A church has probably stood on this site for over a thousand years but it came to prominence in 1148 when Robert Fitzhardinge founded the Abbey of St. Augustine. The Chapter House and Abbey Gatehouse remain clearly to be seen: other remains are within Bristol Cathedral Choir School.
The eastern end of the Cathedral, especially in the Choir, gives Bristol Cathedral a unique place in the development of British and European Architecture. The Nave, Choir and Aisles are all the same height, creating the appearance of a large hall. Bristol Cathedral is the major example of a 'Hall Church' in Great Britain and one of the finest anywhere in the world.
In 1539 the Abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII's commissioners and the nave, which was then being rebuilt, was destroyed. The rather battered building then became the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity in 1542. In 1868 plans were drawn up to rebuild the Nave to its medieval design. The Architect, G.E.Street, found the original pillar bases, so the dimensions are much the same as those of the abbey church. J. L. Pearson added the two towers at the West End and further reordered the interior.
From the Twelfth Century it has been a place of daily prayer and a place where the city and diocese has marked great occasions.