Bristol's Queen Square

A Memory of Bristol

Driving a major road through Queen Square. It is located in the historic heart of Bristol, just off Bristol's Floating Harbour, about half a kilometre south of the city's main shopping area, Broadmead. The square was begun around 1700 and was the first landscaped residential square in England outside London.

Queen Square in 1937 as workmen begin the first stages of driving a road across the green to make way for the motor-car, Now, some 60 years later, a new generation of workmen are preparing to tear it up again and restore the peace and tranquility of one of the largest and finest Georgian squares in Europe. (Bristol is now anti-traffic.)

Queen Square before the road was built. By the late 1820s, however, the desirability of Queen Square had begun to wane. By the 20th century most of the buildings were in business use and in multiple occupation.

The layout of the square however remained largely unaltered from 1776 to 1936. Then, despite a public outcry, a dual-carriageway - Redcliffe Way, was driven across the square from the southeast to northwest corners, destroying the architectural unity of the square.

The restoration of the Square, which involved the removal of Redcliffe Way and the of reinstatement an early 19th Century plan, was begun in 1997 at a cost of 5.1m, supported by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of 3.67m. The restoration has returned to Bristol the grandeur of this graceful square as well as providing a wonderful space for a series of art and music events.

A memory shared by Paul Townsend , on Dec 5th, 2009.

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