The Church of St Leonard was situated at the bottom of old Corn Street where it joined St Nicholas Street. The parish was united with St Nicholas in 1768 and St Leonard’s church was demolished in 1771 to make way for Clare Street. One of the altars was sold to Backwell Church, Somerset. The Library of St Leonards was the forerunner of the Kings Street Library, founded by Robert Redwood in 1615, the vicars being the first Librarians … and the Bristol Central Library results from this foundation1.
The church of St James was founded in 1129 as a Benedictine priory by the Earl of Gloucester. After the dissolution of the monasteries (1536-41), it became a parish church. It fell into disuse in the 1980s and since 1996 is has been used as a Catholic church.
The church of St Ewen’s stood where the old Council House was built (now the Bristol Registry Office). It was demolished in 1820 and the parish had previously consolidated with Christchurch in 1788. The font from the old church (probably C17th) survives and can be seen in Christchurch. The full name of the consolidated parish is now “Christchurch with St Ewen”.
This church was founded by the abbots of St Augustine’s monastery and is first mentioned in Gaunt’s deeds in 1240. It was rebuilt and restored a number of times and the churchyard was reduced in size more than once during the 19th century to make way for the expanding city. and those exhumed were reburied in Arnos Vale Cemetery. The church was damaged in WW2 air raids and the ruins were demolished in 1962; the land was then used for an extension to the adjoining hotel.