Ashley (Bristol ward)

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Coordinates: 51°28′26″N 2°34′55″W / 51.4739°N 2.5819°W / 51.4739; -2.5819

Ashley, Bristol
Map of Bristol showing Ashley ward to the north of the centre of the city
Boundaries of the council ward, shown within Bristol
Population 11,168 [1]
OS grid reference ST598755
Unitary authority Bristol
Ceremonial county Bristol
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BRISTOL
Postcode district BS7
Dialling code 0117
Police Avon and Somerset
Fire Avon
Ambulance Great Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Bristol West
List of places

Ashley is one of thirty-five council wards in the city of Bristol in the United Kingdom. The ward contains the areas of Ashley Down, Baptist Mills, Montpelier, St Andrew's, St Paul's and St Werburgh's.[2]


Ashley is part of the Bristol West parliamentary constituency, which elects one Member of Parliament. The incumbent Member of Parliament is Stephen Williams MP, a Liberal Democrat.

On Bristol City Council, Ashley sends two councillors. Currently, these are Cllr Gus Hoyt (Green Party), and Cllr Rob Telford (Green). Hoyt was elected in 2011 and Telford was elected in 2013.

Ashley Down[edit]

Ashley Down is a small area of Bristol sandwiched between Bishopston, Horfield and St Werburghs. The main artery is the Ashley Down Road. Places in Ashley include Ashley Down, Montpelier and St Paul's.

Its centre piece is the City of Bristol College, Brunel Campus. This has in its past been used as the film set for the BBC television series Casualty, and started out in life as an orphanage.

The college buildings on Ashley Down Road.

In 1845 George Müller entered into a contract for the purchase of 7 acres (28,000 m²) of ground at £120 per acre (£0.03/m²) for the accommodation, feeding, clothing and education of 300 destitute and orphan children. On 18 June 1849 the orphans transferred to the new building, designed by local architect Thomas Foster. By the time he died in 1898, Müller had received £1,500,000 through prayer and had over 10,000 children in his care.

Orphan Houses 1, 2, 4 and 5 are owned by Bristol City College, while No 3 House (in which Müller lived for the last few years of his life and in which he died), on the other side of Ashley Down Road was converted into private flats in 2007.

In 1958 the children and organisation headquarters had moved from Ashley Down and the buildings became Bristol College of Science and Technology (more recently changed to City of Bristol College, Brunel Campus).

As an aside, Muller Road which runs near the site of the orphanage and is named after its founder, is the longest road in Bristol without a pub on it.

Ashley Down Old Boys' RFC is a rugby club playing in Gloucestershire League I. They are members of the Bristol Combination. It is also the location of the Gloucestershire County Cricket Club ground.

Baptist Mills[edit]

Baptist Mills is a small and not very well known area of Bristol, which is located between St Werburghs and Easton. It was home to a brass works between 1700 and 1840,[3] and a pottery between 1840 and 1891.[4] The area is now often regarded as part of St Werburghs. In the 19th Century part of Baptist Mills was also known as Botany Bay and regarded as a fairly lawless area.


'The Arches' railway bridge is a local landmark on the borders of Montpelier, St Andrews and Cotham.

Montpelier is an area of North Bristol. It is bounded by the Cheltenham Road to the west, St Paul's to the south, St Werburghs to the east and St Andrew's to the north. It has its own railway station, and a reputation for being bohemian and 'alternative'. Picton Street is a haven for lovers of organic and vegetarian cuisine.

A view along Picton Street, Montpelier

Picton Street was built and named in honour of Sir Thomas Picton who, as Captain Picton, in 1783 endeared himself to Bristolians by bravely facing the rebellious 75th Battalion on College Green and averting a military mutiny. There is also a fine double-bayed villa in the street named after him, Picton Lodge.

There is a strong feeling of community spirit in Montpelier. Street parties and fundraising events have recently been held there to light up the iconic railway bridge known locally as 'The Arches'.

St Andrew's[edit]

St Andrew's is a suburb of Bristol situated about 3 km (1.8 miles) north of the city centre. The area was developed in the late 19th century as St Andrew's Park Estate, and consists mostly of large Victorian villas, with some inter-war housing and some rebuilding following enemy action in World War II.

The area is roughly bounded by the Severn Beach Railway Line stations of Montpelier and Redland, Gloucester Rd, Somerville Rd and Cromwell Rd; however as is often the case the boundary is debatable: According to the Ordnance Survey map this area is Montpelier, whereas according to the National Gazetteer of 1868 Montpelier is a hamlet within the Parish of St Andrew's. St Andrew's church, which gave the area its name, was in St Andrew's Road, Montpelier. It was demolished in 1969.

In the middle part of the 20th century the area became unfashionable and many of the houses were converted to multiple occupation. However during the 1990s living in the City Centre became fashionable once again and consequently these houses are now being converted back into family homes, their owners once again taking pride in them and restoring their period features.

St Andrew's is well served by public transport, with frequent buses to all parts of the city from Gloucester road, buses to UWE's Frenchay Campus and a local train service from Montpelier to Bristol Temple Meads, Clifton and Avonmouth on the Severn Beach Line.

St Andrew's Park[edit]

St Andrew's Park is at the heart of the area. The park was laid out in 1895,[5] and is home to events such as 'Music in the Park' during the summer, and 'Carols in the Park' at Christmas. The park features a well-sized children's play area, permanent paddling pool (serviced and used only in the summer months) and public toilets (limited opening hours). Despite being located on a hilly incline, the park is well used for football and frisbee throughout the year. On 30 April 1941 a Wellington bomber on a night training flight crashed in the park after hitting balloon barrage cables. There is now a memorial to the crash in the park. A website has been created about the crash.

St Paul's[edit]

Main article: St Paul's, Bristol

St Paul's is an inner suburb of Bristol, England, situated just north east of the city centre and west of the M32. In the early 18th century it was laid out as one of Bristol's first suburbs.

St Werburgh's[edit]

St Werburgh's Church
Main article: St Werburghs

St. Werburgh's is an area in central north-east Bristol, England. Surrounded by the M32 motorway, railway embankments and allotment slopes it has the feel of a green village in the inner city. The area became known as St.Werburgh's when St Werburgh's Church was relocated (and substantially rebuilt) to Mina Road in this district from Corn Street, Bristol in 1879. It is now a Climbing Centre by Undercover Rock. Before then the northern part was Ashley Vale and the southern part Baptist Mills.

Alfie the cat is a local celebrity and is revered among local residents.


  1. ^ "Ashley". 2001 Census Ward Information Sheet. Retrieved 21 February 2007. 
  2. ^ Bristol City Council. "Ashley ward map" (PDF). Retrieved 31 October 2007. 
  3. ^ "The Brass Industry" (HTML). Living Easton. Retrieved 31 October 2007. 
  4. ^ "Baptist Mills Pottery" (HTML). Living Easton. Retrieved 31 October 2007. 
  5. ^ Bristol City Council: Parks and open spaces: St Andrews Park

External links[edit]