Inside St Peter’s Bristol

When we were campaigning to save Bristol’s Castle Park, we were repeatedly told this mediaeval church was at risk of falling inwards, weakened by the fire that destroyed it in The Blitz. But it’s still standing and now volunteers have access to it to help maintain the adjoining garden. It’s misnamed the Physic Garden, but it is a wonderful green space.  The church was one of the city’s most important, named after Peter as it adjoined the castle, so was involved in local lawmaking and access to the Crown. It had some of the finest tombs, in alabaster, and even one allegedly in jade. It is said that when it caught fire fighting was impeded as rivers of lead flowed from the roof into the nearby River Avon.  It was also the parish of the Hoare banking family, a mason of the name made repairs. They rescued the nearby parish pump and the High Cross to preserve them at their grand estate at Stourhead, Wiltshire, now a National Trust property.

So, this is what’s left. Now the dangers seem to be from unsafe floors, as underground crypts pose a risk.

This pic is interesting as it shows the inside of a wall, which has a column which seems to be collapsing, supported by rubble, suggesting the wall replaced an avenue of columns. The whole place is full of bricks, stone and concrete, all of different ages, so the church was repeatedly repaired and shored up over time. Were the masons inept or did its closeness to the river edge make it unstable?

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st peter tree arch

Don’t ask!

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This is the only memorial.I wonder if the details were moved for safety

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