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  Photographs by kind permission of Mike Broome  

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Our Heritage

There is a remarkable history to St Mary de Crypt and the Old Crypt Schoolroom

St Mary de Crypt

St Mary de Crypt is a Grade I listed church and regarded as one of Gloucester’s most important medieval churches. It is of Norman origin and

was substantially rebuilt in the late 1300s.

The Old Crypt Schoolroom

Right next to St Mary de Crypt is the Old Crypt Schoolroom. It was the first free school in Gloucester, built in the 1500s and remains a remarkable example of a Tudor schoolroom. Over time the Crypt School outgrew its site here, has relocated twice, and is still a successful local grammar school.

George Whitefield

George Whitefield, one of the founders of Methodism, was also baptised here and came to school here. He spoke his first sermon from the pulpit which you can still see.

Robert Raikes, one of the founders of the Sunday School Movement, was baptised in the church, came to school here and lived opposite in the house which is now the Robert Raikes pub.

Robert Raikes

It is remarkable that one single church and its small school should produce in a single generation two world Christian leaders: Robert Raikes and George Whitefield.

Discover DeCrypt is about telling the stories of some of the amazing people associated with this place so that you can discover the Christian story for yourself.

The dig was led by experts from Avon Archaeology who trained and supervised volunteers recruited by Gloucester City Centre Community Partnership. Interesting finds were discovered, including some Roman and Georgian coins, remains of clay pipes and a toy cannon.

We are grateful for support from the Gloucestershire Community Foundation Ecclesiastical Insurance 125 Fund and the Council for British Archaeology’s Challenge Funding which is supported by English Heritage.

Old Crypt Schoolroom Community Archaeological Dig 2013

Robert Raikes George Whitefield St Mary de Crypt Old Crypt Schoolroom Rudhall Bells Jemmy Wood