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Emmanuel (The Unity)

The Dings

St Philip's, Bristol

1860 - 1939


This sizeable church, approximately 105 feet long, was designed by Pope and Bindon, and erected 1860-63. The area of The Dings had compact streets of back-to-back terraced houses, but was considered slums by the 1930s and the area was largely cleared and the residents moved to new estates of council housing in the Bedminster and Knowle West areas of the city.

As a consequence the church also became superfluous and this handsome structure with its wide and lofty clerestoried nave & aisles of six bays and lower apsidal chancel was closed in 1937 and demolished in 1939. There was no tower, just a double bellcote over the chancel arch.

The picture of the interior suggests the form of worship was "low church", the chancel is particularly short and devoid of ornate furniture and embellishments. The arcades have notably low pillars and tall arches, with luxuriant foliated stops in the spandrels and corbels to support the roof. The Ten commandments flank the chancel arch.


During a walk around the St Philip's area of Bristol, just by the Midland Road railway bridge I saw this building. On closer inspection it is the surviving Church Hall of Emmanuel church. This was built as a memorial to Rev. Richard Cornall, the first vicar of the church from 1862 to 1908. The commemoration stone still survived set in the wall to the left of the rusticated doorway. .

The building was in use as a car repair garage.


Terry Broughton Emailed me on November 2009 with corrections (incorporated above) and an update. "May I point out that the Rev. Richard Cornall was my great great grandfather and he died on 31 May 1913. Also, the church hall has now sadly been demolished - 2008 I think. The memorial stone however survives and is currently in the keeping of a stonemason in Bristol. Arno's Vale cemetery have expressed an interest in having the stone as an exhibit in their new educational centre as Richard Cornall and his family are buried in a family grave there."

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page updated 26th February 2010