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Portal:Bristol

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Bristol (/ˈbrɪstəl/ (About this sound listen)) 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

The Avon Gorge and Clifton Suspension Bridge, looking south from the Downs
The Avon Gorge (grid reference ST560743) is a 1.5-mile (2.5-kilometre) long gorge on the River Avon in Bristol, England. The gorge runs south to north through a limestone ridge 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west of Bristol city centre, and about 3 miles (5 km) from the mouth of the river at Avonmouth. The gorge forms the boundary between the unitary authorities of North Somerset and Bristol. As Bristol was an important port, the gorge formed a defensive gateway to the city.

On the east of the gorge is the Bristol suburb of Clifton, and The Downs, a large public park. To the west of the gorge is Leigh Woods, the name of both a village and the National Trust forest it is situated in. There are three Iron Age hill forts overlooking the gorge, as well as an observatory. The Clifton Suspension Bridge, an icon of Bristol, crosses the gorge.

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Selected biography

Portrait of Charles Holden by Benjamin Nelson, 1910
Charles Holden
B. (1875-05-12)May 12, 1875 – d. May 1, 1960(1960-05-01) (aged 84)

Charles Henry Holden Litt.D, FRIBA, MRTPI, RDI was a Bolton-born English architect best known for designing many London Underground stations during the 1920s and 1930s, for Bristol Central Library, the Underground Electric Railways Company of London's headquarters at 55 Broadway and for the University of London's Senate House. He also created many war cemeteries in Belgium and northern France for the Imperial War Graves Commission.

His early buildings were influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement, but for most of his career he championed an unadorned style based on simplified forms and massing that was free of what he considered to be unnecessary decorative detailing. Holden believed strongly that architectural designs should be dictated by the intended functions of buildings. He was a member of the Design and Industries Association and the Art Workers' Guild. Although not without its critics, his architecture is widely appreciated. He was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects' (RIBA's) Royal Gold Medal for architecture in 1936 and was appointed a Royal Designer for Industry in 1943. Many of his buildings have been granted listed building status, protecting them from unapproved alteration. He twice declined the offer of a knighthood.

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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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