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St John the Baptist

The origins of this church go back at least to the 12th Century, but it was wholly rebuilt on a section of the town wall in the late 1300s.

Known as St John on the Wall, the new foundation owed its existence to Walter Frampton who was elected Lord Mayor of Bristol three times. His tomb is shown below.

Atop the simple early perpendicular tower ,which contains six bells, is the city's only remaining mediaeval spire. It is an example of a narrow aisleless church but its height gives a feeling of space.
At the west end of the church is a wooden gallery built during the late 17th century., containing arched panels on which are painted the figures of saints. St John the Baptist is the central one.

In the vaulted, ribbed crypt of St John's, which is at street level, is this alabaster tomb which has no inscription. It was considered by William Barrett the antiquarian to be that of Thomas Rowley, who died in 1478 and has a brass to his memory in the church above. Rowley had six sons and six daughters and there are figures representing this on the side of the tomb.

St John's was originally joined to the church of St Lawrence, which stood to the south and shared the same tower. St Lawrence must obviously have attracted less wealthy patrons, however, as it was closed in 1580 through lack of money and demolished soon after.

St John's churchyard is reached through Tailors' Court and was known as Hasardysgarden in 1390 when it was granted by Edmund Arthur for the church's use. It was consecrated in 1409, though there was opposition from St James' Priory, which presumably would have previously received the money for burials. The Guild of Merchant Tailors, through whose land burial parties would have to pass, also objected.
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