Bristol (/ˈbrɪstəl/ (listen)) is a city and county in South West England with a population of 459,300. The wider district has the 10th-largest population in England. The urban area population of 724,000 is the 8th-largest in the UK. The city borders North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, with the cities of Bath and Gloucester to the south-east and north-east, respectively. South Wales lies across the Severn estuary.
Iron Age hill forts and Roman villas were built near the confluence of the rivers Frome and Avon, and around the beginning of the 11th century the settlement was known as Brycgstow (Old English "the place at the bridge"). Bristol received a royal charter in 1155 and was historically divided between Gloucestershire and Somerset until 1373, when it became a county of itself. From the 13th to the 18th century, Bristol was among the top three English cities after London in tax receipts. Bristol was surpassed by the rapid rise of Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool in the Industrial Revolution.
Bristol was a starting place for early voyages of exploration to the New World. On a ship out of Bristol in 1497 John Cabot, a Venetian, became the first European since the Vikings to land on mainland North America. In 1499 William Weston, a Bristol merchant, was the first Englishman to lead an exploration to North America. At the height of the Bristol slave trade, from 1700 to 1807, more than 2,000 slave ships carried an estimated 500,000 people from Africa to slavery in the Americas. The Port of Bristol has since moved from Bristol Harbour in the city centre to the Severn Estuary at Avonmouth and Royal Portbury Dock.
Bristol's modern economy is built on the creative media, electronics and aerospace industries, and the city-centre docks have been redeveloped as centres of heritage and culture. The city has the largest circulating community currency in the UK—the Bristol pound, which is pegged to the Pound sterling. The city has two universities, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England, and a variety of artistic and sporting organisations and venues including the Royal West of England Academy, the Arnolfini, Spike Island, Ashton Gate and the Memorial Stadium. It is connected to London and other major UK cities by road and rail, and to the world by sea and air: road, by the M5 and M4 (which connect to the city centre by the Portway and M32); rail, via Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway mainline rail stations; and Bristol Airport.
One of the UK's most popular tourist destinations, Bristol was selected in 2009 as one of the world's top ten cities by international travel publishers Dorling Kindersley in their Eyewitness series of travel guides. The Sunday Times named it as the best city in Britain in which to live in 2014 and 2017, and Bristol also won the EU's European Green Capital Award in 2015.
Virtute et industria
(With courage and industry)
Location within England
Location within the United Kingdom
Location in Europe
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Status||City, county and unitary authority|
|• Type||Unitary authority|
|• Governing body||Bristol City Council|
|• Admin HQ|
|• Leadership||Mayor and Cabinet|
|• Mayor||Marvin Rees (Lab)|
|• MPs||Kerry McCarthy (Lab)|
Darren Jones (Lab)
Karin Smyth (Lab)
Thangam Debbonaire (Lab)
|• City and county||40 sq mi (110 km2)|
|Elevation||36 ft (11 m)|
|• City and county||459,300 (Ranked 10th district and 43rd ceremonial county)|
|• Density||10,080/sq mi (3,892/km2)|
|• Urban||724,000 |
|• Metro||1,006,600 (LUZ 2,009)|
|Time zone||GMT (UTC)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (BST)|
|Area codes||0117, 01275|
|ISO 3166 code||GB-BST|
|• Total||£11.7bn ($19.4bn) (8th)|
|• Per capita||£27,100 ($44,900) (5th)|
The most ancient recorded name for Bristol is the archaic Welsh Caer Odor (the fort on the chasm), which is consistent with modern understanding that early Bristol developed between the River Frome and Avon Gorge. It is most commonly stated that the Saxon name Bricstow was a simple calque of the existing Celtic name, with Bric (meaning a break) a literal translation of Odor, and the common Saxon suffix Stow replacing Caer. Alternative etymologies are supported by numerous orthographic variations in medieval documents, with Samuel Seyer enumerating 47 alternative forms.
The Old English form Brycgstow is commonly used to derive the meaning place at the bridge. Utilizing another form, Brastuile, Rev. Dr. Shaw derived the name from the Celtic words bras (quick, rapid), or braos (a gap, chasm) and tuile (a stream). The poet Thomas Chatterton popularised a derivation from Brictricstow linking the town to Brictric, a leading landholder in the area. It appears that the form Bricstow prevailed until 1204, and the Bristolian 'L' (the tendency for the local dialect to add the sound "L" to many words ending in a neutral vowel) is what eventually changed the name to Bristol.
Archaeological finds, including flint tools believed to be between 300,000 and 126,000 years old made with the Levallois technique, indicate the presence of Neanderthals in the Shirehampton and St Annes areas of Bristol during the Middle Palaeolithic. Iron Age hill forts near the city are at Leigh Woods and Clifton Down, on the side of the Avon Gorge, and on Kings Weston Hill near Henbury. A Roman settlement, Abona, existed at what is now Sea Mills (connected to Bath by a Roman road); another was at the present-day Inns Court. Isolated Roman villas and small forts and settlements were also scattered throughout the area.
Bristol was founded by 1000; by about 1020, it was a trading centre with a mint producing silver pennies bearing its name. By 1067 Brycgstow was a well-fortified burh, and that year the townsmen beat off a raiding party from Ireland led by three of Harold Godwinson's sons. Under Norman rule, the town had one of the strongest castles in southern England. Bristol was the place of exile for Diarmait Mac Murchada, the Irish king of Leinster, after being overthrown. The Bristol merchants subsequently played a prominent role in funding Richard Strongbow de Clare and the Norman invasion of Ireland.
The port developed in the 11th century around the confluence of the Rivers Frome and Avon, adjacent to Bristol Bridge just outside the town walls. By the 12th century Bristol was an important port, handling much of England's trade with Ireland, including slaves. There was also an important Jewish community in Bristol from the late 12th century through to the late 13th century when all Jews were expelled from England. The stone bridge built in 1247 was replaced by the current bridge during the 1760s. The town incorporated neighbouring suburbs and became a county in 1373, the first town in England to be given this status. During this period, Bristol became a shipbuilding and manufacturing centre. By the 14th century Bristol, York and Norwich were England's largest medieval towns after London. One-third to one-half of the population died in the Black Death of 1348–49, which checked population growth, and its population remained between 10,000 and 12,000 for most of the 15th and 16th centuries.
During the 15th century Bristol was the second-most important port in the country, trading with Ireland, Iceland and Gascony. It was the starting point for many voyages, including Robert Sturmy's (1457–58) unsuccessful attempt to break the Italian monopoly of Eastern Mediterranean trade. New exploration voyages were launched by Venetian John Cabot, who in 1497 made landfall in North America. A 1499 voyage, led by merchant William Weston of Bristol, was the first expedition commanded by an Englishman to North America. During the first decade of the 16th century Bristol's merchants undertook a series of exploration voyages to North America and even founded a commercial organisation, 'The Company Adventurers to the New Found Land', to assist their endeavours. However, they seem to have lost interest in North America after 1509, having incurred great expenses and made little profit.
During the 16th century, Bristol merchants concentrated on developing trade with Spain and its American colonies. This included the smuggling of prohibited goods, such as food and guns, to Iberia during the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604). Bristol's illicit trade grew enormously after 1558, becoming integral to its economy.
The original Diocese of Bristol was founded in 1542, when the former Abbey of St. Augustine (founded by Robert Fitzharding four hundred years earlier) became Bristol Cathedral. Bristol also gained city status that year. During the English Civil War in the 1640s the city was occupied by Royalists, who built the Royal Fort House on the site of an earlier Parliamentarian stronghold.
Growth of the city and trade came with the rise of England's American colonies in the 17th century. Bristol's location on the west side of Great Britain gave its ships an advantage in sailing to and from the New World, and the city's merchants made the most of it. The 18th century saw an expansion of England's role in the Atlantic trade in Africans taken for slavery to the Americas. Bristol and Liverpool became centres of the Triangular Trade. In the first side of the slavery triangle, manufactured goods were shipped to West Africa and exchanged for Africans; the enslaved captives were transported across the Atlantic to the Americas in the Middle Passage under brutal conditions. In the third side of the triangle, plantation goods such as sugar, tobacco, rum, rice, cotton and a few slaves (sold to the aristocracy as house servants) returned across the Atlantic. Some household slaves were baptised in the hope this would mean their freedom in England. The Somersett Case of 1772 clarified that slavery was illegal in England. At the height of the Bristol slave trade from 1700 to 1807, more than 2,000 slave ships carried a conservatively estimated 500,000 people from Africa to slavery in the Americas. The Seven Stars public house, where abolitionist Thomas Clarkson collected information on the slave trade, is still operating.
