Abenhall Village, Gloucestershire

Abenhall village from Plump Hill

Abenhall village from Plump Hill

Abenhall is a tiny, ancient village in a secluded quiet valley near Mitcheldean. The parish includes the settlement of Plump Hill, on the Mitcheldean to Cinderford Road as it climbs into the high Forest. Once part of the Westbury Hundred (which was known as Dene at the time of the 1086 Domesday book) Abenhall is on the Flaxley to Mitcheldean Road. Originally a mining and iron making centre, it is notable for its 14th century Church of St Michael, which is built of local red sandstone and has excellent contemporary carvings relating to the Forest of Dean’s industries. These include a shield bearing the arms of the Freeminers on the west wall and the fabulous mid-15th century octagonal font, that has tools of miners and metalworkers incised on its sides.


St. Michael’s Church – originally built as a chapel of ease, the church was expanded in the 14th century to include nave, south aisle and tower. The arms of the Freeminers can be seen on the south side of the tower and on the 18th century font. Abenhall church is 1.5 km south of Mitcheldean and is set in beautiful surroundings on the edge of the Forest. Old Parish baptism, marriage and burial registers, from 1596, are stored at the Gloucestershire Record Office.

Plump Hill from Abenhall village

Plump Hill from Abenhall village.

Plump hill is part of the parish of Abenhall, situated on high ground on the edge of the forest, and in fact there are many more houses in this part of the parish than the old village centre around the church.

An old photograph of Plump Hill

An old photograph of Plump Hill, looking north towards Mitcheldean.

The delightful church of St. Michael

The delightful church of St. Michael, Abenhall, which is set in an immaculately maintained church yard, complete with all of its original gravestones.

Abenhall Church

Some of these gravestones are illustrated on the family history pages, along with transcripts from part of the parish burial registers.

Church Registers at
Gloucestershire. RO
Transcripts Gravestones
St. Michael Christenings 1596-1895
Marttiages 1596-1988
Burials 1596-1922
Bishops Transcripts 1621-1859
IGI 1596-1860
Burials indexes 1778-1812
Marriage indexes 1791-1808
to 1791 Bigland
(see below)
Methodist Births/Christenings 1840-1958
Roll 1948-1956

Additional Resources