"In RH 26, Joyce Moss outlined some of the difficulties surrounding the development of secular housing in and around the sacred ground of Bristol Cathedral between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. Here she concludes her study with a further examination of the surviving evidence and some further thoughts about the conflicting interests of ecclesiastical morality and financial stability as many of the houses became dilapidated and were demolished in the 1830s".
"One of the things that every civic-minded Bristolian ‘knows’ is that at some point in the 1960s or 70s the City Council planned to cover over or fill in the Floating Harbour". Eugene Byrne sheds light on the effort to save such an important part of the historical landscape in Bristol.
In this article, Geoff Mead illustrates the interesting overlap between old and new worlds that characterised the early nineteenth century through the story of Captain Christopher Claxton. His story exemplifies the dynamic tensions, changes and continuities of the period. His activities sometimes literally bridged old and new worlds. Yet this 'Age of Reform' also increasingly challenged his political and social perceptions. This interpretation of Claxton's long life and work in early steam navigation and in iron-bridge building illustrates well how at the cusp of technological advance changes in culture follow.
In 1988, a portrait of one of Bristol's most famous sons was returned to the city after spending fifty years in a packing crate in Scotland. The famous son in question is Edward Hodges Baily, and if his name is unfamiliar, the same cannot be said of the work he has left behind him. For Baily is the man who sculpted the figure of Nelson in London's Trafalgar Square. Julian Lea-Jones goes in search of Baily's glittering career and unravels the story behind the return of the great man's portrait.
‘Bristol Record Office could not really be described as a mythical bird but its existence definitely seems to be a cyclical one; and whilst, thankfully, it could not strictly be said to rise from the ashes as each new cycle begins, its latest incarnation has certainly risen from a huge amount of dust and rubble to become the fabulous bird it now is.’ Richard Burley offers a brief history of record keeping in Bristol, right up to the newly refurbished record office in in time for the new millennium.
Five hundred years ago, Bristol was the second or third largest town in England ( only London, York, and possibly Norwich outstripped it in wealth and population), but was finding it difficult to maintain this position in the face of increasingly difficult economic conditions. Bristol shared in the problems besetting many of its rivals: population growth was held back by recurrent epidemics, with the result that levels of trade and demand for manufactured goods remained low, while the shortage of tenants meant that houses fell empty and soon decayed; the increasing competition from rural clothiers hit the urban textile industry, and the town's elite showed growing reluctance to volunteer for burdensome and costly civic office. Peter Fleming offers an insight to life in Bristol in the last decade of the fifteenth century.