Church of St Thomas the Martyr, Bristol
- What's nearby
An elegant Georgian survivor in a city centre location
Located in Bristol's city centre, this handsome late eighteenth-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 fifteenth-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 fifteenth to the nineteenth 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 eighteenth-century organ case. Some of the other furnishings are from the eighteenth 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 campaigner, Reverend Thomas Clarkson, gathered information on the Transatlantic Slave Trade. His evidence helped bring about the abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in Britain.
St Thomas is situated on Thomas lane, between Redcliffe Street and Victoria Street. Nearby metered parking and public car parks a 200m walk away.
Disabled access information
Steps up from footpath at both doors. Ramp used inside the church.
Facilities & Hire
Offering a beautifully atmospheric and centrally located venue space, St Thomas’ Church is ideal for a whole range of events: film and video locations, product launches, corporate meetings, Instameets, fashion shoots, talks, tours, “champing” (church camping), weddings, concerts and lots more.
- Grade II* listed building
- Capacity for 300 people
- Fantastic acoustic
- Kitchenette facilities
- Green room
- Good public transport links and nearby car parking
- Available all year round
To enquiry about hiring please email [email protected] or click the 'Hire' button on this web page.
St Thomas Street, to south west of Bristol Bridge near intersection of Redcliff Street and Victoria Street.
Close to bus routes to city centre and bus station. Bus and coach terminus 1 mile. Bus route numbers 51/54/57/57A/70/178/339/349/379/672.
Nearest railway station: Bristol Temple Meads (0.25 mile).
History & Further Information
Why not find out more about this church before you visit?Download a copy of the church guidebook
You can access a free audio guide to the church here
Discover the Hidden History of St Thomas the Martyr in the 15th Century, thanks to the incredible research work of Esther Lewis PhD Researcher: ‘Popular Piety in Pre-Reformation Bristol, 1400-1500’. Department of History, University of Nottingham funded by Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership.
We hope to have Esther's work formally published, in the meantime you can download a copy of her work here.Hidden History of Bristol St Thomas the Martyr in the 15th Century
Please consider making a donation to the CCT for use of this material to match fund the project.
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 we care for in Bristol and Gloucestershire. Printed copies of the county guide are also available at the church.
Sacred & Spiritual Bristol
Bristol can be proud not only of its rich history and seafaring links, but also of its profusion of churches and places to worship. Any visit to Bristol should at least include a glimpse inside some of these remarkable locations that have helped to make Bristol a place of significant religious importance.
- Community information