Fishermen from Bristol, who had fished the Grand Banks of Newfoundland since the 16th century, began settling Newfoundland permanently in larger numbers during the 17th century, establishing colonies at Bristol's Hope and Cuper's Cove. Because of Bristol's nautical environment, maritime safety was an important issue in the city. During the 19th century, Samuel Plimsoll, known as "the sailor's friend," campaigned to make the seas safer; shocked by overloaded vessels, he successfully fought for a compulsory load line on ships.
In 1739 John Wesley founded the first Methodist chapel, the New Room, in Bristol. Wesley, along with his brother Charles Wesley and George Whitefield, preached to large congregations in Bristol and the neighbouring village of Kingswood, often in the open air.
The city was associated with Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who designed the Great Western Railway between Bristol and London Paddington, two pioneering Bristol-built oceangoing steamships (SS Great Britain and SS Great Western), and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The new railway replaced the Kennet and Avon Canal, which had fully opened in 1810 as the main route for the transport of goods between Bristol and London. Competition from Liverpool (beginning around 1760), disruptions of maritime commerce due to war with France (1793) and the abolition of the slave trade (1807) contributed to Bristol's failure to keep pace with the newer manufacturing centres of Northern England and the West Midlands. The tidal Avon Gorge, which had secured the port during the Middle Ages, had become a liability. An 1804–09 plan to improve the city's port with a floating harbour designed by William Jessop was a costly error, requiring high harbour fees.
By 1867, ships were getting larger and the meanders in the river Avon prevented boats over 300 feet (90 m) from reaching the harbour, resulting in falling trade. The port facilities were migrating downstream to Avonmouth and new industrial complexes were founded there. Some of the traditional industries including copper and brass manufacture went into decline, but the import and processing of tobacco flourished with the expansion of the W.D. & H.O. Wills business.
Supported by new industry and growing commerce, Bristol's population (66,000 in 1801), quintupled during the 19th century, resulting in the creation of new suburbs such as Clifton and Cotham. These provide architectural examples from the Georgian to the Regency style, with many fine terraces and villas facing the road, and at right angles to it. In the early 19th century, the romantic medieval gothic style appeared, partially as a reaction against the symmetry of Palladianism, and can be seen in buildings such as the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, the Royal West of England Academy, and The Victoria Rooms. Riots broke out in 1793 and 1831; the first over the renewal of tolls on Bristol Bridge, and the second against the rejection of the second Reform Bill by the House of Lords. The Diocese of Bristol had undergone several boundary changes by 1897 when it was "reconstituted" into the configuration which has lasted into the 21st century.
From a population of about 330,000 in 1901, Bristol grew steadily during the 20th century, peaking at 428,089 in 1971. Its Avonmouth docklands were enlarged during the early 1900s by the Royal Edward Dock. Another new dock, the Royal Portbury Dock, opened across the river from Avonmouth during the 1970s. As air travel grew in the first half of the century, aircraft manufacturers built factories. The unsuccessful Bristol International Exhibition was held on Ashton Meadows in the Bower Ashton area in 1914. After the premature closure of the exhibition the site was used, until 1919, as barracks for the Gloucestershire Regiment during World War I.
Bristol was heavily damaged by Luftwaffe raids during World War II; about 1,300 people living or working in the city were killed and nearly 100,000 buildings were damaged, at least 3,000 beyond repair. The original central shopping area, near the bridge and castle, is now a park containing two bombed churches and fragments of the castle. A third bomb-damaged church nearby, St Nicholas, has been restored and is a museum housing a 1756 William Hogarth triptych painted for the high altar of St Mary Redcliffe. The museum also has statues of King Edward I (moved from Arno's Court Triumphal Arch) and King Edward III (taken from Lawfords' Gate in the city walls when they were demolished about 1760), and 13th-century statues of Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester (builder of Bristol Castle) and Geoffrey de Montbray (who built the city's walls) from Bristol's Newgate.
The rebuilding of Bristol city centre was characterised by 1960s and 1970s skyscrapers, mid-century modern architecture and road improvements. Beginning in the 1980s some main roads were closed, the Georgian-era Queen Square and Portland Square were restored, the Broadmead shopping area regenerated, and one of the city centre's tallest mid-century towers was demolished. Bristol's road infrastructure changed dramatically during the 1960s and 1970s with the development of the M4 and M5 motorways, which meet at the Almondsbury Interchange just north of the city and link Bristol with London (M4 eastbound), Swansea (M4 westbound across the Severn Estuary), Exeter (M5 southbound) and Birmingham (M5 northbound). Bristol was bombed twice by the IRA, in 1974 and again in 1978.
The 20th-century relocation of the docks to Avonmouth Docks and Royal Portbury Dock, 7 miles (11 km) downstream from the city centre, has allowed the redevelopment of the old dock area (the Floating Harbour). Although the docks' existence was once in jeopardy (since the area was seen as a derelict industrial site), the inaugural 1996 International Festival of the Sea held in and around the docks affirmed the area as a leisure asset of the city.
Bristol City council consists of 70 councillors representing 35 wards, with between one and three per ward serving four-year terms. Councillors are elected in thirds, with elections held in three years out of every four-year period. Thus, since wards do not have both councillors up for election at the same time, two-thirds of the wards participate in each election. Although the council was long dominated by the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats have grown strong in the city and (as the largest party) took minority control of the council after the 2005 UK general election. In 2007, Labour and the Conservatives united to defeat the Liberal Democrat administration; Labour ruled the council as a minority administration, with Helen Holland as council leader.
In February 2009, the Labour group resigned and the Liberal Democrats re-entered office with a minority administration. In the June 2009 council elections the Liberal Democrats gained four seats and, for the first time, overall control of the city council. In 2010 they increased their representation to 38 seats, giving them a majority of 6. In 2011, they lost their majority; leading to a hung council. In the 2013 local elections, in which a third of the city's wards were up for election, Labour gained 7 seats and the Green Party doubled their seats from 2 to 4. The Liberal Democrats lost 10 seats.
These trends were continued into the next election in May 2014, in which Labour gained three seats to take their total to 31, the Green Party won two more seats, the Conservative party gained one seat, and UKIP won their first-ever seat on the council. The Liberal Democrats lost a further seven seats.
On 3 May 2012, Bristol held a referendum on the question of a directly elected mayor replacing one elected by the council. There were 41,032 votes in favour of a directly elected mayor and 35,880 votes against, with a 24% turnout. An election for the new post was held on 15 November 2012, and Independent candidate George Ferguson became Mayor of Bristol.
The Lord Mayor of Bristol, not to be confused with the Mayor of Bristol, is a figurehead elected each May by the city council. Councillor Faruk Choudhury was selected by his fellow councillors for the position in 2013. At 38, he was the youngest person to serve as Lord Mayor of Bristol and the first Muslim elected to the office.
Bristol constituencies in the House of Commons also included parts of other local authority areas until the 2010 general election, when their boundaries were aligned with the county boundary. The city is divided into Bristol West, East, South and North West. At the 2017 general election, Labour won all four of the Bristol constituencies, gaining the Bristol North West seat, seven years after losing it to the Conservatives.
The city has a tradition of political activism. Edmund Burke, MP for the Bristol constituency for six years beginning in 1774, insisted that he was a Member of Parliament first and a representative of his constituents' interests second. Women's-rights advocate Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence (1867–1954) was born in Bristol, and the left-wingerTony Benn served as MP for Bristol South East in 1950–1960 and again from 1963–83. In 1963 the Bristol Bus Boycott, following the Bristol Omnibus Company's refusal to hire Black drivers and conductors, drove the passage of the UK's 1965 Race Relations Act. The 1980 St. Pauls riot protested against racism and police harassment and showed mounting dissatisfaction with the socioeconomic circumstances of the city's Afro-Caribbean residents. Local support of fair trade was recognised in 2005, when Bristol became a fairtrade zone.
Bristol is both a city and a county, since King Edward III granted it a county charter in 1373. The county was expanded in 1835 to include suburbs such as Clifton, and it was named a county borough in 1889 when that designation was introduced.
The former Avon area, called Greater Bristol by the Government Office of the South West (now abolished) and others, refers to the city and the three neighbouring local authorities—Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire previously in Avon.
The North Fringe of Bristol, a developed area between the Bristol city boundary and the M4, M5 and M32 motorways (now in South Gloucestershire) was so named as part of a 1987 plan prepared by the Northavon District Council of Avon county.
The West of England Combined Authority was created on 9 February 2017. Covering Bristol and the rest of the old Avon county with the exception of North Somerset, the new combined authority has responsibility for regional planning, roads, and local transport, and to a lesser extent, education and business investment. The authority's first mayor, Tim Bowles, was elected in May 2017. One of the first actions of the new authority was the announcement of a new train station to be build at Portway.
