Boundaries of the Council Ward, shown within Bristol.
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Bishopston is both a council ward of the city of Bristol, England, and a suburb of the city that falls within that ward. Bishopston is around Gloucester Road (A38), the main northern arterial road in the city. The ward includes St Bonaventures and Ashley Down parishes, as well as part of Horfield. It is linked with KV Kuppam in Tamil Nadu, India.
Bishopston is in the Bristol West parliamentary constituency and elects two City Councillors. Its MP is Labour's Thangam Debbonaire and its councillors are Liberal Democrat Dr David Willingham and former Green Party mayoral candidate Daniella Radice
Areas within the council ward
Named after the bishop of the local diocese who controversially sold off the church's land to private developers in the early 19th century. The sale was even raised as an issue in the House of Commons. The parish of Bishopston was then created in July 1862 with a population of 1300 and expanding to 9140 in the Census 1901. In the Census 2001 Bishopston registered a resident population of 11,996. The district is part of the Bristol built-up area, having been swallowed by the growing city, running directly into the surrounding districts of Redland, Ashley Down, Horfield and Henleaze.
The area has a relatively large student population, with 21% of the over 16 population in education compared to 8.4% in Bristol and 5.1% in England and Wales.
The area is known for but now diminishing huge Italian, Irish and South American community who settled there after World War II. Many of the Social clubs, bars and late night drinking dens that could be found on the back streets that served these immigrant communities have now made way for what many believe is unwelcome gentrification of the area with many people being priced out of where they grew up. The area is considered a lot more safer now than what it was in the mid 80s to 90s when the district suffered from gang affiliated crime and had gained a reputation as a place to obtain heroin and more predominantly crack cocaine.
Some of the location filming for the cult BBC sitcom The Young Ones was done in Codrington Road and elsewhere. The external shots for the famous "bank-robbing" scene in the last episode were filmed outside the now closed Bristol North Swimming Baths on Gloucester Road.
Bishopston was the home of two Nobel Prize–winning physicists. In 1933 Paul Dirac, who attended the Bishop Road Primary School just a few hundred metres from where he lived on Monk Road, won the prize after his contributions to quantum mechanics. In 1950 Cecil Frank Powell won the prestigious award for contributions to Physics (specifically, for his development of the photographic method of studying nuclear processes and his discoveries regarding mesons made with this method.) Bishopston was home to television presenter Adam Hart-Davis and psychologist Susan Blackmore
Juventus and Italian footballer Alessandro Del Piero also lived in the district for a period as a child when his farther worked as a restaurateur in the thriving Italian community that lives there.
Although the famous film star Cary Grant (real name Archibald Alexander Leach), spent his childhood in neighbouring Horfield, he attended Bishop Road School.
Bishopston has two Primary schools St. Bonaventure's Catholic Primary School which served the huge Italian Irish and South American Catholic Community and Bishop Road Primary School COE which was a Secondary School up until the mid 1980s and served children of The Church Of England faith and drew in children from the Asian and Jamaican community in St Paul's and Montpellier.
The main artery, Gloucester Road is well known for its pubs and restaurants, and is known as one of the last remaining local high streets in the country and is well used by local residents. In addition to the independently run shops such as Scoopaway, La Ruca, Gardener's Patch and Harvest, recent years has seen several supermarket chains opening stores in the area. This, and the range of fairly traded and local goods available, has made it popular with ecologically-minded shoppers.
The David Thomas Memorial church, in neighbouring St Andrews, was erected 1879 – 1881 but demolished in 1987 destroying most of a Gothic fantasy by Stuart Coleman. The building still retains a thin octagonal spire and west front but the massive halls, apse and rib vaults have now gone in favour of flats by Stride Treglown.
The area of Ashley Down is divided between the Bishopston and Ashley wards of the city of Bristol. The Brunel campus of City of Bristol College lies within the Bishopston ward as does the Brunel Field site of Ashley Down Junior School, which opened in 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bishopston (Bristol ward).|
- Census data
- Photographs of Bishopston at the Geograph project
- Bristol Buddhist Centre meeting in Gloucester Road, Bishopston
- Bishopston Trading A fair trade workers cooperative.