Bristol: A history and Guide
College Green (1)
The area around College Green
The photo above was taken from a balloon from the direction of Corn Street. It shows the Cathedral, Central Reference Library and the Council House. Just behind the towers of the Cathedral can be seen I K Brunel's great ship the SS Great Britain.
Robert FitzHardinge founded the Abbey of the Black Canons of St. Augustine in 1140 in the fields to the west of the town, and it was ready for its dedication in 1146. Between 1306 and 1132 the Abbot was Abbot Knowle who started an extensive rebuilding of the Abbey for it was falling into disrepair. He rebuilt the choir, aisles, Lady Chapel, Berkeley Chapel and the Sacristy. Since those days the Cathedral has undergone much rebuilding and alteration. The last being the two towers built in 1888. A fuller history of the Cathedral is given elsewhere in these pages.
The two West Towers (1888)
The pictures above show the West Entrance (1888) and the
North Entrance to the Elder Lady Chapel (1220)
Near to the west entrance of the Cathedral is the decorated Norman Arch. It was orginally built in 1142, but restored, along with much of the Cathedral sometime between 1480 and 1520. Two of the niches contain effigies of two of the early abbots, John de Newland (Nailheart) (1481 - 1515) and Robert Elliot (1515 - 1526).
The decorated Norman Arch near to the west entrance of the Cathedral
Next to the Norman Arch is the Central Reference Library.
Bristol Central Reference Library
This page created 25th February 2000, last modified 13th September 2009