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St James Priory

Add St James Priory to your Itinerary

St James Priory

About

St James Priory is the oldest church in Bristol that’s still in use.

It is listed Grade 1, as a building of outstanding architectural and historic interest. Between 2009 and 2011 a huge £4 million HLF funded repair, conservation and renovation project has restored the building to its current grandeur.

St James Priory was founded between 1124 and 1137 by Robert, first Earl of Gloucester, who owned the castle at Bristol. To start with, there were 11 or 12 monks and a Prior, who lived under the rule of the Benedictine Abbey of Tewkesbury. Robert died of fever in 1147 in Bristol and was initially buried in St James Priory.

As well as a spiritual role as a Benedictine Priory, St James played a significant part in the social and economic history of Bristol. In addition to providing support for the poor its activities include being a key player in the urban development of Bristol, the landlord of the Whitson Fair (a major medieval South West trading fair) and offering an important place of burial.

St James Priory continues today to offer a haven of serenity and peace in the heart of the city for all visitors and travellers. It also provides charitable support for people in recovery from drugs and alcohol dependency and those with mental health problems.

St James Priory is open from Monday to Friday between 10am and 5pm, with Mass starting at 8am on Sundays.

There is a café (Café Refectoire) attached to the church, which provides a welcome for those visiting this historic site.

Extras

Key Features

  • In town/city centre
  • Of historic, literary or architectural interest

Map & Directions

Road Directions

Find out about the latest on the roads and get travel directions from TravelWest.info

Public Transport Directions

For comprehensive information about getting here by public transport, please visit TravelWest.info

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

    • Excellent
      39
    • Very Good
      11
    • Average
      0
    • Poor
      0
    • Terrible
      2

    Recent Reviews:

    • PeakinDarien
      Canberra
      Trip Type:
      Friends getaway
      Easily overlooked gem tucked away behind Marlborough St Coach station
      5 of 5 stars
      Tuesday, 6th June 2017
      You enter it via their café called the Refectory. The building was started 900 years ago, has had add-ons over the centuries, and has been catering to people needing hospitality and care since the... Read full review
    • MatapihiLocals
      Tauranga, New Zealand
      Trip Type:
      Couples
      Intriguing
      5 of 5 stars
      Thursday, 25th May 2017
      It does look like the oldest building in Bristol with its long history but has been updated in parts and seems fully functional as a church building. Amazing memorials on the walls. Are the bodies... Read full review
    • matthewjames902017
      Cardiff, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Business
      Fantastic place managed by a fantastic lady!!
      5 of 5 stars
      Friday, 12th May 2017
      Spent a day at St James Priory doing some volunteering work (painting, gardening etc). We were welcomed by a very passionate lady (Susan) who has long be involved with both the work they do with the... Read full review
    Whitson Street
    Bristol
    BS1 3NZ

    Tel: +44 (0)117 929 9100

    Instagram feed

    Opening Times

    Open (1 Jan 2017 - 31 Dec 2017)

    * St James Priory is open from Monday to Saturday between 9am and 5pm, with Mass starting at 8am on Sundays.

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