Bristol's Medieval Parishes


There were 18 parish churches in medieval Bristol, 19 including St James.  By the year 2000 13 remained in situ. The fate of the other six was as follows:

St Augustine-the-less was damaged in WW2 air raids.  The ruins were demolished in the late 1960's and the land was used for an extension to the adjoining hotel.

St Ewensstood below the corner of Broad Street and Corn Street.  It was consolidated with Christ Church in 1788 and demolished in1820 to make way for the Council House.

St Giles stood at the bottom of Small street and was closed as early as 1319.

St Lawrence stood on the west side of St John's and shared the present church tower.  It closed in 1580.

St Leonard like St John's was built with its steeple above one of the old town gates but its was demolished in 1786 and its parish merged with St Nicholas.  

St Werburgh was dismantled in 1876 and moved to a the Baptist Mills area creating the present St Werburgh's parish.

Many Bristol churches were damaged by WW2 air raids but only St Augustine (noted above) has disappeared completely. St Nicholas, by Bristol Bridge, was restored and for a time was a museum, it is currently used as office space by local council departments. Only the tower of St Mary-le-Port still stands, surrounded by post war 'building'.  St Peter remains as a 'stabilised' shell - retained as a memorial to local citizens "who died in the blitz during the 1939 - 1945 war".  It is well presented as a ruin on the edge of the green space known as 'Castle Green' with terraces, a little herb garden and a water feature placed to the east.  Similarly, Temple Church has been stabilised and its graveyard is now a fairly quiet garden.  

Parish boundary data taken from 'A Survey of Parish Boundary Markers and Stones for Eleven of the Ancient Bristol Parishes' published by the Temple Local History Group.

Baptism Marriage and Death records for these churches and many others in the Bristol Diocese, are held in the Bristol Records Office.  A hand list of all these records held (including non-conformist records) is now available on the BRO website.

The pages below contain brief descriptions and miscellaneous collections of information and also if available, articles originally published in our journal.