“ Highnam is the best of both worlds. Situated in open parkland across a field from Highnam Court, from the Church no one would know that it has almost immediate access onto a major secondary road. Architecturally it has been described as “the most important Anglican example of painted internal polychromy, rivalling Pugin’s St Giles, Cheadle”. We hope that the visual surrounds and sheer drama and theatricality of the building can be made known to a wider audience. ”

Ken Starr / David Sanderson

Architectural History

Holy Innocents is famous for its wall paintings and connection to the composer Hubert Parry whose father, Thomas Gambier Parry, built the Church. Founded in 1849, it was part of a complex of buildings designed to commemorate Thomas Gambier Parry’s late wife, Isabella, and was dedicated to their many children who died in infancy. The Gothic Revival Church is very large for a country park church, perhaps an indication of both Parry’s affection for his family and his architectural ambition. After Parry’s death the church fell into decay but was meticulously restored in the 1980s by his descendant as Patron, T.J.Fenton

Architectural Features

Made of Hartpury stone with Bath stone dressings, Highnam has a magnificent west Tower and Steeple, a tall clerestoried Nave with Aisles, and Chancel with south Chapel and north Vestry. Highnam is an exceptional example of High Victorian architecture and the Decorative style, with everything in the Church being made specifically for it and of the very highest quality. The Graveyard is lined with trees and surrounded by parkland. All the windows are of stained glass. Nearly every inch of the walls, and most of the ceilings, are painted. The frescoes are immaculately preserved. All the original furnishings are intact, including ornamental iron screens and radiator grilles, pews each with individually carved detailing on the pew ends, canopied and croketed reredos, and the richly ornamented spire-like font cover. The floor is tiled, with the dias tiles each inlaid with a coloured glass bead so that they glow.

Filming Attributes

Highnam has excellent access, positioned just off the A40 but (with the exception of the Steeple) not in sight of it. There is a good size car park (for 15-20 cars) with extra parking available at the Community Hall if needed. There is good mobile reception. Helpful staff, who are not unfamiliar with broadcasting, an be relied upon. Toilets and kitchen facilities are available in the Community Hall and are available for hire separately. There is storage space in the Church’s large Vestry. The Church has good lighting facilities internally and flood lighting, and does allow animals. There are three other community buildings on the same site as the Church that can be hired separately

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Special Considerations

  • Hotworks
  • Night Shoots
  • Weekend Shoots

Topography

The Church is set in open parkland just off the main A40 road out of Gloucester and in a semi-rural situation. The parkland, belonging to Highnam Court, is landscaped and largely an 18th-century creation with many specimen trees. A small private landing strip is located on a nearby farm. Gloucester airport is within 7 miles, and Cardiff and Bristol airports just over an hour's drive away. By road the site is extremely accessible, with quick and easy access to the M5 and the M4.

Crew and Relevant Links

Contact

Phone: 01452 528032

Website: http://www.highnamchurch.org/