St Paul's Church, Bristol, Bristol

Portland Square, Bristol, Bristol, BS2 8SJ
How to find us | Access information
Opening times:
Please contact Circomedia for opening arrangements.
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The 'wedding cake church' that is now a circus school.

A masterpiece of provincial 'Gothick'; architecture in an eighteenth-century square, the 'wedding cake church'; of St Paul's (so named because of the way that the tower stacks up) has been granted a new lease of life by the CCT in partnership with circus agency, Circomedia.

Featuring a beautifully ornate Georgian plaster ceiling, stone columns and a wealth of decorative stained glass, the historic interior is complemented by state of the art aerial and trapeze equipment and a pale maplewood semi-sprung dance floor. Whilst retaining its original grandeur and the uplifting qualities of light and space, St Paul's has been effectively adapted to incorporate all requirements for a contemporary arts venue.

It is now a stunning and well-loved setting perfect for a wide range of events - performances, professional research and development, concerts, wedding receptions, open space conferencing, awards ceremonies, AGMs and private parties. The adaptations made to the building to enable Circomedia's use do not diminish the beauty of the building.

The animated and elegant plasterwork of the nave ceiling and chancel arch and a fine collection of monuments are still clearly visible, including a memorial by Flaxman to Col. Spencer Thomas Vassall, who was mortally wounded at the storming of Montevideo in 1807.


Since 2005, St Paul's has been run in partnership with Circomedia, a Centre for Contemporary Circus with Physical Theatre. Read more about our award-winning adaptation.


A free online audio guide for the church can be accessed here, along with an accompanying historical walking trail of St Paul's Parish. 

Bristol St Paul's Historical Parish Trail


  • Access information
    Disabled friendly. Access to northwest door from Portland Square (metered parking) is via an unlocked gate and up a gentle paved slope.
  • Facilities & Hire
    Due to the historic nature of our buildings, only a very small number of them have heating, running water and toilet facilities.The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor.
  • Directions
    Portland Square
  • Transport
    Close to most city centre bus routes. Bus and coach terminus 0.4 mile. Nearest railway station: Bristol Temple Meads (0.4 mile).
  • History & Further Information

    A free online audio guide for the church can be accessed here, along with an accompanying historical walking trail of St Paul's Parish. 

    Bristol St Paul's Historical Parish Trail

    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.

    Bristol & Gloucestershire County Guide

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

  • Community information
    Bristol St Paul's Church Plan

    Click here to download a copy of the Church Plan which sets out the shared vision for the future of the church. This is a working document that will be updated on a regular basis. If you have any feedback or if you want to contact us about the church plan please drop us a line. When you write, please do give the name of the church, thank you!

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

    Useful links

    The day to day administration of St Paul's Church, Bristol is now organised by our partner Circomedia, the Centre for Contemporary Circus with Physical Theatre. To find out more about hiring St Paul's Church for your event, contact Circomedia via the link below.

    Visit the Circomedia website

    Other local links: