08 Dec 2020
I had a chance to dash down a few new roads during my lunchtime jaunt today. My favourite feature was 7 Wetherell Place, at the corner of Frederick Place, one street behind the University of Bristol Students' Union building. Apparently I'm a sucker for gothic revival, which seems appropriate for this little project, which is reviving my interest in the local area.
The listing starts "1860. By JA Hansom. For himself".
University of Bristol Union
The back of the Union. I've been inside a few times — I had a summer pass to the swimming pool for a while, and I saw Alabama 3 in the Anson Rooms once.
10 Jan 2021
Went for a wander with my friend Lisa—the current lockdown rules seem to be that one local walk for exercise per day with a maximum of one person not in one's "bubble" is fine—up to the University of Bristol area right at the edge of my one-mile perimeter to see the Jeppe Hein Mirror Maze, among other things. On the way we mused about Merchant Venturers, the slave and tobacco trades, and dating in the time of Covid.
According to the architect's website:
Sheppard Robson’s competition-winning design responds to the University’s vision of creating a world-class research and teaching facility which will attract international students and academics. The architectural ambition of the project was to create a building that respects the neighbouring listed buildings and surrounding conservation area whilst also adding a confident piece of contemporary design to Bristol.
We were looking for Royal Fort Gardens, and I'd assumed that the giant fort-like building was actually the Royal Fort. Actually, what stands on the former site of the Royal Fort is Royal Fort House, a slightly more modest building. This is the Physics building, doing its best to impart some gravity to the local area.
I'm assuming these are the toys of the Astrophysics department...
The Royal in question being Prince Rupert, who was named Governor of Bristol in 1643, after taking the city for the Royalists during the Civil War.
The thing I came here to see was disappointingly small, frankly, but the effect of walking through it was pretty interesting.
I bumped into my friend Lisa in town during yesterday's wander, and we decided to have a wander today, too. We managed quite a long ramble, starting up through Clifton and nipping down Park Row to investigate the two tower blocks I'd noticed popping up behind Park Street yesterday, then took in a few roads I'd not managed to get to before, including cutting through the grounds of Bristol Grammar School.
I managed to knock off a reasonable chunk of the roads I had left to walk around the University at the north-eastern extremity of my mile on this nice sunny walk. As well as being impressed by the number of big townhouses now occupied by various departments, I took some time on my way there to check out a war memorial, and some time on the way back to do a little extra wandering of Berkeley Square.
An economist, and one of the first people to take the Tripos at Cambridge. She and Alfred Marshall, her former tutor, founded the teaching of economics at University College, Bristol.
Woodland Road really has got some grand houses, but they've got such big gardens and trees that it's hard to get a decent snap
This used to be a big hotel, starting off as a single villa and gradually expanding to a 250-bedroom giant by the 1950s. Currently it's student accommodation. It was run by John Dingle, an English chef who dreamed of being as well-regarded as his French counterparts.
The University is planning on knocking it down and putting up a very modern-looking library. I rather like it.
06 Jun 2021
The track on the map doesn't tell the whole story of this walk with Lisa around and about Clifton, Berkeley Square, Brandon Hill and the harbourside, because the batteries on my GPS ran out while we were on the roof of Trenchard Street car park, it seems. Oh well. I think I did most of the area I was interested in finishing off around the University; there were only a few new bits around Brandon Hill that won't be on the track, and I can easily do them again.
Still, technology woes aside it was a nice walk, albeit a bit warm for climbing all those hills, and sat on the harbourside watching the world go by for a while, too. It was good to see the Bristol Ferry Boats carrying people around again, especially.
The University has quite the range of architecture.
I'm guessing this is a traditional graduation photo.
Between University Walk and Woodland Road. Quite the view. I don't get up this way often, so I've rarely seen this side of the Wills Tower.