The following extract is from a short history of the church that I found online: “St. Andrews is first mentioned in 1154 when it was given to the Abbey of St Augustine (now Bristol Cathedral). The medieval church was not large, and was partially rebuilt in 1654. The first enlargement of the church that is recorded was in 1716 when a new aisle was added, indicating the growing population of the parish by then. John Wesley preached in the church on Sunday May 13th 1739, and commented afterwards on the “many rich” (people) at the service. The church was enlarged further by a south aisle being added in 1768. The population continued to increase and the numbers were swollen by the number of visitors to the Spa Hot Wells. A new church was therefore inevitable and in 1819 the foundation stone of the new church was laid on a site alongside of the old church. It was complete by 1822 and consecrated on August 12th.” The old picture below [left] shows both churches side by side after completion of the building of the new church. On the right below is a photo of the new church the old one having been pulled down, carted away and buried in a quarry!
Clifton largely escaped widespread destruction during the Blitz, though on the night of November 24th 1940 the church of St Andrew’s fell victim to the severe bombing of Bristol by the Luftwaffe. It remained a shell for several years, the ruins being finally demolished in 1956. It had been hoped to save the tower but it was found to be unsafe and soon followed the rest of the church into oblivion. The pretty churchyard survives, together with the path through it called Birdcage Walk.
The tombs are in a poor condition sadly. The site of the church is marked by an inscribed stone set in the lawn. The very base of the walls survive in part. The outline of the medieval church was marked out by hedging to the south. Christ Church became the parish church of Clifton, one of eight churches carved out of the former Clifton parish in the nineteenth century. Click here to return to the story of the 3 young orphans.