Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Brunswick Chapel, St Paul, Bristol
Brunswick Chapel   [no longer registered]
Brunswick Square (north side),
St Paul, Bristol, Gloucestershire.

Cemeteries

This Chapel had a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded in 1835, but we understand it was closed in 1941, and the premises are now in secular use.

"Brunswick Independent Chapel, situated in Brunswick-square, was erected in 1834, at a cost of about £5000." [Extract from Webster & Co.'s Postal and Commercial Directory of the City of Bristol, and County of Glamorgan, 1865]

It is an impressive building. Described by Non-Conformist Chapels and Meeting Houses, Gloucestershire (1986) as "built in 1834-5 for a secession of the oldest Independent church in the City which then met in a chapel, rebuilt in 1815, at Castle Green (later at Greenbank Road, Easton); the secession was caused by disagreement over a ministerial appointment. After meeting for a short period in the former Pithay Chapel the seceders built Brunswick Chapel to the designs of William Armstrong".

The following notice in The London Gazette of 7th July 1837 (p.1719) recorded its registration for marriages:

NOTICE is hereby given, that a separate building, named the Brunswick Chapel, situated in Brunswick-square, in the parish of St. Paul, in the city and county of Bristol, in the district of Bristol, being a building certified according to law as a place of religious worship, was, on the 28th day of June 1837, duly registered for solemnizing marriages therein, pursuant to the Act of 6th and 7th William 4, chap. 85. Dated 1st July 1837.

The Chapel, shown on the Bristol Town Plans of 1885 with a small burial ground at the front, and a Sunday-school to the rear, dominates the north side of Brunswick Square. There are two floors of 3 bays. The lower floor has 3 doorways, and the upper floor 3 round-arched windows. There is a projecting portico the full height of the building, supported on 2 pairs of large Ionic columns, and there are steps up to the doorways. Windows in the sides provide lighting to the interior ground floor. Originally the interior had galleries around three sides with contemporary seating and a pulpit centrally against the back wall, but these were removed following its closure and conversion (so says the NCC account) to Masonic use.

Curiously, there is no mention in the NCC account of damage the building suffered during WWII. It was hit during raids in November and December 1940, and attempts were made to reopen it; however it was bombed again in March 1941, so ultimately it was forced to close. This is evident from surviving registers in Bristol Record Office - of baptisms 1834-1936, and marriages 1837-1941. Burial registers cover the period 1834-1956, so evidently the burial ground was in use rather longer.

Today, of course, the burial ground has been cleared, but the building lives on, the exterior being restored, and the interior refurbished as office use. Its name, too, lives on, as New Brunswick United Reformed Church, in Wigton Crescent, Southmead, which opened originally in 1949 - a notice in the Gazette of 28th April 1950 (p.2126) recording it being substituted for the Building named Brunswick Chapel, situated at Brunswick Square, now disused.

Denomination

Now or formerly Independent/Congregational.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.

Maps

This Chapel was located at OS grid reference ST5923873685. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Reference

  • Places recorded by the Registrar General under the provisions of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 (2010) is available as a "Freedom of Information" document from the website What Do They Know.
Last updated on 16 Jun 2013 at 08:45.

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This Report was created 11 Nov 2017 - 00:50:54 GMT from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 30 Aug 2017 at 16:10.

URL of this page: http://churchdb.gukutils.org.uk/GLS1331.php
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