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The Best of Bristol Architecture

Categories: Home Inspiration

Bristol architecture is renowned across the country. It's a diverse mix - the creative experimentation and mix of styles has left some fascinating relics and insights into Bristol's past. Bristol architecture takes centre stage in our latest graphic - which looks at 10 amazing examples with a map to show you where.

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Bristol's Best Buildings

best Bristol architecture

For those using a Screen Reader or would like to find out more about Bristol Architecture then the information in our Infographic is as follows:

The people of Bristol pride themselves on living in a city full of surprises. Bristol architecture often throws up just that - here's our guide to the best of Bristol's buildings.

Best Bristol Architecture


Arnos Vale Cemetery

Arnos Vale Cemetery is a large burial plot to the South East of Bristol. Still operating as a working cemetery, the site was opened in 1837 and included a number of grand monuments and listed buildings. 

The site has over the years fallen into partial disrepair, however you can still walk around the site and weave your way through these stunning examples of Arcadian architecture. 

Cabot Tower

Brandon Hill is the oldest park in Bristol - and it provides a commanding position with amazing views across the entire city.

Cabot Tower was built in 1897 to commemorate John Cabot's famous voyage from Bristol to America 400 years prior.

After repair work the tower reopened in 2011 - visitors can climb to the top of the tower free of charge and enjoy the spectacular views over Bristol. 

Royal York Crescent

Royal York Crescent is Clifton's primary residential street, and is one of the most recognisable with its terrace of 46 houses.

It is said to be the longest terrace in Europe - each of the houses are Grade II listed and many have been divided into flats.

It overlooks much of the docks, Bedminster and South Bristol. 

Arno's Castle

The Black Castle, or Arno's Castle, is now a pub - but it was built hundreds of years ago and is designated by English Heritage as Grade I listed.

It was built in the mid 1700s as an extravagant folly - but it probably also contained some useful rooms such as a laundry and offices.

It is built from copper slag and its dressings are said to have come from Bristol's old medieval gateways. 

Ashton Court

This site has been the home to manor houses since the 11th century, and the core of this current example dates back to the 15th century.

During the First World War the house was used as a hospital - the estate has been developed from a deer park and has been owned by Bristol City Council since 1959.

The Granary

The Granary uses a style of architecture seen in a number of buildings in Bristol, and it is possibly the best preserved example.

Bristol Byzantine was a variety of Byzantine Revival Architecture mainly applied to factories, warehouse and office buildings throughout the city. Other examples are the Carriage Works and Colston Hall.

The Exchange

This is a Grade I listed building in the centre of Bristol. Its build was finished in 1743, and it is the oldest surviving 18th century exchange building in the country. 

It originally housed a coffeehouse and tavern as well as a number of strongrooms and a general court.

It is now the home of the St. Nicholas Market, having previously been a building for corn and a general trade exchange.

The Victoria Rooms

Created in the style of Greek revival between 1838 and 1842, the Victoria Rooms house the University of Bristol's music department and contains rehearsal rooms, auditoriums and lecture theatres.

A 1908 guide described the 'Vic Rooms' as one of 'the finest sights in Bristol' - and it still draws visitors to this day. 

Queen Square

Originally a fashionable, desirable residential area, Queen Square was replaced by Clifton as the place to be in the city in the 19th century.

Despite this, although most of the buildings are now offices, it still has its architectural charm. Queen Square is an imposing 18th century example of the city's urban planning - with a green space often used for events and occasions. 


Located in an old dockside transit shed, the M-Shed museum is at the heart of Bristol's industrial heritage.

More than 3000 Bristol artefacts and stories are housed within the M-Shed and architecture takes a large proportion of the space.

The architecture of old Bristol is on display in the floating harbour and dock - with cranes and boats - including what is believed to be the oldest steam tug boat in existence.