Wednesday 23 May 2012

Olympic torch route - Day 5 Bristol

Bristol Cathedral
Bristol, a cathedral city of England, a municipal and a parliamentary borough, situated partly in Gloucestershire, partly in Somersetshire, but forming a county in itself. It stands at the confluence of the rivers Avon and Frome, which unite within the city, whence the combined stream (the Avon) pursues a course of nearly 7 miles to the Bristol Channel. The Avon is a navigable river, and the tides rise in it to a great height. The town is built partly on low grounds, partly on eminences, and has some fine suburban districts, such as Clifton, where the celebrated suspension bridge across the Avon, 703 feet long and 345 feet above high-water mark, unites the two counties. The public buildings are numerous and handsome and the number of place of worship very great. The most notable are the cathedral, founded in 1142, exhibiting various styles of architecture, and recently restored and enlarged.; St Mary Redcliff, said to have been founded in 1293, and perhaps the finest parish church in the kingdom. Among modern buildings are the exchange, the guild-hall, the council-house, the post-office, the new grammar school, the fine arts academy, the West of England and other banks, insurance offices &c. The charities are exceedingly numerous, the most important being Ashley Down orphanage, for the orphans of Protestant parents...Bristol has a number of endowed schools, the principal of which are the grammar-school, Queen Elizabeth's hospital, the Red Maids' school...Colston's hospital, the trade school and the cathedral school. Amongst the educational establishments are the University College, the Theological College of the Baptists and Independents, Clifton College, and the Philosophical Institute. There is a school of art, and also a public library. Bristol has glass-works, potteries, soap-works, tanneries, sugar-refineries, and chemical works, ship-building and machinery yards. Coal is worked extensively within within the limits of the borough. The export and import trade is large and varied.   
From Blackie's Modern Cyclopedia of Universal Information (undated, probably c1890)

Bristol contains 22 parishes, some of them of ancient foundation, which together comprise the registration district of Bristol. This is a geographically small area, so some of your 'Bristol' ancestors may belong to the neighbouring districts of Bedminster or Clifton. Bristol has its own archive, the Bristol Record Office

There is more information about Bristol on Vision of Britain, and historic photographs on the English Heritage Archives site. Bristol Town Duties - A collection of original and interesting documents (etc) 1828 can be found at British History Online


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