St Stephen's

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Bristol, St Stephen's Church

ST. STEPHEN'S, St Stephen's Avenue

  • Opening: weekdays 10am - 4pm, and Sunday services.
  • Access: three very shallow steps down at the porch.
  • Map

A fine late PerpendicularGlossary Term citizens' church of c.1470-80, but of 13th century foundation. The rebuilding was mostly in expensive dressed stone (ashlarGlossary Term), indicating the wealth of merchant John Shipward who paid for it. It has Bristol's best PerpendicularGlossary Term tower, a majestic four stage 'Somerset' type increasing in elaboration towards the showy openwork crownGlossary Term with angled corner panels, similar to Gloucester Cathedral. Fine south porch with deeply moulded archGlossary Term, two rows of leaf carvings, and fan-vaulted interior. Inside, a high naveGlossary Term with full length N and S aisles and no structurally separate chancelGlossary Term; a typical PerpendicularGlossary Term plan form. Elegant piers with thin shafts and angel capitals. The tall clerestory is a further indication of wealth. The floors, reredosGlossary Term, pulpitGlossary Term, fontGlossary Term and all the window traceryGlossary Term and glazing except the W window date from the large-scale restoration of 1875-98. Of the furnishings, the highlights are a C15 brass eagle lectern from the blitzed St. Nicholas church, and the magnificent wrought ironGlossary Term SWORD REST and GATES with gilded monograms, by William Edney, c.1710 from the same church. The gates now form the entrance to the N aisleGlossary Term CHAPEL OF ST. NICHOLAS AND ST. LEONARD by J. Ralph Edwards, 1958. GLASS: E window by Hardman & Co, 1882; N aisleGlossary Term all by Clayton and Bell (1898). MONUMENTS; S aisleGlossary Term, Sir George Snygge (d.1617) in judge's robes in a large frame of CorinthianGlossary Term columns and strapworkGlossary Term. In the N aisleGlossary Term, three C14 ogeeGlossary Term tomb recesses. Two with effigies from elsewhere. At the W is thought to be Edmund Blanket †1371 on a panelled chest. Then Sir Walter Tyddesley †1385. N of the pulpitGlossary Term, an oval plaque to Martin Pring †1626, with naïve figured surround added 1733.


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