Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Downend Baptist Church (Foster Chapel), Downend, Mangotsfield
Downend Baptist Church (Foster Chapel),
Salisbury Road, BS16 5RA,
Downend, Mangotsfield, Gloucestershire.


This Chapel 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 1786, and we understand it is still open.

The great expansion of Bristol towards Downend and Mangotsfield began in the late 19th century, but the history of this Baptist Chapel can be traced to a century before that. The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/327/2/1/9) describes a place of worship in "downend, in the parish of Mangotsfield" erected "about the year 1790" as a separate building used exclusively as a place of worship by a Baptist congregation. There were 250 sittings, all free, and the estimated congregation on March 30th was 140 in the morning, and 200 in the evening, with 90 Sunday Scholars attending an afternoon class. The return was completed by Joseph Mitchell, its Pastor, of "downend near Bristol". He reported the "dimensions of the Chapel [were] 48 feet by 36 [and] free sittings nearly two thirds of the Chapel".

There is a photograph of the Chapel, and its schoolroom, as it looked in the 1960s, in Paul Townsend's Flickr Photostream. Paul records the Chapel's foundation by the Rev. Caleb Evans, minister of Broadmead Baptist, in Bristol. It became independent of Broadmead in 1814, and in 1862, the present schoolroom to the right of the Chapel was opened. The most recent addition was the Vestibule, built onto the front of the church in 1980, which gives it a decidedly modern look.

Old Maps of the early 1900s show it was then called "Foster Chapel". They also show it had a burial area on the east side, and at the rear. From above, it looks as though some stones may remain in place, but Paul's account says it has been converted into a well-kept garden.


Now or formerly Baptist.

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 is located at OS grid reference ST6512276569. 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 Downend, Mangotsfield, 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 20 Jan 2014 at 15:43.

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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 Downend Baptist Church (Foster Chapel) remains open and accessible, this may not remain so.

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This Report was created 19 May 2022 - 00:11:41 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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