St Thomas the Martyr, Bristol

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St Thomas the Martyr
St Thomas the Martyr Bristol2.jpg
St Thomas the Martyr, Bristol is located in Bristol
St Thomas the Martyr, Bristol
Location within Bristol
General information
Town or cityBristol
Coordinates51°27′10″N 2°35′29″W / 51.4527°N 2.5914°W / 51.4527; -2.5914Coordinates: 51°27′10″N 2°35′29″W / 51.4527°N 2.5914°W / 51.4527; -2.5914
Completed14th century

St Thomas the Martyr is a former Church of England parish church on St Thomas Street in the Redcliffe district of the English port city of Bristol.

It has a 14th-century tower, but the nave was rebuilt 1791–93 by James Allen.[1] A substantial reordering was carried out by William Venn Gough between 1878 and 1880, and the top of the tower was remodeled with spirelet, pinnacles, and pierced parapet by Gough in 1896–97.[2]

The interior of the church

Four paintings for the reredos were commissioned from the German artist Fritz von Kamptz in 1906,[3] and are now housed in the south aisle.[2]

Although the church survived the "Bristol Blitz" of the Second World War, the congregation declined after the war and the church was finally declared redundant. It is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust,[4] having been vested in the Trust on 17 February 1988.[5]

Engraving of St Thomas the Martyr church, published c.1838. The view shows the 18th-century body of the church on the left of the image and the medieval tower in the centre. In front of the church can be seen the graveyard with standing gravestones. In the background can be seen the buildings of the St Thomas Livestock Market, now mostly demolished except the Wool Hall which has been regenerated into a cult music venue called The Fleece.

The organ was built by John Harris in 1729, and attracted the admiration of Handel.[6]

It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building.[1]


Parish records for St Thomas the Martyr church, Bristol are held at Bristol Archives (Ref. P. St T) (online catalogue) including baptism, marriage and burial registers. The archive also includes records of the incumbent, churchwardens, overseer of the poor, parochial church council, charities, societies, waywarden and vestry plus deeds, plans and photographs.

Current usage[edit]

The building is currently leased by the Churches Conservation Trust to a Romanian Orthodox Church community who use it for worship on Sundays and special days. Otherwise it is available for hire.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Historic England, "Church of St Thomas including wall, gates and gateway, Bristol (1202562)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 11 April 2015
  2. ^ a b Foyle, Andrew (2004), Bristol, Pevsner Architectural Guides, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, pp. 110–111, ISBN 0-300-10442-1
  3. ^ "Fritz von Kamptz". Manx National Heritage. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
  4. ^ Church of St Thomas the Martyr, Bristol, Bristol, Churches Conservation Trust, retrieved 30 November 2016
  5. ^ Diocese of Bristol: All Schemes (PDF), Church Commissioners/Statistics, Church of England, 2011, p. 3, retrieved 2 April 2011
  6. ^ Boeringer, James (1983), Organa Britannica, Associated University Presses, p. 337, ISBN 0-8387-1894-9
  7. ^ Romanian Orthodox Church at St Thomas the Martyr