Bristol Frome River/St Augustines Reach

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Bristol River Frome is sometimes called that to distinguish it from other rivers called The Frome – There is another entering The Avon to the East of Bath. The name Frome is believed to come from a Celtic river name fram, meaning, brisk or fair.

The Bristol Frome

Between 1240 and 1247 the original course of the Frome (roughly from The Glassboat at Bristol Bridge along Baldwin and St Stevens Streets) to its current course to provide more dock space. The dug out section was called The New Channel.

Former Mouth of Frome at Bristol Bridge

According to The Bristol Packet boat company the left hand section of Bristol Bridge (seen from South) is the former mouth of the Frome. It is undoubtedly close to the right spot but it is strange that since 1247 when the river was diverted it has survived several major rebuilds of the bridge?

Peter Aughton in Bristol – A Peoples History  (2000) has the original course of the Frome entering The River Avon to the South of this point at about the site of The Glassboat mooring.

Bridewell Bridge
Bridwell Bridge at bottom of Bridwell Street had in 1250 been Monks Bridge.
Bridge over the Frome Union Street
Bridge over the Frome at Union Street in 1800s (Sara Williams)
House on Frome
Houses built of the Frome Wall
 Bristol Past and Present by J. F. Nicholls and John Taylor (Arrowsmith, 1881)
The Castle Moat
The Castle Moat – Which Bridge?

 

From about 1860 to about 1890 The Frome was culverted from Wade Street St Judes to Stone Bridge Rupert Street.

 

The Drawbridge and St Stephens Church 1968 Bristol Museum
The Drawbridge in 1868
1870
1870 behind the mast St Werburghs Church removed to Mina Road in 1876 – Reece Winstone
Screenshot-2018-2-26 Clare Street and the Drawbridge by Edward Bird
Bristol Museum
The Drawbridge 1860s Paul T
The Drawbridge 1860s

 

The Stone Bridge 1866 - Reece Winstone
The Stone Bridge 1866 – Reece Winstone

In the middle right you can see the figurehead of the sunk ‘Demerara’.

From Narrow Quay 1880s R W
From Narrow Quay 1880s – Reece Winston
Stone Bridge 1885
The Stone Bridge in 1885
St Augustines
St Augustines Reach
Dublin Shed 1870 Paul T
Dublin Shed Broad Quay 1870

The Dublin Shed was built in 1861 and demolished in 1937 when the Frome was culverted at Broad Quay.

The churches above from left to right are St Stephens, St Werburghs (moved to Mina Road in 1878), Christ Church, All Saints and St Nicholas.

St Augustines Reach from Stone Bridge 1890
St Augustines Reach
Hale, William Matthew, 1837-1929; Bristol Docks, with Fishing Boats and Other Shipping at Anchor beside the Quayside
Bristol Docks, with Fishing boats and other Shipping at Anchor Beside the Quayside
William Matthew Hale – Royal West of England Academy 
Bristol_Harbour_(St_Stephen's_Church,_St_Augustine_the_Less_Church,_Bristol_Cathedral),_BRO_Picbox-7-PBA-22,_1250x1250
St Augustines Reach
The Drawbridge 1880s
The Drawbridge 1880s – Reece Winston
St Augustines Bridge Baldwin St built 1881
Baldwin Street was completed in 1881 – Reece Winston
Drawbridge about 1890 Paul T
Drawbridge about 1890
Broad Quay covering The Frome 1892 R W 2
Covering the Frome at Broad Quay 1893  – Reece Winston
Broad Quay covering The Frome 1892 R W
Covering the Frome at Broad Quay 1893  – Reece Winston
Filling in St Augustines Reach 1893 Paul T
Filling in St Augustines Reach 1893

In 1893 The Frome was culverted from The Stone Bridge down to the junction of Clare Street and Baldwin Street. The Drawbridge was replaced with St Augustines Bridge.

Bristol Centre 1893
St Augustines Bridge in 1893 – Louise Gibson
St Augustines Bridge and Exhibition 1893
The Bristol 1893 Industrial and Fine Arts Exhibition on the recently culverted section of the River Frome at St Augustine’s Parade

St Augustines Bridge and Exhibition Summer 1893

The Industrial and Fine Arts Exhibition  was held in a specially built wooden hall at the bottom of Colston Avenue near St. Augustine’s Parade. The hall was 110 feet wide and 520 feet long and cost £11,000. It was lit by 20 electric and 400 gas lamps. The hall featured the first electric clock in Bristol. The exhibition itself was part promoted by J. W. Arrowsmith who owned Arrowsmith’s the printers. It was opened by the Mayor, Mr. (later Sir) R. H. Symes. The exhibition made a profit of £2,200 which was donated to local charities. Around half a million people visited the exhibition during the five months it was open. The only trace of the exhibition now is a fountain by the Colston statue.

Bristol_St_Augustine's_Parade_1890s
Bristol Tramway Centre built 1896 photo 1904
By 1904 this area had become the Bristol Tramway Centre
Broad Quay and Tramways Centre c 1915 R W
Bristol Tramways Centre c 1915 – Reece Winston
Broad Quay from St Augustines Churchyard 1924 R W
Broad Quay from St Augustine’s Churchyard 1924 – Reece Winston
St Augustines Bridge 1930s
St Augustines Bridge and Broad Quay 1930s
Broad Quay 1956
Broad Quay
Broad Quay 1937 Paul T
Broad Quay 1937

In 1938 The Frome was culverted down to the bottom of Broad Quay as it is in 2018.

The River Frome flows into the Floating Harbour. A Detail from a pullout in The Port of Bristol Handbook, Bristol Docks Offices, Queen Square 1886, p68. Bristol Central Reference Library
The River Frome flows into the Floating Harbour. A Detail from a pullout in The Port of Bristol Handbook, Bristol Docks Offices, Queen Square 1886, p68. Bristol Central Reference Library.
Narrow Quay screw propelled SS Arragon 1871
Narrow Quay screw propelled SS Arragon 1871 – Reece Winstone
From Narrow Quay 1880s R W
From Narrow Quay 1870s – Reece Winston
St Augustines Reach 1926
St Augustines Reach c1920s

Bordeaux Quay Sign

Bourdeaux and Narrow Quays 2018
Bordeaux and Narrow Quays 2018
St Augustines Reach and Peros Bridge
St Augustines Reach and Peros Bridge in 2016
The Georgian House
The Georgian House, Great George St, was built in 1790 for John Pinney, slave plantation owner and sugar merchant. It was also where the enslaved man of African descent, Pero Jones lived.
Mouth of Frome 2018
Mouth of River Frome on left next to the Cascade in the City Centre 2018
John Cabot Narrow Quay
John Cabot Statue Narrow Quay

 

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