VCH Explore

Explore England's Past

Bristol Slavery Trail

This is a town trail with a difference. It aims to show you what the handsome squares and quaint buildings of a pleasant English city have to do with one of the ugliest and most destructive events in human history... the Transatlantic slave trade. Bristol is over 1000 years old. It has been a city for over 700 years. Its involvement with the Transatlantic slave trade lasted just over 150 years from around the 1660's to the early 1800's. So the history of Bristol is not just about the enslavement of Africans. Nor was Bristol the only slaving port in Britain. But it was the trade in Africans, and even more importantly, the trade in the goods from slave plantations, which helped to make Bristol such a beautiful and prosperous port. The places you will visit on this trail are real places and you will learn about those who walked these same streets before you -- in the days of slavery.
Click on a marker to visit that item's page.

Collection Items

Queen Square has always been popular with rich merchants and traders.

Captain Woodes Rogers (1679-1732) is remembered in a plaque on 33-35 Queen Square, he was Captain of a voyage around the world from 1708 to 1711, w

In 1792 the first overseas Consulate for the United States of America was established in this house.

This building was designed especially as a Custom House, and the original opened in 1711.

Off to the side of Queen Square is Marsh Street, a rather less well to do address.

Merchants' Hall was the eighteenth-century headquarters of the Society of the Merchant Venturers of the City of Bristol.

In 1696 the Bristol Society of Merchant Venturers built their almshouses here for sick and elderly sailors, and the building still survives.

Built in the seventeenth century, this is one of the few remaining streets in Bristol with a number of buildings which owe their existence to the w

The Theatre Royal is situated on the quiet cobbled King Street .

In 1787 the publican of The Seven Stars helped Thomas Clarkson find out about the Transatlantic Slave Trade.