Report - - Hidden Rivers of Bristol - 2011 | UK Draining Forum | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Hidden Rivers of Bristol - 2011


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The City of Bristol’s success as a place of trade has has always been linked with its close proximity to the sea. It was once a thriving port, relying on its waterways for transport of goods and people. It is a city built around and sometimes over its waterways.


The old Port of Bristol Authority building was once located on the banks of the Avon, but has since been relocated to the Severn Estuary at the mouth of the River Avon. Much of the dockside in Bristol has since been regenerated, and is now a centre for heritage and culture, beit the Banksy Street art or the Industrial museum, anything to the draw the tourists and investors in.



And it works. Floating restaurants and expensive yachts line the banks of the riverside mills. Some derelict and some converted into residential and commercial properties.



Our journey took us from the Bristol Marina, under the Redcliff and Bristol bridges. A small tributary entices us from the course of the Avon, to rivers below the unsuspecting city above.



Castle moat lines part of the old Bristol Castle, demolished in 1656. This waterway survived a lot longer, eventually being covered over in 1847.


Now a beautiful stone culvert flowing under Castle Park it is dammed at its Junction with the River Frome, to stop the river overflowing.


Following the Frome upstream, we find ourselves in an arched, brick-built chamber. The supports of old bridges can be seen in the brickwork, as traffic thunders above us, pounding the lids of manhole covers as they go. Various side pipes meander from the main flow, and warrant further exploration in the future.



This section of the Frome used to be prone to flooding, before the construction of the Northern Stormwater Intercepter. The culvert is a knee high wade down to the St Judes area, where the river opens out again.



Shouts to VW, UJ and Spungletrumpet!
This was just a brief foray into Bristol's watery underbelly, but there will be more to uncover, so expect some more in the not too distant future :thumb


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