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A V O N Bristol, a harbour town on the River Avon, has a history that dates back to Anglo-Saxon times. By the 1500s it was a major port for the export of wool. In the 1600s sailors set out from Bristol in search of new markets and fishing grounds, funded by Bristol's merchants. The most famous of these explorers was John Cabot who made it to North America near Newfoundland.

In the 1700s the port of Bristol with a center for the slave trade. After its abolition in the 1800s Bristol turned to ship building launching the "S. S. Great Britain" from its docks in 1843, the first screw-propeller passenger ship designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The ship is on display in Bristol. More recently in Bristol, in 1976, the Anglo-French supersonic Concorde was assembled.

Bristol is world famous for the Clifton Suspension Bridge over the Avon Gorge also designed by Brunel and completed in 1864. It has several churches including St. Mary Redcliffe, parts of which date back to the 13th century; Christ Church, Temple Church with its leaning tower and Bristol Cathedral on College Green founded in the 1140s which is architecturally diverse.

There is an old town to explore with medieval buildings including the Guildhall. The Theatre Royal on King Street dates to 1766 and houses the Bristol Old Vic. Several old houses are open to the public and the Llandoger Trow, an inn dating to 1664 is still serving customers. There is, as you would expect, a Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, and a university.

Related Links
City of Bristol Good basic information about the city.
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
University of Bristol
University of West England
Fishponds Local History Society Some truly surprising stuff.

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