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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:

5 of 5 stars
  • Certificate of Excellence 2018
  • Excellent
    58
  • Very Good
    13
  • Average
    0
  • Poor
    0
  • Terrible
    1

Recent Reviews:

  • themubble
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Solo travel
    Nice non chain cafe.
    5 of 5 stars
    Wednesday, 23rd January 2019
    Lovely food, particularly the salads. The staff are friendly and the service quick which is great if you’ve popped out in your lunch hour. Nice to be able to sit in the church and reflect especially... Read full review
  • BackPacker446662
    Trip Type:
    Friends getaway
    Fab food
    5 of 5 stars
    Monday, 1st April 2019
    Lovely cafe and oasis of calm in the city centre. Really beautiful and worth a visit. Cakes and salads were delicious Read full review
  • TRJD
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Friends getaway
    Historic find
    5 of 5 stars
    Monday, 1st April 2019
    Wow what a gem.. beautiful church. Amazing stained glass. Such a peaceful place and the oldest building in bristol. Can't believe its taken me 20 years to visit... I'll def be visiting again... Read full review
Whitson Street
Bristol
BS1 3NZ

Tel: +44 (0)117 929 9100

Opening Times

Open (1 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2019)

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

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Saturday, 8th June 2019 - Saturday, 8th June 2019

Harmonic Mass at St James Priory
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