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Old City, Bristol

The Old City of Bristol – now its city centre – dates back to the Saxon origins of the settlement at the confluence of two rivers. Generally speaking, the borders of the Old City were Corn Street, High Street, Broad Street and Bristol Bridge. The old Bristol Castle, a motte and bailey arrangement harking back to the Norman Conquest, was an important feature but it was bombed during World War II. Its ruins can be seen in Castle Park, which has been redeveloped in recent years. Here too you will find the handsome remnants of the gaunt, atmospheric, twelfth century St Peter’s Church and its attached herb garden. Another key landmark of the Old City is tree-lined St Peter’s Square which was once a busy venue for market traders but has been updated for the twenty-first century; there are now German markets and street entertainers here. Broad Street is an ancient thoroughfare that has retained much of its heritage architecture such as the Gothic-styled Guildhall, the Thistle Hotel, the late-1700s Christ Church with St Ewen and the fascinating Edward Everard Printing Works whose distinctive Art Nouveau design and W J Neatby mural are real highlights of the whole of the Old City.


All that is left of the original city walls is an atmospheric feature entitled St John’s Gate. Its walls tell the legend of Bristol’s beginnings: in various niches are figures of Brennius and Belinus, Dark Ages folk heroes who are said to have

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