Friday, March 21, 2008

Bristol Day 1

Like my recent trip to Newcastle, Bristol is another city I've often passed through on the train but that I've never taken the time to explore properly and with my newfound interest in locating Banksy work it made sense to now do so. Bristol is apparently where Banksy is from and there's a number of pieces by him in and around the city.

Bristol Temple Mead Station was designed by Isambard Brunel and is quite a stunning station. Being one of the first stations to open it was important to set a vibe that riding a train would be safe hence the station looking more like a castle; it gave a sense of security and robustness. The new station is on the right and the original station on the left.

The front of the old station, which is now a museum.

St Mary Redcliffe church, which is the tallest building in Bristol and also one of the country's largest parish churches.

I doubt this was intended to be a statue to Barbapapa but that's what it reminded me of.

Quayside Georigan houses.

This is the Thekla, a timber transport ship that is now permanently moored in Bristol docks and houses a nightclub.


The old quayside cranes now marking the site of the Industrial Museum, which wasn't open when I was there; not very industrious really.

No idea what this building is but it looks quite official. It's across the river from the Industrial Museum.

The first Banksy of the day! This one is on the side of the Thekla ship. Nice to see that whilst the ship has been repainted the Banksy piece has been left untouched.

That's my hotel!

Queen Square, across the road from the hotel, is the largest Georgian Square in Europe.

Quite hypnotic mural

Alongside the river, I think this was on the side of a health food stand.

One of those benches that appear in Tony Hawk's games for killer grinds, and that you don't think could possibly exist in real life.


The church in Castle Park. It's actually ruined following the blitz and has been left standing as a memorial to those who died.
Castle Park gets its name because the site used to have a castle on it, albeit some time ago. It was destroyed at the request of Oliver Cromwell.

Nice butterfly piece in Silver Street

The second Banksy piece of the day and not easy to find. It used to have 2 coppers chasing the stick man but they've gone and only this bit remains. This is also on Silver Street just down from the butterfly.

The children's hospital can be found on Upper Maudlin St. along with a whole bunch of other hospitals.

Across the street is yet another Banksy piece which I quite like! #3 The Sniper!








All of these pieces were found in a small alleyway just down from the sniper piece.

The Broadmead centre is one of the city's shopping centres. There's a massive new complex being built at the top of this too!

Heading out of the town centre in a northerly direction takes you to a part of the city that houses quite a lot of graffiti.

Moon St. is the first important road.

This is the most obvious piece.

Beside it is Banksy piece #4 "kids with guns", which you wouldn't notice from afar as its so old. The Banksy tag looks quite geeky!




From the top of Moon St, turn left into Stokes Croft Rd and head up it to the main junction with Jamaica Road. If you then look behind you you see this, piece #5 "Mild Mild West". This is the piece that put Banksy on the map in Bristol.

The StokeCroft Centre used to be an exhibition gallery but now it's derelict but covered in graffiti. It would be great, but dangerous to have a look around inside it. Rather ironically the final show they had on was on tagging!

Nicely detailed, but damaged stencil in the Stokecroft centre entrance.

The Stokecroft centre from across the road.

A nice piece, I particularly like the skeleton legs added to the junction box!

Continue up the road until you get to Ashley Rd, which has more large pieces.
From there I turned left into Picton St and then down the alley to the left of the cafe.


Follow this down to another road that takes you onto Bath Buildings and turn a right. You should see a medical centre across the road to the right.

On the wall in it's car park is piece #6 which isn't stenciled but a proper mural piece. I'm not sure if I like it. If you then carry on up St Andrews Road you'll see Montpelier Station which is worth a look.

A nice piece in the park just before the station turning.






From the station I then wandered around the streets aimlessly as there is quite a lot of graffiti in this area of Bristol and it's worth just having an explore.







A nice piece off the Picton Road





This is Herbert's Bakery on Wellington Avenue. A nice big mural here.