Bristol's boundaries are defined in several ways, depending on whether they are those of the city, the developed area, or Greater Bristol. The narrowest definition of the city is the city council boundary, which includes a large section of the western Severn Estuary up to (but not including) the islands of Steep Holm and Flat Holm.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has defined a Bristol Urban Area, which includes developed areas adjoining Bristol but outside the city-council boundary, such as Kingswood, Mangotsfield, Stoke Gifford, Winterbourne, Almondsbury, Easton in Gordano, Whitchurch village, Filton, Patchway and Bradley Stoke, but excludes undeveloped areas within that boundary.
Bristol is part of a limestone area running from the Mendip Hills in the south to the Cotswolds in the northeast. The rivers Avon and Frome cut through the limestone to the underlying clay, creating Bristol's characteristically hilly landscape. The Avon flows from Bath in the east, through flood plains and areas which were marshes before the city's growth. To the west the Avon cuts through the limestone to form the Avon Gorge, aided by glacial meltwater after the last ice age.
The gorge, which helped protect Bristol Harbour, has been quarried for stone to build the city, and its surrounding land has been protected from development as The Downs and Leigh Woods. The Avon estuary and the gorge are the county boundary with North Somerset, and the river flows into the Severn Estuary at Avonmouth. Another gorge, cut by the Hazel Brook (which flows into the River Trym), crosses the Blaise Castle estate in northern Bristol.
Bristol is often described, by its inhabitants, as being built on seven hills. Given the local geography of Bristol this is easily the case. To name but a few, Red Lion Hill, Barton Hill, Lawrence Hill, St. Michaels Hill, Black Boy Hill, Constitution Hill, Staple Hill, Brandon Hill, Windmill Hill, Malborough Hill, Nine Tree Hill, Talbot, Brook Hill and Granby Hill.
The climate is oceanic (Köppen: Cfb), milder than most places in England and United Kingdom. Located in southern England, Bristol is one of the warmest cities in the UK with a mean annual temperature of approximately 10.5 °C (50.9 °F). It is among the sunniest, with 1,541–1,885 hours of sunshine per year. Although the city is partially sheltered by the Mendip Hills, it is exposed to the Severn Estuary and the Bristol Channel. Annual rainfall increases from north to south, with totals north of the Avon in the 600–900 mm (24–35 in) range and 900–1,200 mm (35–47 in) south of the river. Rain is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, with autumn and winter the wetter seasons. The Atlantic Ocean influences Bristol's weather, keeping its average temperature above freezing throughout the year, but winter frosts are frequent and snow occasionally falls from early November to late April. Summers are warm and drier, with variable sunshine, rain and clouds, and spring weather is unsettled.
The weather stations nearest Bristol for which long-term climate data are available are Long Ashton (about 5 miles (8 km) south west of the city centre) and Bristol Weather Station, in the city centre. Data collection at these locations ended in 2002 and 2001, respectively, and Filton Airfield is currently the nearest weather station to the city. Temperatures at Long Ashton from 1959 to 2002 ranged from 33.5 °C (92.3 °F) in July 1976 to −14.4 °C (6.1 °F) in January 1982. Monthly high temperatures since 2002 at Filton exceeding those recorded at Long Ashton include 25.7 °C (78.3 °F) in April 2003, 34.5 °C (94.1 °F) in July 2006 and 26.8 °C (80.2 °F) in October 2011. The lowest recent temperature at Filton was −10.1 °C (13.8 °F) in December 2010. Although large cities in general experience an urban heat island effect, with warmer temperatures than their surrounding rural areas, this phenomenon is minimal in Bristol.
Bristol was ranked as Britain's most sustainable city (based on its environmental performance, quality of life, future-proofing and approaches to climate change, recycling and biodiversity), topping environmental charity Forum for the Future's 2008 Sustainable Cities Index. Local initiatives include Sustrans (creators of the National Cycle Network, founded as Cyclebag in 1977) and Resourcesaver, a non-profit business established in 1988 by Avon Friends of the Earth. In 2014 The Sunday Times named it as the best city in Britain in which to live. The city received the 2015 European Green Capital Award, becoming the first UK city to receive this award.
The city has green belt mainly along its southern fringes, taking in small areas within the Ashton Court Estate, South Bristol crematorium and cemetery, High Ridge common and Whitchurch, with a further area around Frenchay Farm. The belt extends outside the city boundaries into surrounding counties and districts, for several miles in places, to afford a protection from urban sprawl to surrounding villages and towns.
In 2014, the Office for National Statistics estimated the Bristol unitary authority's population at 442,474, making it the 43rd-largest ceremonial county in England. The ONS, using Census 2001 data, estimated the city's population at 441,556.
According to the 2011 census, 84% of the population was White (77.9% White British, 0.9% White Irish, 0.1% Gypsy or Irish Travellers and 5.1% Other White); 3.6% mixed-race (1.7% white-and-black Caribbean, 0.4% white-and-black African, 0.8% white and Asian and 0.7% other mixed); 5.5% Asian (1.6% Pakistani, 1.5% Indian, 0.9% Chinese, 0.5% Bangladeshi, and 1% other Asian); 6% Black (2.8% African, 1.6% Caribbean, 1.6% Other Black), 0.3% Arab and 0.6% with other heritage. Bristol is unusual among major British towns and cities in its larger black than Asian population. These statistics apply to the Bristol Unitary Authority area, excluding areas of the urban area (2006 estimated population 587,400) in South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) and North Somerset—such as Kingswood, Mangotsfield, Filton and Warmley. 56.2% of the 209,995 Bristol residents who are employed commute to work using either a car, van, motorbike or taxi, 2.2% commute by rail and 9.8% by bus, while 19.6% walk.
The population of Bristol's contiguous urban area was put at 551,066 by the ONS based on Census 2001 data. In 2006 the ONS estimated Bristol's urban-area population at 587,400, making it England's sixth-most populous city and tenth-most populous urban area. At 3,599 inhabitants per square kilometre (9,321/sq mi) it has the seventh-highest population density of any English district. According to data from 2015, the urban area has the 8th-largest population in the UK with a daytime population of 724,000.
In 2007 the European Spatial Planning Observation Network (ESPON) defined Bristol's functional urban area as including Weston-super-Mare, Bath and Clevedon with a total population of 1.04 million, the twelfth largest of the UK.
Bristol has a long history of trade, originally exporting wool cloth and importing fish, wine, grain and dairy products; later imports were tobacco, tropical fruits and plantation goods. Major imports are motor vehicles, grain, timber, produce and petroleum products. Since the 13th century, the rivers have been modified for docks; during the 1240s, the Frome was diverted into a deep, man-made channel (known as Saint Augustine's Reach) which flowed into the River Avon.
Ships occasionally departed Bristol for Iceland as early as 1420, and speculation exists that sailors (fisherman who landed on the Canadian coast to salt/ smoke their catch) from Bristol made landfall in the Americas before Christopher Columbus or John Cabot. Beginning in the early 1480s, the Bristol Society of Merchant Venturers sponsored exploration of the North Atlantic in search of trading opportunities. In 1552, Edward VI granted a royal charter to the Merchant Venturers to manage the port. Among explorers to depart from the port after Cabot were Martin Frobisher, Thomas James, after whom James Bay, on southern coast of Hudson Bay is named and Martin Pring, who discovered Cape Cod and the southern New England coast in 1603.
By 1670 the city had 6,000 tons of shipping (of which half was imported tobacco), and by the late 17th and early 18th centuries shipping played a significant role in the slave trade. During the 18th century, Bristol was Britain's second-busiest port; business was conducted in the trading area around The Exchange in Corn Street over bronze tables known as Nails. Although the Nails are cited as originating the phrase "cash on the nail" (immediate payment), the phrase was probably in use before their installation.
The city's economy also relies on the aerospace, defence, media, information technology, financial services and tourism industries. The Ministry of Defence (MoD)'s Procurement Executive, later known as the Defence Procurement Agency and Defence Equipment and Support, moved to its headquarters to Abbey Wood, Filton, in 1995. This organisation, with a staff of 12,000 to 13,000, procures and supports MoD equipment. One of the UK's most popular tourist destinations, Bristol was selected in 2009 as one of the world's top-ten cities by international travel publishers Dorling Kindersley in their Eyewitness guides for young adults.
