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~Bristol - The City~

12th June 2010

The last day of our Bristol holiday and how could we spend a few hours before the 200 mile return journey? I wanted to take a look at some of the old buildings in the city and see how old and new fit into the modern era.

Merchant Tailors Almshouses

Ancient & Modern

Scroll down for photos and a description of the day


Bristol Temple Meads

Another look at the main railway station in Bristol, we travelled in by train from Parkway.

Temple Meads

The Original

This is the terminus that Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed and built to conclude the Great Western route from Paddington, London. It is now a car park.

Floating Harbour

The Floating Harbour

We are stood on Valentine Bridge, a little bit can be seen to the right. Somewhat predicatbly we drifted towards the shopping centre - Cabot Circus. Itching to get the camera out, I left the scene and went in search of history.

John Wesleys Chapel

John Wesley's Chapel

John Wesley, along with brother Charles, is credited with founding the Methodist movement. This chapel was built in 1739 and it has survived to this day, surrounded by shops in all directions. Visitors are welcome and I decided to take a look inside.

Wesley's Chapel

Inside the Chapel

I've mentioned before that my grandfather was a Methodist Minister, so it's very likely that he will have been in this chapel as he was based in Bristol for a term. My mother attended Kingswood School in Bristol during their stay and I found reference of JW visiting that school during his time in the area - different eras!

The Pulpit

The Pulpit

It struck me how busy the surrounding streets are, anyone could just bale out for 20 minutes and spend time in here. A peace in history.

Quakers Friars

Quakers Friars

Friends used to meet here. Now friends meet here. The building has become a licenced resturant. The deckchairs are arranged for supporters to watch football later in the day. William Penn was married here in an earlier building in 1696 - he travelled to America and one state carries his name, can you work out which one?

Merchant Tailors

Merchant Tailors Almshouse

The Broadmead Shopping Centre has been built right up to the rear of these premises, which is also now a licenced restuarant.

St Stephen's Church

St. Stephen's Church


Bristol Centre Promenade

Narrow Quay

Narrow Quay

Narrow Quay is part of the Floating Harbour, Brunel could not have imagined the booming tourist industry in this part of the city. These steps have water cascading down.

Pero's Bridge

Pero's Bridge

Pero was a slave brought to Bristol from the Carribean. The centre section can be lifted to allow craft to get through and the horns act as counterweights when this happens.

Bristol Council House

Bristol Council House

The council houses in Burnley are smaller.

Bristol Cathedral

Bristol Cathedral

Oh no! Not another church? Always worth a closer look, we had a wander inside and not surprisingly, the inside looked similar to Wells Cathedral.

The Nave

The Nave

I took plenty of photos in the cathedral, but they do all look a bit the same as we saw the other day.


Planetarium @Bristol

The buildings here are known as @Bristol "At Bristol". My first thought was "Heart of Glass" - do you know what I mean? The open area, today filled by Bristol's Festival of Nature is the Millenium Square.

Millenium Square

Bristol's Festival of Nature

Wow! Lots going on, the BBC Springwatch gang were here along with all sorts of stands and activities.

The Spine at Bristol

The Spine

We stopped, looked at it, talked about and wondered about it. It works.

Floating Harbour

The Floating Harbour

Westonbirt Ice Cream


Narrow Quay

Narrow Quay - the other way, from the Pero's Bridge

Harris & Co

I found one surviving business in the Quay area - Harris & Co, est 1855 and the curious thing is ... our business has bought materials from them in the past, possibly 15 years ago. Midweek, I would have knocked on the door and said "Hello", but the doors were understandably locked on Saturday.

American Consulate

American Consulate in 1792

Floating Harbour

Mainly Modern

Tall buildings alongside the Floating Harbour, photo taken from the Redcliffe Bridge. Time is up and we are making our way back to Temple Meads Station.

HST at Temple Meads

HST at Temple Meads


Temple Meads Station

Attentive viewers will notice that Brunel did not live to see the completion of this task. My thoughts are that plug socket has been thoughtlessly placed, so close to the plaque. Did you spot the bird (feathered) in the photos above?

Day Trippers: Karen and me.

Time taken: Most of the day.

Points of Interest: Wesley's Chapel, Bristol Cathedral, all the harbour activities and Bristol Temple Meads.

Weather and conditions: Sunny and warm.

Greetings Count: Lots of folk about, nobody greeting each other, city rules apply.

Richard's Refreshment Review: We snacked one of the food stalls in the festival and topped it off with a Westonbirt Ice Cream!

Mind The Gap

Our Bristol Holiday has been a success. Maybe I watch too many weather forecasts, the weather was never as bad as feared. Bristol is a great city to visit, full of historical interest and plenty of things going on. Four particular highlights for me: SS Great Britain; The West Somerset Railway; Wells Cathedral and Bristol itself as reported above. Now where have those mountains gone?

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2010 ©

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