St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol

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  • St Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol
    St Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol
    by spidermiss
  • St Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol
    St Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol
    by spidermiss
  • Detail, St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, UK.
    Detail, St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, UK.
    by planxty
  • spidermiss's Profile Photo

    St Mary Redcliffe Church

    by spidermiss Updated Jun 22, 2012

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    St Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol
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    This Gothic Church is known as 'The fairest, goodliest and most famous parish church in England.' by Queen Elizabeth I. The church's features are its 18th century ironwork, beautiful stained glass and organ. It was originally a central point during the peak of the city's shipping and industry history over a number of centuries. The Port of Bristol's merchants had begun and finished their journeys including William Canynges at Our Lady of Redcliffe's shrine.

    The church is opened daily between 8.30am-5.00pm although I didn't go in to look around.

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  • TheLongTone's Profile Photo

    St Mary Redcliffe

    by TheLongTone Updated May 29, 2011

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    This is a truly wonderful building, and is undoubtably one of Bristol's must-sees. Good Queen Bess is reputed to have declared it the fairest and goodliest parish church in all of England, and I'm not going to argue. It is at one and the same time magnificent and almost austere, simply a huge church of the basic pattern of aisled nave, transepts and choir: it's magnificence the product of it's huge height, the pillars sweeping upwards to the wonderful vaulted stone roof. This is where simplicity gives way to luxuriance: apart from the actual patterning of the vaulting every intersection of ribs is marked by a gilded boss. The church contains well over a thousand of these bosses. Every one is different, and they include several representations of the Green Man, a survival of the Old Religion. I do like a nice bit of synchretism

    Also remarkable is the North Porch, through which one enters the building. This is the oldest part of the building: the truly peculiar hexagonal outer chamber being fourteenth century while the smaller inner space dates from the twelfth. The bulk of the church is fifteenth century.

    There's generally a couple of well-informed volunteers manning the place who will be more than happy to answer any idle inquiry.

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  • planxty's Profile Photo

    A Royal seal of approval.

    by planxty Updated Mar 16, 2011

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    St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, UK.
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    If you are in the dock area of Bristol, it is hard to miss the impressive Gothic Church of St. Mary, Redcliffe as the 292 foot high spire dominates the skyline and makes it the tallest building in the city. It is a place of worship with a long history and is certainly worth a visit.

    there has been a place of worship on this site since Saxon times, although the earliest parts of the building you see today date to the early 12th century and most of it dates to a period of building spanning 1292 to 1370. Calamity literally struck in 1446 in the form of a lightning strike which destroyed much of the spire and it was to remain in that damaged state for about 400 years, being restored in 1872.

    The Church has close associations with seafaring and specifically the Americas as many ships set sail from Bristol bound for the New World. So close is this association that the side chapel of St. John the Baptist is now known as the American Chapel as it was refurbished with money donated by Americans. A further association is the monument to William Pann Sr., himself an important historical figure who was the father of another William Pann, the founder of the state of Pennsylvania in the USA.

    Should you take a walk in the grounds of the Church, you will see an odd thing, a rail from a railway line embedded in the ground where it had been thrown by a German bomb during the Second World War which destroyed many local buildings.

    I should probably explain the slightly cryptic title for this tip. Apparently, Queen Elizabeth I described St. Mary Redcliffe as "the fairest, goodliest, and most famous parish church in England."

    I always like looking round old churches and this one is a great place for a visit.

    Apologies for the quality of the photos but it really was a dismal day and my photographic skills don't extend to things like altering whatever it is you alter to make them lighter!

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    grand gothic church

    by mindcrime Updated May 7, 2009

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    Thomas Chatterton wrote “Redcliffe church is the pride of Bristol and the western land”. The truth is that I liked St Mary Redcliffe church more than the cathedral! It is a beautiful Anglican parish church, the second largest in England. I loved the gothic architecture and enjoyed the huge interior although we found funny the xmas tree inside!

    The church was started to built in the 12th century but most of what we see today is from the 15th century. William Edney bade the nice gates at the 18th century and other ironwork too. The 1.200 roof bosses are all hand carved and gilded and now two are the same! If you have binoculars you can enjoy some nice scenes like the crucifixion and the Redcliffe maze. The pipe organ is from 1912 and contains 5000 pipes.

    The church is open 9.00-17.30 (in summer til 20.00) and there’s no entrance fee

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    Probably Bristol's most beautiful church

    by Airpunk Written Oct 11, 2006

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    St. Mary Redcliffe was built in the 12th century, but was not finished until the 15th century. Elements from every gothic period are visible in the church. Queen Elizabeth I. once said that it is Englan's most beuatiful parish church - and who would disagree with good old Bessie? A 15th century figure of her as seen in a chapel of St. Mary Redcliffe. Other interesting features of this church are the northern, hexagonal portal building which is decorated with several small figures. The armour of Admiral Sir William Penn, fatherof the founder of Pennsylvania, is also exhibited in st. Mary Redcliffe. In 1872, the spire was altered to have a height of 89 meters, making St. Mary Redcliffe Bristol's tallest building.

