Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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St Mary the Virgin's Church (now The Woodlands Centre), Tyndalls Park, Bristol
St Mary the Virgin's Church (now The Woodlands Centre),
Belgrave Road / Woodland Road, BS8 2AA,
Tyndalls Park, Bristol, Gloucestershire.


We believe the Church did NOT have 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 1865, but we understand it was closed in 1976.

John Latimer, in The Annals of Bristol in the Nineteenth Century (1887) records that in 1865, an iron church was erected in Tyndall's Park "for the accommodation of the rapidly increasing residents in that locality", to open on 13th December that year. Funds were gradually accumulated for the construction of a permanent church, dedicated to St Mary, for which building began around the end of 1870. Part of the choir was consecrated by Bishop Ellicott in June, 1874, but it was to be another seven years or so, when nearly £10,000 had been spent, before the western portion was finished.

Although unfinished, the new building was nevertheless in use during the intervening years, as the iron church was removed to Woolcott Park in 1875, "where it was again the forerunner of a permanent edifice, St Saviour's".

Kelly's Directory of Bristol of 1902 notes that a parish of St Mary the Virgin was formed in July, 1874, from Westbury-on-Trym, and enlarged in 1877 by additions from the parish of All Saints, Clifton. The church, described as "in the Woodland road, Tyndall's Park, and built in 1870-4" from designs by J.P. St. Aubyn esq. was consecrated June 30, 1874, "and is a noble edifice of local red sandstone with dressings of Doulting stone, in the Early Decorated style; it consists of chancel, transepts, clerestoried nave of four bays, aisles, vestries under the south transept and a tower, 20 feet square, at the north-west angle". The stained east window is a memorial to Mr. James Fear, d.1851, erected by his son, Mr. W. Lyne Fear; and there are five other stained windows. There were said to be sittings for 720 persons, and the parish records date from 1874. The living was then a vicarage, in the gift of the trustees of the late Thomas Todd Walton esq. of Maperton House, Wincanton, and had been held since 1874 by the Rev. William Frederick Bryant M.A. of Wadham College, Oxford.

The Church Commissioners Report on Pastoral and Closed Churches, on the Church of England website recorded its formal closure on 2nd July 1976 - for demolition; however that didn't happen, as the following year it was assigned for use as storage. Phil Draper's ChurchCrawler website notes this was by the BBC; however it has since passed once more into ecclesiastical use, as the Woodlands Christian Centre ("Woodlands Church"), a meeting place for an Evangelical Free congregation.

After St Mary's closed, the former Highbury Congregational Church was bought by the Church of England, and became its replacement. Its congregation was joined by St Saviour's in Woolcott Park in 1978, and by St Nathanael's, in Elmgrove Road in 1988, to become Cotham Parish Church.


Now or formerly Church of England.

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 ST5801873820. 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 Tyndalls Park, 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 Apr 2014 at 09:49.

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This Report was created 6 Dec 2023 - 18:39:57 GMT 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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