Bristol is one of the eight-largest regional English cities that make up the Core Cities Group, and is ranked as a gamma world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, the fourth-highest-ranked English city. In 2017 Bristol's gross domestic product was £88.448 billion. Its per capita GDP was £46,000 ($65,106, €57,794), which was some 65% above the national average, the third-highest of any English city (after London and Nottingham) and the sixth-highest of any city in the United Kingdom (behind London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast and Nottingham). According to the 2011 census, Bristol's unemployment rate (claiming Jobseeker's Allowance) was three per cent, compared with two per cent for South West England and the national average of four per cent.
Although Bristol's economy no longer relies upon its port, which was moved to docks at Avonmouth during the 1870s and to the Royal Portbury Dock in 1977 as ship size increased, it is the largest importer of cars to the UK. Until 1991, the port was publicly owned; it is leased, with £330 million invested and its annual tonnage increasing from 3.9 million long tons (4 million tonnes) to 11.8 million (12 million). Tobacco importing and cigarette manufacturing have ceased, but the importation of wine and spirits continues.
The financial services sector employs 59,000 in the city, and 50 micro-electronics and silicon design companies employ about 5,000. In 1983 Hewlett-Packard opened its national research laboratory in Bristol. In 2014 the city was ranked seventh in the "top 10 UK destinations" by TripAdvisor.
During the 20th century, Bristol's manufacturing activities expanded to include aircraft production at Filton by the Bristol Aeroplane Company and aircraft-engine manufacturing by Bristol Aero Engines (later Rolls-Royce) at Patchway. Bristol Aeroplane was known for their World War I Bristol Fighter and World War II Blenheim and Beaufighter planes. During the 1950s they were a major English manufacturer of civilian aircraft, known for the Freighter, Britannia and Brabazon. The company diversified into automobile manufacturing during the 1940s, producing hand-built, luxury Bristol Cars at their factory in Filton, and the Bristol Cars company was spun off in 1960. The city also gave its name to Bristol buses, which were manufactured in the city from 1908 to 1983: by Bristol Tramways until 1955, and from 1955 to 1983 by Bristol Commercial Vehicles.
Filton played a key role in the Anglo-French Concorde supersonic airliner project during the 1960s. The British Concorde prototype made its maiden flight from Filton to RAF Fairford on 9 April 1969, five weeks after the French test flight. In 2003 British Airways and Air France decided to discontinue Concorde flights, retiring the aircraft to locations (primarily museums) worldwide. On 26 November 2003 Concorde 216 made the final Concorde flight, returning to Bristol Filton Airport as the centrepiece of a proposed air museum which is planned to include the existing Bristol Aero collection (including a Bristol Britannia).
The aerospace industry remains a major sector of the local economy. Major aerospace companies in Bristol include BAE Systems, a merger of Marconi Electronic Systems and BAe (the latter a merger of BAC, Hawker Siddeley and Scottish Aviation). Airbus and Rolls-Royce are also based at Filton, and aerospace engineering is an area of research at the University of the West of England. Another aviation company in the city is Cameron Balloons, who manufacture hot air balloons; each August the city hosts the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, one of Europe's largest hot-air balloon festivals.
In 2005 Bristol was named by the UK government one of England's six science cities. A £500 million shopping centre, Cabot Circus, opened in 2008 amidst predictions by developers and politicians that the city would become one of England's top ten retail destinations. The Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, focused on creative, high-tech and low-carbon industries around Bristol Temple Meads railway station, was announced in 2011 and launched the following year. The 70-hectare (170-acre) Urban Enterprise Zone has streamlined planning procedures and reduced business rates. Rates generated by the zone are channelled to five other designated enterprise areas in the region: Avonmouth, Bath, Bristol and Bath Science Park in Emersons Green, Filton, and Weston-super-Mare. Bristol is the only big city whose wealth per capita is higher than that of Britain as a whole. With a highly skilled workforce drawn from its universities, Bristol claims to have the largest cluster of computer chip designers and manufacturers outside Silicon Valley. The wider region has one of the biggest aerospace hubs in the UK, centred on Airbus, Rolls-Royce and GKN at Filton airfield.
Bristol has a thriving current and historical arts scene. Some of the modern venues and modern digital production companies have merged with legacy production companies based in old buildings around the city. In 2008 the city was a finalist for the 2008 European Capital of Culture, although the title was awarded to Liverpool. The city was designated "City of Film" by UNESCO in 2017 and has been a member of the Creative Cities Network since then.
The Bristol Old Vic, founded in 1946 as an offshoot of The Old Vic in London, occupies the 1766 Theatre Royal (607 seats) on King Street; the 150-seat New Vic (a studio-type theatre), and a foyer and bar in the adjacent Coopers' Hall (built in 1743). The Theatre Royal, a grade I listed building, is the oldest continuously operating theatre in England. The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (which originated in King Street) is a separate company, and the Bristol Hippodrome is a 1,951-seat theatre for national touring productions. Other smaller theatres include the Tobacco Factory, QEH, the Redgrave Theatre at Clifton College and the Alma Tavern. Bristol's theatre scene features several companies as well as the Old Vic, including Show of Strength, Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory and Travelling Light. Theatre Bristol is a partnership between the city council, Arts Council England and local residents to develop the city's theatre industry. Several organisations support Bristol theatre; the Residence (an artist-led community) provides office, social and rehearsal space for theatre and performance companies, and Equity has a branch in the city.
The city has many venues for live music, its largest the 2,000-seat Colston Hall named after Edward Colston. Others include the Bristol Academy, The Fleece, The Croft, the Exchange, Fiddlers, the Victoria Rooms, Trinity Centre, St George's Bristol and several pubs, from the jazz-oriented The Old Duke to rock at the Fleece and indie bands at the Louisiana. In 2010 PRS for Music called Bristol the UK's most musical city, based on the number of its members born there relative to the city's population. Since the late 1970s Bristol has been home to bands combining punk, funk, dub and political consciousness, and trip hop and Bristol Sound artists such as Tricky, Portishead and Massive Attack; the list of bands from Bristol is extensive. The city is a stronghold of drum and bass, with artists such as Roni Size's Mercury Prize-winning Reprazent, as DJ Krust, More Rockers and TC. Trip hop and drum & bass music, in particular, is part of the Bristol urban-culture scene which received international media attention during the 1990s.
The Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery houses a collection encompassing natural history, archaeology, local glassware, Chinese ceramics and art. The M Shed museum opened in 2011 on the site of the former Bristol Industrial Museum. Both are operated by Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives, which also runs three historic houses—the Tudor Red Lodge, the Georgian House and Blaise Castle House—and Bristol Archives. The 18th- and 19th-century portrait painter Thomas Lawrence, 19th-century architect Francis Greenway (designer of many of Sydney's first buildings) were born in the city. The graffiti artist Banksy is believed to be from Bristol, and many of his works are on display in the city.
The Watershed Media Centre and Arnolfini gallery (both in dockside warehouses) exhibit contemporary art, photography and cinema, and the city's oldest gallery is at the Royal West of England Academy in Clifton. The nomadic Antlers Gallery opened in 2010, moving into empty spaces on Park Street, on Whiteladies Road and in the Purifier House on Bristol's Harbourside. Stop-motion animation films and commercials (produced by Aardman Animations) are made in Bristol. Bristol is home to the regional headquarters of BBC West and the BBC Natural History Unit. Locations in and around Bristol have featured in the BBC's natural-history programmes, including Animal Magic (filmed at Bristol Zoo).
Bristol is the birthplace of 18th-century poets Robert Southey and Thomas Chatterton. Southey (born on Wine Street in 1774) and his friend, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, married the Fricker sisters from the city. William Wordsworth spent time in Bristol, where Joseph Cottle published Lyrical Ballads in 1798. Actor Cary Grant was born in Bristol and comedians from the city include Justin Lee Collins, Lee Evans, Lloyd Langford, Russell Howard and writer-comedian Stephen Merchant.
Bristol has 51 Grade I, 500 Grade II* and over 3,800 Grade II listed buildings in a variety of architectural styles, from medieval to modern. During the mid-19th century Bristol Byzantine, a style unique to the city, was developed, and several examples have survived. Buildings from most architectural periods of the United Kingdom can be seen in the city. Surviving elements of the fortifications and castle date to the medieval period, and the Church of St James dates back to the 12th century.
The oldest Grade I listed buildings in Bristol are religious. St James' Priory was founded in 1129 as a Benedictine priory by Earl Robert of Gloucester, the illegitimate son of Henry I. The second-oldest is Bristol Cathedral and its associated Great Gatehouse. Founded in 1140, the church became the seat of the bishop and cathedral of the new Diocese of Bristol in 1542. Most of the medieval stonework, particularly the Elder Lady Chapel, is made from limestone taken from quarries around Dundry and Felton with Bath stone being used in other areas. Amongst the other churches included in the list is the 12th-century St Mary Redcliffe which is the tallest building in Bristol. The church was described by Queen Elizabeth I as "the fairest, goodliest, and most famous parish church in England."