    Look out for the "chaotic pendulum" which makes yourself think about the correlation of religion an science. Noone can predict, if this pendulum will move to the left or to the right. Is it just another yet unsolved mystery of science - or is there really a higher power who controls it?

    South to the church, you will find a piece of rail which fell into the churchyard after a german raid in WWII. It was left there as a monument.

    By the way, people often confound it with a cathedral which it is not. But both cathedrals, the anglican as well as the roman catholic one, look less spectacular than St. Mary Redcliffe.

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  • aaaarrgh's Profile Photo

    Bristol's Real Cathedral

    by aaaarrgh Written Oct 1, 2006

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    Bristol's Anglican Cathedral is on College Green to the west side of the city centre. It is certainly solid and impressive, the majority built in the late 1800's.

    However, in my opinion, the real award for cathedral-ness should go to St Mary's Church, Redcliffe, 10 minutes walk to the east. Look for the tall spire, almost 300 feet high. It is a splendid fifteenth century masterpiece with many gems of interest, some older and others very modern. The main body of St Mary's is bathed in light from a delicate web of gothic tracery windows. The entire ceiling is interlaced with decoration, covered with gold leaf. Imagine how awe-inspiring this was when it was first built!

    You enter via an unusually shaped North door with intricate stone carving. Inside the church there are tombs and inscriptions and some great stained glass windows. The four-keyboard organ has pipes dating back to 1720.

    In one wing there is an ultra modern 'Chaotic Pendulum' which, it is alleged' represents the unpredictability of God's Earth.

    This is the first church I have visited that gave a funeral service for a cat. Tom, the much loved church moggie, died in 1927 at a ripe age and his grave is in the lawn behind the church.

    Plenty of information in many languages. I encourage you to give a generous donation. A cafe can be found under the church. Church generally open 8.30/9 till 4/5pm depending on season.

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  • coceng's Profile Photo

    St. Mary Redcliffe Church...

    by coceng Updated Oct 14, 2004

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    St. Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol England...

    Holding the map from my guidebook, I wanted to see some great sights around Bristol right away as I would have around 2 hours or so before I had to reach Cheltenham in THE COTSWOLDS !
    I walked towards the tower of ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH as you can see in the left photo...READ MORE ON ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH...

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  • coceng's Profile Photo

    St. Mary Redcliffe Church...

    by coceng Written Oct 14, 2004
    St. Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol England...

    I didn't go inside The St. Mary Redcliffe Church, enough for me to marvel at the outer porch & the inner porch as you can see from my photos in the previous page.
    Here's the tower of the church again, this time taken from The South Porch...

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  • coceng's Profile Photo

    St. Mary Redcliffe Church...

    by coceng Written Oct 14, 2004
    St. Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol England...

    St. Mary Redcliffe Church was described as 'the fairest, the goodliest & most famous Parish church in England' by Queen Elizabeth I in 1574...READ MORE ON ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH...Then, the roof of the inner porch ! It was so beautiful !

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  • coceng's Profile Photo

    St. Mary Redcliffe Church...

    by coceng Written Oct 14, 2004
    St. Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol England...

    St. Mary Redcliffe Church was described as 'the fairest, the goodliest & most famous Parish church in England' by Queen Elizabeth I in 1574...READ MORE ON ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH...Still in the inner porch, I glanced to the wall...adorned with stained-glass windows.

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  • coceng's Profile Photo

    St. Mary Redcliffe Church...

    by coceng Written Oct 14, 2004
    St. Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol England...

    St. Mary Redcliffe Church was described as 'the fairest, the goodliest & most famous Parish church in England' by Queen Elizabeth I in 1574...READ MORE ON ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH...Well now, using my digital camera, I took a photo of the 13th century inner porch...

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  • coceng's Profile Photo

    St. Mary Redcliffe Church...

    by coceng Written Oct 14, 2004
    St. Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol England...

    St. Mary Redcliffe Church was described as 'the fairest, the goodliest & most famous Parish church in England' by Queen Elizabeth I in 1574...READ MORE ON ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH...The photo is showing the more intricate designs of the porch...These corbels have been survived since the 14th century !

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  • coceng's Profile Photo

    St. Mary Redcliffe Church...

    by coceng Written Oct 14, 2004
    St. Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol England...

    St. Mary Redcliffe Church was described as 'the fairest, the goodliest & most famous Parish church in England' by Queen Elizabeth I in 1574...READ MORE ABOUT ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH...There are many carvings on the outside of the church !
    This is one of them, certainly my favourite !

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  • coceng's Profile Photo

    St. Mary Redcliffe Church...

    by coceng Written Oct 14, 2004
    St. Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol England...

    St. Mary Redcliffe Church was described as 'the fairest, the goodliest & most famous Parish church in England' by Queen Elizabeth I in 1574...READ MORE ON ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH...I arrived at the church by The North Porch hence the photos here are taken around this side of the church.
    Look at the church tower, amazing !

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  • coceng's Profile Photo

    St. Mary Redcliffe Church...

    by coceng Updated Oct 14, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    St. Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol England...

    St. Mary Redcliffe Church was described as 'the fairest, the goodliest & most famous Parish church in England' by Queen Elizabeth I in 1574...READ MORE ON ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH...This is a stunning piece of perpendicular architecture with a hexagonal porch...

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