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Bristol Cathedral

History

A church has probably stood on this site for over a thousand years. About 1140 a local grandee, Robert Fitzharding, founded the Abbey of St. Augustine. The Chapter House and Abbey Gatehouse remain clearly to be seen - the rest of the abbey site is mostly occupied by Bristol Cathedral School.

 

Architecture

The eastern end of the Cathedral (i.e. the enlarged abbey church) gives Bristol Cathedral a unique place in the development of British and European architecture. The Nave, Quire and Aisles are all of the same height, making a large hall. Bristol Cathedral is the major example of a “hall church” in Great Britain and one of the finest anywhere in the world. In 1539 the Abbey was closed and the incomplete nave was demolished. The building was redesignated the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity in 1542. In 1868 plans were drawn to complete the Nave to its medieval design. The architect, G.E.Street, found the original pillar bases upon which to build, so that the Cathedral is much as it would have been when it was the abbey church. J.L. Pearson added the two towers at the West End and further reordered the interior.

Local Interest

The Lord Mayor's Chapel
The Harbourside
Millenium Square (+ City Information Office)
[at] Bristol Science and Technology Centre
Brandon Hill Gardens and Cabot Tower
Bristol Museum and Art Galleries