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Bristol Section

Meetings of the Bristol section are held in the Apostle Room in the basement of Clifton Cathedral, Pembroke Road, Clifton, BS8 3BX. Meetings start at 7.45 pm. There is a £1 charge per person per meeting (full-time students free). For more details contact: R H Jones (0117 9830719, roberthjones@blueyonder.co.uk).


Monday 26 September 2016
David Martyn, Chair of Kings Weston Action Group
Kings Weston: A forgotten history

Kings Weston remains one of Bristol's least explored historic landscapes, but one with an extraordinary past. Misunderstood and overlooked for decades the estate has been long neglected, but new research from the Kings Weston Action Group aims to restore its lost fame and uncover forgotten features. This talk will explore the context and evolution of Bristol's "most important Eighteenth Century Building" and its parkland.

Monday 31 October 2016
Professor Peter Malpass
The Growth of Victorian Clifton

Professor Malpass will explain how most of Clifton was built in the Victorian period, on land belonging to four main owners. He will look at the different ways these landowners responded to the opportunities presented by rising demand from the burgeoning middle class and in the process created a residential suburb quite unlike anything previously seen in Bristol. He will outline the nature of the development process and identify some of the builders involved. Hewill also show how house designs changed over time, from the predominance of terraces to very large semi-detached and then smaller semi-detached as the market for really big houses moved further out of town.

Monday 28 November 2016
Rose Wallis
Crime in Gloucestershire in the long 18th century

Monday 30 January 2017
Richard Osgood, Senior Archaeologist, Defence Infrastructure Organisation
Marching unto War: Training Soldiers for the Great War on Salisbury Plain, an Archaeology

The military has owned Salisbury Plain since 1897 and, as a result, has laid down its own legacy as the topmost part of the archaeological palimpsest. Carvings on trees, hospitals for horses and the trenches in which they trained for the Somme are just some of the components which survive. The Great War may have passed into history from living memory but traces survive across this landscape.

Monday 27 February 2017
Peter Davenport MCIfA, FSA
The Building of the Bristol General Hospital, 1853 - 2012

The Bristol General was founded as a charitable hospital in the 1830s. In 1853 work began on a new site by the Bathurst Basin and the hospital opened in 1858. This talk will outline an almost never-ending process of expansion and renewal, led by changes in medical practice, with barely a decade going by without new works, until closure in 2012.

Monday 27 March 2017
Mr Stuart Andrews, Hon. Librarian, Wells & Mendip Museum
Bristol Poets and Anglican Englishness, 1791-1830

Both Coleridge and Southey were Anglicans by christening, but in Bristol of the 1790s were committed Unitarians. Yet by 1830 each poet had written his own passionate defence of the Established Church. Meanwhile the near-pantheism of Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" gave way to over 100 Ecclesiastical Sonnets and his unlikely boast that he "would give his life-blood for the Church of England." How did this happen?

The start-date of 1791 marks the completed rebuilding of both Christ Church, Broad Street (Southey's parish church) and Lewin's Mead Chapel - nominally Presbyterian but actually Unitarian. That's the closest I shall get to archaeology