Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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St Mary the Virgin's Church (originally Trinity Chapel), Fishponds
St Mary the Virgin's Church (originally Trinity Chapel) (link to Chapel's website)
Manor Road, BS16 2JB,
Fishponds, Gloucestershire.


This Chapel has (or 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 1821, and we understand it is still open.

Kelly's Directory of 1897 describes Fishponds as an ecclesiastical parish, formed in 1869 from the parish of Stapleton, from which it is 2 miles east, and 3 north-east from Bristol, with a station on the Bristol and Birmingham section of the Midland railway.

The church of St Mary is described as "a building of stone in the Early English style, consisting of chancel and nave, and a western tower, with spire, containing one bell". There are seven stained windows. The church was restored in 1878, and then had seating for 550. The parish registers date from 1870. The living was then a vicarage in the gift of the rector of Stapleton, and had been held since 1888 by the Rev. William Samuel MacKean, of St Bees.

The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/330/6/6/2) for "Fishponds Church" describes a building consecrated in 1821, and erected by John Kay D.D. "the then Bishop of Bristol ... because the Parish Church was too small for the increased congregation". The return was completed by William Minehouse, perpetual curate, who lived in "Hambrook Grove, near Bristol". There were, apparently, 3 services a day, with the average number of attendees in morning and afternoon of 200, and 350, but "Divine Service is performed by the Incumbent of the Parish Church in the Evening", and he had "no means of ascertaining the Number that attend".

He doesn't record a dedication, but the account of its history on St Mary's, Fishponds website says it was known as Trinity Chapel, a chapel of ease of Stapleton. The dedication to St Mary the Virgin occurred in 1869, when it became the parish church. Also mentioned are the various changes which have occurred since its foundation - in particular, the addition of the north aisle in 1902, the east end as made into a chapel dedicated to St Aidan in 1923. The original consecration was on St Aidan's Day, 31st August 1821, and "in the north aisle wall, close to this altar is a stained glass window of five lights in memory of Elizabeth with St John the Baptist, the Angel Gabriel, Our Lord, Our Lady St Mary, and St Aidan".

Note: Fishponds become part of the newly created civil parish of Bristol in 1898, and today (2014) it constitutes part of Bristol City and County.


Now or formerly Church of England.

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


This Chapel is located at OS grid reference ST6328275999. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


  • 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 13 Feb 2014 at 15:01.

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This Report was created 13 Sep 2018 - 21:34:06 BST from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 12 Aug 2018 at 11:37.

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