Looking at Buildings

, printed from the Looking at Buildings website on Saturday 20th August 2022

St Stephen's

Map [1]

A fine late PerpendicularGlossary Term [2] citizens' church of c.1470-80, but of 13th century foundation. The rebuilding was mostly in expensive dressed stone (ashlarGlossary Term [3]), indicating the wealth of merchant John Shipward who paid for it. It has Bristol's best PerpendicularGlossary Term [4] tower, a majestic four stage 'Somerset' type increasing in elaboration towards the showy openwork crownGlossary Term [5] with angled corner panels, similar to Gloucester Cathedral. Fine south porch with deeply moulded archGlossary Term [6], two rows of leaf carvings, and fan-vaulted interior. Inside, a high naveGlossary Term [7] with full length N and S aisles and no structurally separate chancelGlossary Term [8]; a typical PerpendicularGlossary Term [9] plan form. Elegant piers with thin shafts and angel capitals. The tall clerestory is a further indication of wealth. The floors, reredosGlossary Term [10], pulpitGlossary Term [11], fontGlossary Term [12] and all the window traceryGlossary Term [13] 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 [14] 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 [15] CHAPEL OF ST. NICHOLAS AND ST. LEONARD by J. Ralph Edwards, 1958. GLASS: E window by Hardman & Co, 1882; N aisleGlossary Term [16] all by Clayton and Bell (1898). MONUMENTS; S aisleGlossary Term [17], Sir George Snygge (d.1617) in judge's robes in a large frame of CorinthianGlossary Term [18] columns and strapworkGlossary Term [19]. In the N aisleGlossary Term [20], three C14 ogeeGlossary Term [21] 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 [22], an oval plaque to Martin Pring †1626, with naïve figured surround added 1733.

Last updated: Monday, 26th January 2009