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© Mr Michael Perry

IoE Number: 380190
Location: CHURCH OF ST PAUL, PORTLAND SQUARE (east side)
  BRISTOL, BRISTOL, BRISTOL
Photographer: Mr Michael Perry
Date Photographed: 28 April 2007
Date listed: 08 January 1959
Date of last amendment: 30 December 1994
Grade I

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BRISTOL ST5973NW PORTLAND SQUARE, St Paul 901-1/6/1906 (East side) 08/01/59 Church of St Paul (Formerly Listed as: PORTLAND SQUARE (East side) Church of St Paul) GV I Church. 1789-94. By Daniel Hague. Chancel of 1894 by J Bevan. Bath stone ashlar. PLAN: aisled nave, sanctuary and flanking vestries, N and S porches and W tower. Gothick style. EXTERIOR: chancel has clasping pilasters with panelled pinnacles, a parapet and a 5-light Perpendicular window. The raised sacristy gable has clasping pilasters of 2 panels with rounded ends separated by a sunken lozenge, a parapet, crenellated above a cornice to the sides, and the square, panelled pinnacles with ogee gablets and finials that are found throughout the church; the N side has 2 large trefoil windows; the blank E ends of the vestries have doorways with depressed ogee arches, parapets like those on the sacristy, and clasping pilasters; the N and S sides are 2-bays with Y-tracery windows. Parapeted E nave gable has a louvred quatrefoil below the apex, and pilaster buttresses with crenellated pinnacles either side and similar clasping pilaster with gableted pinnacles on the corners. 4-bay N aisle of 3-light windows with intersecting tracery, separated by pilasters rising through the cornice to pinnacles, with a crenellated parapet. The porches have panelled pilasters, Y-tracery windows and depressed ogee-arched doors. Symmetrical W front has a central tower of 3 diminishing stages divided by panelled bands, with clasping pilasters of panels separated by sunken quatrefoils and lozenges; the trefoil-headed W doorway has an ogee hood in a tall, continuously moulded pointed arch, and a fluted tympanum; similarly styled 2-light windows to the N and S, and 3-light ogee-arched windows above them, blind below the transom and with acanthus finials. The second stage has a clock set in a gable hood between 2 diagonally-set buttresses, within a sunken, pointed panel; the belfry windows are ogees with Y-tracery. An open balustrade in 3 sections with corner pinnacles marks the top of the tower; above are 2 further square stages sharply set back to form the spire, with diagonal buttresses, pinnacles and parapets as the tower proper, and Y-traceried windows with finials between pinnacle buttresses; on the top is an octagonal spirelet panelled like the pinnacles. The W end either side of the tower has tall lancets with Y-tracery and a panelled transom below a raking battlement; the ends of the aisles have panelled pilasters, and a tall central buttress feature topped by a pinnacle, with a blind lancet with interlacing below the transom. INTERIOR: the 1894 chancel has a panelled reredos with central carving of lamb; 3 sedilia with flat partitions and canopies above. Doors to either side of sacristy have elliptical-arched heads, crocketed pinnacles and an ogee hood; sacristy arch pointed, with a panelled soffit, and rocaille plasterwork to spandrels; 4-bay nave arcade of tall columns with anthemion capitals, with a fluted cove and a ceiling divided by panelled bands with central roses and rocaille in the spandrels. The narthex has a cornice and octagonal ceiling panel, a niche on an angel corbel with an octagonal canopy with a crenellated top, over an ogee doorway to the nave with 2-leaf panelled door and pointed-arch panels. FITTINGS: an octagonal marble pulpit with ogee panels and a ramped wrought-iron and brass rail; 1802 sword rest with a crown and heraldic devices; an octagonal font with tracery panels; deep W gallery on octagonal shafts with crenellated capitals; the ogee-panelled transoms in the aisle windows mark where the original side galleries were. MEMORIALS: various late C18 and C19 wall tablets, and a wall memorial on the N side of the sacristy to Colonel Thomas Vassal d.1807, by Flaxman, a seated figure of Victory beside a palm tree with a shield inscribed Montevideo, in a recessed bay between pinnacles. Daniel Hague was involved in the promotion of Portland Square (qv), and claimed to have designed the tower after Jerman's Royal Exchange, London. '...a vital part of many views across the city, and...an eminently successful piece of townscape..' (Gomme). (Gomme A, Jenner M and Little B: Bristol, An Architectural History: Bristol: 1979-: 178, 193, 291; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 406; Ison W: The Georgian Buildings of Bristol: Bath: 1952-: 76; Dening C F W: The Eighteenth Century Architecture of Bristol: Bristol: 1923-: 53).

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