint in between.

Inside the church has a fine beamed roof and with no tower there are two large windows in the east wall which help light the church. The pews are plain with little adornment but the whole church has a warmth about it. The church is still used for services now and then and they have a short church information sheet on its history. The church is not usually open but can be arranged if you contact the churchwardens.

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Pretty window in the south chancel wall

There is parking by the Old Barn Inn and the church is just about next door. Wheelchair access is fine with paths and no steps. As mentioned there is a pub in the village the Old Barn Inn which I did visit and the staff were very friendly, they do good food and as mentioned in the Cranoe Church post this is the only pub for a few miles and worth a visit.

Randy Pace
My sister Cheryl told me about your project to photography early churches of the area – your photographs of Glooston Church are incredible. thanks as my ancestor, Rev. John Owsley was Rector here and is buried under the altar with his wife, Dorothea Poyntz, who is a descendant of numerous Magna Charta Barons. Thanks Randy

Cheryl Frame
Thank you for all the beautiful photos. I visited the Glooston Church in 2001 with a large group of distant cousins. Our Owsley ancestor is buried behind the alter in the Glooston Church. I am writing a news article for our Owsley Family Newsletter and I am going to include your website to all the members. It is a great project you are undertaking and I really appreciate all your efforts. If you are Chris Jones taking the photos I wanted to thank you for finding Jane Davies while you were in Glooston several years ago taking photos. We are now back in contact thanks to you.


The church at Glooston is LOCKED. More information here.
Address details – St John the Baptist, Andrews Lane, Glooston, Leics. LE16 7SQ 

Author: Chris Jones

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  1. My wife’s grandmother is buried in the churchyard,when we visited some years back we could not find her grave, she did keep the local pub The Blue Bell then called,her name was Mrs Leake she lived in the village.

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    • Hi Paul,
      Who is your wife? She must be my cousin as Ivy Leak is also my Grandmother. Is she the daughter of Doug or George? My mum was Joan.
      Sandra Williams nee Neal

      Sandra Williams

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  2. My ancestor, John Owsley, is buried there.

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    • Hello Cousin.
      Walt Branson. Martha Jane Ously Was my Grandmother

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    • I believe that our family is descended from Rev. Owsley..our family history is hard to track here in the “states”..we now spell it Ousley but I feel certain that it originates from the same group. Lovely Church.

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  3. We had a nice visit to the church.
    We were lucky to find someone with the key.
    Thank You for taking good care of it.

    It was a privilege to hold the silver chalice that Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather used.

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  4. My husband and I are looking forward to a visit near Glooston next month (Feb 2020) and would love to visit the church. My great great great great great great great great great grandparents were John and Dorothy (Poyntz) Owsley. We visited there in 2018 and are excited about making a return visit. We met a nice and very informative gentleman who lives near the church, but we have lost his contact information. Could someone please contact me regarding how we might be able to visit the church again? We would love to attend a service if one is available. Thanks so much.

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    • Did you get a reply? Are you there now? Go to the local pub/restaurant and they have info as to how to get in.
      Sorry no one is minding this board.

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  5. The American Ousley family is, I am convinced, descended from this place. We find many spellings of the name here in the U.S., but the name remains unusual, leading me to believe it’s roots are from a common group.
    We had very little contact with my father’s family, due largely to his father’s early death.
    They are buried in Centralia, Missouri..great-grandfather was John Ousley.

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