Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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St Nicholas's Church, Bristol
St Nicholas's Church   [no longer consecrated]
St Nicholas's Street / Baldwin Street, BS1 1UE,
Bristol, Gloucestershire.


This Church 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 about 1400, but we understand it was closed in 1958, and the premises are now in secular use.

"St Nicholas, near Bristol bridge, has a beautiful spire about 200ft. high, and an elegant interior, unsupported by pillars. In the tower is a deep-toned and musical peal of eight bells. Below the church is a very spacious and well-built crypt, capable of holding a goodly congregation; lectures are frequently delivered and meetings held therein. The living is a vicarage united to that of St Leonard, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Bristol; annual value, £253." [Extract from Webster & Co.'s Postal and Commercial Directory of the City of Bristol, and County of Glamorgan, 1865]

The About Bristol website explains that it is very close to the original quayside on the Avon, which explains the dedication to St Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors". The crypt was built in about 1400 whilst "the rest of the church redesigned by James Bridges, an American-born architect who worked in Bristol from 1756 to 1763. He also was responsible for the new Bristol Bridge. Bridges left Bristol before the church was completed. Local architect Thomas Paty supervised the rest of the work and designed the spire".

It had a small graveyard on the south side of the church, which by the Bristol Town Map of 1884 was already disused; and indeed, information on Local Burials on the Bristol & Avon FHS website records "St Nicholas, in the crypt and before the church" as one of the locations to be closed by the Burial Act of 1853, and since then, it appears to have been cleared for road widening. The Town Map also shows that St Nicholas was built over part of the Old City Wall. Also marked is the site of St Werburgh's Gate, where the road over Bristol Bridge from the south-east entered the City via the High Street. The City Wall followed the line of the present-day Bridge Street to the east of the Gate.

The interior suffered severe damage in a bombing raid in 1940, but the Crypt, which had also functioned as an air raid shelter was undamaged, and services continued to be held there until 1958, after which the parish was united with that of St Stephen and All Saints, and the church was closed. For a time, until 2000, it was Bristol's Tourist Information Centre, but when I first prepared this account in 2014, I discovered it was the home of Bristol & Region Archaeological Services.

Surviving parish records cover the periods 1538-1958 (baptisms), 1538-1958 (marriages), and 1538-1872 (burials).


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 ST5893972936. 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 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 16 Nov 2018 at 08:04.

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Further Information

This site provides historical information about churches, other places of worship and cemeteries. It has no affiliation with the churches or congregations themselves, nor is it intended to provide a means to find places of worship in the present day.

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This Report was created 7 Jul 2022 - 15:18:39 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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