Park Street, Bristol

Park Street, Bristol

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Park Street in Bristol runs from College Green up a steep incline northwards to join Park Row at the southern apex of the Clifton Triangle. Looking up the street there is a dramatic view of the Wills Memorial Building.

The development of Park Street began in 1740 when the City Council leased land to Nathaniel Day, holder of Bullock's Park to open a new street. Nothing happened until the approval in 1758 of a further design by George Tyndall for the street to connect to Whiteladies Gate, one of the turnpikes. George Tully drew up plans and building started in 1761, by Thomas and James Paty. The first phase of building finished at Great George Street around 1762. The upper part of the street was developed from about 1786 and work was suspended in the financial crisis of 1793, resumed and completed about ten years later.

A cast-iron viaduct to take the street over the natural gully between College Green and Brandon Hill was built by R.S. Pope in 1871. It is a grade II listed building. [cite web | title=Park Street Viaduct | work=Images of England | url= | accessdate=2007-02-19] About a third of the buildings were damaged in World War II but were mainly rebuilt.

The Philosophical Institution, now Freemasons' Hall [cite web | title=Freemason's Hall | work=Images of England | url= | accessdate=2008-04-15] , was built by Pope for C.R. Cockerell in 1821.

The street is now mainly retail and leisure premises. Among the more unusual businesses are the Bristol Folk House [] , an arts centre, and the Bristol Guild of Applied Art [] . In 1974 a huge gas explosion destroyed some of the buildings near the bottom of the road, most were rebuilt as replicas.

Some of the furnishings from the RMS Mauretania were installed in a bar and restaurant complex at the bottom of Park Street, initially called "Mauretania", now "Bar III". The lounge bar was the library with mahogany panelling: above the first-class Grand Saloon with French-style gilding overlooks Frog Lane. The neon sign on the south wall still advertises the "Mauretania": installed in 1938 this was the first moving neon sign in Bristol. It is a grade II listed building. [cite web | title=The Mauretania Public House | work=Images of England | url= | accessdate=2007-02-19]

Visible from the viaduct, on the side of a building in Frogmore Street, is a controversial mural by local graffiti artist Banksy.


* Andrew Foyle, 'Pevsner Architectural Guides: Bristol', Yale University Press (2004) ISBN 0-300-10442-1
* Walter Ison, "The Georgian Buildings of Bristol", Kingsmead Press (1978) ISBN 0-901571-88-1

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