St John the Baptist Church Open by arrangement only. As you walk down the slope of Broad Street, the view of the Gothic city gate with the elegant perpendicular spire of St John’s rising above, is stunning. In the 12th century there were five churches built into Bristol’s city walls, acting both as part of the city’s defences, and as places for travellers to offer prayers before a journey. St John’s is the only one that remains. The present church dates from the 14th century, and the city’s North Gate forms the lowest stage of the tower and spire. The building of St John’s coincided with a period of great prosperity for Bristol. Walter Frampton (died 1388), who was mayor of the city three times, founded the church, and his splendid monument stands in the chancel. His effigy lies on a tombchest decorated with heraldic shields, with a long-tailed dog at his feet.