St. Mary Redcliffe is an Anglican parish church in Bristol. The church is the second-largest parish church in England and the tallest building in Bristol. It is so grand that visitors often mistake it for Bristol Cathedral.
History of St. Mary Redcliffe
Some parts of the church date back to the beginning of the 12th century, but most of St. Mary Redcliffe is the work of 15th-century masons.
In the time of Queen Anne, the interior of St. Mary Redcliffe was redecorated in the Baroque style. A great altarpiece by William Hogarth was commissioned to fill the east end of the chancel. The Churchwardens paid him £525 for his paintings of the Ascension flanked by The Sealing of the Sepulchre and the Three Marys at the Tomb.
In the Victorian era, stained glass windows were created by some of the finest studios of the period. In 1872 the spire was rebuilt to a height of 292 feet (90 metres).
During World War II a bomb exploded in a nearby street, throwing a rail from the tramway over the houses and into the churchyard of St Mary Redcliffe, where one end became embedded in the ground, with the other end protruding at an angle. The rail is left there as a monument.
What to See at St. Mary Redcliffe
The floor plan of St. Mary Redcliffe is a long, slender Latin cross. The walls consist almost entirely of large stained glass windows, filling the interior with light. The nave is roofed with a beautiful lierne vault with gilded ribs and roof bosses.
Sadly, most of the medieval furnishings and stained glass were lost during the Reformation and Civil War. Some of the higher portions of the windows survived, but the rest has mostly been replaced with clear glass.
The American Chapel (St. John's Chapel) houses the tomb and armor of Admiral Sir William Penn, father of Pennsylvania's founder.
Quick Facts on St. Mary Redcliffe
|Names:||St. Mary Redcliffe|
|Categories:||churches; England's Thousand Best Churches: Five Stars|
|Dates:||12th C, 15th C|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||51.448297° N, 2.589523° W|
|Address:||12 Colston Parade|
|Lodging:||View hotels near St. Mary Redcliffe|
- St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol - official website
- St. Mary Redcliffe Church - Frommer's England
- St. Mary Redcliffe - About Bristol
- St. Mary Redcliffe Church - WCities
Map of St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol
Below is a location map and aerial view of St. Mary Redcliffe. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.