Exploring Bristol’s History
Trace Bristol’s long and fascinating history with a tour of some of the most interesting sites in the city.
From its humble beginnings as a Saxon hamlet clustered around a bridge over the River Avon, Bristol expanded to become the largest and most important city in the South West of England. Its flourishing port and diverse commercial and industrial activities have not only given Bristol a unique character, but also ensured that for many years it was known as England’s second city.
Beginning at Bristol Bridge, the story unfolds with a tour of medieval Bristol: the old city walls, Bristol Castle, the Pied Poudre Court at Old Market and the building of St Augustine’s Trench in 1247, the first major transformation of Bristol’s port facility. In 1373, Bristol was granted county status by Edward III, and just over a century later John Cabot sailed westwards from Bristol on his voyages of discovery.
Bristol’s development into a great commercial centre in the 18th century was largely dependent on the city’s participation in the gruesome Slave Trade. As Bristol continued to prosper in the Industrial Revolution, the riots of 1831 were a rude awakening. Soon afterwards, the coming of the railway led to the emergence of suburban Bristol. The expansion of the city led to the need for an improved transport system, and the tramways network had indelible links with the growth of Bristol’s aviation industry.
Although Bristol’s story is long and complex, this presentation reveals some of the most interesting events and fascinating personalities that have made the city the vibrant, cosmopolitan and forward looking place of today. You will enjoy the commentary of local historians and specialist contributors against a backdrop of historical Bristol songs, together with fascinating archive photographs and film.
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