St Stephen's Church, Bristol facts for kids
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St Stephen's Church
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St Stephen's Church in St Stephen's Avenue, is the parish church for the city of Bristol, England.
It has been designated by Historic England as a grade I listed building.
It was built, on the site of an 11th-century church, in the 14th century and rebuilt around 1470. The tower and east window were paid for by John Shipward, four times Mayor of Bristol, who died in 1473, the tower being built by the mason Benedict (or Benet) Crosse. The site was on the banks of the River Frome, which was diverted at around this time to create Bristol Harbour. The clerestory was repaired after a storm in 1703. The aisle and east windows were restored in 1873.
The tower measures approximately 18 ft by 20 ft at its base, and rises to a total height of 152 ft. It originally contained six bells but these have been replaced over the years and the number increased to twelve. The tower is typical of Somerset churches, but with the addition of a "Gloucestershire crown" of arcaded battlements, pinnacles and open-work arcading.
The St Stephen's Ringers have been a continuously active group of bellringers since 1574, and have met annually at The Red Lodge since 1920 for their ceremonial dinner.
Tombs and monuments
Another significant tomb is that of Martin Pring, who died at the age of 46 in 1627. He was a navigator, explorer and merchant and discovered what is now called Cape Cod Bay. The monument is draped with painted mermaids and mermen and verses to his exploits.
Sir Walter Tyddesley, who died in 1385, and Sir George Snygge also have ornate tombs in the church.
Also commemorated, but this time in a wall-mounted plaque, is Robert Kitchin, who died in 1594, a donor of one of the famous "nails" found outside The Exchange in Bristol.
Parish records for St Stephen's church, Bristol are held at Bristol Archives (Ref. P. St S) (online catalogue) including baptism and marriage registers and a burial register. The archive also includes records of the incumbent, churchwardens, overseer of the poor, parochial church council, charities and vestry plus deeds.
St Stephen's Church, Bristol Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.