Places: Chester, St Bridget
CHESTER, St BRIDGET
This was one of the smallest and poorest of Chester’s nine medieval parishes. Most of the parish lay on the southern side of the town, within the walls, apart from one detached area south of the river Dee.
The church was appropriated by the College of St John’s by the fifteenth century. Following the dissolution of the college responsibility for the appointment of a curate seems to have passed, at least for a time, to the new cathedral chapter and by the early seventeenth century the living was a rectory in the gift of the bishop of Chester. The parish united with St Martin’s in 1842
The earliest church building was constructed over the site of a Roman gate tower, and this small building remained in use until a new church was constructed in the late seventeenth century. This became unsafe and was taken down in the early nineteenth century. A new church building was constructed opposite the entrance to the castle and opened in 1829, but was in turn demolished in 1892 and the site is now underneath a roundabout.
There was no residence for the incumbent from the time of the demolition of the first church building until 1857, when, following his death, the house designed by the architect Thomas Harrison for himself was given by his daughter to the joint parish of St Bridget and St Martin for the use of the rector. The building is now used as a restaurant.
N. J. Alldridge, ‘Aspects of the Topography of Early Medieval Chester’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society, 64, pp. 17-21.
Douglas Jones, The Church in Chester 1300-1540 (Chetham Society 3rd series, 7, 1957), pp. 7, 109.
J S Barrow, J D Herson, A H Lawes, P J Riden and M V J Seaborne, ‘Churches and religious bodies: Medieval parish churches’, in A History of the County of Chester: Volume 5 Part 2, the City of Chester: Culture, Buildings, Institutions, ed. A T Thacker and C P Lewis (London, 2005), pp. 133-156. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/ches/vol5/pt2/pp133-156 [accessed 17 February 2023]