Bourton-on-the-Water once had a Norman church but this was demolished in 1784 and the present one was built on the site of the old. The present church, dedicated to St Lawrence, is Georgian and was designed by William Marshall, a local resident.
The chancel, rebuilt in the fourteenth century and part of the older building, have been preserved. The most distinguished part of this construction, the tower, was built by Marshall. The base of the tower is rusticated with enormous Ionic pilasters, cornices and balustrades.
The Church of St James
Bourton-on-the-Water The Church of St James Bourton-on-the-Water The Church of St James
The church underwent further rebuilding between the years 1875-90, this time by a more competent architect, Sir Thomas Jackson. He retained the chancel and tower and built a new nave and a north isle. Inside, the building is Victorian in character and dark despite the numerous windows by C. E. Kempe.
The darkness of the building makes it difficulty to view the roof of the nave built in 1891. The nine-sided chancel roof was painted in 1928 by F. E. Howard. It has armorial bearings of lords of the manor and the patron, St Lawrence, to whom the church is dedicated.