Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Zion Chapel (The Church of the Vow), Bedminster, Bristol
Zion Chapel (The Church of the Vow)   [no longer registered]
Coronation Road,
Bedminster, 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 1829, but we understand it was closed by 1984, and the premises are now in secular use.

Non-Conformist Chapels and Meeting Houses, Gloucestershire (1986) records that Zion Chapel was built 1929-30 by John Hare, who was a manufacturer of 'Indian matting floor cloth', and placed in trust for Independents. The walls are of rubble with stone dressings, and the roof is slated; however its most spectacular feature is the front. It has an open loggia of five bays with four Doric-style columns of cast-iron between the outer bays, and round arched windows, with a pediment above. There is a central entrance, which replaced two former doorway. Originally the inside had original galleries around 3 sides, supported by fluted Ionic columns, and an organ gallery, added in 1878-80. Sadly, since its restoration as a Neighbouring Housing Office for Bristol City Council, the fittings have been lost.

Old Maps show a School (for Infants) on the west side of the building. There are also two small small burial plots on the grounds, bordering the roads on the north, and east sides. Phil Draper, on his ChurchCrawler website mentions that John Hare was buried in the chapel, but his remains were reinterred in Arnos Vale Cemetery, presumably after the burial grounds were also cleared. Hare, he says, built the chapel originally "in fulfillment of a vow made when he came to Bristol in 1773 to make his fortune".

Coronation Road, "a new turnpike road from Harford's Bridge to the Ashton road" - said John Latimer, in The Annals of Bristol in the Nineteenth Century (1887) - "was opened on the 23rd April, 1822, with some ceremony. The Dowager Lady Smyth, of Clift House, in a coach and four, preceded by Captain Smyth's troop of Yeomanry, took part in the inaugural ceremony. The road, which had been under construction for about a year, had received its name when the workmen employed upon it were regaled on the coronation day of the new king" [George IV., 19th July 1821]

The following notice in The London Gazette of 21st February 1984 (p.2523) recorded its closure:

The Registrar General, being satisfied that ZION UNITED REFORMED CHURCH, Coronation Road, Bristol, in the registration district of Bristol in the Non-Metropolitan County of Avon, is no longer used as a place of worship by the congregation on whose behalf it was on 11th November 1837 registered for marriages in accordance with the Marriage Act 1836, has cancelled the registration. Dated 10th February 1984.

Its alternative name - "The Church of the Vow" - refers to a history of the Chapel by Henry B. Cozens, published in 1930.


Now or formerly Independent.

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 ST5891871981. 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 Bedminster, 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 12 Jul 2013 at 08:56.

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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 the former Zion Chapel (The Church of the Vow) is understood to be in secular use, so care should be taken to preserve the privacy of its occupants.

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This Report was created 24 May 2022 - 01:36:25 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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