Last night I toured around Bristol on a ghost walk and it was so much fun. I learned so much about the history of the places I’ve walked past countless of times, having no idea what secrets lie behind the walls and beneath the floors (add dramatic music here).
We learned about filming locations, murders, secret burial sites, hauntings, buildings dating back to the 1100s and so much more. I won’t give too much away because I don’t want to ruin it for any one planning on going!
We met outside of the Bristol Cathedral on college Green. There was a group of around 15 of us which after every thing with covid, felt good to do something that felt normal again. Well, as normal as you can feel on a ghost tour. The cathedral is a beautiful building partly dating back to the 1100s. I neglected my camera at this point, so there aren’t any photos but I will be doing a separate post at some point!
Our second stop was outside of the Bristol Hippodrome, which used to be a furniture store before it opened in 1912. Opposite was a hospital and beneath us *pause for effect* were 100s of bodies of people who sadly died of the plague. Apparently the cleaner of the basement of the old hospital, was cleaning one night and suddenly, all the rings on her left hand flew off. She told her boss she would never clean down there again and she never did.
This is a courtyard dating all the way back to the 16th century. It was built for widowed women who had unfortunately lost their husbands at sea. A condition of them having this housing, was that they still had to go to church every Sunday. So the government built a small Chapel in the courtyard for the women to attend. Today it is now apartments and the residents are still given a key to the small Chapel.
Christmas steps was originally called Queens Streete after the Queens visit in 1574. It also didn’t have any steps unil 1669 prior to that, it was just a paved slope which was very dangerous in our wet and cold weather. In the mid 19th century it was named Christmas steps after the nativity scene in the stained glass of the Chapel.
Apparently if you follow the gaze of the horseman, he looks through the gateway entrance of the Old Bristol wall. He represents one of the many travellers who came to the city in the 13th century, for treatment at the city’s first free hospital. This sculpture was built in 1984 and can be found on Lewis Mead.
Home of the unsolved murder of Robert Parrington Jackson. On the 29th May 1946 the cinema was packed with at least 2000 people. The film showing was The Light that Failed. In the film there is a loud shooting scene and this was when the culprit sneaked into the managers office, and shot Robert dead. The motive and killer remains unknown to this day now over 70 years later. Of course there are ghostly sightings but you’ll have to check out the tour to get all the info!
You might notice there are three hands to this clock and no this isn’t a second hand. This third hand is for “Bristol time”. This is because Bristol is 11 minutes behind of London. Of course we don’t go by this today but what a fantastic excuse. Sorry I’m late, I’m on Bristol time!
If you look in the background of this photo you’ll see a green canopy (by the car pulling out). This is home to the infamous scene in Only Fools and Horses, where Del falls through the bar. It’s such an iconic moment that people of all ages will recognise and laugh at and it was filmed in my own hometown!
I cannot recommend this tour enough to anyone visiting Bristol. John was a fantastic guide and so knowledgeable of the city’s history. They run every Friday night and have been doing so for the last 16 years. For anyone interested in going, you can visit the website here. It’s £7pp and £5 for students and NHS staff.