Main Index

St Bartholomew

St Andrews


This church was built with monies from the demolition and sale of the site of St Bartholomew's Church in the City Centre (Union Street), demolished in 1890 or 1894 (depending on who you consult). Strangely a church had already been started in the area, St Martin, but only the foundations had been built. They were removed and the stone reused here in the foundations. It is a beautiful church of 1894, in a Decorated style. No one window is the same. Pevsner says the church is by W. Bassett Smith and recent research by Andrew Foyle led to the discovery of plans by Bassett Smith for this church at the Record Office; another Bassett Smith church at Caterham, Surrey, bears a remarkable similarity.

The main problem of the church is that it is surrounded by trees, making a spring or summer external shot nigh on impossible! If I return for a pic through the bare branches of winter, I may alter these pictures above. The first two stages of a huge NW tower were built, but the parish magazine of 1901 still had not give up hope for a completion of the steeple!

The church has no clerestory and is wide and spacious. The chancel is long, three bays in fact, and has no side chapels or aisles. This breadth can better be seen from the high altar looking west. An arch under the two towers is blocked and has a three stepped lancet window. Was this as planned or was the arch to have been open and the font placed in its own baptistry? The arcades have alternate octogonal or quatrefoil shaped piers, and the responds are semi-circular piers except by the pulpit which has a short shaft and corbel because of the siting of the pulpit and tester. Especially odd as the pulpit was not installed until the early C20!
The fittings are in keeping, if not particularly spectacular. However the pulpit seems to be in the local style with a tester, although the C15 ones (e.g. at Banwell, Hutton etc) are of stone.
The chancel East window of five lights is stunning. The glass is by J.Bell and Co of Bristol and inserted in 1901. To the south of the sanctuary is an unusual art deco memorial plate, because it commemorates firstly the installation of the heating apparatus as well the memory of the deceased Richard Coaffee d1905.
The north sanctuary window contains glass rescued from the former church of St Andrew, Montpelier when that church was demolished in 1969.

Back to Bristol churches Index

page updated 23rd July 2012