BRIS'TOL (NE. Bri•towe. AS. Briegstom, the place at the bridge). An important maritime city and civic county in the west of England, situated at the junction of the rivers Frome and Avon, between the counties of Gloucester and Somerset. It is eight miles from the confluence of the Avon with the Severn, which empties into Bristol Channel, and about eleven miles north west of Bath (Map: England, D 5).
The original city was composed of the territory bounded by the two rivers, but it has been ex tended from time to time, so that it now includes Clifton. Redeliffe, Stapleton, Saint Thomas, Saint George, etc., in all about 11,397 acres. The cathedral, formerly an Augustinian church (1148), has little to commend it but its handsome Norman chapter-house, the Early Eng lish north aisle of the choir known as the Berkeley Chapel, and the Norman west portal. Sonic remains exist of the ancient castle, built probably by Geoffrey. Bishop of Contanees, and Unproved by Robert. Earl of Gloucester, in the early part of the Twelfth Century. Saint James Church is a good specimen of Norman and other noted are Saint Philip's, Saint Stephen's, All Sailits, the Mayor's Chapel. and the Temple Church, hut more famous than these, perhaps, is the Church of Saint Nary Redcliffe, which is notable for its symmetrical proportions and richness of design. Its tower, more than 200 feet high, was partly destroyed by lightning in 1445, hut was rebuilt in 1872. Nally interesting old houses are to be found in the Pithay and Maryleport Street. Clifton, the best known of Bristol's suburbs, is a favorite place of its wealthy residents. The suspen sion bridge over the Avon was, at the date of construction (begun in 1836), one of the largest in the world. having a centre span of 676 feet. The floating harbor and quays are very exten sive and are formed by embanking and locking the old courses of the Avon, which now flows through a new channel. In addition, the city owns extensive docks at Avonmouth and Portis head.
Bristol returns four members to Parliament. The city's affairs are administered by a lord mayor, a municipal council, and a board of al dermen. (See GREAT BRITAIN. Local Govern ment.) The streets. which are mostly paved with wood or asphalt, are kept in excellent con dition by the city's public-works department. Bristol owns and operates an electric-light plant, at an annual profit of about $10,000. The city maintains public baths and wash-houses, charg ing a nominal price for their use, placing them within reach of the poorer classes of the people. Its markets net it annually about $13,000. There are numerous parks and pleasure grounds. Among its educational institutions are, in addi tion to its public schools, University College, Clifton College, the ancient grammar school (es tablished in 3532), the Redland High School for Girls, a school of art, a municipal school of cookery, a municipal library (with seven branch establishments), several museums, a zoological and a botanical garden, and an observatory.
It has numerous benevolent and charitable institutions, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the Nuller Orphanage, a sailors' home, a blind asy lum, and several hospitals, including two munici pal isolation hospitals.
The city is one of the most important ports in Great Britain, and its trade is of long stand ing. In the records of the Fourteenth Century it is mentioned as having a large trade in cloths, leather, wine, and salt, and was one of the `staple towns.' It was prominent in the early commercial ventures and in discovery. It is the port from which John Cabot sailed in 1497 upon the voyage which resulted in the discovery of the mainland of America. Bristol traders colonized Newfoundland and engaged largely in the com merce with the West Indies and the American colonies. Shipbuilding has been a prominent in dustry there for many years. The GreatlVestern, the pioneer of steam communication across the Atlantic (1838), was built at Bristol. The prin cipal imports are cattle, oils, hides, petroleum. grain. tallow, and sugar; the exports are iron, copper, tin plates, coal, salt, cotton goods. earthenware, chemicals, and other manufactured products. The total tonnage entered and cleared at the port in the year 1899 was over 2,900,000. The total value of imports and exports in 1900 exceeded £12,700,000 ($63-.500,000). Bristol is the seat of a United States consulate.
The city existed before the Roman invasion, but does not come into prominent notice until 1069, when Harold's three sons, in an attempt to regain their patrimony from William the Con queror, sailed up the Avon, hut were defeated under the walls of Bristol. Henry gave the city its ('barter in 1171. and it received the rights of a county from Edward III. During the Civil War, Bristol was alternately held by Royalists and Parliamentarians. The castle and fortifica tions were destroyed in 1655 by Cromwell's or ders. A notable rising of the populace occurred in 1793 over the imposition of a bridge toll beyond the time fixed for its discontinuance, and the 'Bristol Revolution' in 1831, during the Reform Bill agitation, resulted in the destruc tion of the Bishop's palace, custom-house, and other public and private buildings, and in the loss of several lives. Among other celebrities born or connected with Bristol are William of Worcester, the poets Chatterton and Southey, the artist Laurence, Sydney Smith, Coleridge, and Hannah Nore. Population, in 1891, 2S9,280; in 1901, 328,842.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. Nicholls, How to See Bristol Bibliography. Nicholls, How to See Bristol (Bristol, 1874) ; Raft!oriel]. Condition da paurre a Bristol (Paris, 1885) ; "An American's Impressions of Bristol." in Glouecstershire Notes and Queries. Part XL111. (London. 1889) ; Hunt, Bristol (London, 1880) ; Latimer, Bristol (Bristol, 1S98); Taylor. Some of the Public. Institutions of Bristol (London, 1900) ; "Bristol: A Glimpse of the Old and New Municipality," in Municipal Journal, IX. (London, 1900) ; :Masse, The Cathe dral Church of Bristol (London, 1901) ; Nicholls and Taylor, Bristol, Past and Present, an Illus trated History of Bristol and its Neighborhood (Bristol. 1881-82) : Latimer, Annals of Bristol in the Nineteenth Century (Bristol, 1887).