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Christ Church with St Ewen

The 18th century was a time of change. Christ Church, (originally known as Holy Trinity) which had existed for hundreds of years on this Wine Street/Broad Street corner, was demolished and a new church built on the site to William Paty's design.

At the old church the Litany was first sung in English in Bristol at the Feast of the Virgin in 1543 and the congregtion then went in procession to St Mary Redcliffe. At the time of the Commonwealth the rector Richard Standfast, chaplain to Charles I, was replaced by a tailor named Evans and sequestered in Bristol Castle.

The nearby church of St Hoyan or Ewen in Corn Street had been closed, (it was pulled down in 1820 for Robert Smirke's new Council House ) so that dedication was combined with it. Hence the rather clumsy title of Christ Church with St Ewen.

The brightly coloured Quarter Jacks or Quarter Boys are a survival from the original church. Every quarter hour the figures swing their little hammers, striking the bells an appropriate number of times.

One of the monuments inside the church is in memory of Thomas Tyndall of Royal Fort, who died in 1794, his wife Alicia and a young grand-daughter.

In 1818 a 'beautiful painted window' was inserted over the altar, 6 feet by 10 feet in size. It depicted the Light of Christianity issuing from the Cross with Moses delivering the tablets on one side and St John at Patmos on the other.

There was another renovation in 1882 to repair and redecorate in a classical style, lowering the high pews, screening off the chancel and embellishing it. It was aimed in future to throw the church open at all times to the public. The windows were converted to 3 light ones and 'stained glass would replace the dismal representation of the Law and the Gospel'.

The dragon weathervane had been regilded in 1889 and impaled with a cross, the names of the churchwardens - E J Taylor and J G Harper - added to those already there.
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