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Odda's Chapel, Deerhurst, GloucestershireOdda's Chapel,

Tiny Chapel of Lost Palace

Odda's Chapel is a tiny Saxon chapel now built into a medieval timber-framed farmhouse which obscures the eastern chancel. The building is a simple two-cell structure with characteristic Saxon long and short quoins. It is very plain inside, but retains its original chancel arch and a number of Saxon windows. Its importance was only recognised in 1885, despite the fact that an important stone inscription was found nearby some two hundred years before. A copy is on display:

"Earl Odda had this Royal Hall built and dedicated in honour of the Holy Trinity for the soul of his brother, Aelfric, which left the body in this place. Bishop Ealdred dedicated it the second of the Ides of April in the fourteenth year of the reign of Edward, King of the English." [12th April 1056]

Odda is a well known figure of the period. He was Earl of Hwicce and a captain of the Royal Fleet, not to mention, a kinsman of King Edward the Confessor. The stone implies that he and his brother, Aelfric, built (or rebuilt) a large palace complex here which included the chapel. It would not have been unlike that excavated at Cheddar (Somerset). Both men are known to have died at Deerhurst and to have been buried in Pershore Abbey.

See also: St. Mary's Church, Deerhurst


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