This print is dominated by the huge tower of St Stephen’s Church Bristol. Beneath the tower, women with children are seen wondering through the church yard, while others are entering the church.
Although the current church was built in around 1470, there has been a church on the site of St Stephen’s in Bristol since the 11th century. Originally located on the banks of the River Frome, the river was diverted in the late 15th century in order to create Bristol Harbour. The tower of the church is 152 feet high and is surmounted by a ‘crown’ of open-work arcaded battlements and pinnacles. St Stephen’s church contains several elaborate tombs, including the tomb of 14th-century clothier and merchant Edmund Blanket and 17th-century navigator, explorer and merchant Martin Pring.
This lithographic print was published in 1855 as Plate V of the second volume of ‘Illustrations of the Spires and Towers of the Medieval Churches of England’, by Charles Wickes.
Alfred Newman was a pupil of the draughtsman and lithographer George Hawkins. He engraved architectural subjects after designs by architects, including George Edmund Street (1824-1881), William Eden Nesfield (1835-1888) and Charles Wickes (born 1828). Newman also produced the lithographs for ‘Reliques [sic] of Ancient English Architecture’ by J. Johnson, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and ‘Specimens of Mediaeval Architecture’ by W. E. Nesfield (1861-62).
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