Home > Uncategorized > Mysteries of College Green

Mysteries of College Green

Exciting times as our resistivity survey of College Green, Bristol gets underway:


at 19.23 or thereabouts.  

College Green is the city’s urban centre, with the cathedral on one side and the Council House on the other. Yet it originated as a suburban burial site for St Augustine’s abbey — or did it? A single, but monumental, Anglo-Saxon sculpture inside the cathedral suggests something stood there before the abbey; something of some significance. If it weren’t for that, we would be cautious in the extreme about the existence of a St Jordan, local ‘fixer’ for St Augustine, missionary to the Anglo-Saxons, in his unsuccessful first meeting with the British Christians in the early C7. He’s certainly an oddity: in pole position to become a kind of patron saint of the city, yet virtually nothing is known about his cult before the C14, which is very much later; yet by the C15 his ‘chapel’ stood in the middle of the green.

Will we find St Jordan’s chapel? It’s a long shot: the Green has been relandscaped several times since the Reformation. But as the city’s premier sacred enclosure was transformed  from the C15 onwards, not always peaceably, into the corporate green space at the heart of a new cathedral city, much else might await discovery, from WWII shelters to preaching crosses…

Exciting times, and an exciting partnership between us at the cathedral and the university’s Department of Archaeology and History.   

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