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Church of All Saints

A Grade II Listed Building in Bristol, City of Bristol

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Latitude: 51.4624 / 51°27'44"N

Longitude: -2.6162 / 2°36'58"W

OS Eastings: 357287

OS Northings: 173889

OS Grid: ST572738

Mapcode National: GBR C3G.BM

Mapcode Global: VH88M.LHST

Entry Name: Church of All Saints

Listing Date: 8 January 1959

Last Amended: 11 July 2001

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1208704

English Heritage Legacy ID: 380172

Location: Bristol, BS8

County: City of Bristol

Electoral Ward/Division: Clifton Down

Built-Up Area: Bristol

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bristol

Church of England Parish: Clifton All Saints with St John

Church of England Diocese: Bristol

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Listing Text


901-1/2/923 (East side)
08/01/59 CLIFTON
Church of All Saints)


Parish Church. 1868-72 by George Edmund Street, 1909 narthex by George Frederick Bodley; 1928 sacristy by F C Eden; gutted by incendiary bombs 2 December 1940, new church incorporating surviving tower by Street, narthex and sacristy built 1963-7 by Robert Potter in succession to W H Randoll Blacking. Older elements of red Pennant rubble, with limestone and sandstone dressings, new work of reinforced concrete, with rubble stone dressings. Steel to cloister on rubble base and aluminium spire to the remains of Street's tower. Monopitch roofs not seen.

The plan is a succinct and clever one, informed by the ideas of the Liturgical Movement which came to question conventional church planning in the late 1950s. Potter united the tower, offices, sacristy and a new church around a cloister entered through the tower. The lozenge shaped, liturgically planned church, set to the left of this entrance, incorporates the narthex as a side chapel dedicated to St Richard, with gallery to the other side.

Complex exterior. The tower is square, of two stages with clasping butresses, and a 1967 aluminium fleche on the top. Pointed arched doorway of two orders with a dogtooth drip mould, a trumeau and uncarved capitals, shouldered flat arches and doors with elaborate strap hinges; all this is set within a shallow gabled panel with stripes of Pennant limestone and Mansfield ashlar. Three-light west window has intersecting tracery. Octagonal stair turret to the south-east. Church rises to street and two rear, with full-height mullioned windows of reinforced concrete to west and south. Narrow slit windows in flat-roofed offices to side; both these new elements have rubble infill walling treated in decorative patterns. Cloister of Miesian simplicity, almost completely glazed with steel windows. The sacristy is lit by round-arched gable windows under keystones.

The interior is richly appointed. Potter's replanning turned the church through ninety degrees from that left by Street, meaning that it is now orientated, with the altar facing east. Plastered walls, concrete and timber roof a series of monopitches. It is planned around the forward altar, which is set under a baldacchino designed by Randoll Blacking in 1952. Clear ash pews in two blocks, with choir to side and baptistry at west end, gallery to opposite side dedicated to Our Lady, and organ loft set over Street's surviving stone entrance arch to the church, which now leads to former narthex. Piscina to the right of the altar, lined with Broughton Moor slate and engraved with designs by John Skelton. Pulpit designed by Potter of clear ash. Tabernacle by F C Eden, who also designed the calvary rescued from the burning church in 1940 and placed in the alcove behind the organ. Organ designed by E S Fry, and made by J Walker and Sons. Font of Portland stone on base of Purbeck marble. Outstanding fibre glass west window in two panels by John Piper, depicting the River and Tree of Life, with further fibre glass panels to his design to south and north. Simple red glazed lancets flank the altar.

Chapel of St Richard of Chichester built as memorial to R W Randall, the first Vicar of All Saints, and who became Dean of Chichester. Three stained glass windows survived the bombing, including the central one depicting Father Randall and All Saints according to Street's original design. The window also commemorates eight leading figures of the nineteenth century Catholic Revival within the Church of England. East window 1967 by Christopher Webb, like Potter a former partner of Randoll Blacking's. The interior of the chapel laid out for weekday services with central altar in 1972. Glass doors between the chapel and main church installed in 1969. The sacristy is finely panelled and incorporates chests for the church's outstanding collection of vestments.

All Saints was among the leading churches of the Anglo-Catholic Revival, and one of Street's finest works. Potter's resolution of a sensitive brief and difficult site was an extremely successful of old and new fabric, in which the new work is one of his most successful integrations of architecture, art and fittings. The fibre glass murals with their brilliant colours are set in a clear, light geometrical framework and bring the space to light and unity, while the small surviving chapel and sacristy are not compromised by the new building. This is a much-loved and extremely successful place of worship.

Concrete Quarterly, April-June 1968
J C N, All Saints Clifton, guide book, no date

Listing NGR: ST5728773889

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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