Custom Search


St Mary Redcliffe Church

In 1574 Queen Elizabeth is said to have proclaimed the Parish Church of St Mary Redcliffe to be the "fairest, goodliest and most famous parish church in England." Bristolís most historic and beautiful building, the St Mary Redcliffe Church is one of Bristolís treasures with its magnificent exterior of flying buttresses, pinnacles and spire.

The main entrance to the church is through the magnificent two storey, seven-pointed archway of the north porch. It was built in the early 14th century and has an unusual hexaganol shape, the outside of which is richly carved.

The statues of the kings of England that resided in the niches on the outer walls disappeared long ago and the beautifully carved corbels depicting townsfolk have been removed to safety inside the church.

The oldest part of the church, the inner porch, dates from the 12th century with its black Purbeck marble columns, surmounted by capitals boldly carved with leaf motifs. During the Victorian restoration several finely decorated tombs were discovered under the floor indicating this may have been hallowed ground and the outer porch may have been built to protect this space.

The building has a splendid interior with fine stone vaulted transepts with 1200 gold covered roof bosses, beautifully carved by mediaeval masons, which act as keystones locking the masonry that forms the vaulting.

There are relics of Bristolís merchant venturers who began and ended their voyages here. On his return from discovering mainland America, John Cabot gave thanks for the voyage by presenting a whalebone to St Mary Redcliffe which rests above the north porch door near a model of his ship, the Matthew. Handel, who visited his friend Thomas Broughton, Vicar of St Mary Redcliffe, played the Harris and Byfield organ, parts of which are preserved in the present organ, one of the finest built by Harrison and Harrison between 1911 and 1912.

The Chaotic Pendulum, a St Mary Redcliffe Journey into Science Project demonstrates the wonder of the unpredictability of science.

The grave of the Chatterton family and that of Tom, the church cat reside in the churchyard on the south side. The house of Samuel Plimsoll, born at No.9 in Colston Parade, was rebuilt when a railway tunnel was driven through the Churchyard and the Parade. Next to the railings of Colston Parade, a tramline lies embedded in the churchyard after a bombing raid during World War II.

Wonderful home cooked food is available in the Undercroft Cafť.



Top of Page | Previous Page        
Submit Your Site | Link To Us | Advertising With Us | Terms of Use | Contact Us | About Us
Copyright © Bristol Link. All Rights Reserved.