Bristol Crown Court

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The Guildhall, the former Crown Court building

The Bristol Crown Court is a Crown Court venue in Bristol, England. It is located at the Law Courts in Small Street.

The present Crown Court, which opened in December 1993, is on the site of Bristol's former main Post Office.[1] It was built between 1989 and 1993, retaining the overall style of the Post Office building. Currently it has ten courtrooms. It also has custodial facilities, and separate dining facilities for staff, judges, and advocates, as well as a public coffee shop.

Across the road is the former Crown Court building, which is known as the Bristol Guildhall, and was built in the 1840s by Richard Shackleton Pope. The assize courts were attached to the rear of the Guildhall between 1867-70, by Richard Shackleton Pope and J Bindon. It is a Grade II* listed building.[2] It is now an art gallery.[3]

An example of a case heard at this court was the animal rights activist Barry Horne, who was convicted of six charges of arson and attempted arson at Bristol Crown Court in December 1997.


Records of the Bristol Courts of Assizes and the Quarter Sessions, which preceded the Crown Court, are held at Bristol Archives (Ref. JQS) (online catalogue). Bristol Crown Court records from 1972 onwards are held at the National Archives UK.[4]


  1. ^ "Bristol Crown Court, Small Street". Bristol's Old City. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  2. ^ "Guildhall (Formerly Listed as The Assize Court)". Images of England. English Heritage. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  3. ^ "Court rooms are sentenced to life – of art". Bath Chronicle. 19 July 2013. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  4. ^ "National Archives Discovery Catalogue, Bristol Crown Court page". Retrieved 9 June 2016.

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Coordinates: 51°27′17″N 2°35′42″W / 51.4548°N 2.5949°W / 51.4548; -2.5949