Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Convent of Mercy Chapel (Private), Westbury on Trym
Convent of Mercy Chapel (Private),
Brecon Road, BS9 4DT,
Westbury on Trym, 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 1846, but we understand it was closed in 1939.

Old Maps of 1881 show the area now occupied by the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and St Ursula's School (now E-ACT Academy), as the site of "The Monastery". By 1903, it has become the Convent of Mercy, which has its own Chapel, and a small graveyard adjacent to, and on the south-west side of the Chapel.

The Monastery was evidently a misnomer for a Convent, which was built for the Visitation Order, a community of nuns founded at Annecy in Savoy in 1610 which had been introduced to England in 1804. A house named "Westmead" was purchased from Mr. Irving, a Methodist minister in 1831, and according to an article published in The Catholic Heald of 4th October 1946, four nuns arrived "at this date 100 years ago" from Bermondsey "to begin the work for which they are now so well known". The choir, chapel and cloisters were the first buildings to be erected.

The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/330/5/1/6) may well apply to the chapel, though it is not named as such. "There is not any place of public Religious Worship in the place in which I reside - but there is a private chapel belonging to the house used by the inmates who are a Society of Ladies living in Community to whom I am Chaplain", signed by L. Maes, B.D.

At a later date, presumably, the chapel was made available to the local Catholic community to attend mass.

The first school was opened in 1868, in a converted stable and coach house, the teachers being provided by the Sisters of St Joseph of Annecy. When the Sisters of Mercy took over the convent and school in 1896, it was renamed St Ursula's.

By the 1930s, a new church was needed to relieve overcrowding, and "the Reverend Mother at the time gave the diocese a plot of land for a church and presbytery". The building was completed in 1939 and blessed by Bishop Lee on 13 September.

The Convent celebrated its centenary in 1946, as recorded in an article "Sisters of Mercy, A Century of Service in Bristol published in The Catholic Herald, on 4th October 1946. See also the Church's own history available on the Sacred Heart Catholic Church website. See also St Ursula's School on Wikipedia.


Now or formerly Roman Catholic (Convent).

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 ST5751376586. 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 Westbury on Trym, 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 7 Feb 2014 at 10:23.

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This Report was created 13 Aug 2022 - 11:11:32 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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