Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Former Friends Meeting House, Bristol
Former Friends Meeting House   [no longer registered]
Quakers Friars, BS1 3DF,
Bristol, Gloucestershire.


This Church 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 1670, but we understand it was closed in 1959, and the premises are now in secular use.

This is the almost legendary "Quakers Friars" building, from which many of Gloucestershire's other Friends Meeting Houses were 'seeded'. An account in Non-Conformist Chapels and Meeting Houses, Gloucestershire (1986) explains that the first meeting-house on the site was built in 1670, "superseding a building 'at the lower end of Broadmead' which then passed into the hands of the Baptists". This was apparently a building of 3 bays and two tiers of windows at the south end, with a hipped roof on top of which was a lantern; it faced west, and from 1701, there was a burial ground on its east side.

It was built on the site of a Dominican Friary, established by Maurice de Gaunt, around 1227; who also founded St Mark's Priory (now the Lord Mayor's Chapel). He was the grandson of Robert Fitzharding, the founder of St Augustine's Abbey (the Cathedral)

The present building was built 1747-9 to designs by George Tully, himself a member of the society, with additional stonework details by Thomas Paty, who was also the contractor. A separate smaller meeting house was added alongside in 1759.

Kelly's Directory of Bristol of 1914 indicate there was access to the Meeting House from Broad Weir ("Friends' Meeting House passage") listed between #13, Percy Oldland Daniell, a baker, and #14 Broad Weir, John Caines, a basket maker.

A formal notice of closure was published in The London Gazette of 31st July 1959 (p.4828), for a building registered originally on 4th April 1854, and meetings were subsequently transferred to a new building in Champion Square. The old building was then sold to Bristol City Council, and became the home of Bristol Register Office for a time; however since then it has been refurbished and now belongs to a restaurant chain, to which if you have a FaceBook account you can pay a 'virtual' visit - Brasserie Blanc. For those interested in "Timelines", the restaurant was opened in 2008 by "one of Britain's most respected chefs" - Raymond Blanc (Wikipedia article).

See also the entry in this database for the burial ground, established for this society in 1665 - 'Redcliff Pit' - in Redcliffe Way.


Now or formerly Quaker.

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 was located at OS grid reference ST5927573317. 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 21 Nov 2018 at 10:41.

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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 the former Former Friends Meeting House is understood to be in secular use, so care should be taken to preserve the privacy of its occupants.

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You may wish to take a look at our About the Places of Worship Database page for an overview of the information provided, and any limitations which may be present.

This Report was created 29 May 2022 - 03:29:01 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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