Boundaries of the city council ward.
Whitchurch shown within Bristol
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
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Whitchurch is a village in north Somerset, England and an adjoining suburb of south eastern Bristol, bounded by Hartcliffe to the west and Hengrove and Knowle to the north. The suburb was initially developed during the 1930s.
The suburb of Bristol
The suburb is the only part of Bristol not to use the 0117 dialling code, Whitchurch numbers using the 01275 of north Somerset instead.
Facilities close by include the Hengrove Leisure Park which includes a Cineworld Cinema, various restaurants/food retailers (Frankie & Benny's, McDonalds,KFC, a Gala Bingo hall and a popular activities park including skateboard and climbing frame type facilities. Adjacent to the leisure park is Hawkfield Business Park, which is a significant source of commerce and employment for the suburb, notably housing the headquarters of Pukka Herbs.
The suburb is home to the Whitchurch Sports Centre, and used to be an occasional venue for pro-boxing bouts. It has a dilapidated Whitchurch athletics stadium. The sports centre is also earmarked for demolition, once the new sports centre and olympic sized swimming pool are finished as part of the expanded Hengrove Leisure Park redevelopment. In October 2006, Whitchurch Sports Centre was taken over by Action Sport UK, a South African company. Some of Whitchurch Sports Centre's activities are now based at Withywood Sports Centre and Ashton Park School Sports Centre.
On 2 August 2005 the beginnings of a tornado (a funnel) floated in the skies above South Bristol. As it did not touch it cannot be classed as a tornado but nevertheless it provided an unusual yet impressive sight for the residents of Whitchurch and surrounding parts of Bristol, such as Stockwood.
The ecclesiastical parish includes both the civil parish in Somerset and the suburb in Bristol. The parish church is in the village in Somerset, and is dedicated to St Nicholas. St. Augustine's Church on Whitchurch Lane was opened in 1972 but closed in 2007.
Whitchurch boasts the following pubs:
- Shield and Dagger — East Dundry Road
- The Yeoman — Wells Road
- Maes Knoll — Bristol Road (a Toby Carvery)
- John Harvey Arms (Formerly the Baccy Jar)
- The Cartwheel — Oatlands Avenue
Whitchurch Airport was located on the land which is now home to the Hengrove Leisure Park. The airport was used before World War II by internal UK scheduled flights. During the war it was the base for various types of military aircraft (which flew from there on various missions) and civilian aircraft (which were moved there to avoid their destruction at more vulnerable airports such as Croydon). Whitchurch Airport and Liverpool Airport were the only civil airports in England to remain in use during World War II. Imperial Airways (later BOAC) flew to Lisbon in neutral Portugal: at one time in 1941 there were 1200 people waiting for a flight to Lisbon. There were also a large number of espionage flights to France and elsewhere in occupied Europe. When the war finished, Bristol needed a larger airport. Farm land in Lulsgate was purchased and Lulsgate Airport (later to be Bristol Airport) was opened. For a short time from 1959, the old airport was used as a motor racing circuit Whitchurch Circuit for Formula Two and Formula Three races.
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