AboutSt 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.
- In town/city centre
- Of historic, literary or architectural interest
Map & Directions
TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:
- Very Good11
- Peter IBristolTrip Type:Friends getawayOldest Church in BristolMonday, 13th February 2017Hidden treasure in the heart of Bristol. A wonderful quiet place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and connect with your inner self, and the adjoining cafe (Le Refectoire) will more than... Read full review
- sylvia bKeynsham, United KingdomTrip Type:Solo travelSt James Priory - CafeTuesday, 20th December 2016Wanted to write a review again of St James Priory. The Church was just as beautiful and peaceful as it always is. I went there to light candles for Christmas in memory of my Mother, Husband and... Read full review
- scourserBristol, United KingdomTrip Type:Friends getawayLove itWednesday, 30th November 2016It love this little cafe, it's an oasis of calm right next to the hustle and bustle of Bristol coach station and the Royal Infirmary. The cafe is set in one of Bristol oldest buildings and is ran on... Read full review
Tel: +44 (0)117 929 9100
|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.