Leaving the Montpelier area I continued eastwards along Ashley Road and Lower Ashley Road and into the ringroad area, which has some really nice pieces around the entrances into and out of the subway.





My favourite piece of the day was this one, found on a junction box in the South East corner of the ringroad.


Leaving the ringroad, continue East along Lower Ashley Road, Warwick Road and then onto Stapleton Road into the Easton area of Bristol. I could have caught a train from Montpelier to Stapleton Road station if I was only interested in the Banksy pieces but I chose to walk it on the off-chance I'd see more graffiti along the way.



The Banksy tag on the bridge over the M32 has been attacked by someone called Wrong. A challenge has been thrown down as beside the letter G is the statement "Banksy aint got shit on me".

Within the Easton area there's a main road of shops called St Marks Road and off that is Mivart Street, which used to have a Banksy mural on it, which was removed by the property owners by mistake. However off this is a small road called Cato Road, where another mural can be found.


Just a shame Banksy #7 had been attacked some time ago! There are quite a lot of graffiti along this area though, so still worth an explore.







Mondrian inspired?










On St Marks Road.

Nicely done!

Not so nice :D

Heading along Robertson Road there's this amazing looking cafe covered in grafitti.






and in the middle of it is this piece, Banksy #8, another of his Murals.

Now from here I wanted to find the Gorilla piece which I'd heard was somewhere on Fishponds Road, which leads out of Easton to the North East, but I didn't know exactly where. Its quite a long road and my route onto it via Greenback View and Edward Street put me part way along it. Now I could either double back along the short route or walk a few miles along it where I would be more likely to find it. I chose that latter, which ended up being the wrong way. Had I doubled back it would have been a few minutes away. Instead I lost about an hour walking up a road I didn't need to.

But I found it, Banksy piece #9

Having got all the pieces out this way that I could find (some I couldn't locate) I headed back West into the town centre, trying a different route back.

Castle Park again.


A cute piece on the side of the Llandoger Trow pub.

Nice brickwork.


Pero's Bridge behind my hotel

College Green west of the hotel on which you can find the main council office and Bristol Cathedral.

and a recent edition, Banksy piece #10 which some people are calling "Well Hung Lover". The council put a vote to the residents of Bristol whether to keep this or remove it. They chose...well and the piece remains.

From the town centre I then chose to head North and West around the Cabot tower towards the Clifton area of Bristol. There was supposed to be a Banksy piece of Osama Bin Laden saying "Vote Labour" but I couldn't find it!

I did however find a badger!


A rather posh looking school building on the hill that Cabot Tower stands atop. The tower was closed which is why I didn't go to it!

Heading back into the centre of town now. This is the University Tower. There are a lot of university buildings in this area, basically at the top of the hill of which this is probably the cleanest having recently been whitewashed.

This was found on the triangle, which is another of the shopping areas.

Found on the same doorway.

Living in London where everything is flat we don't appreciate cities on hills. Bristol has a fair few of them and they offer some amazing views.

Is that Zamo McGuire playing the fiddle?



The Christmas Steps, which have quite a bit of history having been built hundreds of years ago to join two of the main roads.


Back in the city centre. Underneath the road here runs the river Frome, which used to serve as the main quayside in Bristol. This piece of art is supposed to symbolise the sails of ships moored here.

With the main city docks having been moved a few miles away due to it becoming difficult to move the ships up the Avon river, the quayside is now much quieter.

To the west of the quay and south of the college green is the Millennium Square complex which houses a massive hands-on science museum, loads of eating places and a former IMAX cinema, which is now closed down. Whist I was there Radio 3 had set up a couple of fishbowl studios from which they were broadcasting. As you can see there wasn't much of an audience when I passed through it!


This is the Planetarium in Millennium square.

It was now getting late and my legs were getting tired, and after 17 miles of walking it wasn't a surprise. The good news was that I'd gotten to all the Banksy pieces I'd wanted to in the first day, which meant that the next two days would be a little more relaxed!
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