Bristol Architecture Walking Tour (Self Guided), Bristol

Bristol offers a wide variety of architectural styles from many periods of Great Britain’s history. Take this walking tour to familiarize yourself with Bristol's architectural heritage. Take this walking tour to familiarize yourself with Bristol's architectural heritage.
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Bristol Architecture Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Bristol Architecture Walking Tour
Guide Location: England » Bristol (See other walking tours in Bristol)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 Km or 3.3 Miles
Author: stacey
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Temple Meads Train Station
  • Saint Mary Redcliffe
  • The Granary
  • Saint John the Baptist Church
  • The Red Lodge
  • Bristol Cathedral
  • University Tower
  • The Victoria Rooms
  • The Clifton Suspension Bridge
Temple Meads Train Station

1) Temple Meads Train Station

Bristol Temple Meads railway station is the oldest and largest railway station in Bristol. It is an important transport hub for public transport in Bristol, with bus services to various parts of the city and surrounding districts, and a ferry service to the city center in addition to the train services. It opened on 31 August 1840 as the western terminus of the Great Western Railway from London Paddington station.

The whole railway including Temple Meads was the first one 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 in the 1930s by P E Culverhouse. Brunel's terminus is no longer part of the operational station. Temple Meads is now owned by Network Rail and is operated under a franchise by First Great Western who provide the majority of trains to London, along with local services and inter-urban routes to destinations such as Cardiff, Southampton, Portsmouth and Weymouth.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Saint Mary Redcliffe

2) Saint Mary Redcliffe (must see)

St. Mary Redcliffe is an Anglican parish church located in the Redcliffe district of the English port city of Bristol, close to the city center. In medieval times, St. Mary Redcliffe, sitting on a red cliff above the River Avon, was a sign to seafarers, who would pray in it at their departure, and give thanks there upon their return.

The church was built and beautified by Bristol's wealthy merchants, who paid to have masses sung for their souls and many of whom are commemorated there. Parts of the church date to the beginning of the 12th century. Although its plan dates from an earlier period, much of the church as it now stands was built between 1292 and 1370, with the south aisle and transept in the Decorated Gothic of the 13th century and the greater part of the building in the late 14th century Perpendicular. St Mary Redcliffe is cruciform in plan, with a chapel extending to the east of the chancel, and a large tower placed asymmetrically to the north of the west front. There is a rectangular 13th century porch on either side of the nave, that on the north side having been extended with a more elaborate polygonal outer porch in the 14th century.
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Granary

3) The Granary

The Granary is on Welsh Back, Bristol. It was built in 1869 by Archibald Ponton and William Venn Gough with red Cattybrook brick with black and white brick and limestone dressings as a granary but has been used as offices. It is probably the best preserved example of the Bristol Byzantine style.

It has also been known as Wait and James' Granary. It housed a nightclub, also known as The Granary, from 1968 to 1988. Initially opened as a jazz club by Ted Cowell under the guidance of Acker Bilk in 1968, it started hosting regular rock nights in 1969, becoming an all-rock club by 1978. Many well-known rock acts played there, including Yes, Genesis, Status Quo, Motörhead and Iron Maiden. The building was owned by Bristol City Council who invited competitive bids from developers for its renovation and conversion. Barton Willmore produced the designs which supported the winning bid to convert the building into apartments.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Saint John the Baptist Church

4) Saint John the Baptist Church

The Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol is a former Church of England parish church at the lower end of Broad Street Bristol. The church was built in the 14th century with the tower and steeple over St John's Gate, the last remaining city gateway.

The church is very narrow as it is built into and alongside the city walls. Consequently it is also known as St John's on the Wall. Beneath the church is a vaulted crypt, which was dedicated to the Holy Cross. A conduit has supplied water from Brandon Hill since 1374, and the course of the pipe is marked in places by small plaques set into the pavements. Among the monuments in the church are those of Walter Frampton (died 1357), thrice Mayor of Bristol and a great benefactor of the church, and a brass commemorating Thomas Rowley (died c. 1478).
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Red Lodge

5) The Red Lodge (must see)

The Red Lodge is a historic building in Bristol. It was built in 1580 for John Yonge as a lodge for a Great House, which once stood on the site of the present Colston Hall. It was subsequently added to in Georgian times. It was altered around 1730, and restored in the early 20th century by CFW Dening. James Cowles Prichard wrote The Natural History of Man while living at The Red Lodge from 1827.

It has had several uses in its past, including the country's first girls' reform school. This was set up in 1854 by Mary Carpenter, with the financial help of the poet Lord Byron's widow, who bought the Red Lodge in 1854. The site is also the home of the Bristol Savages, who met in a barn-like wigwam, by C.F.W. Dening c.1920a. The Bristol Savages were a society of artists whose history dates back to the late Victorian era, when the concept of the "noble savage" was seen as something to aspire to; Native American culture still plays a large part in its traditions. The seven rooms tell the history of the house. The Tudor period is represented by the Great and Small Oak rooms and a bedroom. The print room, parlor and reception room are from the Georgian era, and the Exhibition Room contains a small display on the Red Lodge Girls Reform School, dedicated to the memory of Mary Carpenter. The New Oak Room contains a fireplace from Ashley Manor and paneling from St. Michael’s rectory nearby.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Bristol Cathedral

6) Bristol Cathedral (must see)

The Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity is the Church of England cathedral in the city of Bristol, England, and is commonly known as Bristol Cathedral. Founded in 1140, it became the seat of the bishop and cathedral of the new Diocese of Bristol in 1542. Located on College Green, across which its architecture can be seen to advantage, the cathedral presents a harmonious view of tall Gothic windows and pinnacled skyline that belies the fact that it was constructed over a period of more than 700 years. The cathedral has much of interest including unique architectural features, unusual memorials and an historic organ.
Sight description based on wikipedia
University Tower

7) University Tower (must see)

This grand and splendid building is a major landmark in Bristol and one of the most famous parts of Bristol University. The octagonal belfry at the top is an open structure designed to amplify the bell’s sonorous tones. The Wills Memorial Building (also known as the Wills Memorial Tower or simply the Wills Tower) is a Neo Gothic building designed by Sir George Oatley and built as a memorial to Henry Overton Wills III. Begun in 1915 and not opened until 1925, it is considered one of the last great Gothic buildings to be built in England. Situated near the top of Park Street on Queens Road in Bristol, United Kingdom, it is a landmark building of the University of Bristol that currently houses the School of Law and the Department of Earth Sciences, as well as the Law and Earth Sciences libraries. It is the third highest structure in Bristol, standing at 68 m (215 ft). It has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II* listed building and serves as a regional European Documentation Centre.
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Victoria Rooms

8) The Victoria Rooms

The Victoria Rooms, also known as the Vic Rooms, houses the University of Bristol's music department in Clifton, on a prominent site at the junction of Queens Road and Whiteladies Road. The building, originally assembly rooms, was designed by Charles Dyer and was constructed between 1838 and 1842 in Greek revival style, and named in honor of Queen Victoria, who had acceded to the throne in the previous year.

An eight column Corinthian portico surmounts the entrance, with a classical relief sculpture designed by Musgrave Watson above. The construction is of dressed stonework, with a slate roof. A bronze statue of Edward VII, was erected in 1912 at the front of the Victoria Rooms, together with a curved pool and several fountains with sculptures in the Art Nouveau style. The Victoria Rooms contain a 665-seat auditorium, a lecture theater, recital rooms, rehearsal rooms and a recording studio. Jenny Lind and Charles Dickens performed at the Victoria Rooms. The building was purchased and given to the University in 1920 as a home for the student union and, circa 1924, it spent a brief period as a cinema. Following a fire in 1934, the building was refurbished by the University. It remained as the base of the student union until purpose built facilities were opened in Queens Road in the 1960s. They remain in use in the 21st century for concerts, exhibitions, plays, recitals and lectures.
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Clifton Suspension Bridge

9) The Clifton Suspension Bridge (must see)

The Clifton Suspension Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Avon Gorge, and linking Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in North Somerset. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, it is a landmark that is used as a symbol of Bristol. The idea of building a bridge across the Avon Gorge originated in 1753 originally for a stone bridge with later plans for a cast iron structure. An attempt to build Brunel's design in 1831 was stopped by the Bristol Riots, and the revised version of his designs was built after his death, being completed in 1864. Although similar in size, the bridge towers are not identical in design, the Clifton tower having side cut-outs, the Leigh tower more pointed arches atop a 110 feet red sandstone clad abutment. Roller mounted "saddles" at the top of each tower allow movement of the three independent wrought iron chains on each side when loads pass over the bridge. The bridge deck is suspended by eighty-one matching vertical wrought-iron rods. Two men were killed during the construction of the bridge; since opening it had a reputation as a suicide bridge. It now has plaques that advertise the telephone number of The Samaritans and has anti-climb barriers above the railings on the bridge.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Bristol, England

Create Your Own Walk in Bristol

Create Your Own Walk in Bristol

Creating your own self-guided walk in Bristol is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Bristol Museums Walking Tour

Bristol Museums Walking Tour

From time immemorial Bristol has been known as an historic port with stunning architectural masterpieces and a rich cultural heritage. The city features an incredible range of museums highlighting the most important periods of British history. Take this walking tour to visit some of Bristol's museums.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Famous Bristol Statues Walking Tour

Famous Bristol Statues Walking Tour

Bristol is an old city with a rich historical heritage represented in its buildings, sculpture and of course, its statues. Take this walking tour to see Bristol's most significant statues.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Banksy Tour in Bristol

Banksy Tour in Bristol

Bristol's home-grown and anonymous street artist and painter, Banksy, is world famous for his satirical and thought-provoking street paintings with underlying social commentary. Several pieces of Banksy's work can be seen free of charge in various locations around Bristol, so it would be a shame not to take this self-guided walk and see his amazing work firsthand.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Bristol Introduction Walking Tour

Bristol Introduction Walking Tour

One of the prime destinations of Britain's maritime glory, Bristol is a colourful city sitting on the banks of the River Avon in southwestern England. Much of its eventful history is reflected in the local architecture and documented by the local museums. Modern-day Bristol is just as interesting. To learn more about and appreciate the city's social, cultural and industrial heritage,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Bristol City Center Walking Tour

Bristol City Center Walking Tour

Bristol City Center is very rich in attractions, including sights such as monuments, museums, galleries and sculptures. Take this walking tour to explore the center of Bristol.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles
Bristol's Historical Churches Tour

Bristol's Historical Churches Tour

The walls of the religious buildings contain many centuries of history. Bristol boasts churches established in the 13th through the 18th centuries. At the time of the Victorian and Edwardian reign, churches provided not only a place of worship but also educational and welfare services. Take this walking tour around Bristol to see the rich heritage of its churches and cathedrals.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles