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St Peter



History records the foundation of a church in Bishopsworth in 1194, a chapel of ease to Bedminster Parish Church. It was in use until c1540 when the chapel was converted into three cottages. These cottages survived until they were demolished in 1961 for the swimming pool. Mr and Mrs Brock, the last occupants of the middle cottage, reported having found biblical texts and fragments of wall paintings when they stripped a room down for redecoration.

In the early C19 a room in Bishopsworth Manor was consecrated for church services but the permanent church did not follow until 1841. Built to the designs of S C Fripp (and said to have been based on a church at Thaon, Normandy - you can judge for yourself by clicking the link) it was completed in 1843 but its planned tower was never finished. It was still a chapel-of-ease to Bedminster, not becoming a parish church until 1853. Little has been done to its since, a vestry /porch was added in 1877 in the same Neo-Norman style. Recently the interior has been re-ordered.

The church consists of a five-bayed nave, north porch, central tower and east apsidal sanctuary. It is quite austere, the rock-facing of the walls and strip pilasters dividing the bays adding to this impression. Inside, the arcades are a welcome surprise but the roof over nave and aisles with thin spindly timbers is less successful. The original fittings are in keeping, all in the same Norman style. Now the visitor finds the original seating has been removed, and at services a large screen and projector are brought into use (the screen thankfully can be raised out of view too as the two pictures sent to me by Andrew Dutch below prove - used with permission).


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page created 22nd January 2007