St Mary’s Church was dedicated in 1190 by William, Bishop of Hereford as a chapel-of-ease to the parish church of St Mary’s, Cheltenham, which at that time belonged to the Augustinian Abbey of Cirencester. The church originally consisted of a nave, chancel, and two short transepts, but nothing of this early building appears to have survived.

The tower and south aisle were built in the late Cl4 and remodeled in the C15, the tower was rebuilt with a high chancel arch. The south porch was re-built in c.1700.

Significant alterations were made to the church during the early C19, including the construction of the south gallery in c.1800. Furthermore, substantial works in 1822-4 included the building of the north aisle with a gallery designed by John Humphris, the replacement of the pews, and the installation of the rose window at the west end of the church.

In 1854, ground on the east side of the church, occupied by six cottages and an old house, known as Church Cottage, was purchased as the site for a new burial ground. It had taken nearly four years of negotiations for the church to acquire this land and once the purchase was complete the existing wall and iron railings were built around the enlarged churchyard by G.W. Sadler (Bridgman 1968).

The period between 1875 and 1883 saw the incumbency of the Revd. Charles Leslie Dundas, who described St Mary’s on his arrival as, ‘very ugly, very uncomfortable and very badly ventilated’ ( Paget 1988: 117). Consequently, he set in motion a major restoration project, appointing John Middleton as the architect. The works took place in 1877-8, Middleton beginning with the extension of the west end of the nave (re-setting the rose window in his new west wall). He created five-bay nave arcades with alternating round and octagonal piers, removed the galleries, filled in the vaults, raised the floor, and installed new pews. Although his new west end was much admired, the removal of the C12 west door and its replacement with the existing neo-Gothic entrance was perhaps not so commendable.

By June 1878 the chancel had been demolished and rebuilding ~ad started along the lines of the C12 foundations. New windows were inserted in the south and north walls the roof was raised and all the monuments were repositioned. The third phase of the work included the tiling of the aisles, the rebuilding and lengthening of the north transept, and the restoration of the ceiling in the south

Torode (2008) writes that St Mary’s was one of John Middleton’s most challenging restorations and one that is still controversial today. However, the extent and nature of Middleton’s works (while relatively substantial) were by no means atypical of the period in which he worked.

Twenty years later, further work was being carried out, and piecemeal alteration continued into the early C20; in 1898-9, the clergy vestry was enlarged and a new choir vestry was built, and in 1911 the south transept was adapted to become a chapel. The choir vestry was enlarged in 1917 by Herbert T. Rainger and in 1920 the rood beam, designed by a member of the congregation, George Ryland, was erected and, together with a tablet inscribed with the names of those from the church who had fallen, became the church’s war memorial. The lychgate, built in 1920, was a gift from R.W. Boulton Esq. and was built as a thanksgiving for the cessation of the 1914-18 war, and to the memory of two members of his family killed in action.

The southwestern corner of the church was adapted to form a baptistery in memory of the Revd. Edgar Neale in 1938. No further structural changes were made until 1988, when both vestries were enlarged.