Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Catholic Church of St Mary on the Quay, Bristol
Catholic Church of St Mary on the Quay,
Colston Avenue, BS1 5AE,
Bristol, Gloucestershire.


We believe the Church does 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, and we understand it is still open.

"St Mary's Catholic Chapel, situated on St Augustine's-back, is a handsome building in the Grecian style of architecture. It was opened in 1843, and accommodates about 700 persons." [Extract from Webster & Co.'s Postal and Commercial Directory of the City of Bristol, and County of Glamorgan, 1865]

Described by Non-Conformist Chapels and Meeting Houses, Gloucestershire (1986, pp.62-63), as "on the west side of the Quay", it was built for a Catholic Apostolic (Irvingite) congregation, to designs by R.S. (Richard Shackleton) Pope, but financial difficulties amongst the promoters forced the sale of the building before completion to the Roman Catholics. The front has a central portico of six Corinthian columns supporting a band of stonework with the inscription "Vivat Christvs Rex", above which is a pediment, with a cross at the apex. The interior has "an elaborately detailed sanctuary at the west end, with four columns of the same order flanking the chancel". There are north and south transepts, and a nave of five bays with east gallery.

John Latimer, in The Annals of Bristol in the Nineteenth Century (1887) notes that the Irvingites had purchased the Corinthian screen from the Anglican Cathedral, following its restoration in 1840. It is not known whether this remained in the building, after the Irvingites sold it. At the time it was built, it was - literally - on the west bank of the River Frome, thus giving rise to its name "on the Quay". The latter, ever prone to flooding, was culverted in 1893, to become Colston Avenue.

There are further details of this intriguing history to the present day on St Mary-on-the-Quay website.


Now or formerly Roman Catholic.

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 Church is located at OS grid reference ST5860273052. 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 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 30 Jan 2019 at 06:56.

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Further Information

This site provides historical information about churches, other places of worship and cemeteries. It has no affiliation with the churches or congregations themselves, nor is it intended to provide a means to find places of worship in the present day.

Please also remember that whilst the above account may suggest that Catholic Church of St Mary on the Quay remains open and accessible, this may not remain so.

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This Report was created 19 May 2022 - 01:07:41 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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