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Portal:Bristol

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Bristol (Listeni/ˈbrɪstəl/) is a city, unitary authority and county in South West England with an estimated population of 437,500 in 2014. People from the city are known as Bristolians. It is England's sixth and the United Kingdom's eighth most populous city, and the second most populous city in Southern England after London.

Iron Age hill forts and Roman villas were built in the area around the confluence of the Rivers Frome and Avon, and it became known as Brycgstow (Old English "the place at the bridge") around the beginning of the 11th century. Bristol received a royal charter in 1155 and was part of Gloucestershire until 1373, when it became a county. From the 13th to the 18th century, Bristol was among the top three English cities after London (with York and Norwich) in tax receipts. Bristol was eclipsed by the rapid rise of Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham during the Industrial Revolution. It borders the counties of Somerset and Gloucestershire, with the historic cities of Bath and Gloucester to the southeast and northeast, respectively. The city has a short coastline on the Severn Estuary (which flows into the Bristol Channel).

Bristol's prosperity has been linked with the sea since its earliest days. Around 1500, it was the base for voyages of exploration to the New World: on a ship out of Bristol, John Cabot was the first European, since the Vikings 500 years earlier, to land in North America in 1497; and William Weston, a Bristol merchant, was the first Englishman to lead an exploration to North America, in 1499. The Port of Bristol was originally in the city centre before commercial shipping moved from Bristol Harbour to the Severn Estuary at Avonmouth. Royal Portbury Dock is on the western edge of the city. Its economy has recently depended on the creative media, electronics and aerospace industries, and the city-centre docks have been redeveloped as centres of heritage and culture. The city has two universities and a variety of artistic and sporting organisations and venues. In 2005, Bristol was named by the UK government one of England's six science cities. It is connected with the surrounding region and the rest of the country by road and rail, including the M5 and M4 (which connect to the city centre by the M32 motorway and Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway railway stations). Bristol, which was named England's first cycling city in 2008, won the European Green Capital Award in 2015. more about Bristol...

Selected article

First Great Western Pacer unit 143621 at Montpelier in 2010.
Montpelier railway station is on the Severn Beach Line and serves the district of Montpelier in Bristol, England. It is 2.85 miles (4.59 km) from Bristol Temple Meads. Its three letter station code is MTP. The station has a single platform, serving trains in both directions. As of 2015 it is managed by First Great Western, which is the third franchise to be responsible for the station since privatisation in 1997. They provide all train services at the station, mainly a train every forty minutes in each direction between Bristol Temple Meads and Avonmouth.

The station was opened on 1st October 1874 as Montpellier (two 'L's) by the Great Western and Midland Railways as part of the Clifton Extension Railway, designed to connect the port of Avonmouth to the national rail network. In February 1888 the station's name changed to Montpelier (one 'L'). The station two platforms, with the main structures on the southern platform and smaller waiting rooms on the northern platform. In 1903 the station employed 19 staff. The station building was destroyed by bombing during the Second World War, and replaced with the current building.

The Severn Beach Line declined over the latter half of the twentieth century, with passenger numbers falling significantly. Goods services at Montpelier ended in 1965, and all staff were withdrawn in 1967. The line was largely reduced to single track in 1970, with the northern platform abandoned and all trains using the remaining platform. The station building is no longer in railway use. Services had decreased to ten per day each direction by 2005, but have since increased to twenty-four trains per day.

Selected picture

The water pump and some of the houses at Blaise Hamlet.
Credit: Martin Bodman

The water pump and some of the houses at Blaise Hamlet.

Selected biography

Blackbeard (c. 1736 engraving used to illustrate Johnson's General History)
Edward Teach (Blackbeard)
B. c. 1680 – d. 22 November 1718

Edward Teach (also Edward Thatch), better known as Blackbeard, was a notorious English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies. Although little is known about his early life, he was probably born in Bristol. He may have been a sailor on privateer ships during Queen Anne's War before settling on the Bahamian island of New Providence, a base for Captain Benjamin Hornigold, whose crew Teach joined sometime around 1716. Hornigold placed him in command of a sloop he had captured, and the two engaged in numerous acts of piracy.

Teach captured a French merchant vessel, renamed her Queen Anne's Revenge, and equipped her with 40 guns. He became a renowned pirate, his cognomen derived from his thick black beard and fearsome appearance; he was reported to have tied lit fuses under his hat to frighten his enemies. A shrewd and calculating leader, Teach spurned the use of force, relying instead on his fearsome image to elicit the response he desired from those he robbed. Contrary to the modern-day picture of the traditional tyrannical pirate, he commanded his vessels with the permission of their crews and there is no known account of his ever having harmed or murdered those he held captive. He was romanticised after his death and became the inspiration for pirate-themed works of fiction across a range of genres.

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Great Gatehouse, Bristol

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Bristol(21 C, 15 P)
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Bristol City Line(3 P)
Crime in Bristol(7 P)
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Economy of Bristol(5 C, 5 P)
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Quotes

  • St Mary Redcliffe was described by Queen Elizabeth I as "the fairest, goodliest, and most famous parish church in England."
  • Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament.-Edmund Burke in his Speech to the Electors of Bristol (1774-11-03)

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