St John the Baptist’s Church is a major part of Bristol’s cultural heritage, with its stunning Gothic city gate with the elegant perpendicular spire, which is found as you walk down the slope of Broad Street in the Old City.
In the 12th century, there were five churches built into Bristol’s city walls, acting both as part of the city’s defences and as places for travellers to offer prayers before a journey. St John the Baptist’s Church is the only one that remains. The present church dates from the 14th century, and the city’s North Gate forms the lowest stage of the tower and spire.
The building of St John the Baptist’s Church coincided with a period of great prosperity for Bristol. Walter Frampton (died 1388), who was mayor of the city three times, founded St John the Baptist’s Church, and his splendid monument stands in the chancel. His effigy lies on a tomb chest decorated with heraldic shields, with a long-tailed dog at his feet.