Temple (or Holy Cross) Church

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Bristol, Temple Church

TEMPLE (or HOLY CROSS) CHURCH, Temple Street /Victoria Street. Blitzed ruin.

  • Opening: interior not open. Exterior accessible at all times.
  • Access: Level access around churchyard and alley at the North side; some steps to lawns at the East end. Deep unguarded drop between churchyard and church walls; children must be supervised.
  • Map

The Knights Templar built an oval church here c.1150. They were suppressed in 1312, and the church was then rebuilt on rectangular plan; the naveGlossary Term arcadeGlossary Term and parts of the east end are of that date. The major feature is the dramatically leaning TOWER; two stages of c.1390 quickly began to subside. Another stage was added c.1460, with two fretted Somerset belfryGlossary Term lights. The lean was corrected, the changed angle visible from the south. The top now leans west about 1.5m. Without the usual parapetGlossary Term and pinnacles it has a flat top, appearing severe and monumental. At the tower baseGlossary Term three delicate Perp. statue niches and BaroqueGlossary Term north-west door with big segmental pedimentGlossary Term. EmbattledGlossary Term north and south aisles with large early Perp. windows. Dec traceried windows in the long chancelGlossary Term with shorter flanking chapels, that of the Weavers' Guild on the north. Early Dec. window above the chancelGlossary Term archGlossary Term and in the south chapel; unusual square headed windows of four cusped lights beneath spheric triangles also c.1310. The big secluded churchyard on the S makes a fine setting.


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