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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
  • Certificate of Excellence 2018

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

  • Excellent
    52
  • Very Good
    13
  • Average
    0
  • Poor
    0
  • Terrible
    2

Recent Reviews:

  • Dazzler83
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Friends getaway
    What a delight!
    5 of 5 stars
    Thursday, 7th June 2018
    I’ve lived in Bristol for 12+ years and only recently uncovered this little gem. It’s a beautiful little cafe tucked away behind the bus station which extends onto the oldest building in Bristol that... Read full review
  • gdegdegde
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Business
    Peaceful city retreat
    5 of 5 stars
    Monday, 4th June 2018
    Oldest building in Bristol located next to the bus station. It has a lovely cafe with plenty of seating. Nice selection of cakes, hot and cold food, everything we ordered was very nice and came... Read full review
  • Ryan J
    Reading
    Trip Type:
    Friends getaway
    An oasis in the centre of Bristol.
    5 of 5 stars
    Monday, 4th June 2018
    A beautiful oasis in the centre of Bristol. The church does amazing work for the community and I feel privileged to have been able to explore the oldest building in Bristol. The food and coffee at... Read full review
Whitson Street
Bristol
BS1 3NZ

Tel: +44 (0)117 929 9100

Instagram feed

Opening Times

Open (1 Jan 2018 - 31 Dec 2018)

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

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