Secular buildings include The Red Lodge, built in 1580 for John Yonge as a lodge for a larger house that once stood on the site of the present Colston Hall. It was subsequently added to in Georgian times and restored in the early 20th century. St Bartholomew's Hospital is a 12th-century town house which was incorporated into a monastery hospital founded in 1240 by Sir John la Warr, 2nd Baron De La Warr (c. 1277–1347), and became Bristol Grammar School from 1532 to 1767, and then Queen Elizabeth's Hospital 1767–1847. The round piers predate the hospital, and may come from an aisled hall, the earliest remains of domestic architecture in the city, which was then adapted to form the hospital chapel. Three 17th-century town houses which were attached to the hospital were incorporated into model workers' flats in 1865, and converted to offices in 1978. St Nicholas's Almshouses were built in 1652 to provide care for the poor. Several public houses were also built in this period, including the Llandoger Trow on King Street and the Hatchet Inn.
Manor houses include Goldney Hall, where the highly decorated Grotto dates from 1739. Commercial buildings such as the Exchange and Old Post Office from the 1740s are also included in the list. Residential buildings include the Georgian Portland Square and the complex of small cottages around a green at Blaise Hamlet, which was built around 1811 for retired employees of Quaker banker and philanthropist John Scandrett Harford, who owned Blaise Castle House. The 18th-century Kings Weston House, in northern Bristol, was designed by John Vanbrugh and is the only Vanbrugh building in any UK city outside London. Almshouses and pubs from the same period intermingle with modern development. Several Georgian squares were designed for the middle class as prosperity increased during the 18th century. During World War II, the city centre was heavily bombed during the Bristol Blitz. The central shopping area near Wine Street and Castle Street was particularly hard-hit, and the Dutch House and St Peter's Hospital were destroyed. Nevertheless, in 1961 John Betjeman called Bristol "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England".
Bristol is represented by professional teams in all the major national sports. Bristol City and Bristol Rovers are the city's main football clubs. Bristol Bears (rugby union) and Gloucestershire County Cricket Club are also based in the city.
The two Football League clubs are Bristol City and Bristol Rovers—the former being the only club from the city to play in the precursor to the Premier League. Non-league clubs include Bristol Manor Farm, Hengrove Athletic, Brislington, Roman Glass St George and Bristol Telephones. Bristol City, formed in 1897, were Division One runners-up in 1907 and lost the FA Cup final in 1909. In the First Division in 1976, they then sank to the bottom professional tier before reforming after a 1982 bankruptcy. Bristol City were promoted to the second tier of English football in 2007, losing to Hull City in the playoff for promotion to the Premier League that season. Bristol City Women are based at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.
Bristol Rovers, the oldest professional football team in the city, were formed in 1883 and promoted back into the football league in 2015. They were third-tier champions twice (Division Three South in 1952–53 and Division Three in 1989–90), Watney Cup Winners (1972) and runners-up for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy (2006–07) although have never played in England's top Division. The club has planning permission for a new 21,700-capacity all-seater stadium at the University of the West of England's Frenchay campus. Construction was due to begin in mid-2014, but in March 2015 the sale of the Memorial Stadium site (needed to finance the new stadium) was in jeopardy.
Bristol Manor Farm are the highest-ranked non-league club within the city boundaries. They play their games at The Creek, Sea Mills in the north of Bristol. Formed in 1960, the club currently play in the Southern League Division One South having finished the 2016-17 Western League season as champions. They reached the quarter finals of the FA Vase in 2015-16.
The city is also home to Bristol Bears, formed in 1888 as Bristol Football Club by the merger of the Carlton club with rival Redland Park. Westbury Park declined the merger and folded, with many of its players joining what was then Bristol Rugby. Bristol Rugby has often competed at the highest level of the sport since its formation in 1888. The club played at the Memorial Ground, which it shared with Bristol Rovers from 1996. Although Bristol Rugby owned the stadium when the football club arrived, a decline in the rugby club's fortunes led to a transfer of ownership to Bristol Rovers. In 2014 Bristol Rugby moved to their new home, Ashton Gate Stadium (home to Bristol Rovers' rivals Bristol City), for the 2014–15 season. They changed their name from Bristol Rugby to Bristol Bears to coincide with their return to Premiership Rugby in 2018–19.
Dating from 1901, the Bristol Combination and its 53 clubs promote rugby union in the city and help support Bristol Bears. The most prominent of Bristol's smaller rugby clubs include Clifton Rugby, Dings Crusaders, and Cleve. Rugby league is represented in Bristol by the Bristol Sonics.
The first-class cricket club Gloucestershire County Cricket Club has its headquarters and plays the majority of its home games at the Bristol County Ground, the only major international sports venue in the south-west of England. It was formed by the family of W. G. Grace. The club is arguably Bristol's most successful, achieving a period of success between 1999 and 2006 when it won nine trophies and became the most formidable one-day outfit in England, including winning a "double double" in 1999 and 2000 (both the Benson and Hedges Cup and the C&G Trophy), and the Sunday League in 2000. Gloucestershire CCC also won the Royal London One-Day Cup in 2015.
The Bristol Flyers basketball team have competed in the British Basketball League, the UK's premier professional basketball league, since 2014. Bristol Aztecs play in Britain's premier American football competition, the BAFA National Leagues. In 2009 ice hockey returned to Bristol after a 17-year absence, with the Bristol Pitbulls playing at Bristol Ice Rink; after its closure, it shared a venue with Oxford City Stars. Bristol sponsors an annual half marathon and hosted the 2001 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. Athletic clubs in Bristol include Bristol and West AC, Bitton Road Runners and Westbury Harriers. Bristol has staged finishes and starts of the Tour of Britain cycle race and facilities in the city were used as training camps for the 2012 London Olympics. The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, a major UK hot-air ballooning event, is held each summer at Ashton Court.
Bristol is home to the regional headquarters of BBC West and the BBC Natural History Unit based at Broadcasting House, which produces television, radio and online content with a natural history or wildlife theme. These include nature documentaries, including The Blue Planet and Planet Earth. The city has a long association with David Attenborough's authored documentaries, including Life on Earth.
Aardman Animations is an Oscar-winning animation studio founded and still based in Bristol. They created famous characters such as Wallace and Gromit and Morph. Its films include Chicken Run (2000), Early Man (2018), shorts such as Creature Comforts and Adam and TV series like Shaun the Sheep and Angry Kid.
The city has several radio stations, including BBC Radio Bristol. Bristol's television productions include Points West for BBC West, Endemol productions such as Deal or No Deal, The Crystal Maze, and ITV News West Country for ITV West Country. The hospital drama Casualty, formerly filmed in Bristol, moved to Cardiff in 2012. In October 2018, Channel 4 announced that Bristol would be home to one of its 'Creative Hubs', as part of their move to produce more content outside of London.
Publishers in the city have included 18th-century Bristolian Joseph Cottle, who helped introduce Romanticism by publishing the works of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. During the 19th century, J.W. Arrowsmith published the Victorian comedies Three Men in a Boat (by Jerome K. Jerome) and The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith. The contemporary Redcliffe Press has published over 200 books covering all aspects of the city. Bristol is home to YouTube video developers and stylists The Yogscast, with founders Simon Lane and Lewis Brindley moving their operations from Reading to Bristol in 2012.
A dialect of English (West Country English), known as Bristolian, Bristolese, Brizzle or Bristle (after the publication of Derek Robson's "Krek Waiters peak Bristle") is spoken by longtime residents, who are known as Bristolians. Bristol natives have a rhotic accent, in which the post-vocalic r in "car" and "card" is pronounced (unlike in Received Pronunciation). The unique feature of this accent is the "Bristol (or terminal) l", in which l is appended to words ending in a or o. Whether this is a broad l or a w is a subject of debate, with "area" pronounced "areal" or "areaw". The ending of "Bristol" is another example of the Bristol l. Bristolians pronounce -a and -o at the end of a word as -aw (cinemaw). To non-natives, the pronunciation suggests an l after the vowel.
Until recently Bristolese was characterised by retention of the second-person singular, as in the doggerel "Cassn't see what bist looking at? Cassn't see as well as couldst, casst? And if couldst, 'ouldn't, 'ouldst?" The West Saxon bist is used for the English "art", and children were admonished with "Thee and thou, the Welshman's cow". In Bristolese, as in French and German, the second-person singular was not used when speaking to a superior (except by the egalitarian Quakers). The pronoun "thee" is also used in the subject position ("What bist thee doing?"), and "I" or "he" in the object position ("Give he to I."). Linguist Stanley Ellis, who found that many dialect words in the Filton area were linked to aerospace work, described Bristolese as "a cranky, crazy, crab-apple tree of language and with the sharpest, juiciest flavour that I've heard for a long time".
