Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Highbury Chapel (now Cotham Parish Church), Cotham, Bristol
Highbury Chapel (now Cotham Parish Church),
St Michael's Hill / Cotham Road, BS6 6DR,
Cotham, Bristol, Gloucestershire.


We believe the Chapel did NOT have 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 1843, but we understand it was closed in 1972.

"Highbury Chapel, Cotham (Congregational), is a handsome building, capable of seating about 700 persons. It was built by public subscription at a cost of about £3000, and has recently been considerably enlarged. It will ever possess a peculiar interest to all lovers of religious liberty, since it was erected on the spot where five persons were burnt at the stake for conscience sake. The remembrance of their faith and heroism is perpetuated by a tablet placed in the chapel." [Extract from Webster & Co.'s Postal and Commercial Directory of the City of Bristol, and County of Glamorgan, 1865]

It was designed by William Butterfield, the nephew of the "Tobacco Baron" brothers, W.D. and H.O. Wills, to open in July 1843 as a Congregational Chapel. It became redundant, and was closed in 1972, but the building was bought subsequently by the Established Church, and since 1976 has been known as Cotham Parish Church. It is dedicated to St Saviour & St Mary, its parish being formed from those of St Mary the Virgin, Tyndall's Park and St Saviour, Redland, which were then closed.

As an aside, according to Non-Conformist Chapels and Meeting Houses, Gloucestershire (1986), Butterfield "later expressed his regret at having assisted in the erection of 'a schism shop'", so the present dedication of the building would have been to his liking.

The following notice in The London Gazette of 11th July 1845 (p.2070) recorded its registration for marriages:

NOTICE is hereby given, that a separate building, named Highbury Chapel, situated at Saint Michael's-hill, in the parish of Saint Michael, in the district of Bristol, within the city of Bristol, being a building certified according to law as a place of religious worship, was, on the 8th day of July 1845, duly registered for solemnizing marriages therein, pursuant to the Act of the 6th and 7th William 4, chap. 85. Dated 9th July 1845.

A corresponding notice of cancellation was published in the Gazette of 16th November 1972 (p.13570).

See also Phil Draper's ChurchCrawler website for further information, and photographs.


Now or formerly 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.


This Chapel was located at OS grid reference ST5820973858. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


I have found many websites of use whilst compiling the information for this database. Here are some which deserve mention as being of special interest for Cotham, Bristol, and perhaps to Local History and Places of Worship as a whole.

The above links were selected and reviewed at the time I prepared the information, but please be aware their content may vary, or disappear entirely. These factors are outside my control.

Information last updated on 9 Jun 2013 at 14:39.

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This Report was created 29 May 2022 - 04:05:28 BST from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 13 Oct 2021 at 14:13.

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