Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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St Peter's Church (Ruins), Bristol
St Peter's Church (Ruins),
Newgate (Peter Street),
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 in the 15th century, but we understand it was closed in 1940.

"St Peter's, an ancient building, situated in Peter-street, has lately been altered and considerably improved. The living is a rectory in the patronage of trustees, value about £240 per annum." [Extract from Webster & Co.'s Postal and Commercial Directory of the City of Bristol, and County of Glamorgan, 1865]

The church is of early Norman foundation, believed to have been built originally by Robert Fitzroy, shortly after he built (or rebuilt) Bristol Castle, which he inherited on the death of his father in law, Robert Fizthammon in 1107, and St James's Priory. The book Bristol and Its Environs (1875), published by the British Association records that "the oldest portion of this church is the tower, which is a massive structure of Norman workmanship, in strong analogy with the vanished castle near whose barbican it stood, the walls of the belfry being more than six feet thick".

However only the lower stages of the tower remain of his building, with the fabric of the church generally attributed to the 15th century. Tradition says it narrowly escaped demolition during the Civil War, as Colonel Nathaniel Fiennes, Roundhead governor of Bristol Castle, ordered its destruction, along with St Philip's Church, to prevent Royalist forces taking up positions in them, but Prince Rupert's arrival with an army of 20,000 prevented this from happening.

Sadly, however it did not survive the War of 1939-1945 similarly unscathed, as it was bombed in 1940, and now only the outer walls, and tower remain. The Ruins were sold to Bristol City Council in 1961.

The Bristol Town Plan of 1884-1885 shows there was a medium sized graveyard on the south side of the Church. At that time the building fronted directly onto Peter Street, of which now only a vestigial walkway survives. [Other source: St Peter's Church, on the About Bristol website]


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 ST5912373096. 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 6 Jun 2013 at 16:13.

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Further Information

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This Report was created 19 Aug 2022 - 09:20:31 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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