Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Catholic Church of St Nicholas of Tolentino, St Philip, Bristol
Catholic Church of St Nicholas of Tolentino,
Lawford's Gate / Pennywell Road, BS5 0RE,
St Philip, 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 1848, and we understand it is still open.

"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]

It is an unusual building, with a hexagonal base to a small tower, with spire at the west end. From above, there appears to be a nave, with north and south aisles of five bays, each with its own peaked roof. In addition there is a chancel and other buildings at the east end, with what may have been originally a house for the priest, but is now "The Assisi Centre".

It is situated on the north east corner of the junction of Pennywell Road and Lawford's Gate (formerly Old Gloucester Road), and was built between 1848 and 1851 to a design by C.F. Hansom. Interestingly, the Bristol Town Plan of 1884-1885 shows the Police Court, and "Lawford's Gate House of Correction" on the opposite side of the Old Gloucester Road. There was a small school ("Boys & Girls") at the rear, which today has been demolished and its site occupied by flats.

The following notice in The London Gazette of 30th January 1855 (p.360) recorded its registration for marriages:

NOTICE is hereby given, that a separate building, named St. Nicholas Tolentine, situated at Penny well-road, in the parish of Saint Philip and Jacob, in the city and county of Bristol, in the district of Clifton, in the county of Gloucester, being a building certified and used for public religious worship, as a Roman Catholic Chapel exclusively, was, on the 24th day of January, 1855, duly registered for solemnizing marriages therein, pursuant to the Act of the 6th and 7th William 4, cap. 85. Dated 26th January 1855.


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 ST5995773502. 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 St Philip, 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 09:50.

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Further Information

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This Report was created 6 Dec 2023 - 18:26:46 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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