Bristol and Kingswood

Autumn visit: 28 October 2017

Bristol has a rich history of nonconformity although sadly little remains of the buildings associated with its earlier development. The chapels of Kingswood, 5 miles to the east, reflect the unfolding story of the New Awakening, in particular the changing relationship between George Whitfield, John Wesley and John Cennick.

We assemble at 10.30am at Emmanuel Bristol Centre formerly Lewins Mead Unitarian Meeting (William Blackburne, 1789-91, grade II*) where coffee and tea will be available. Members arriving by train can either walk (about 15 minutes) from Temple Meads Station or catch a number 8 or 9 bus from the station forecourt and alight at Rupert Street; by car there is a long-stay multi-storey car park nearby in Trenchard Street about 5 minutes’ away.

After visiting the church we walk to Broadmead Baptist Church (R H Sims, 1969) on the site of the chapel founded c. 1695 and then to the New Room (founded by John Wesley in 1739, grade I). Here we shall gather in the chapel before splitting to see the splendid new museum, library and other facilities. Members can eat their packed lunch here or purchase food in the café.

We then board a coach to take us to Cotham Parish Church formerly Highbury Chapel (William Butterfield 1842-3 with additions by E W Godwin 1863, grade II*). The coach will drop us at the east end of the centre of Kingswood for a walk to see Whitfield’s Tabernacle (1741 extended 1802 and 1830, grade I) and the adjoining church (Henry Masters, 1852, grade II). Both are in such a dangerous state that we have to be content with the view from the road. Thence via Kingswood Congregational Church to Kingswood United Church (combined Moravian and United Reformed – Foster and Wood, 1857). Wesley (1844, grade II) has been a roofless shell for many years but is now being converted into 15 flats.

We end our tour with tea at Kingswood Methodist Church (formerly Zion UMF 1854) before returning to Temple Meads and the Centre for 6pm.

The cost is £33 to Chapels Society members and £36 to non-members. Morning drink, entry to the New Room museum, donations and chapel tea are included in the fee.

The closing date for applications is Saturday 14 October 2017.

Please send the completed Bristol and Kingswood Booking Form with your cheque (made payable to The Chapels Society) to David Dawson at 10 Linden Grove, Taunton TA1 1EF.

If you wish to receive a paper copy of the notes, please supply a stamped C5 envelope (229mm x 162mm) and tick the box below. Otherwise notes will be sent by e-mail.