St. Nicholas Church, Gloucester

St Nicholas' Church is an interesting parish church on the northwest side of Gloucester.


History of St. Nicholas Church

St Nicholas was built in the Norman style in 1190, but most of the building dates from the 13th and 15th centuries. It originally greeted visitors to Gloucester as they entered the city through the West Gate, which no longer exists.

Dedicated to the patron saint of sailors and merchants, the church was especially popular in the 16th century - so much so that squints had to be inserted in the walls of the chancel so the congregation crowded into the side chapels could see the altar.

The tall spire suffered a direct hit during the Civil War Siege of Gloucester (1643) and was reduced by about half its height in 1783.

What to See at St. Nicholas Church

The great 15th-century tower and truncated spire (originally 200 feet high) of St Nicholas' Church dominate Westgate Street, just a block or so from the cathedral. The tower has a noticeable lean.

Remains from the original Norman church of 1190 can be seen in the north door tympanum, which depicts the Agnus Dei, and the northwest nave arcade.

Inside are a wide variety of monuments and memorials dating mostly from the 16th and 17th centuries. One particularly fine monument is the 17th-century effigy tomb of Alderman John Walton in the Chantry of St. Mary.

Quick Facts on St. Nicholas Church

Site Information
Names:St. Nicholas Church
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:51.867376° N, 2.249797° W
Address:Gloucester, England
Lodging:View hotels near St. Nicholas Church
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.


  1. Personal visit (exterior only; October 15, 2007).
  2. Churches of Gloucestershire - Britannia
  3. St Nicholas' Church, Gloucester (PDF) - Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society (1900)
  4. St Nicholas Church - personal website devoted to the "Leaning Tower of Gloucester"

More Information

St Nicholas' Church from the west. © Holly Hayes
St Nicholas' Church from the south. © Holly Hayes
15th-century tower and truncated spire of St Nicholas' Church, seen from the east. © Holly Hayes
Detail of 15th-century tower and truncated spire of St Nicholas' Church, seen from the east. © Holly Hayes

Map of St. Nicholas Church, Gloucester

Below is a location map and aerial view of St. Nicholas Church. 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.