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Church of All Saints

The church of All Saints, formerly known as All Hallows, was founded in Norman times. It was the church of the Guild of Kalendars, who kept the town records in order.

One of the original City churches, its nave, bordered by narrow lanes, is now largely hidden behind commercial buildings at the junction of High Street and Corn Street.

The oldest part is the east end with 6 circular pillars and there was once a day of judgement mural in the south aisle.

In Adams' Chronicle of Bristol there is an account of the funeral of Captain John Dowghtie, a Bristol Alderman who died in 1629. The military discharged 74 guns and one brass ordinance on the Castle walls as the army marched before the bier to All Saints. After a sermon, all the Musketeers gave three volleys of shots which could be heard far outside the City.

All Saints originally had a square tower with pinnacles. The striking new tower was finished in 1716. The distinctive cupola was added in 1807.

Inside the building is the tomb of Edward Colston with the famous memorial by Rysbrack. Colston contributed payment to the tower's construction.

In 1835, the west front was rebuilt with a new entrance made in All Saints Lane and the Corn Street door converted into a window. A detailed specificiation of work was drawn up, from re-slating with 'the best Bangor Quarries slate' to taking out all the cracked panes of glass in the octagonal lanthorns and replacing with 'good Bristol glass'. The tenders from building contractors for this, requring carpenters, masons, smiths, plumbers.painters and glaziers, ranged from £270 and 19 shillings to £237 and 7 shillings.

During the celebrations of Queen Victoria's coronation three years later, according to an onlooker, the tower, reflecting the illuminations at the Council House, appeared 'like a pillar of white smoke' amidst its surroundings.
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