Broad Street, Bristol

In a part of Bristol that tends to be referred to as “Saint Nick’s” (after the street, church and most particularly the indoor and covered markets named after said saint), there is a road called Broad Street. It’s not that broad – in fact, it’s about as broad (and only slightly longer) than Small Street, which runs parallel.

It’s a funny old road. Starting at the end you can reasonably reach by car, there’s the Registry Office on the corner. It’s lovely on the outside and surprisingly grand on the inside. Continuing, you pass a few coffee shops and wedding-related shops (tailoring & alterations etc.), and a hotel called “The Grand Hotel”, which is moderately grand. Further on, there’s a real institution of Bristol, a pub called Hort’s, that boasts the city’s only “cinema in a pub”. Then, Maximillion’s (another institution – you can check their website to see which roasts they have on each day…) and Bristol Guildhall (which houses solicitors), and if you’re still going by this point, you either have a specific destination in mind, or are lost, because from here it’s a very funny sort of road indeed.

There’s a Belgian beer pub called Strawberry Thief which looks to be in a living room, and some ugly concrete office buildings (this area of Bristol in particular was hit quite badly in the war, which has led to some real mish-mash of architecture). And then. Oh, then. You get this view. Actually, even at this point it still doesn’t seem like much. But this part of the road, which is technically not a dead end (but may as well be), is a treasure trove of strange and wonderful buildings.

To your right: Everard’s Printing Works, now just a facade for DirectLineGroup’s offices. It is the largest decorative facade of its kind in Britain, according to Wikipedia. It’s gorgeous, and has a lot of history.

To your left: Bristol’s Palestine Museum & Cultural Centre, which has a bulging glass facade and used to be the Embassy.

Straight ahead: Saint John on the Wall church, which has plenty of history of its own, but in particular, the passageway underneath the tower used to be one of the gates of Bristol and features statues of Bristol’s supposed founders Brennus and Belinus. There’s also a fountain in the wall as this was one of the main conduits before everyone had running water. You can look around inside on streetview HERE!



4 thoughts on “Broad Street, Bristol”

  1. The Palestinian cultural centre is what used to be Arc Bar – – I remember seeing it as the bar when I first discovered the old city on a pre-uni trip c. 2008. I thought at first that the “Palestinian Embassy” was squatters but they’ve been there so long I imagine it must be more legit than that – unless there’s an absentee owner or something.


  2. Comment spam! Turning back time on google street view (excellent feature) it looks like Arc bar *was* in the whole thing. I’m learning about the Palestinian Cultural Centre now too – I hadn’t realised it was a proper thing! Might have to go and have a look.

    Liked by 1 person

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