Christians have been praying and worshiping on this site for the last a thousand years. In 1140, Robert Fitzhardinge founded the Abbey of St. Augustine. The medieval Chapter House and Abbey Gatehouse remain clearly to be seen: other remains are within Bristol Cathedral Choir School.
The eastern end of the Cathedral, especially in the Choir, gives Bristol Cathedral a unique place in the development of British and European Architecture. The Nave, Choir and Aisles are all 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 partially rebuilt nave was demolished. The building became the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity in 1542. In 1868 plans were drawn up to rebuild the Nave to its medieval design. The Architect, G. E. Street, found the original pillar bases, so the dimensions are much the same as those of the abbey church. J. L. Pearson added the two towers at the West End and further reordered the interior.
From Monday to Friday the Cathedral is open to visitors from 8.00am until 5.00pm, unless you wish to attend Choral Evensong or Evening Prayer at 5.15pm.
On Saturdays and Sundays we are open from 8.00am until 3.15pm, unless you wish to attend Choral Evensong at 3.30pm.
Free of charge
We Have Our Lives
- 1 August 2014 — 30 November 2018 *on now
Throughout 2014 - 2018, we are telling the stories of some of those who died as a result of the First World War. We remember a fallen casualty for every month of the conflict, with people hailing from all over the Diocese. With biographies, pictures, and information on areas relevant to each person - ranging from Passchendaele to Football in the war - we hope to illustrate the war in a more personal and human way
- Any age
Admission to the Cathedral is free.
We are moved by war
- 22 September 2015 — 4 January 2016 *on now
One hundred years ago Bristol was struggling to look after the many wounded as they arrived from the fronts through Avonmouth. It was decided that Bristol’s lunatic asylum should be converted into a military hospital and from 1915 to 1919 it became Beaufort War Hospital; made famous through the paintings of Sir Stanley Spencer who worked there as a medical orderly. The exhibition is designed to reflect the dilemmas presented by war. Stanley Spencer wrote in 1915: 'I had to scrub out the Asylum Church. It was a splendid test of my feelings about this war. But I still feel the necessity of this war...' Would your feelings about war echo Spencer's?
Glenside Hospital Museum is situated within the hospital’s church in the grounds of the original building, which is now part of the University of the West of England's School of Health and Social Care campus. Here relatives, volunteers and researchers have been uncovering the story of the lunatic asylum when it was taken over by the War Office. The focus is the museum's collection of postcards, which show the wounded soldiers and staff. Immediately you want to know who they were and what happened to them. Although all the photographs are black and white, you can imagine the pink-grey building, the green lawns, the red crosses and men wearing the special bright blue flannel uniforms. Uncovering their stories you discover people are emotionally and physically disabled, divided and united by war.
- Any age
Bristol Cathedral is free to enter and all are welcome
City of Bristol
0117 926 4879
0117 925 3678