Brandon Hill, Bristol
The upper part of the hill is a steep park, divided into informal gardens, a small nature reserve and open grassland. The two-hectare nature reserve has been run since 1980 by the Avon Wildlife Trust who have their headquarters beside the park. The wildflower meadow includes ox-eye daisies, yellow rattle and knapweed. A pond provides a breeding site for frogs, toads and smooth newts. The butterfly garden supplies food for caterpillars and many kinds of butterflies. Birds such as jay, bullfinch and blackcap are seen in the reserve. Native trees and shrubs have been planted, and the meadow is cut for hay in July.
The lower slopes of the hill were developed in the 18th and 19th centuries. St George's Church lies on Great George Street on the eastern slope, Berkeley Square is on the northern edge, and the school buildings of Queen Elizabeth's Hospital are on the western side.
Brandon Hill was granted to the council in 1174 by the Earl of Gloucester, and used for grazing until 1625 when it became a public open space, possibly the oldest municipal open space in the country. During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century it was a popular venue for public meetings by reform groups like the Chartists. In 1832, the hill was the location of the Great Reform Dinner, which was famously gatecrashed.
From 1840 onward Brandon Hill was improved with walls and walks. A crowd of 30,000 watched the launch of SS Great Britain from the hill on 7 July 1843. It remained a site of popular protest however, with 20,000 unemployed workers gathering at the top the hill in January 1880 to protest their situation.
In the popular television series, Skins, Brandon Hill features on a number of occasions; including, Cassie's suicide attempt and as the rendezvous point for Sid and Cassie at the climax of the first series.
In the Rabbit Premier League, a Fantasy Football league hailing from Downers Grove, Illinois, a team in the Cottontail International Division is based in Bristol, specifically Brandon: The Brandon Hill Perlfees.
Marcus H / soiled wrote the track Brandon Hill Tandle Hill which featured on his album Splices and Phases.
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- "Brandon Hill". Reserves. Avon Wildlife Trust. Archived from the original on 2005-11-09. Retrieved 2008-06-04.
- "History and architecture of Brandon Hill and Cabot Tower" (PDF). Bristol City Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "Some Thoughts And Observations On Bristol Radical History Group's Summer Party". Archives. Bristol Radical History Group. 23 September 2007. Retrieved 2010-04-15.
- Poole, Steve (Summer 2001). "Picture in Focus: W. J. Muller and T. L. S. Rowbotham, The Grand Reform Dinner on Brandon Hill (lithograph, 1832)". Regional Historian, Issue 7. Regional Historian. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2010-04-15.
- Richardson, Mike (2012). The Bristol Strike Wave of 1889-1890. Bristol Radical History Group. p. 6.
Media related to Brandon Hill, Bristol at Wikimedia Commons