A Brief History of Bristol

  • Earliest Occupation - Brycgstow
    The Bristol area has been settled since the Palaeolithic era, as evidenced by 60,000 year old archaeological finds at Shirehampton and St Annes.

  • 11th - 14th Centuries
    During the 11th century this market town developed into a port and was a major centre for the Anglo-Saxon slave trade. Under Norman rule Brycgstow acquired one southern England's strongest castles.

  • 16th - 18th Centuries
    Trade continued to grow, the main export being woollen cloth, and by the mid-16th century Bristol's port was the second largest in England after London.

  • 19th Century
    During the early part of the Industrial Revolution, Bristol's population quintupled during the 19th century, supported by new industries and growing commerce.

  • 20th Century - Present
    In the Bristol Blitz of World War II, the city centre suffered severe damage from Luftwaffe bombing and the original central shopping area, near the bridge and castle, was largely destroyed.

  • Role in the Slave Trade and Abolition
    After the market town of Brycgstow developed into a port in the 11th century, the town became a major centre for the Anglo-Saxon slave trade.