The 'nave' is the term for the long central space that goes from the West End of the Cathedral (beneath the Rose Window) to the choir screen in the middle of building. It is the place where people gather for large services and special events. This part of the Cathedral dates from the late 1860s. The original medieval nave was lost, and after the church became a Cathedral in 1542 it functioned without a nave for the next 300 years. However, in 1868 a replacement, in the Gothic Revival style was designed by G.E. Street. The Victorian nave is flanked by two aisles, which are the same height as the nave, and mirror the architecture of the medieval hall church at the east end of the building. The Victorian aisles lead down to the north and south transepts.
The windows on the North side of the nave are war memorials, remembering the sacrifices of Bristolians in the second world war.
The Rose Window forms part of the West Front facade designed by G.E. Street and John Pearson during the Victorian rebuilding of the Nave and was designed by John Hardman & Co, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of stained glass and ecclesiastical fittings. The centre of the window depicts Christ in Majesty, surrounded by twelve pairs of musician angels in the inner circles of lights. In the outer cinquefoils are personifications of Fine Arts, Painting, Navigation, Justice and Welfare. The window managed to survive the heavy Bristol air raid of 190-41, which destroyed the windows along the north aisle of the Cathedral.
- The Nave
The nave is the main body of the Cathedral, flowing from the Rose Window to the stone choir screen at the centre of the building.
- Elder Lady Chapel
Elder Lady Chapel
An exquisite medieval chapel used for prayer and contemplation.
- The Choir
The choir is the focal point of the medieval 'hall church', leading up to the high altar.
- South Transept
This space contains some wonderful stained glass and the Anglo-Saxon stonework marvel 'The Harrowing of Hell'.
- North Transept
The North Transept
- Nave Altar
This altar is the focus of worship on Sundays and great occasions, when the Eucharist, or Holy Communion, is celebrated.
- High Altar
The high altar is the focal point of Christian prayer and worship.
- Berkeley Chapel
This chapel was originally provided for prayer for the souls of the Berkeley family. Today it is used for Morning Prayer and lunchtime Eucharist services.
- Eastern Lady Chapel
Eastern Lady Chapel
The opulent Eastern Lady Chapel commemorates three of the monastery's Abbots and the first Bishop of Bristol.
- Chapter House
This stunning Chapter House is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in England.
- South Choir Aisle
South Choir Aisle
The south choir aisle contains the tombs of the Berkeley family and some specially commissioned pieces of modern art.