Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Unitarian Meeting Bristol, St Paul, Bristol
Unitarian Meeting Bristol,
Surrey Lodge, Brunswick Square, BS2 8PE,
St Paul, Bristol, Gloucestershire.


This Church has (or 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 1768, and we understand it is still open.

The origins of this site, if not the meeting place itself, lie in the 18th century, outlined by John Latimer, in The Annals of Bristol in the Eighteenth Century (1893). He cites Brunswick Square as one of the schemes in the city improvement Act of 1766. In Felix Farley's Journal of April 19th that year, the plan for building a handsome street from just below the Full Moon was put in execution Wednesday last by beginning the first house. The street is to run back through the gardens, and at the further end of it will be built a most elegant square". The first house was begun in 1769, "but the supply of new dwellings in the district already exceeded the demand", and the east side of the square was deferred for nearly twenty years, "while half the western and the whole of the northern rows were never built at all". No doubt this situation was remedied at a later date!

A large plot of land was also demised to a body of trustees acting for the congregation of Lewin's Mead Chapel in the City, for which it became a cemetery. The first interment there took place in October, 1768. "The rural character of the locality may be imagined from the terms of an advertisement in the Bristol Journal of February 16th, 1772. A house, 'adjoining Brunswick Square', was offered to be let, 'with a prospect of two miles from the ground floor'.

Bristol Town Maps of 1885 show a Lodge, on the north east corner of the square, behind which is the burial ground. In the middle of the burial ground, there is a Mortuary Chapel marked, labelled as "Nonconformist". After the closure of Lewin's Mead, in the city, the Lodge was, according to Phil Draper, on his ChurchCrawler website, "tastefully restored and enlarged to form a new meeting house. The old lodge in Grecian style serves as church rooms. The newly built chapel is a tent-like structure inside and is one large unimpeded space with a new organ. The best feature of the church are the etched circle of hands on the glass entrance doors". It was opened in 1991.

The following notice in The London Gazette of 4th September 1992 (p.14934) recorded its registration for marriages:

A building certified for worship named The Unitarian Meeting, The Sanctuary, Surry [sic] Lodge, Brunswick Square, Bristol, in the registration district of Bristol in the Non-Metropolitan County of Avon was on 26th August 1992 registered for solemnizing marriages therein pursuant to section 41 of the Marriage Act 1949 as amended by section 1(1) of the Marriage Acts Amendment Act 1958. Dated 1st September 1992.

The burial ground ("Brunswick Cemetery") can also be accessed from the rear, from Wilder Street. So far as I can tell from Google Satellite View, the Mortuary Chapel has been demolished.


Now or formerly Unitarian.

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 ST5926873691. 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 Paul, 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 19 Jul 2013 at 17:12.

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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 whilst the above account may suggest that Unitarian Meeting Bristol remains open and accessible, this may not remain so.

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This Report was created 5 Jul 2022 - 23:28:20 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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