Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Tabernacle Burial Ground (Cleared), Bristol
Tabernacle Burial Ground (Cleared),
Redcross Street (north side),
Bristol, Gloucestershire.

Church History

This Cemetery or Burial Ground was founded before 1753, but we understand it was closed before 1884.

The Bristol Town Plan of 1885 shows this Burial Ground in a triangle of land bounded by New Street to the north east, and Redcross Street to the south, by then of course disused.

Some years before this, according to John Latimer, in The Annals of Bristol in the Nineteenth Century (1887) Bristol Corporation had "scheduled" a portion of "the Redcross Street burial ground belonging to the Tabernacle congregation", with the intention of opening a thoroughfare from Redcross Street to the Weir. Negotiations for purchase had taken place, but whilst the trustees of the Tabernacle wanted to hold the civic authorities financially responsible for removing, and reburying the remains, the latter were claiming there was no legal precedent for them to do so, and the matter remained in abeyance. "About four o'clock one morning in June, 1883, however, a number of labourers, employed by no one knew whom, broke down the wall of the cemetery, fenced off a portion for the proposed road, and began to dig and cart away the mould, which was largely mingled with the relics of the dead, the tombstones being, it was said, buried". As soon as the trustees found out, they obtained a High Court injunction to stop to restrain the Corporation from further proceedings until the case had been judicially heard. "The Corporation eventually purchased the cemetery for £800, and paid £187 for removing the remains. The portion not required for the street was laid out as an ornamental garden at a further cost of £600. The Council had also to defray the legal expenses arising out of the affair, which had excited great disapproval".

So this is why, today, the bulk of the original plot is laid out as a park, and the new road which was built, St Matthias Park, cuts across the top of the plot. The park is now surrounded by iron railings, but it can be reached either from Redcross Street or St Matthias Park, through a gateway in the railings. There is no indication from the street it was once a burial ground.

In 1885, Wellington Court, Wellington Buildings, Gloucester Court, Grosvenor Place and York Place were terraces off Redcross Street bordering the burial ground. They too must have been swept away by the redevelopment. "The Weir", was presumably a reference to a former weir on the River Frome (Froom), now underground.

It is assumed the burial ground, belonging to "the Tabernacle congregation" refers to that of the Tabernacle in Penn Street, founded by George Whitefield.


Now or formerly a Cemetery (Congregational).

In most cases this will be a record of its original consecration.


This Cemetery was located at OS grid reference ST5961273289. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Information last updated on 17 Jun 2013 at 10:03.

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This Report was created 17 May 2022 - 01:19:18 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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