Factories and railway viaduct added to list of historic Bristol buildings

September 30 2020
Factories and railway viaduct added to list of historic Bristol buildings

A FORMER box factory now used as a kart racing centre is one of the new entries on a list of Bristol's historic buildings.

The former Allen Davies & Co print works and box factory on the Fishponds Trading Estate (above and below) is now home to Absolutely Karting Bristol.

Designed in 1961, it is the most modern structure among the 24 added to Bristol City Council's Local List, which recognises buildings and monuments that do not have official Grade I, II* or II status from historic England.

The council said the building's "distinctive arched shape remains startling and unusual even today".

The local list aims to preserve buildings of quality, style or historical importance.

Also added to the list this year is the nearby Royate Hill viaduct (below), which carried a now-abandoned railway over Rose Green Road and is now better known as a pinch point for local traffic.

This year’s list additions focus on Bristol's industrial buildings.

Announcing the selections, the council said: "Unlike Bristol’s grand buildings, the heritage status of those built for industry and workers are often less recognised.

"The list, which has been nominated by members of the public, or identified as at risk, and assessed by an independent panel, now includes 24 important historic industrial sites."

The former Avondale Jam Factory off Woodland Way in Hillfields (below), which closed in 1949 due to a sugar shortage and is now the home to several small businesses, including a motorbike custom build and repair shop, has also been added to the list by the council, which noted its "eye-catching red and yellow brick façade".

Elsewhere in the city, parts of the Georgian gaslight works on Avon Street, which date back to 1821, the remains of Easton colliery and part of the Barton Hill engine sheds have also been added to the list.

Bristol’s maritime history is also represented, with the inclusion of sites including the Royal Edward Dock, lighthouses and dock walls at Avonmouth.

Council cabinet member for spatial planning and city design Nicola Beech said: “The latest focus on industrial buildings has identified many that are unique, others with national interest, and some completely new discoveries.

Industrial buildings are often overlooked as they don’t always fit people’s perceptions of beauty or culture, as they are often built for very specific purposes and without elaborate architectural embellishments.

"Recognising the special nature of these places helps highlight their value as part of the history of Bristol, and makes sure they can be conserved and adapted appropriately for new uses. Reusing our historic buildings is the ultimate form of recycling.”

Historic England head of industrial heritage strategy Shane Gould said: “We welcome the latest update of the Bristol Local List with its emphasis on highlighting and promoting the diverse nature of the city's rich industrial heritage.”

The list can be found by searching for 'local list' on the bristol.gov.uk website. Anyone can nominate a building in Bristol for inclusion on the list by visiting bristol.gov.uk/knowyourplace or emailing conservation@bristol.gov.uk.