Castle Park Tree Trail

Castle Park TrailTree Trails are proving popular in Bristol. Recent examples include The Downs and Brandon Hill. Trails allow people to explore and enjoy some of Bristol’s fine – and growing – heritage of trees in our parks.

The Castle Park Trail was the idea of Ann Freeman, a long term user and supporter of the park. Richard Bland has contributed his usual extensive knowledge of trees. In this case we have been fortunate to have the input of Dave Trigger, the Council’s site manager at Castle Park from its creation. This 42 year role has involved planting all of the trees. Castle Park demonstrates how quickly trees can mature to create a beautiful green urban space.

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Royal Fort area

Royal-Fort-area-1Anyone going up or down St Michael's Hill will be aware of the new Life Sciences building, but what is not so obvious is the creation of a new open public space and two new pedestrian routes into the Royal Fort area.

Behind the Life Sciences building, demolition of unlisted buildings has taken place to open up space for students and the public.

Step access has been created up the side of the new building from St Michael's Hill. New terraces and seating adjoin the footpath, which opens out to a large public area.

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St James Priory Church

st-james-churchSt James Priory Church next door to the city's main bus station is, famously, the oldest building in Bristol still in use. The Priory was founded in the 1120s by Robert, Earl of Gloucester, a capable soldier, administrator, bastard son of King Henry I and the Norman thug who ran this town. Pious Earl Robert (whose tomb is in the Church), supposedly decreed that every tenth stone shipped in from Normandy for Bristol Castle should be donated to the building of the church. The Benedictine Priory would also become the site of a famous annual fair which lasted until the 1830s. Following the Reformation and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, it became an Anglican parish church, and by the 19th century it was the heart of a densely-populated working class neighbourhood. The church escaped serious damage in the Blitz, but the postwar plans for the area favoured roads, shops and offices.

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Bristol bridges walk

Bridges-Walk-SectionIs it possible to cross Bristol’s 43 bridges without crossing the same bridge twice? This is an example of the 'Seven Bridges of Königsberg' problem in mathematics. A route that solves the problem for Bristol's bridges has been devised by Dr Thila Gross, Reader in the Department of Engineering Mathematics of Bristol University. He came to Bristol from his native Germany about three years ago because Bristol is one of the best places in the world for this particular subject. He wanted to find an interesting way of introducing his students to network theory - and he realised that Bristol and its bridges had a resemblance to Königsberg – except that it has three 'islands' - Spike Island, St Phillips and Redcliffe – and 43 bridges, not 2 and 7 respectively. Nevertheless, he knew that the ‘Königsberg bridge problem’ could be applied to Bristol - walk across all of its bridges without crossing the same one twice - and he knew that it did have a solution. So he set about solving it.

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Walled city walk

walled-city-walkA beautifully artist-designed map and walking guide of the Old City together with postcards featuring individual businesses was launched in April 2014. It puts Bristol’s Old City on to the map – bringing its fascinating history to life and putting it into context with today’s bustling independent business community. It was developed by a partnership project in which Bristol Civic Society played a key part.

The “Walled City” walking guide follows the town walls of Norman Bristol. With the walls no longer visible, their route is little understood or used, and the rich architectural heritage of the Old City often goes unnoticed. The guide explains the history of the area and its buildings and outlines those aspects of the social, religious and, above all, the mercantile life of the city that have greatly influenced the last 900 years of its development – and still set the context of today’s bustling independent business community.

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