In the 2011 United Kingdom census, 46.8% of Bristol's population identified as Christian and 37.4% said they were not religious; the English averages were 59.4% and 24.7%, respectively. Islam is observed by 5.1% of the population, Buddhism by 0.6%, Hinduism by 0.6%, Sikhism by 0.5%, Judaism by 0.2% and other religions 0.7%; 8.1% did not identify with a religion.
Bristol has several Christian churches; the most notable are the Anglican Bristol Cathedral and St Mary Redcliffe and the Roman Catholic Clifton Cathedral. Nonconformist chapels include Buckingham Baptist Chapel and John Wesley's New Room in Broadmead. After St James' Presbyterian Church was bombed on 24 November 1940, it was never again used as a church; although its bell tower remains, its nave was converted into offices. The city has eleven mosques, several Buddhist meditation centres, a Hindu temple, Reform and Orthodox-Jewish synagogues and four Sikh temples.
Bristol has been awarded Purple Flag status on many of its districts which shows that it meets or surpasses the standards of excellence in managing the evening and night-time economy.
DJ Mag's top 100 club list ranked Motion as the 19th-best club in the world in 2016. This is up 5 spots from 2015. Motion is host to some of the world's top DJs, and leading producers. Motion is a complex made up of different rooms, outdoor space and a terrace that looks over the river Avon. In 2011 Motion was transformed from a skate park, into the rave spot it is today. In:Motion is an annual series which takes place each autumn and delivers 12 weeks of music and dancing. The club, on Avon Street, behind Temple Meads train station, does not limit itself to playing one genre of music. Party-goers can hear everything from disco, house, techno, grime, drum and bass or hip hop, depending on the night. Other clubs of note in the city include Lakota and Thekla.
The Attic Bar is a venue located in Stokes Croft. Equipped with a sound system and stage which are used every weekend for gigs of every genre, the bar and the connected Full Moon Pub were rated by The Guardian, a British daily paper, as one of the top ten clubs in the UK. Located by Bristol's harbourside, The Apple is a cider bar located by Bristol's harbour side which opened in 2004, in a converted Dutch barge, offering a range of 40 different ciders. In 2014, the Great British Pub Awards ranked The Apple as the best cider bar in the UK. Bristol is also home to the pie chain Pieminster started in the Stokes Croft area of the city.
Bristol has two major institutions of higher education: the University of Bristol, a redbrick chartered in 1909, and the University of the West of England, opened as Bristol Polytechnic in 1969, which became a university in 1992. The University of Law also has a campus in the city. Bristol has two further education institutions (City of Bristol College and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College) and two theological colleges: Trinity College, and Bristol Baptist College. The city has 129 infant, junior and primary schools, 17 secondary schools, and three learning centres. After a section of north London, Bristol has England's second-highest number of independent school places. Independent schools in the city include Clifton College, Clifton High School, Badminton School, Bristol Grammar School, Queen Elizabeth's Hospital (the only all-boys school) and the Redmaids' School (founded in 1634 by John Whitson, which claims to be England's oldest girls' school).
In 2005 Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown named Bristol one of six English "science cities", and a £300 million science park was planned at Emersons Green. Research is conducted at the two universities, the Bristol Royal Infirmary and Southmead Hospital, and science outreach is practiced at We The Curious, the Bristol Zoo, the Bristol Festival of Nature and the Create Centre.
The city has produced a number of scientists, including 19th-century chemist Humphry Davy (who worked in Hotwells). Physicist Paul Dirac (from Bishopston) received the 1933 Nobel Prize for his contributions to quantum mechanics. Cecil Frank Powell was the Melvill Wills Professor of Physics at the University of Bristol when he received the 1950 Nobel Prize for, among other discoveries, his photographic method of studying nuclear processes. Colin Pillinger was the planetary scientist behind the Beagle 2 project, and neuropsychologist Richard Gregory founded the Exploratory (a hands-on science centre which was the predecessor of At-Bristol/We The Curious).
Initiatives such as the Flying Start Challenge encourage an interest in science and engineering in Bristol secondary-school pupils; links with aerospace companies impart technical information and advance student understanding of design. The Bloodhound SSC project to break the land speed record is based at the Bloodhound Technology Centre on the city's harbourside.
Bristol has two principal railway stations. Bristol Temple Meads (near the city centre) has Great Western Railway services which include high-speed trains to London Paddington and local, regional and CrossCountry trains. Bristol Parkway, north of the city centre, has high-speed Great Western Railway services to Swansea, Cardiff Central and London Paddington and CrossCountry services to Birmingham and the North East. Limited service to London Waterloo via Clapham Junction from Bristol Temple Meads is operated by South Western Railway, and there are scheduled coach links to most major UK cities.
Bristol's principal surviving suburban railway is the Severn Beach Line to Avonmouth and Severn Beach. Although Portishead Railway's passenger service was a casualty of the Beeching cuts, freight service to the Royal Portbury Dock was restored from 2000 to 2002 with a Strategic Rail Authority rail-freight grant. The MetroWest scheme, formerly known as The Greater Bristol Metro, proposes to increase the city's rail capacity and is scheduled for completion by 2019. A further scheme to restore a further 3 miles (5 km) of track on the line to Portishead (a dormitory town with one connecting road), is due to open in 2021. A further commuter rail line from Bristol Temple Meads to Henbury is due to open in 2021.
The M4 motorway connects the city on an east-west axis from London to West Wales, and the M5 is a north–south west axis from Birmingham to Exeter. The M49 motorway is a shortcut between the M5 in the south and the M4 Severn Crossing in the west, and the M32 is a spur from the M4 to the city centre. The Portway connects the M5 to the city centre, and was the most expensive road in Britain when opened in 1926.
Private car use is high in the city, leading to traffic congestion costing an estimated £350 million per year. Bristol allows motorcycles to use most of the city's bus lanes and provides secure, free parking for them.
Public transport in the city consists primarily of a First West of England bus network. Other providers are Abus, Stagecoach West, Stagecoach South West and Wessex Bus. Bristol's bus service has been criticised as unreliable and expensive, and in 2005 FirstGroup was fined for delays and safety violations.
Although the city council has included a light rail system in its local transport plan since 2000, it has not yet funded the project; Bristol was offered European Union funding for the system, but the Department for Transport did not provide the required additional funding. The most recent light rail proposal was put forward as part of a consultation produced by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership in November 2016, outlining potential light rail/tram routes from the city centre to Bristol Airport, the eastern and north west fringes of the city, and a route along the A4 road to Bath. In 2017, a further feasibility study will be undertaken into the possibility of an underground light rail system.
A new bus rapid transit system (BRT) called MetroBus, is currently under construction across Bristol, as of 2018, to provide a faster and more reliable service than buses, improve transport infrastructure and reduce congestion. The MetroBus rapid transit scheme will run on both bus lanes and segregated guided busways on three routes; North Fringe to Hengrove (route m1), Ashton Vale to Bristol Temple Meads (route m2), and Emersons Green to The Centre (route m3). MetroBus services started in 2018.
Three park and ride sites serve Bristol. The city centre has water transport operated by Bristol Ferry Boats, Bristol Packet Boat Trips and Number Seven Boat Trips, providing leisure and commuter service in the harbour.
Bristol was designated as England's first "cycling city" in 2008 and one of England's 12 "Cycling demonstration" areas. It is home to Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity. The Bristol and Bath Railway Path links it to Bath, and was the first part of the National Cycle Network. The city also has urban cycle routes and links with National Cycle Network routes to The rest of the Country. Cycling trips increased by 21% from 2001 to 2005.
The runway, terminal and other facilities at Bristol Airport (BRS), Lulsgate, have been upgraded since 2001. In 2018 it was ranked the ninth busiest airport in the United Kingdom, handling nearly 8.7 million passengers, an over 5% increase compared with 2017.
