The village of Kempley can be found in the North Forest
of Dean district, and is surrounded by unspoilt countryside.
Kempley has two churches, St. Mary's dates back to Norman
times and because of the great historic value of the
12th century frescoes inside it is now managed by English
Heritage, and the Courtauld Institute have recently
taken on the task of preserving these relics. St. Edward's
Church dates back to 1903 and was designed by Randall
Wells during the Arts and Crafts movement. John Betjamin
described St. Edward's as "a miniature cathedral of
the Arts and Crafts Movement".
Located between Kempley and Dymock village, lies the
delightful Dymock Wood, which is varied in its array
of wild flowers, especially in the spring, when you
can see the daffoldils and the bluebells. "Daffodil
teas" are a traditional source of refreshment, held
in the local village hall during the daffodil season.
St. Mary's, Kempley
The church at Kempley stands in a peaceful spot some
distance away from the modern village. The most significant
feature of the church is that it contains a group of
frescoes which are among the best in the country. The
tiny nave is early Norman, and the paintings here date
from the 13th century. However, the best and oldest
of the paintings are in the chancel. These frescoes
date from 1130 and appear almost as fresh as when they
were first painted, this being due to the Reformation
whitewash and the Victorian varnish which was removed
in 1872. The frescoes were restored to their original
condition in 1955. Scenes in the chancel include Christ
sitting on a rainbow blessing the world, while in the
nave St. Michael weighs souls.
St Edward the Confessor
This is the modern church in Kempley, built in 1903,
and contains several good modern sculptures.