Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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St Francis of Assisi's Church (originally Holy Cross), Ashton Gate, Bristol
St Francis of Assisi's Church (originally Holy Cross),
North Street / St Francis Road,
Ashton Gate, Bristol, Gloucestershire.


This Church 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 1878, and we understand it is still open.

St Francis's first building was a temporary structure made of iron, presented by a Mr. Dundas, to the Vicar of Bedminster, the provenance of which is described by John Latimer, in The Annals of Bristol in the Nineteenth Century (1887). Mr. Dundas was a prior in the "Order of St Benedict", founded by followers of a Mr Lyne ("Brother Ignatius"), a clerk in deacon's orders, who had "assumed the costume of a monk, and professed to have refounded in the Church of England the monastic system of St Benedict". Some of his admirers "composed chiefly, if not wholly, of youthful laymen" set up the Order, meeting firstly in a room in Trinity Street, then later in an unoccupied workshop in Trenchard Street. They moved subsequently to Montpelier, where Mr. Dundas ("Brother Cyprian"), who had been fortunate enough to come into possession of an estate there, "built a chapel, established a "home", and started a newspaper". However, "services at the chapel soon attracted a great number of profligate young people of both sexes, and, after many unedifying scenes, the building - an iron one - was presented by Mr. Dundas to the Vicar of Bedminster, who placed it at Ashton Gate, and opened it in March, 1878, as a chapel of ease". Old Maps of the period show that its original dedication was to the Holy Cross - its first noted appearance as "St Francis" is in 1904.

A new parish of St Francis was created in 1883, out of St John, Bedminster, and St Paul, Southville. The iron church was removed the same year, in preparation for the erection of a permanent structure. Meanwhile, "in 1872, through pecuniary difficulties, Mr. Dundas's establishment at Montpelier was altogether broken up".

St Francis's new building, designed by J. Bevan, was first consecrated 2nd June 1887 by Bishop Ellicott; and opened on 1st April 1891. Sadly, however, it became a casualty of WWII air-raids, so the present church is a rebuild, completed in 1953.

The Bristol Record Office hold records of baptisms, 1883-1985; marriages 1887-1982; and burials 1948-1973.


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 is located at OS grid reference ST5736271651. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Information last updated on 14 Aug 2014 at 14:45.

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Further Information

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Please also remember that whilst the above account may suggest that St Francis of Assisi's Church (originally Holy Cross) remains open and accessible, this may not remain so.

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This Report was created 16 Jan 2022 - 22:37:26 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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