Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Bristol - a walk around town (1)

Bristol is a city, not without it's problems, that seems to be constantly evolving whilst keeping memories of the past.

(As you may recall from information I referred in the last two posts, Bristol was my second home for some time. Is is quite difficult visiting a place every 4 - 6 weeks for a while and then all of a sudden not doing so any more. It has been 13 months now and I have wrestled in my mind about a lot of things here .... least of all how to condense this post into one, I can't as there is a mixture of interest and unusual shots that may not excite the variety of people following, so it will have to be two.... sorry about that. )

I begin this tour just behind the ferry landing stage that you saw in the last post with the picture above and am heading into the City centre. It seems that they tried to extend the water theme into the city by building a series of fountains. On a sunny summer day, it virtually becomes a paddling pool.

Continuing down the street, the old city is entered via one of the few remaining gates at St Johns archway. There are a few interesting buildings to see on the walk up to the church on Broad street, the best being the Edward Everard building. This is the start of the shopping area

At the top of the street is an outdoor market selling a variety of locally made gifts, pictures and food...

The mix in St Nix !!
with a similar thing on the inside of the adjacent St Nicholas' market. The range of hot foods available to the rear of this building is amazing. I spent a lot of time and money in the bookshop on the left.

One of the structural problems of Bristol city centre is that it was partially bombed during World war II. With a 1950s rebuild, out of town shopping centres and inner city traffic and parking problems, the authorities have sought to improve and extend what is available.....

..with the recent addition of a blue tiled line going down the street !! ... and some stone balls !! ....

...leading to a brand new shopping centre at the bottom of the street called Cabot Circus.

"the glass roof " or ... let me out !!
It was a little unfortunate that the leading trader, House of Fraser, moved out of the large building below and into the new complex leaving the older shops of Broadmead a little exposed to either closure or the cheaper end of the retail market.
"Saile"... my combination of the words "sale" and "sail" from left to right !

A nearby shopping arcade was thankfully saved from the World War II bombs but only to find that it may be later destroyed by its distance from Cabot circus, increasing rents and current economic hardship. When I first visited Bristol, this arcade was full of life, latterly it only had a few shops occupied, one of which was my regular friday 7:30 - 9:00 am Starbucks moment at the far end .... beside the blue line.

The oldest building to survive in Broadmead is an Almshouse (it housed the elderly who could no longer work) built in 1701 which is dwarfed and incorporated by means of a coffee shop and sandwich bar into a 1991 shopping centre. It was thought that a lot of post war buildings needed improvement, while just around the corner.....

a much more modern touch is given to a piazza square in the Cabot circus - Broadmead extension.

Another building to survive near The Arcade is the oldest Methodist chapel in the world built in 1739. John Wesley (statue above in the garden) was not allowed to preach in any other church, so he had to build his own.
He also helped the poor and less fortunate at these facilities. It is very apt that he built it near where "Primark" and friends are today.

Moving slightly out of town in the direction of the railway station, I came across this unusual structure which was part of an old school wall...

This school wall indicated that Thomas Chatterton was taught here. After doing some later research, it turns out that Chatterton was a very young poet who was born in the house behind in 1752 and the school wall was moved to this site in 1940 due to a road widening scheme elsewhere... how strange. Chatterton seemed a little impatient to have success in his work and it is sad to say that his trip to London did not go well and he committed suicide at the age of 17. Little did he know where his fame was going to come from later in history.

Leaning tower of Templar
It was thought that the tower of Temple Church which was completed in 1460 was affected by the bombs of World War II. However this updated structure of the Knights Templar Crusaders was built on marshy land, paid the price for the "lean" in later years and was somehow saved from demolition. For obvious and unfortunate reasons, it is not open to the public.

In contrast, after a walk back into town, the Bristol Eye Hospital has beautiful 3 dimensional animal designs on the wall, no doubt for patients to enjoy.

Lastly, retracing my path back to the starting point, it is nice to be able to walk down Christmas steps.

This alleyway was constructed in 1669 by a wealthy wine merchant to do away with a steep muddy path up to the hospital.

These days it is more famous for small boutiques, takeaway food, Stamp / coin shops and a pub at the bottom...

All this walking is making me hungry and thirsty, so I'll finish part one with some lunch at Cafe Amore who make fantastic sandwiches sell wonderful cakes..... Enjoy ... if you can, visually !!


  1. A great couple of posts. One of my favourite cities. It is spoilt by seemingly unending construction work.

  2. I am glad, J_on_tour, you are continuing to tell us about Bristol :) Many changes there. The town is rejuvanated and modernized. I enjoyed this trip!

  3. Ciao J,
    I'm glad you're not able to condense everything into one post because to view pictures
    that you propose to us of Bristol is a real pleasure!

  4. 1. love the arch shot!!!! fantastic capture
    2. the last pic the food... yummy!
    3. i sooo gonna show my firnd who just came back from bristol, she said it was nothing; i shall prof her wrong with you beautiful pics.

