St Matthias, Bristol

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St Matthias
St Matthias, Bristol is located in Bristol
St Matthias, Bristol
Location within Bristol
General information
Architectural style Gothic Revival
Town or city Bristol
Country England
Coordinates 51°29′04″N 2°31′48″W / 51.4845°N 2.5299°W / 51.4845; -2.5299
Construction started 1851
Completed 1852
Design and construction
Architect John Bevan
The Lodge at St Mattias

St Matthias (known colloquially as St Matts) used to belong to the University of the West of England. The campus is located in the suburb of Fishponds in Bristol.


The campus was previously a teacher training college, originally called the Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Training Institution for School Mistresses, which opened in 1853 and was later the humanities campus for UWE. As part of a project dedicated to the history of the campus, staff and students both past and present, share their memories of their time on campus.

The original buildings were constructed in 1851-2 by John Bevan with Jonathan Clarke, in a Gothic Revival style. The building was extended in 1903. Today it is a grade II* listed building[1] and the lodge is listed grade II.[2]


Records of the Bristol Diocesan Training College, later St Matthias' College, are held at Bristol Archives (Ref. 37168) (online catalogue) and (Ref. BROFA/0078) (online catalogue).

Departments and courses[edit]

St Matthias was home to departments within the faculty of Creative Arts, Humanities and Education, including:

  • Department of Culture, Media and Drama
  • Department of History, Philosophy and Politics
  • Department of English, Linguistics and Communication

Buildings and facilities[edit]

The campus has some Victorian Gothic buildings, and is set around a quad. The campus has also a refectory, a gymnasium, a Students' Union bar, a library and on-site accommodation.


As home to the department of Drama, several small theatre companies exist on the campus. The Bristol Centre for Performing Arts bases its drama group here, as does the UWE Drama Society. The Regional History Centre is also based at St Matthias, and consists primarily of members of the department of History.[3]

Planned closure[edit]

The University of the West of England closed the campus in September 2014 (with operations on the site ceasing on 4 July 2014) as a part of a relocation project.[4] The various departments of the faculty of Creative Arts, Humanities and Education from St Matthias and Bower Ashton have moved to new facilities at Frenchay campus.[5] As part of the planned closure UWE and the UWE Students' Union held a 3 day farewell party to celebrate the campus, its history, staff, ex- staff, students and alumni. [6]

In March 2014 it was announced that, subject to planning permission, the site would be sold and redeveloped by Barratt Developments for housing and the listed buildings would become a Steiner School.[7]