Bristol is a suburban city located in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States, 20 miles (32 km) southwest of Hartford. The city is also 120 miles southwest from Boston, and approximately 100 miles northeast of New York City. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 60,477.Bristol is best known as the home of ESPN, whose central studios are in the city. Bristol is also home to Lake Compounce (1846), America's oldest continuously operating theme park. Bristol was known as a clock-making city in the 19th century, and is home to the American Clock & Watch Museum. For silver enthusiasts, Bristol is also known as the site of the former American Silver Company and its predecessor companies (1851–1935).Bristol's nicknames include the "Bell City", because of a history manufacturing innovative spring-driven doorbells, and the "Mum City", because it was once a leader in chrysanthemum production and still holds an annual Bristol Mum Festival.In 2010, Bristol was ranked 84th on Money magazine's "Best Places to Live". In 2013, Hartford Magazine ranked Bristol as Greater Hartford's top municipality in the "Best Bang for the Buck" category.Bristol, Tennessee
Bristol is a city in Sullivan County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 26,702 at the 2010 census. It is the twin city of Bristol, Virginia, which lies directly across the state line between Tennessee and Virginia. The boundary between the two cities is also the state line, which runs along State Street in their common downtown district. Bristol is a principal city of the Kingsport−Bristol−Bristol, TN-VA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City−Kingsport−Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area − commonly known as the "Tri-Cities" region.
Bristol is probably best known for being the site of some of the first commercial recordings of country music, showcasing Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, and later a favorite venue of the mountain musician Uncle Charlie Osborne. The U.S. Congress recognized Bristol as the "Birthplace of Country Music" in 1998, and the Birthplace of Country Music Museum is located in Bristol. Bristol is the birthplace of Tennessee Ernie Ford.
Bristol is also the site of Bristol Motor Speedway, a NASCAR short track that is one of the most well-known motorsports facilities in the country.Bristol, Virginia
Bristol is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,835. It is the twin city of Bristol, Tennessee, just across the state line, which runs down the middle of its main street, State Street. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Bristol, Virginia, with neighboring Washington County, Virginia, for statistical purposes. Bristol is a principal city of the Kingsport–Bristol–Bristol, TN-VA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City–Kingsport–Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area – commonly known as the "Tri-Cities" region.Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS) is an American pharmaceutical company, headquartered in New York City.
Bristol-Myers Squibb manufactures prescription pharmaceuticals and biologics in several therapeutic areas, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis and psychiatric disorders.
BMS' primary R&D sites are located in Lawrence, New Jersey (formerly Squibb, near Princeton), Hopewell Township and New Brunswick, New Jersey; with other sites in East Syracuse, New York, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Swords, Ireland, Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium, Tokyo, Japan, and Bangalore, India. BMS previously had an R&D site in Wallingford, Connecticut (formerly Bristol-Myers).Bristol Bears
Bristol Bears (officially Bristol Rugby Club) is an English professional rugby union club based in Bristol, England. They play in Premiership Rugby, England's top division of rugby.
The club was founded as Bristol Football Club in 1888; between 1921 and 2014 Bristol's home matches were played at the Memorial Ground and since 2014 Bristol plays its home matches at Ashton Gate Stadium in the south-west of the city. The current head coach is Pat Lam who was appointed in 2017.
The club announced a new nickname of Bears to be used from 1 June 2018; between 2001 and 2005 the club were known as Bristol Shoguns due to a sponsorship deal with Mitsubishi.Bristol won the 1983 John Player Cup and have also won England's second division four times, most recently in 2017–18.Bristol Beaufighter
The Bristol Type 156 Beaufighter (often referred to simply as the "Beau") is a multi-role aircraft developed during the Second World War by the Bristol Aeroplane Company in the United Kingdom. It was originally conceived as a heavy fighter variant of the Bristol Beaufort bomber. Upon its entry to service, the Beaufighter proved to be well suited to the night fighter role, for which the Royal Air Force (RAF) initially deployed the type during the height of the Battle of Britain, in part due to its large size allowing it to accommodate both heavy armaments and early airborne interception radar without major performance penalties.
As its wartime service continued, the Beaufighter was used in many different roles; receiving the nicknames Rockbeau for its use as a rocket-armed ground attack aircraft, and Torbeau in its role as a torpedo bomber against Axis shipping, in which it came to replace the Beaufort. In later operations, it served mainly as a maritime strike/ground attack aircraft, RAF Coastal Command having operated the largest number of Beaufighters amongst all other commands at one point. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) also made extensive use of the type in the maritime anti-shipping role, such as during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea.
The Beaufighter saw extensive service during the war with the RAF (59 squadrons), Fleet Air Arm (15 squadrons), RAAF (seven squadrons), Royal Canadian Air Force (four squadrons), United States Army Air Forces (four squadrons), Royal New Zealand Air Force (two squadrons), South African Air Force (two squadrons) and Polskie Siły Powietrzne (Free Polish Air Force; one squadron). In addition, variants of the Beaufighter were also manufactured in Australia by the Department of Aircraft Production (DAP); such aircraft are sometimes referred to by the name DAP Beaufighter.Bristol Blenheim
The Bristol Blenheim is a British light bomber aircraft designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company (Bristol) which was used extensively in the first two years and in some cases throughout the Second World War. The aircraft was developed as Type 142, a civil airliner, in response to a challenge from Lord Rothermere to produce the fastest commercial aircraft in Europe. The Type 142 first flew in April 1935, and the Air Ministry, impressed by its performance, ordered a modified design as the Type 142M for the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a bomber. Deliveries of the newly named Blenheim to RAF squadrons commenced on 10 March 1937.
A development of the Type 142M was the Type 149 which Bristol named the Bolingbroke, retrospectively changed by the Air Ministry to Blenheim Mk IV and the Type 142M to the Blenheim Mk I. Fairchild Canada built the Type 149 under licence as the Bolingbroke. Blenheims Mk I and the Mk IV were adapted as fighters by the addition of a gun pack of four Browning .303 machine guns in the bomb bay. The Mk IV was used as a long range fighter and as a maritime patrol aircraft; both aircraft were used as bomber/gunnery trainers.
The Blenheim was one of the first British aircraft with an all-metal stressed-skin construction, retractable landing gear, flaps, a powered gun turret and variable-pitch propellers. The Mk I was faster than most fighters in the late 1930s but the advance in development of monoplane fighters made all bombers more vulnerable particularly if flown in daylight, though it proved successful as a night fighter. The Blenheim was effective as a bomber but many were shot down. Both Blenheim types were used by overseas operators, being licence built in Yugoslavia and Finland.Bristol Channel
The Bristol Channel (Welsh: Môr Hafren) is a major inlet in the island of Great Britain, separating South Wales from Devon and Somerset in South West England. It extends from the lower estuary of the River Severn (Welsh: Afon Hafren) to the North Atlantic Ocean. It takes its name from the English city of Bristol, and is over 30 miles (50 km) wide at its western limit.
Long stretches of both sides of the coastline are designated as Heritage Coast. These include Exmoor, Bideford Bay, the Hartland Point peninsula, Lundy Island, Glamorgan, Gower Peninsula, Carmarthenshire, south Pembrokeshire, and Caldey Island.
Until Tudor times the Bristol Channel was known as the Severn Sea, and it is still known as this in both Welsh: Môr Hafren and Cornish: Mor Havren.Bristol City F.C.
Bristol City Football Club is a professional football club based in Bristol, England. They currently play in the Championship, the second tier of English football. Founded in 1894, they have played their home games at Ashton Gate since 1904.
The club's highest ever league finish was second in the top flight in 1906–07. They were FA Cup runners-up in 1909, and won the Welsh Cup in 1934 despite being an English team. The club have also won the second tier title once, the third tier title four times, the Anglo-Scottish Cup once, and the Football League Trophy a record three times.
The club's home colours are red and white, and their nickname is The Robins – a robin featured on the club's badge from 1976 to 1994. Their main rivals are Bristol Rovers, with whom they contest the Bristol derby, and Cardiff City, with whom they contest the Severnside derby.Bristol County, Massachusetts
Bristol County is a county in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the population was 548,285. The county seat is Taunton. Some governmental functions are performed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, others by the county, and others by local towns and cities. See administrative divisions of Massachusetts. The property deed records are kept in Taunton, Attleboro, Fall River, and New Bedford.
Bristol County is part of the Providence-Warwick, RI-MA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT Combined Statistical Area. The county is adjacent to the state of Rhode Island.
The adjacent counties are Plymouth County, Norfolk County, Bristol County, Rhode Island (RI), Newport County, Rhode Island, Providence County, Rhode Island, and Dukes County.Bristol F.2 Fighter
The Bristol F.2 Fighter was a British two-seat biplane fighter and reconnaissance aircraft of the First World War developed by Frank Barnwell at the Bristol Aeroplane Company. It is often simply called the Bristol Fighter, other popular names include the "Brisfit" or "Biff".
Although the type was intended initially as a replacement for the pre-war Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c reconnaissance aircraft, the newly-available Rolls-Royce Falcon V12 engine gave it the performance of a two-seat fighter.
