A medieval church dedicated to St Werburgh1 stood on the corner of Corn Street and Small Street and was last in service in 1877. It was dismantled and parts of the church, including the tower, were rebuilt in 1878 in the new district of St Werburgh’s in the out-parish of St Paul’s. (Andrew Plaster B&AFHS Journal 118). John FOSTER, founder of the Alms Houses at the top of Christmas Steps, worshipped and was buried in the old church; he lived nearby in Small Street.
Approximate mediaeval parish boundary superimposed on 1901 map.
St Werburgh’s church was the burial place of Henry CRESWICK, the sheriff in 1643/4 and Mayor in 1660/1. He was Treasurer of the Merchant Venturers 1647/8 and Master 1660/62. The eldest son of Francis CRESWICK, he was apprenticed to Richard LONG, a merchant, on 2nd February 1631, then made a Burgess on 14th August 1639. He was knighted in 1663. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Humphrey HOOKE. He had two sons: Francis & Humphrey and four daughters: Ann, Elizabeth, Hester & Florence. His father Francis was also buried in the church.
1St Werburga is thought to have been the daughter of Wulfhere, a Christian king of Mercia and Ermyntruda his wife (who was the daughter of the King of Kent). Werburga died circa 699 in Trentham, Staffordshire and her feast day is February 3rd (The Mediaeval Churches of Bristol by Marguerite Fedden).