Brislington has a history dating back to Roman times with the remains of a Roman villa being discovered when Winchester Road was being built in 1899. The town of Brislington grew up around a bridge over Brislington Brook and during medieval times was known as a place of pilgrimage due to a holy well near the Chapel of St-Anne-in-The Wood.
By the 18th century, Brislington had become a fashionable haven for Bristol merchants, while it also became known for two buildings. Brislington House was the first mental asylum for the humane treatment of the insane built by Quaker Dr Edward Long Fox, while the second was the Arno Group of buildings including “The Black Castle” built by the eccentric foundry magnate Copper Quaker, William Reeve,
In the 19th century, it was known as “the prettiest village in Somerset”. In the 1890s, it began to grow rapidly and Sandy Park was also developed.
According to Brislingtonhistory.org, in the early 20th century, the industry began with the CWS butter factory on Whitby Road, Motor Constructional Works (later Bristol Commercial Vehicles), St Anne’s Board Mills ad Robertsons Jam Factory, Smiths Crisps and John Wright and sons. . Many buildings were lost to bombing during the war and in the 1980s, most of the major industries were closed and many of the original buildings were demolished.
Today, Brislington is a busy suburb in the south-east of Bristol. We take a look at our archives at moments in the history of this suburb that has such a vibrant heritage.