  5. Thanks for all these additional memories J.

  6. Great pictures, and I really like these old buildings:)

  7. Your photography fascinates me. You make poetry with the urban.

  8. I love the shots of the alley and the red door. And, everything else. So well done!

  9. I realy enjoyed the tour of Bristol. It looks like a fascinating place. The blue tiled line and stone balls are unique. I also love the animal designs on the Eye Hospital wall.

  10. I always enjoy pictures of markets, shopping areas, arches, alleys, towers, especially that you manage to take pictures from various and unexpected angles.
    The blue tiled line is very impressive, and the cup cake at Cafe Amore very nicely ends this post on Bristol city.

  11. This looks like a place I would LOVE to visit! The Arcade reminds me of The Galeries Royales in Brussels.
    Thanks for sharing and have a fabulous day!

  12. Well, it was a busy, cold, unpleasant week and finally I can say 'it's fridaaaaay' not 'it's FRIDAAAAAY' like always!
    Maybe I will start to build my own walls like Mr. John Wesley does ( not like that old schools walls) or maybe I will walk slowly, unknown -like a shadow , on those Christmas(forever) steps eating millions of strawberry cakes from CAFE AMORE. Lucky me that I prefer pickels...ha ha
    Loking to your street picture, a thought cross my mind to leave quickly Romania (I have a flight with KLM at 7.02 PM ) to come over there....ha ha
    It was a black- friday -joke....ha ha
    Nobody leave Romania !
    I wish you a wonderful weekend!
    See you soon, J!

  13. You spoil us with so many great photos! I love the one of the city seen through the archway, and the various colors of the fronts of the buildings. Reminds me of Cirencester. I could have spent hours in the Second Hand Books and Sheet Music store. The old school wall looks like part of a movie set...but a sad story behind it. Such an interesting town. What is the last photo? Is that a cake?? Thanks for the photo tour!

  14. Your pictures are a collection of beauty. Congratulations and best regards.

  15. I am still here! ha ha
    Did you notice the date from yesterday and from today?
    20.01.2011 and 21.01.2011
    Eh...only numbers...or?
    I wish you luck!

  16. I miss the scenic views of Europe. Philadelphia's got it's charm, but nothing beats the fact that streets in Europe are older than my country!

    Your blog is my after work therapy!

  17. What a great virtual visit! Bristol abounds in charming sights -- I just wish I could take the brick hedgehog home with me.

  18. Adrian... Thanks, not sure where the building work will end. When they've finished, it'll be time to knock a few more buildings down and build something else. Full building employment since WWII !

    Traveling Hawk... Thanks, I'm glad you liked it. It is always difficult showing pictures of a shopping centre !!

    Sciarada... Thanks, I had that many photos to share, it was difficult to know how to post and title them all.

    Lily Riani... Thanks, it's all about keeping an extra eye open for photo opportunities. Admittedly, some of these locations would be difficult to find on the first visit.

    Trevor Woodford... Thanks, hope they were good memories.

    Berit... Thanks, It's strange to see all the old buildings so close to the new ones.

    Tossan... Photography poetry with the urban, I like that. It's always a challenge to find interesting things in a city centre. I was fortunate enough to know the layout of the city well before taking any of these.

    Farmchick... Thanks, it's great to find alleys and historic buildings in places where you don't expect them to be in modern cities.

    Sweet Virginia Breeze... Thanks, I'm pleased that you mentioned the line and the balls. You have no idea how many different shots I have of these balls. There is a blue one in the style of the line every so many along the line. I took a few more animals on the wall, but the images got messy with heads and tails from others distracting from the main subject. This was the smallest, simplest and probably most effective. The shot of the whole wall looked nothing and it was a street with traffic queues.

    DUTA... Thanks, I tried to put as much variety into this post as I could. It was a nightmare editing out all the unseen images. Cafe Amore is a small Italian run lunch time (Americano interior look) cafe that in my opinion is the the best place to eat in Bristol for value for money spent and associated quality, quantity and happy service.

    Debbie Smith... Thanks, I tried to show the best bits. Hope I didn't make it out to be something it is not.

    Wind... Thanks, Maybe I should take your advice by using your concise commentary with this post as I end up saying too much. Cafe Amore does some amazing budget priced savoury sandwiches that you might prefer. The cake was a treat once in while when ... I had my camera !

    Cranberry Morning... Thanks, I spent a lot of time in the bookshop, that the owner will be wondering where I am now. The school wall was strange, it was near St Marys Redcliffe church in the last post and I spotted it by chance on a main road while travelling to the railway station. Yes that is a cake and the size of a normal teaplate should give you the scale of it. They did a Lemon one as well.

    Phivos... Thanks, I'm pleased you enjoyed these.

    Cimpoaca... Thanks for your kind words.

    Kae Lani... Thanks, Hopefully I can show you some more interesting places soon.

    Vicki Lane... Thanks, I did like the hedgehog. Hope you are enjoying the ride !!


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