Church of St Nicholas


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Church of St Nicholas, St Nicholas Street, Bristol, BS1 1UE


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Statutory Address:
Church of St Nicholas, St Nicholas Street, Bristol, BS1 1UE

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

City of Bristol (Unitary Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
ST 58945 72940


This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 24 February 2021 to update the name and address, to amend description due to change of use of building, to remove superfluous source details from text and to reformat the text to current standards

ST5872NE 901-1/16/662

BRISTOL ST NICHOLAS STREET (south side) City Museum, former Church of St Nicholas 08/01/59

GV II* Church, later a museum (1974-2008) reopened as a church in 2018. Mid C14, completely rebuilt above the crypt 1769, by James Bridges, steeple and interior by Thomas Paty. Bath stone ashlar and Pennant rubble.

PLAN: nave and west tower. Georgian Gothic Revival style.

EXTERIOR: windowless east end projecting to the centre, articulated by slight diagonally-set buttresses; below a moulded string are C14 rubble crypt walls with quatrefoil openings. Seven bay north elevation, a re-set C15 three-light mullion window in the east bay and an inserted C20 door to the west of that; tall five-light Perpendicular windows separated by buttresses up to a blind arcaded parapet. The crypt wall is exposed on the south side through the falling ground, and has a gabled porch in the second bay from the west parapeted vestry in the south west corner has a four-light south window. Two-stage tower: the north door has an ogee hood, with C20 glazing and small entrance lobby; above is an eight-foil oculus; the belfry has paired windows with ogee hoods, the bottom half blind, the top louvred, and clasping pilaster buttresses, panelled in two halves with trefoil heads to the belfry, a coved cornice and open arcaded parapet, with pinnacles with ogee gablets; on the south face is a clock. Octagonal three-stage spire with oculi around the middle stage.

INTERIOR: largely rebuilt after Second World War bombing. The fine mid C14 crypt is four bays with tierceron vaulting and good animate and foliate bosses, on triple attached shafts to the aisles with foliate capitals, and continuous moulding to the arcade; at the east end is an arched panel with good figure stops and a hexafoil panel

FITTINGS: C18 baluster-shaped font; brass eagle lectern c1480. Memorials: C16 wall memorial with a panelled base, flanking buttresses with pinnacles, an arch over with panelled soffit and an effigy on one elbow.

HISTORICAL NOTE: The mid C14 church was demolished in 1762; Bridges' design, building off the old crypt, was an early and remarkably well-studied attempt at Gothic revival, and the windows have similarities with those of St Peter's, Peter Street (qv). The interior had a very fine Rococo plaster ceiling by Thomas Stocking (Ison).

Listing NGR: ST5894572940


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Gomme, A H, Jenner, M, Little, B D G, Bristol, An Architectural History, (1979), 171
Ison, W, The Georgian Buildings of Bristol, (1952), 65
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol, (1958), 404


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 16 Mar 2006
Reference: IOE01/15016/33
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Adrian Exton. Source Historic England Archive
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