From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present
Bristol
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Bristol
51° 27′ 0″ N, 2° 35′ 0″ W
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Bristol is a city located in South West England on the banks of the river Avon and is home to the SS Great Britain.

The area in and around Bristol has been inhabited since the stoneage, with evidence suggesting the presence of Neanderthals in the Shirehampton and St Annes areas. Later Ironage hillforts are also built in the area. The romans had various settlements in the area, one was at Sea Mills, called Abona. By 1000, a large town called Brycgstow was established. This was a large trading centre which also boasted a mint. In 1067 it was fortified and defeated an invasion force sent by King Harold sons form Ireland.

By the 12th century the town was thriving, a port was developed with most of Irelands trade coming through the town. The city was once part of Gloucestershire until 1373 when it became a county in its own right.

After the Abbey at Bristol was dissolved in 1539, the Diocese of Bristol was founded and the abbey church became Bristol Cathedral. The town was granted city status soon after.

In the 18th century, Bristol was involved in the slavery trade. Manufactured goods were taken to West Africa, exchanged for Africans, who were then transported to America. These people were then traded for sugar, tobacco, rum, rice and cotton to be sold in England. Thomas Clarkson collected information on the slave trade at the Seven Stars public house in Bristol, which still stands to this day.

Bristol was bombed during the Second World War, with over 1,300 lives lost and 100,000 building damaged, 3,000 of them beyond repair. The original shopping area, near the bridge and castle is now a park, which contains fragments of the castle and two bombed out churches.