Stokes Croft shown within Bristol
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Police||Avon and Somerset|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
Stokes Croft is the name of a road and area in Bristol, England. The road forms part of the A38 that leads north from the city centre, before it takes the names Cheltenham Road and then Gloucester Road. It forms the boundary between the districts of Kingsdown and St Paul's and comes under the BS1 postcode.
The name Stokes Croft has also come to refer to an area around the road as an informal district encompassing Jamaica Street, the junction of Picton Street and Ashley Road, and the southern part of Cheltenham Road. The area is a centre of art, music and independent shops in Bristol, with clubs such as the Croft, Lakota and Blue Mountain; the nearby music college BIMM Bristol on King Square; numerous pieces of graffiti art and one of Bristol's oldest musical instrument stores in Mickleburgh Musical Instruments Ltd. The area’s character has given rise to a group of activists and artists calling themselves The People's Republic of Stokes Croft (PRSC), who are seeking to revitalise the area through community action and public art.
It takes its name from John Stokes, a medieval inhabitant of Bristol who was mayor of the city in the late 14th century.
The abandoned building still known as Perry’s Carriage Works was built in 1850 and has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II* listed building. Slightly later, in 1861, the City Road Baptist Church was built.
Today the area is known for its derelict housing, squats, anarchist activity, counterculture and alternative nightlife.
In 2006 a Heritage Lottery Fund grant was obtained by Bristol City Council to help overturn the decline in economic activity and environmental quality and a rise in social problems seen in the area since the 1970s.
At the junction of Stokes Croft and Jamaica Street is a large mural,"The Mild Mild West", painted some time in the 1990s by Banksy. It depicts a teddybear lobbing a Molotov cocktail at three riot police. In 2007 the mural was voted Alternative Landmark of Bristol.
The landscape is much changed over the past few years, with many more students moving in and a new wave of young media professionals frequenting the bars and coffee shops this road is starting to see a change of use and an increase in commercial activity and small enterprise.
Major building work has taken place recently and this part of Bristol is now a popular and exciting place to visit.
Since the 2012 mayoral elections the area has been subject to "gentrification" under Mayor George Furguson which has generated criticism by local residents as the Mayor pursuing personal interests.
2011 gave rise to the Bristol riots in Stokes Croft, spanning multiple days and sparked from recent events in Manchester and the Mark Duggan riots in London. Another catalyst was a police raid of Telepathic Heights, a renowned squat in the north of the district. During the riots, many took the opportunity to vent frustration at one particular tesco supermarket branch as an attack on local business.
The Stokes Croft Telepathic Heights Riot, April 2011
Despite a campaign against the opening of a new 'Tesco Express' store at 138-142 Cheltenham Road spearheaded by the group, 'No Tesco In Stokes Croft', the new store opened on 15 April 2011. In anticipation of demonstrations Tesco had put in place additional security measures. Various protests took place outside and inside the store during the seven days after its low-key opening. Although most protesters were peaceful, a minority threw paint and urinated on the shopfront.
On 21 April the police evicted squatters from a property opposite the store (known as 'Telepathic Heights'). This action led to a riot involving several people and lasting for much of the night, during which the shop-front of the Tesco Store was damaged and some looting took place. Further confrontations between police and protesters occurred in the early hours of 29 April.
- Mickleburgh Musical Instruments
- People's Republic of Stokes Croft
- "What's In A Name - Stokes Croft". Bristol Information. Retrieved 2007-05-10.
- "No.104 The Carriage Works". Images of England. Retrieved 2007-05-02.
- "City Road Baptist Chapel and attached steps and railings". Images of England. Retrieved 2007-03-16.
- "Heritage Lottery Fund announces funding for Stokes Croft regeneration". Bristol City Council. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-05-10.
- Banksy's mild mild west piece, Stokes Croft, Bristol
- BBC Bristol: Alternative Landmark of Bristol
- No Tesco in Stokes Croft
- "Tesco defends store from potential threat". Bristol Evening Post. Retrieved 2011-04-27.
- "Bristol's Cheltenham Road is lined with anger as protests continue". Bristol Evening Post. Retrieved 2011-04-27.
- Dutta, Kunal; Duff, Oliver (2011-04-23). "Police raid over 'petrol bomb plot' sparks Tesco riots". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2011-04-27.