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

This pub is another link to the thriving Bristol sugar industry, although the refinery itself burnt down in 1859.

This Concert Hall, owned by the City Council, was erected in 1867 and named in honour of local merchant Edward Colston.

This Church was the home church of Josiah Tucker when he was a Curate and Rector. He later became Dean of Gloucester.

This public house carries a carving of the sculptor's view of what a Native American would look like.

This street was popular with people from the slave trade.

Bristol Cathedral was founded as St Augustine's Abbey in 1140 by Robert Fitzharding, a wealthy local landowner and royal official.

Hannah More (1745-1833), a Bristol Quaker, established a school for young ladies on this site.

More links to trades are found on Park Street and Great George Street, both expensive addresses today and in the past.

'The Georgian House' was once the home of the Pinney family.

The Wills Memorial Building was commissioned in 1912 by George Alfred Wills and Henry Herbert Wills, in honour of their father, Henry Overton Wills