Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Trenchard Street Chapel (St Joseph's RC), Bristol
Trenchard Street Chapel (St Joseph's RC),
Trenchard Street,
Bristol, Gloucestershire.


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 the 1740s, but we understand it was closed in 1871.

"St Joseph's Catholic Chapel is in Trenchard-street, and St Nicholas is situated in Pennywell-road." [Extract from Webster & Co.'s Postal and Commercial Directory of the City of Bristol, and County of Glamorgan, 1865]

There is a superb account of the Chapel on Phil Draper's ChurchCrawler website. Briefly, St Joseph's was Bristol's first post-Reformation Catholic Church, pioneered by Lord Arundel as one of its sponsors, initially for private use. It stayed open until 1871, after which it was closed and converted into a School and Meeting Room for the Catholic Chapel of St Mary on the Quay, a short distance away.

Phil's account also explains that masses had been held, prior to the opening of St Joseph's, from the 1740s, when a Jesuit priest, John Scudamore, leased premises in St James Back (now Silver Street), which served Bristol's catholics (and craftsmen and traders from France and the Low Countries) for almost half a century, but was never shown on a map of the time. The vacated premises were purchased by the Swedenborgians in the early 1790s and a map of 1794 shows the New Jerusalem Church standing in St James Back".

Note: John Latimer in The Annals of Bristol in the Nineteenth Century (1887), records burials in "St Joseph's (Roman Catholic) chapel, Trenchard Street" being prohibited by the Burial Act of 1853, so evidently it had a graveyard. The Bristol Town Plan of 1884 shows the School (for Boys & Girls), with what appears to have been a landscaped garden on its right (north-east) side, with a yard to the rear, so perhaps this was formerly its burial ground. By all appearances, the yard, and garden are still intact today.


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 Chapel was located at OS grid reference ST5852773093. 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 15 Jun 2013 at 08:44.

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Further Information

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This Report was created 6 Dec 2023 - 18:56:38 GMT 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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