Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Original Hotwell House or Rock Chapel (Demolished?), Hotwells, Bristol
Original Hotwell House or Rock Chapel (Demolished?),
Hotwell Road,
Hotwells, 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, but we understand it was closed before 1867.

This former place of worship is recorded on the return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/330/1/1/7) as the "Original Hotwell House or Rock Chapel". It was a separate building, used exclusively as a place of worship, erected "before 1800, but appointed as a place of worship in 1849". There were sittings for 65 worshippers, all free, and an estimated 21 attended on the evening of March 30th. The return was completed by John C. Pengelly, who described himself as "Wesleyan Minister of King St. Chapel in Bristol & the above-named Place of Worship". He gave his address as "4 Polygon, Clifton". He remarked that "this place is provided for the religious accomodation of the poor persons / Quarrymen and their families, who may be unable to attend Public Worship in Clifton".

As an aside, he also completed the return for Grenville Chapel, in Oldfield Place, where he remarked that a reduced attendance on March 30th was attributable to the "Anniversary Services of some popular Institutions" being held on that day.

The original Hotwell House was built about 1696, but was demolished in 1822, as part of the project to build "Bridge Valley" road from Bristol City to Clifton. Shortly afterwards (to quote John Latimer's Annals of Bristol in the Nineteenth Century (1887)) "a handsome pump room, in the Tuscan style", was erected, and a suite of baths - "the want of which had always been complained of". However the new pump room was in turn demolished in 1867 "in order to carry out Mr. Howard's plan for the removal of Hotwell Point - an inconvenient prominence on the right bank of the Avon".

A comparison of Ashmead's Maps of Bristol of 1855 and of 1874 demonstrates the result - a much smoother curve to the bank. However neither of them show the Chapel, so the Grid Reference given below is of Hotwell House, as I have been unable to establish its location otherwise - perhaps it was the building known as "Rock House" (410-412 Hotwell Road), between the Colonnade and St Vincent's Terrace, a building which still exists in the present day.


Now or formerly Wesleyan Methodist.

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 ST5654972864. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Information last updated on 29 May 2014 at 11:30.

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This Report was created 9 Dec 2023 - 18:42:55 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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