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St Andrew, Montpelier

Bristol

1844 - 1969

The church still gives its name to part of the city, although this is largely an area carved out for one of its successor churches' parish boundary originally, that of St Bartholomew. The church stood at the Bath buildings end of St Andrew's Road. It was built 1844-5 to the designs of S.J.Hicks in the lancet style and cost 2428. It was a cruciform building 100 feet long and 58 feet wide across the transepts. The chancel was added in 1878 by W.H.Clarke and J.Bevan made some additions (probably the organ chamber and vestries to the north of the chancel) in 1887.

The interior was wide and spacious with a delightful timber roof which became complicated with flying-buttress-like braces to the tie-beams which in turn carried a pointed wooden arch each, except at the crossing where the brace was placed at the diagonal and the arch died into the pitch of the roof. This roof rested on large foliated corbels which ended suddenly as if someone had forgotten to add wall shafts. There was also a fine openwork metal screen across the entrance to the chancel with a tall gable over the doors.

     
         

The parish was joined to that of St Bartholomew in 1958, and the church later closed and was finally demolished in September 1969. The tower was the last part to come down, and I can remember the sight of the still noble west portal with its double doors and fine stepped triple lancet window above and the remains of the shattered belfry stage when I cycled out this way as a schoolboy. One window was rescued and placed in the new parish church, in the north window of the sanctuary where it can still be seen.

Today the site of the church is a small park, the entrance to which still preserves the ironwork arch in the photo above, although the lamp has gone. the churchyard walls survive but nothing else except memories and old photographs. Hopefully I will add a matching present-day picture to the above fairly soon.

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page updated 24th August 2000