Holy Trinity Bothenhampton was Edward Prior's first church. He undertook an extensive study of local churches and developed a sophisticated analytical approach to designing the building, and a philosophy that sought to build appropriately for its religious function. The roof was the most radical feature of the church, later forming the model for the great roof at Prior's masterwork at St Andrew's Church, Roker. Elements of Richard Norman Shaw's influence remain, particularly in the porch but Prior's knowledge and love of Early English church architecture in particular dominate. Prior was careful to use local materials, selected with skill and handled with craftsmanship. He was also able to develop furnishings and decoration to provide a holistic design for the church and its fittings.
By the late 19th century the 15th-century Holy Trinity Old Church, Bothenhampton had fallen into disrepair. The church was also too small for the congregation. The new church was funded by J. P. F. Grundy, one of the directors of the West Bay Building Company, by public subscription and anonymous donation.