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© Mr Adrian Exton

IoE Number: 380490
Location: CITY MUSEUM, FORMER CHURCH OF ST NICHOLAS, ST NICHOLAS STREET (south side)
  BRISTOL, BRISTOL, BRISTOL
Photographer: Mr Adrian Exton
Date Photographed: 16 March 2006
Date listed: 08 January 1959
Date of last amendment: 08 January 1959
Grade II*

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BRISTOLST5872NEST NICHOLAS STREET, Centre901-1/16/662(South side)

BRISTOL ST5872NE ST NICHOLAS STREET, Centre 901-1/16/662 (South side) 08/01/59 City Museum, former Church of St Nicholas GV II* Church, now a museum. Mid C14, completely rebuilt above the crypt 1769, by James Bridges, steeple and interior by Thomas Paty. Bath stone ashlar and Pennant rubble. PLAN: nave and W tower. Georgian Gothic Revival style. EXTERIOR: windowless E end projecting to the centre, articulated by slight diagonally-set buttresses; below a moulded string are C14 rubble crypt walls with quatrefoil openings. 7-bay N elevation, a re-set C15 three-light mullion window in the E bay and an inserted C20 door to the W of that; tall 5-light Perpendicular windows separated by buttresses up to a blind arcaded parapet. The crypt wall is exposed on the S side through the falling ground, and has a gabled porch in the second bay from the W; parapeted vestry in the SW corner has a 4-light S window. 2-stage tower: the N door has an ogee hood, with C20 glazing and small entrance lobby; above is an 8-foil oculus; the belfry has paired windows with ogee hoods, the bottom half blind, the top louvred, and clasping pilaster buttresses, panelled in 2 halves with trefoil heads to the belfry, a coved cornice and open arcaded parapet, with pinnacles with ogee gablets; on the S face is a clock. Octagonal 3-stage spire with oculi around the middle stage. INTERIOR: largely rebuilt after Second World War bombing. The fine mid C14 crypt is 4 bays with tierceron vaulting and good animate and foliate bosses, on triple attached shafts to the aisles with foliate capitals, and continuous moulding to the arcade; at the E end is an arched panel with good figure stops and a hexafoil panel. FITTINGS: C18 baluster-shaped font; brass eagle lectern c1480. Memorials: C16 wall memorial with a panelled base, flanking buttresses with pinnacles, an arch over with panelled soffit and an effigy on one elbow. HISTORICAL NOTE: The mid C14 church was demolished in 1762; Bridges' design, building off the old crypt, was an early and remarkably well-studied attempt at Gothic revival, and the windows have similarities with those of St Peter's, Peter Street (qv). The interior had a very fine Rococo plaster ceiling by Thomas Stocking (Ison). (Gomme A, Jenner M and Little B: Bristol, An Architectural History: Bristol: 1979-: 171; Ison W: The Georgian Buildings of Bristol: Bath: 1952-: 65; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 404).

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