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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
      46
    • Very Good
      11
    • Average
      0
    • Poor
      0
    • Terrible
      2

    Recent Reviews:

    • NJAH1962
      Bristol, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Solo travel
      The cafe is excellent
      5 of 5 stars
      Sunday, 3rd September 2017
      The cafe at the Priory is excellent and somewhere I always make for when in Bristol - the food is very tasty and exceptional value for money Read full review
    • Kuchie
      Bristol
      Trip Type:
      Friends getaway
      The oldest building in Bristol
      5 of 5 stars
      Saturday, 19th August 2017
      What a beautiful church. From reading the history of the church, it has been restored through a lot of blood, sweat and tears but what a result. It is like an oasis of calm in the Bristol city... Read full review
    • Graham S
      Bristol, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Friends getaway
      beautiful place
      5 of 5 stars
      Thursday, 17th August 2017
      steeped in history and definitely the place to take visitors, especially because of the excellent nearby coffee shop 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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