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History

St Werburghs history pages aim to tell some of the stories of the history of the corner of Bristol that is St Werburghs. It may not be complete but we will try to be accurate and interesting.

We invite you to submit your own pictures and items of local history interest for the website. Any items used will be credited.

St Werburghs was once a rural valley with a few mills and large houses beyond the disreputable district of Baptist Mills. It became more familiar when the church was moved to Mina Road and the red brick terraces were established in the late 19th/early 20th century. Unlike many parts of the city, St Werburghs is still substantially recognisable as that inner city suburb with St Werburghs church and Brooks chimney on the skyline.

St Werburghs history has long been dominated by water — from the mills powered by it, to the drinking supply for Bristol, and the floods suffered, most deadly in the 1880s.

There is a strong working class history, a tradition of small holding and tillage, a black peoples' history — there are many different histories.

A photographic exhibition on St Werburghs some years ago was called ‘St Where?’. This area is still off the beaten track, somewhere old flood signs and gas lamps have survived, that has a sense of place all of its own.

So forget the grand Georgian terraces of Bath and Clifton, the over photographed Suspension Bridge and Docks. Here is St Werburghs, where the only listed buildings are a climbing centre and a public urinal.

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