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Gordano Open Days

Weekends 14th-15th and 21st-22nd of September 2019

All venues are open to the public - entry is free

St Mary's Church

Church Lane, Portbury, Somerset, BS20 7TR

Sat-Sun   11:00am-18:00pm

The ancient Manor of Portbury is one of the oldest settlements in Britain. It was in existence before Portishead and Bristol and was a Roman port for exporting silver & lead from the Mendips.

The Norman 12th century church of St Mary the Virgin is probably much older since it stands on ground that has been sacred for many centuries with the discovery and re-erection of the Neolithic Standing Stone and the Saxon and Romano British burial sites. St Mary's Church has some of the oldest tomb stones in the country. The oldest dates back to 1584 and was a former altar stone. Others from the early 1600's are kept within the church itself.

Portbury church has had links with Bristol Cathedral since 1150's when it was given the patronage of St Augustine's Abbey built in 1148 by Robert Fitzharding. (later to become Bristol Cathedral ). Fitzharding was given the title Lord Berkeley by Henry II.

The Lords of Berkeley continued their patronage of the church for almost three hundred years. They were responsible for the building of the Berkeley Chapel.

The stone tower was built on the site of an older Saxon one probably in mid 1400's by the Berkeleys. It houses six bells of which the oldest dates to 1610. They are still fully functional and are rung regularly.

The church is Grade 1 listed and is maintained to a very high standard. The museum room in the Church will be available for Gordano Open Days. Guides will be available to show guest around each day.

Tea and Coffee, Cakes and Ploughman's Lunches will be available. There will be an Art Show displaying the works of local artist and a Craft Work Shop encouraging children to participate.