St George, Bristol
Boundaries of St George West and East wards, shown within Bristol.
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
|UK Parliament||Bristol East|
St George was originally outside the city boundary until about 1860. The area was once the end of the tram line from the city of Bristol, the terminus being in Beaconsfield Road.
St. George was once a mining area but now only pit names remain to remind everyone of this district's mining history, i.e., Deep Pit Road.
John Armitstead well known as a coal adventurer — a colliery proprietor had a pit between Church Road and Whitehall Road, St George where he installed a pumping engine for raising coal. Power was generated from water by means of a fire and ergo the device was called a Fire-engine. It stood on Colt’s or Boulter’s Ground but the land came to be known as the Engine Ground. To this day, a pub in the area is called the Fire Engine.
In the modern era St George is known for its many shops and pubs.
Located on the outskirts of Bristol, local tradition has it that the Parliamentary army, under the command of Sir Thomas Fairfax, camped on Troopers' Hill prior to the siege of Bristol in 1645. It has also been suggested that the ditch between the hill and the allotments was dug at this time as a defensive earthworks. It is known that the army approached Bristol via Keynsham and Hanham and it is possible therefore that Troopers' Hill, with its views of the city, was used while the Parliamentary army was headquartered at Hanham.
Troopers' Hill is a local landmark, and was a mining area from the early 19th century (coal) until its closure in 1904 when the last fireclay mines were abandoned. It was declared as a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) on 22 June 1995.
The St George Fountain is a Victorian drinking fountain which divides the main Church Road which forks at this point to Kingswood and Hanham. The road was also once the boundary between Bristol and Gloucestershire. Adjacent to this was the Parish Church of St. George, this has since been demolished and sheltered housing has been built on the site.
Not far from this spot is the St. George Police Station. It is no longer in use, but was converted to flats - so the building has been preserved.
Opposite this, there is a grassed area and on this site used to be the Park Picture House. Another local facility demolished and never replaced, this was a great favourite with children who used to attend the 9d rush on a Saturday morning and they always left desperate not to miss the following week as the final picture was always a serial, which had left the hero strapped to a train track or dangling over some life threatening piece of machinery.
St George Public Library is a prefabricated style building which replaced the previous stone built Victorian building, demolished when it was fashionable to pull down older buildings.
Recently, there has been much televised about the palace at Kew Gardens and it is interesting to note the similarities in design of this building and the old red brick St George Higher Grade School, later St George Grammar School and finally St George Comprehensive School. Now a Sikh temple and a gym.
Sport and leisure
St George was included in areas covered by the 2004 Redfield Action Plan by David Wilson Partnership and 2md, commissioned by Bristol East Side Traders and Community at Heart which outlined a number of measures to improve social and economic conditions.
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