Black Castle, Bristol

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Coordinates: 51°26′36″N 2°33′39″W / 51.443333°N 2.560833°W / 51.443333; -2.560833

Black Castle Public House
General information
Town or city Bristol
Country England
Completed 1745-55
Client William Reeve
Design and construction
Architect William Halfpenny or James Bridges

Black Castle Public House is a historic building and public house in Junction Rd in the Brislington suburb of the English city of Bristol. It is also known as Arno's Castle.

It was built in 1745—1755 as a folly, sham castle and office, but may have originally been a stable block and laundry for the lord of the manor.[1] The building was probably designed by either William Halfpenny or James Bridges, for William Reeve of Mount Pleasant (now the Arno’s Court Hotel), from which it is separated by a major road junction.[2] Reeve was a prominent local Quaker and businessman.

The Castle is built from pre-cast black copper-slag blocks from Reeve's foundry at Crew's Hole. They were cast from waste, solving the problem of disposing of the large amounts of waste produced by the industry, and made more profit for the brassworks.[3] Reeve went bankrupt in 1775 and his house and business were sold to a member of the Tonge family, who were important slave traders.

Much of the freestone carving and dressings are reputed to have come from the city's demolished medieval gateways, and St Werburghs Church, rebuilt by James Bridges in 1758—1761. It has been designated by Historic England as a grade I listed building.[4] Arno's Court Triumphal Arch used to stand in front of the building, but was moved in 1912 to approximately 100 metres away.

The Castle is now a public house and is immediately adjacent to the car park of a large Sainsbury's store.

Black Castle public house is located in Bristol
Black Castle public house
Black Castle public house
Black Castle public house, Bristol


  1. ^ "The Black Castle". Pub Explorer. Archived from the original on 27 January 2007. 
  2. ^ "The Black Castle of Arno’s Vale". Stories of Bristol. Archived from the original on 7 June 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2007. 
  3. ^ "Locally supplied goods:brass industry". Port Cities: Bristol. Retrieved 19 March 2007. 
  4. ^ "Black Castle Public House". Images of England. Retrieved 16 March 2007. 

See also[edit]