"Bristol, city, municipal and parliamentary borough, seaport, and county of
itself, chiefly in Gloucestershire but partly in Somerset, at the confluence of
the rivers Avon and Frome, 6 miles from the Bristol Channel at Avonmouth and 120
miles west of London by rail, the port being 29 miles from Cardiff, 70 from
Swansea, 245 from Dublin, 255 from Cork, and 325 from Liverpool; municipal
borough, 4632 acres, population 206,874; parliamentary borough, population
253,906. Bristol is built on a number of eminences, and has a fine appearance.
It contains important institutions, religious, educational, and charitable. It
has several fine churches, notably the Cathedral (1142-1160), and the church of
St Mary Redcliffe. It includes the suburbs of Clifton Down, a magnificent
suspension bridge spans the river Avon, having an elevation of 245 ft. above the
high water mark. From an early date Bristol has been a seaport of great
importance, its position being very favourable to commerce. In the reign of
Henry II. it carried on trade with the north of Europe, and between 1239 and
1247 there was occasion for enlarging and improving the accommodation for the
shipping. There are now extensive docks, not only within the city itself, but
also at Avonmouth on the north side of the mouth of the river, and at Portishead
on the south side; both these harbours being in direct communication with the
city by railway. The coasting trade is of great magnitude, steamers plying
regularly between Bristol and Cardiff, Swansea, London, Cork, Dublin, Liverpool,
and Glasgow; while the foreign trade extends to nearly all parts of the world.
Bristol has manufacturers of glass, soap, and earthenware; shipbuilding,
tanning, and sugar-refining; and extensive chemical and engineering works.
Bristol returns 4 members to Parliament - 4 divisions, viz., West, North, East,
and South, 1 member for each division; the parliamentary limits were extended in
1885 so as to include the local government districts of St George, Horfield, and
Stapleton, and an additional part of the parish of Bedminster. It returned 2
members till 1885."
[Extract from Bartholemew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887]
- Original source material relating to Bristol City, and other parishes in
Diocese of Bristol may be found at the
Bristol Record Office.
- Bishop, Ian S. - The City & Kingswood Line
(A History of Bristol's Trams), and
Stories from St.Phillip's. Bishop Books, 1995.
ISBN: 0-9526490-0-4 and ISBN: 0-9526490-9-8.
- Edward III made Bristol a "City and County" in 1373,
although today, and in recent times past, it is not generally
considered to be both. For genealogical purposes, and specifically
in the International Genealogical Index (IGI) the City of Bristol is
considered as part of the County of Gloucestershire. In contrast,
the postal address prior to 1974, and the creation of the county
of Avon was "Bristol, Somerset".
"It has always been a proud place. In 1485 Henry VII visited and the
citizens appeared in their best apparel; but the king, thinking their wives
too richly dressed for their station, imposed a fine of twenty shillings
upon every citizen who was worth £20."
(From the item on Bristol in Lewis's Topographical
Dictionary, 1835, very kindly supplied by David Hawgood)
The area today known as "Bristol" is larger than the historic
City and County. The City Boundaries now extend as far north as
Stoke Gifford and Winterbourne, and to Shirehampton and Henbury
in the west.
Bristol's Lost Pubs - a very attractive, and
easily navigable site dedicated to providing information about public
houses that have disappeared from Bristol, with photographs and
information gleaned from trade and street directories, &c.
- The Charter for the endowment of Bristol Grammar School was issued by Henry VIII to the
Thorne family, and the school dates from 1532.
[Original content based on information prepared by Brian Randell - 3 Mar 1998]
- All Saints (1560)
- Cathedral (1669)
- Christchurch (1538)
- Holy Trinity (St Philip) (1832)
- Redland Green (1754)
- St Augustine the Less (1577)
- St Ewen (1538)
- St George (1756)
- St George (Brandon Hill) (1832)
- St James (1559)
- St John the Baptist (1558)
- St Leonard (1689)
- St Mary le Port (1669: destroyed)
- St Mary Redcliffe (1559)
- St Michael the Archangel (1653)
- St Nicholas (1538)
- St Paul (Portland Sq) (1794)
- St Peter (1611: badly burnt)
- St Philip & St Jacob (1576)
- St Stephen (1559)
- St Thomas (1552)
- St Werburgh (1558)
- Temple (or Holy Cross) (1558)
URL of this page: /big/eng/GLS/Bristol/index.html