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Bristol Town Wall

In the civil parish of Bristol.
In the historic county of Gloucestershire.
Modern Authority of Bristol; City of.
1974 county of Avon.
Medieval County of Gloucestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST58757316
Latitude 51.45586° Longitude -2.59514°

Bristol Town Wall has been described as a certain Urban Defence.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Medieval town walls. The earliest defences were constructed of earth and timber, replaced by stone from the 11th century. The outer wall was constructed during the late 12th century, the southern extension during the 13th century.
ST 589730 Old city wall, possibly originating from c.1088 AD.
ST 58737297 to ST 58957312 Tower Lane, Bell Lane and Leonard Lane, probably linear descendents of the lane immediately inside the wall, required by medieval law.
ST 58997313 to ST 59037314 and ST 59067314 to ST 59107316 Sections of wall excavated 1948-1950.
ST 59127317 Probable continuation of wall eastwards
ST 59097315 to ST 59127308 The east section of the old walls is said to have been demolished when the castle was built, and to have been rebuilt slightly west of the original site during civic strife in 1313. No trace of a wall running south from the wall north of Wine Street was found during excavations of 1948/50 (TBGAS 1951).
ST 58837290 Town wall excavated 1957; thought to be 13th century on the line of an earlier wall possibly of earth and timber. Scheduled, SAM 117 (TBCAS 1960).
ST 58867319 to ST 58957312 Line of wall from St John's Arch to Pithay revealed during construction of Fry's factory in 1897; average thickness 6ft (TBCAS 1926).
ST 58887317 Semi-circular tower, mentioned by Seyer; foundations revealed in 1897 (Seyer 1821).
ST 58947293 The city wall, 15ft thick, forms the south wall of the crypt of St Nicholas. Scheduled SAM 117 (Pevsner; CBA Group 12 1972).
ST 58777318 Old City Wall (Remains of) (OS Record).
ST 58817320 Old City Wall (Remains of) (OS Record).
ST 591731 Massive wall of pennant stone found in Dolphin Street during excavations of 1962/3 - possibly 11th century town walls (Med Arch 1969).
Centred ST 588728 Extension of city wall southward, probably constructed AD 1250-1300
ST 58687303 to ST 58627272 The course of the town wall , 6ft thick, with a 13th century doorway, was discovered under the front of the houses on the quay during building works in 1878-80.
ST 58747271 to ST 58867274 Probable line of wall 6ft thick passing behind St Nicholas's Almshouses. Scheduled SAM 119 (Turner 1971).
ST 58617286 Excavations in the cellar of 1-2, Broad Quay located a wall at least 4.25m thick which may be part of the city wall. A 14th century window had been re-used in the west wall.
During building operations at Broad Quay in 1979 a small section of mid 13th century town wall was located (no grid reference given)
Piercing the wall, and probably contemporary with it, were the foundations of a double-arched 'watergate' complex at least 4.8m in length. The north arch covered a slip leading through the town wall down to the River Avon. The south arch was probably smaller and may have served as a large drain. To the east the ground level sloped up sharply, and there appeared to be a metalled approach to the passages defined on one side by a revetment wall. At the interior end of the central pier was a narrow stone-built tube, probably for a lift pump (CBA Group 12 newsletter 1972)
ST 58747314 to ST 59197318 Outer wall built soon after AD 1188 to enclose reclaimed area known as the Pithay, beween the old wall and the Frome. Bridge arches can be detected at various places in the tunnel which now carries the River Frome, and several towers are depicted by Millerd and described by Nicholls.
ST 59097318 Remains of city wall; a short section of wall in Fairfax Street.
ST 591731 A curved section of wall between Castle Mill Street and Fairfax Street was excavated in 1950. It proved to be only one block in thickness, but may follow the line of an earlier and more massive wall (TBGAS 1951). (PastScape)

C14 St John's Gate only substantial remains. Murage granted almost continuously from 1232 until end of C15, Although some of this in the 1260's was ordered to be spent on repairs of the castle.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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