Stapleton, Bristol

Stapleton, Bristol

infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Stapleton
latitude= 51.4804
longitude= -2.5552
population =
unitary_england= Bristol
region= South West England
constituency_westminster= Bristol East
post_town= BRISTOL
postcode_district = BS
postcode_area= BS
dial_code= 0117
os_grid_reference= ST615758

Stapleton is an area in the north-eastern suburbs of the city of Bristol, England.

The ancient parish of Stapleton covered Fishponds and Eastville and was originally within Kingswood Forest. The Saxon hamlet of Stapleton, first documented in 1208, stood at the edge of the forest, just north of the River Frome. Finds of Roman coins point to even earlier habitation. Even in the 18th century it was still heavily wooded.

The hamlet was donated to Tewkesbury Abbey in 1174 by William, Earl of Gloucester. By the late 16th century it was the property of the Berkeley family of Stoke Gifford, and was passed down to the Duke of Beaufort who retained the estate until the early 20th century, selling it in 1917.


Coal was mined in the area, there being some 70 pits by 1700, and vast numbers of local men were employed throughout the 18th century. In the 1890s the mines produced a thousand tons per day.

Stapleton was inclosed in 1781, Stapleton Common being sold as 9 lots, mostly to the Duke of Beaufort.

Famous people

Frances Milton, the mother of Anthony Trollope was born in the village in 1780, and Sarah Young, the mother of Thomas Chatterton was also born there.

The village grew steadily; in the 1871 census there were 6,960 inhabitants and by 1901 that had risen to 21,236.


In 1863 a cricket club was formed, its most famous player being Dr. William Gilbert Grace who played for Gloucestershire and England. At Purdown a football team called the "Black Arabs" were to become Bristol Rovers. (Purdown is reputedly haunted by the ghost of a Duchess of Beaufort who was struck by lightning, though many believe she died in a tragic horse riding accident.)


Also in the 19th century two lines of the Great Western Railway were built through the area, meeting at Stapleton Road railway station which was opened on 8 September 1863. Tramways were also built, horse drawn at first, but then electric - they reached Fishponds in 1897.


Trinity Chapel was dedicated in 1821, being renamed as St Mary’s Parish Church in 1869. Holy Trinity Church is Norman and registers survive from 1720. It was rebuilt in 1857 and has a 170 ft spire. The church of St Thomas the Apostle in Eastville was consecrated in 1889 but is now a Pentecostal hall.

Stapleton is home to Colston's School, a co-educational independent school.

External links

* [ Stapleton parish church] (Holy Trinity) – with photographs
* [ Holy Trinity Stapleton parish]
* GENUKI [ Stapleton]

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