My local area

So, I live in Bristol. I imagine most of you are aware of that, being that most of you are my friends and family… And you’ll also know that I currently reside in the affluent Clifton area. Now, I’m certainly not affluent, but for those who don’t know Clifton, I am surrounded by mansions. Let’s not get too excited, most of them house young professionals in flat shares (I’m still young, right??), some are home to the 8000 students who are lucky enough to live in this area (in flat shares, too), but some of them, not many, are still family homes – actual mansions. You could buy one if you fancied; if you happened to have a spare £1 million lying around. And if you do have that kind of cash lying around, can we be better friends, please??

I did learn recently though, that Clifton actually pre-dates Bristol. The remains of an Iron Age camp can be found up by the Observatory dating back to about 350BC. Do you have any idea how long ago that was?! Well, of course you do, you can probably do the math better than me… But just think about how much history exists here! How many people have walked these roads, well, not these concrete ones, perhaps more dirt tracks…?

Did you know that Clifton once existed as a Hamlet in Gloucestershire? In the Civil War, which ended in 1660, all the houses in Clifton were destroyed, only the parish church in St Andrews survived; a church that was first mentioned in 1254… blows my mind.

The observatory? Used to be an uninhabited windmill. It was burnt out and dilapidated until 1828 when it was turned into the observatory and camera obscura we know today, with thanks to a local artist William West. He also build the tunnel that leads down to the viewing platform (or cave) and tried to claim that it was the home of a mediaeval hermit. Do you know that the camera obscura is the only one left in England? Yep, that’s true, and I’ve never been. No prizes for guessing what I’m doing this weekend…

I simply typed ‘history Clifton, Bristol’ into Google and I found cliftononline.net (the source of all my information) and there is so much information there. If any of these facts interested you at all, then you should go and take a look. There is so much to learn about my local area and it really does surprise how just how much history Clifton has. Considering that I come from a town that was originally planned for in 1940 as one of Scotland’s first post-second World War new towns, I’m not used to walking road tread by quite so many people before me. I’ve always loved history and this fascinates me. So, I’ll go now, I have more reading to do…

Anyone else come from a historic place?

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