" Festival of Lights"

Bristol Cathedral stands on the South side of the historic College Green, an ancient public open space in Bristol and an important focal point in the City’s Heritage. The forerunner on the site of the Cathedral was a Norman Monastic Church, known as St. Augustine’s Abbey. It was to this 12th Century Abbey that Robert Fitzharding, Provost of Bristol and Lord of Berkley, brought together the famous “Black Canons” to serve God and the Community. He may thus be regarded as the founder of the Cathedral, though the formal status of Cathedral was actually conferred by Henry VIIIth. Three sections of the original Abbey have survived; the Chapter House (1165), the Abbey Gate House and a second Romanesque Gateway (which led into the Abbot’s quarters). The Cathedral itself has many notable features, including the Lierne vaulting in the Chancel. The aisles of Bristol Cathedral are the same height as the Choir which is unusual for England since this was a style which was common to the late Gothic "Hall Church". The original Abbey purposes of service to God and the Community are fully met to this day in that, while the College Green still belongs to the Dean and Chapter (as recorded by a plaque near the centre of the Green), it is beautifully maintained by Bristol City Council; a most impressive collaboration in preserving this historic site. On the South side of College Green stands the Bristol Central Library, the Abbey Gatehouse, Bristol Cathedral and the Marriott Hotel. On the North West side of the Green stands the Council House and on the East side, a popular busy street. On the far side of College Green stands The Lord Mayor's Chapel which lies within St. Mark's Church. Situated on the Green are important and historical statues. A statue of Queen Victoria (erected in celebration of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee) and a statue of Raja Rammohun Roy, who was a reknowned Indian Reformer. College Green is the venue for Bristol Media’s “Light up Bristol’s Christmas Festival” each December. In 1978 Bristol Cathedral was used as a stand-in for Westminster Abbey for the Richard Burton "The Medusa Touch".

 
       
   
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