Despite a disastrous start to its career, the definitive F.2B version proved to be an agile aircraft that was able to hold its own against opposing single-seat fighters; its robust design ensured that it remained in military service into the 1930s. Some surplus aircraft were registered for civilian use, and dedicated civilian versions proved popular.Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol Motor Speedway, formerly known as Bristol International Raceway and Bristol Raceway, is a NASCAR short track venue located in Bristol, Tennessee. Constructed in 1960, it held its first NASCAR race on July 30, 1961. Despite its short length, Bristol is among the most popular tracks on the NASCAR schedule because of its distinct features, which include extraordinarily steep banking, an all concrete surface, two pit roads, and stadium-like seating. It has also been named one of the loudest NASCAR tracks.Bristol Rovers F.C.
Bristol Rovers Football Club is a professional football club in Bristol, England, which plays in League One, the third tier of English football. The team play home matches at Memorial Stadium in Horfield.
The club was founded in 1883 as Black Arabs F.C., and were also known as Eastville Rovers and Bristol Eastville Rovers before finally changing its name to Bristol Rovers in 1899. The club's official nickname is The Pirates, reflecting the maritime history of Bristol. The local nickname of the club is The Gas, from the gasworks next to their former home, Eastville Stadium, which started as a derogatory term used by fans of their main rivals, Bristol City, but was affectionately adopted by the team. Cardiff City and Swindon Town are considered their second and third biggest rivals.Rovers were admitted to the Football League in 1920 and have played there ever since, apart from spending the 2014–15 season in the Conference Premier. Their highest finishing positions were in 1956 and 1959, on both occasions ending the season in 6th place in Division Two, then the second tier of English football. The club's honours include winning the third tier title twice, and the fourth tier play-off final once. Rovers were also Football League Trophy finalists in 1990 and 2007.Bristol Temple Meads railway station
Bristol Temple Meads is the oldest and largest railway station in Bristol, England. It is an important transport hub for public transport in the city. In addition to the train services there are bus services to many parts of the city and surrounding districts, and a ferry to the city centre. Bristol's other major station, Bristol Parkway, is on the northern outskirts of the conurbation.
Temple Meads was opened on 31 August 1840 as the western terminus of the Great Western Railway from London Paddington, 116 miles 31 chains (187.3 km) from Paddington. The railway (including Temple Meads) was the first to be designed by the British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Soon the station was also used by the Bristol and Exeter Railway, the Bristol and Gloucester Railway, the Bristol Harbour Railway and the Bristol and South Wales Union Railway. To accommodate the increasing number of trains, the station was expanded in the 1870s by Francis Fox and again between 1930 and 1935 by Percy Emerson Culverhouse. Brunel's terminus is no longer part of the operational station. The historical significance of the station has been noted, and most of the site is Grade I listed.The platforms are numbered 1 to 15 but passenger trains are confined to just eight tracks. Most platforms are numbered separately at each end, with odd numbers at the east end and even numbers at the west. Platform 2 is not signalled for passenger trains, and there is no platform 14.Temple Meads is managed by Network Rail and the majority of services are operated by the present-day Great Western Railway. Other operators are CrossCountry and South Western Railway. In the 12 months to March 2014, 9.5 million entries and exits were recorded at the station.
In Britain's 100 Best Railway Stations by Simon Jenkins, the station was one of only ten to be awarded five stars.John Cabot
John Cabot (Italian: Giovanni Caboto [dʒoˈvanni kaˈbɔːto]; c. 1450 – c. 1500) was an Italian navigator and explorer. His 1497 discovery of the coast of North America under the commission of Henry VII of England is the earliest known European exploration of coastal North America since the Norse visits to Vinland in the eleventh century.
To mark the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Cabot's expedition, both the Canadian and British governments elected Cape Bonavista, Newfoundland, as representing Cabot's first landing site. However, alternative locations have also been proposed.National Register of Historic Places listings in Bristol, Virginia
This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Bristol, Virginia.
This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in the independent city of Bristol, Virginia, United States. The locations of National Register properties and districts for which the latitude and longitude coordinates are included below, may be seen in an online map.There are 13 properties and districts listed on the National Register in the city.
This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted April 12, 2019.Trip hop
Trip hop (sometimes used synonymously with "downtempo") is a musical genre that originated in the early 1990s in the United Kingdom, especially Bristol. It has been described as "a fusion of hip hop and electronica until neither genre is recognizable", and may incorporate a variety of styles, including funk, dub, soul, psychedelia, R&B, and house, as well as other forms of electronic music. Trip hop can be highly experimental.Deriving from later idioms of acid house, the term was first used by the British music media to describe the more experimental variant of breakbeat emerging from the Bristol Sound scene in the early 1990s, which contained influences of soul, funk, and jazz. It was pioneered by acts like Massive Attack, Tricky, and Portishead. Trip hop achieved commercial success in the 1990s, and has been described as "Europe's alternative choice in the second half of the '90s."University of Bristol
The University of Bristol (simply referred to as Bristol University and abbreviated as Bris. in post-nominal letters, or UoB) is a red brick research university located in Bristol, United Kingdom. It received its royal charter in 1909, although like the University of the West of England and the University of Bath, it can trace its roots to the Merchant Venturers' Technical College, founded as a school in 1595 by the Society of Merchant Venturers. Its key predecessor institution, University College, Bristol, had been in existence since 1876.Bristol is organised into six academic faculties composed of multiple schools and departments running over 200 undergraduate courses largely situated in the Tyndalls Park area of the city. The university had a total income of £642.7 million in 2017/18, of which £164.0 million was from research grants and contracts. It is the largest independent employer in Bristol.The University of Bristol is ranked 44th by the QS World University Rankings 2018, and is ranked amongst the top 10 of UK universities by QS, THE, and ARWU. A highly selective institution, it has an average of 6.4 (Sciences faculty) to 13.1 (Medicine & Dentistry Faculty) applicants for each undergraduate place. It was ranked 9th in the UK amongst multi-faculty institutions for the quality (GPA) of its research and for its Research Power in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.Current academics include 21 fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences, 13 fellows of the British Academy, 13 fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering and 44 fellows of the Royal Society. The university has been associated with 13 Nobel laureates throughout its history, including Paul Dirac, Sir William Ramsay, Cecil Frank Powell, Sir Winston Churchill, Dorothy Hodgkin, Hans Albrecht Bethe, Max Delbrück, Gerhard Herzberg, Sir Nevill Francis Mott, Sir Paul Nurse, Harold Pinter, Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio and most recently, 2015 Economics Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton.
Bristol is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive British universities, the European-wide Coimbra Group and the Worldwide Universities Network, of which the university's previous vice-chancellor, Eric Thomas, was chairman from 2005 to 2007. In addition, the university holds an Erasmus Charter, sending more than 500 students per year to partner institutions in Europe.University of the West of England, Bristol
The University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE Bristol) is a public research university, located in and around Bristol, England, which received university status in 1992. In common with the University of Bristol and University of Bath it can trace its origins to the Merchant Venturers' Technical College, founded as a school in 1595 by the Society of Merchant Venturers.The university is made up of several campuses in Greater Bristol. Frenchay Campus is the largest campus in terms of student numbers as most of its courses are based there. City campus provides courses in the creative and cultural industries, and is made up of Bower Ashton Studios, Arnolfini, Spike Island, and Watershed. The institution is affiliated with the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and validates its higher education courses. Frenchay Campus and Glenside Campus are home to most of the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, with a further Adult Nursing cohort based at Gloucester Campus. Hartpury Campus provides training in animal sciences, sport, equine, agriculture and conservation.
The university is ranked among the top 25 higher education institutions in England for its graduate employment prospects. Recent figures show 96% of recent graduates are in employment or further study, with 78% in professional roles. Last year the university celebrated its highest ever student satisfaction levels, with 87% of students indicating they were happy with the quality of their course.
In 2018 the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) awarded the University of the West of England with Gold rating, which is awarded for consistently outstanding and of the highest quality found in the UK Higher Education sector. It is only one of four universities in the UK to have a University Enterprise Zone providing space for over 70 businesses, and the largest UK robotics lab.
|Climate data for Filton[a], elevation: 48 m or 157 ft, 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1958–present[b]|
|Record high °C (°F)||14.2
|Average high °C (°F)||7.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||5.0
|Average low °C (°F)||2.2
|Record low °C (°F)||−14.4
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||82.3
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||12.5||9.7||10.8||9.4||10.1||8.6||9.1||9.6||8.9||12.1||12.8||12.4||125.9|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||58.5||74.8||112.7||170.8||199.6||214.7||217.7||201.8||149.9||104.8||69.1||52.7||1,627|
|Source #1: Met Office|
|Source #2: KNMI|
Railways in the Bristol area