Church of St Thomas the Martyr, Bristol, Bristol

Address: Thomas Lane, Bristol, Bristol, BS1 6JG
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Open from 9:30am until 5:00pm Monday to Friday. Please call the Bristol office on 0117 9291766 for out of hour enquiries.
Keyholder information, accessibility and facilities

An elegant Georgian survivor in a city centre location

Located in Bristol’ city centre, this handsome late 18th-century church was designed in 1789 by local architect and carver James Allen to replace a Medieval church deemed unsafe for use.

Allen retained the 15th-century west tower of the old church, intending it to be 'raised and modernised’ in a Classical fashion, but the plan was never carried out and the church is an unusual - but pleasing - blend of both periods.

There is a fine ring of eight bells, all cast by local founders from the 15th-yo the 19th-century. At the east end is a reredos of 1716 and at the west a gallery of 1728-32, both transferred from the previous church.

On the north side of the chancel is a superb 18th-century organ case. Some of the other furnishings are 18th-century, but most date from the 1896 restoration by H Roumieu Gough.

They are excellently designed and all contribute to one of the best interiors in Bristol. Little now survives of the old parish buildings, once home to rich clothiers, glovers, glassmakers and wine importers whose trading activities supported the church.

One of the few remaining inns of the parish is the Seven Stars Tavern, right next to St Thomas’, where anti-slavery campaigner, Reverend Thomas Clarkson, gathered information on the slave trade. His evidence helped bring about the abolition of slavery in Britain.

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How to find us

To locate this church on a map, click on the 'View on map' link that appears below the address information at the top of the page.

Road directions

St Thomas Street, to south west of Bristol Bridge near intersection of Redcliff Street and Victoria Street.

Public transport information

Close to bus routes to city centre and bus station. Bus and coach terminus 1 mile. Nearest railway station: Bristol Temple Meads (0.25 mile). Bus route numbers 51/54/57/57A/70/178/339/349/379/672.

OS Reference No.

ST 591 727

What’s on & news

News

16/07/14 Wendy Leaney impressed the judges with her skillfully sculpted creation made out of homemade lime and elderflower cordial

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Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

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Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Image gallery

Click on images to view larger

Images from Flickr

The CCT is grateful to the Flickr group, Friends of the Churches Conservation Trust, for the images shown here. CCT is not responsible for the quality or content of images taken from Flickr.


Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Useful information

Why not make your visit more enjoyable and informed by finding out more about this church and the CCT before you visit?

You can download a range of publications below including the relevant county guide, and any walk round guides we have for this church.

 

 

 

 

PDF iconBristol & Gloucestershire County Guide (PDF, 4.6mb)

This free of charge short guide contains details of all the churches CCT cares for in Bristol & Gloucestershire. Printed copies of the county guide are also available at the church.

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Temple Church The 'leaning tower' and walls of this large late medieval church survived bombing during the Second World War. The graveyard is now a peaceful public garden. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/temple-church

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Have you visited this church?

Why not share your experience with us?

Comments

  1. Carol Jane Denham (29 Jul 2012, 22:12)

    I was married on the 2nd april 1966 my name is carol-Jane Denham & my husband name is terence. I attended st Thomas for several years before that but now have moved to west wales. This weekend I made a trip to bristol to visit old haunts. My maiden name was mad docks.

  2. john yabsley (03 Sep 2012, 10:52)

    I joined the choir as a 12 year old boy in1938 '.I ceased to be a regular attender in1944 .When I graduated in1949 I returned to Bristol where I have lived ever since.
    . For some while I attended the church of St. Thomas the Apostle
    Eastville where I met my wife Christine (nee James) . I rejoined the choir of St.Thomas the Martyr as a Countertenor in the early 1950's . The church had a somewhat unusual period after John Ragg ceased to be Priest-in- charge , having been deemed redundant ess
    fully choral services continued to be held for quite many months .
    Eventually this was stopped and regular Sunday services have ceased.
    My information is that services ,usually choral , are often held on Wednesday afternoons . With a superb acoustic it is a sad loss that this beautiful Church is no longer used in the same way as that which I remember .

  3. SCSmith (11 Aug 2013, 13:02)

    I finally got to see this wonderful church which from the outside belies the beauty within. It is beautifully kept and well worth the visit. Vast high white ceilings with beautiful Georgian proportions.

    If I had one criticism to make it would be that the font which is a wonderful piece was surrounded by a bike, radiator, paperwork and other piles of rubbish which made it impossible to take a decent photograph which was one of the main reasons for my trip.

  4. David Ross (27 Sep 2014, 15:52)

    I visited the church on 11 Sep 2014 because some of my ancestors worshipped here. Robert Pitt, for example, was baptized in the old church in March 1606. Is it possible that the baptismal font now present dates from the earlier church, or is it a more recent addition? A photo I took of the font may be seen here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dw_ross/15298661246/in/photostream/

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Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Community information for Church of St Thomas the Martyr, Bristol

 

All our Bristol churches are in CCT’s West region.

Useful local links 

Visit Bristol tourism website 

Bristol & Avon Family History Society 

Bristol history 

Bristol County Council History & Heritage 

Bristol is in the Diocese of Bristol 

List of Bristol churches

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Church of St Thomas the Martyr, Bristol, Bristol

Keyholder

If the access information for this church is listed as ‘Keyholder nearby’, this means that the key is kept by one of our invaluable volunteer 'keyholders', who usually live just a short walk from the church and can give visitors the key; sometimes this is a nearby hotel, pub, library, art gallery or other venue. You will find instructions explaining how to get the key when you arrive at the church.

Disabled access

There is a ramp for the interior step, but there are exterior steps up from footpath at both doors.

Facilities

Due to the historic nature of our buildings, only a very small number of them have heating or running water meaning that they can be cold, and very rarely have toilet facilities. The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor. We do apologise for any inconvenience the lack of facilities may cause.