Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Muller Orphanage Chapel, Montpelier, Bristol
Muller Orphanage Chapel   [no longer consecrated]
Ashley Hill,
Montpelier, Bristol, Gloucestershire.


We believe the Chapel 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 1849, though it is now closed, but we don't yet know when, and the premises are now in secular use.

The Rev. George Müller was born at Kroppenstaedt in Prussia in 1805, and educated at the university of Halle. He came to Britain originally to work as a missionary, but after meeting Henry Craik in Devonshire, where he'd been convalescing after a serious illness, he joined Craik in Bristol, "where Mr. Craik had already been favourably received as a preacher". Their joint ministry of Gideon Independent Chapel, in Newfoundland Road, is described elsewhere in this database, but they also established the Bethesda chapel, in Great George Street, Brandon Hill.

The story is taken up by John Latimer, in The Annals of Bristol in the Nineteenth Century (1887) - "in 1834 Mr. Müller established a Scriptural Knowledge Institution, the objects of which were to circulate the Scriptures, to promote education amongst the poor, to aid in missionary enterprise, and - most remarkable and successful of its ends - to feed, clothe, and educate destitute orphan children".

The first orphanage, for thirty girls, was opened in 1836 at 6, Wilson Street, St. Paul's, near to where he lived. Three weeks later, a similar building, at 1, Wilson Street, was hired for boys; and in 1837, a third building in the same street. However, "the inhabitants of Wilson Street remonstrated against the inconveniences to which the institutions exposed them", and in 1846, Müller "resolved on building an orphanage large enough to accommodate 300 children". The building, on Ashley Hill, received the children from Wilson Street in June 1849, and the Wilson Street premises were abandoned.

Kelly's Directory of Bristol of 1902 describes the Orphanage then as "five well-designed and lofty buildings, erected at different periods, at a cost of £115,000, raised by voluntary contributions, in which 2,050 orphan children are cared for and educated until they are capable of taking situations as servants, or of being apprenticed to a trade. This vast establishment, formerly under the direction of the founder, the late Rev. George Müller, a native of Germany (who established the first home in 1836 for 30 children, is now conducted by his son-in-law, Mr. James Wright".

In Kelly's Directory of Bristol of 1914, Orphan Houses at 1, 3, 4 & 5 Ashley Down Road, were said to be erected for the maintenance and education of 2,000 of both sexes. Children bereaved of BOTH parents by death had priority; but applications could be made for children bereft of ONE parent, and accepted at the discretion of the Directors. The girls were trained for domestic service, the boys apprenticed to various trades, with the exception of a few who were trained as Pupil Teachers and Nurses. The houses were open for the inspection of visitors weekly.

The buildings, covering plots on both sides of the road, were disbanded in the 1950s, are now in use by the Ashley Down Centre of the City of Bristol College. It is not known where the Chapel was in the complex, but evidently one did exist.


Now or formerly School/Orphanage Chapel.

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 ST5963275421. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Information last updated on 1 May 2014 at 08:39.

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This Report was created 5 Jul 2022 - 17:30:56 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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