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Rare Historical Photos Show What Bristol looked like in the Late-19th Century

Bristol is a vibrant, historic, diverse and innovative city of England. It has been among the country’s largest and most economically and culturally significant towns for eight centuries. During the 19th century, Bristol was developed and proliferated. In 1801, the population of Bristol was around 68,00. It increased rapidly, and at the turn of the 20th century, it was about 330,000. The Bristol port continued to flourish, a floating or tideless harbor was built where the water was kept at a constant depth. Bristol was connected to London by rail in 1841. Bristol was also famous for its shipbuilding industry. The two famous ships, the ‘Great Western’ and ‘Great Britain’ were also built in Bristol.

In the late-19th century, the copper, brass and glass industries in Bristol went into decline. The tobacco, shipbuilding, and cotton industries thrived.

Here are some historical photos of Bristol from the late-19th century that offer a glimpse into everyday life.

#1 Blackboy Hill and The Kings Arms pub, 1899

Blackboy Hill and The Kings Arms pub, 1899

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#2 Bristol’s Cabot Tower nearing com­pletion in 1898

Bristol's Cabot Tower nearing com­pletion in 1898

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#3 Christmas Steps, Lewins Mead, Bristol, 1899

Christmas Steps, Lewins Mead, Bristol, 1899

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#4 A Victorian view of Westbury-on-Trym village

A Victorian view of Westbury-on-Trym village

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#5 A.C. Haskins baker and confectioner, North Street, Bedminster, Bristol, 1888

A.C. Haskins baker and confectioner, North Street, Bedminster, Bristol, 1888

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#6 Bristol domestic servants, 1898

Bristol domestic servants, 1898

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#7 Bristol Tramways & Carriage Company, 1875

Bristol Tramways & Carriage Company, 1875

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#8 Bristol Victorian organ grinder on street, ca. 1890s

Bristol Victorian organ grinder on street, ca. 1890s

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#9 Castle Green, Bristol, 1888

Castle Green, Bristol, 1888

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#10 Dwarfs wedding in Bristol, 1869

Dwarfs wedding in Bristol, 1869

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#11 N.Taylor game and poultry dealer with all its fresh birds on display, Nicholas Street, 1899

N.Taylor game and poultry dealer with all its fresh birds on display, Nicholas Street, 1899

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#12 N.Taylor game and poultry dealer with all its fresh birds on display, Nicholas Street, 1899

N.Taylor game and poultry dealer with all its fresh birds on display, Nicholas Street, 1899

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#13 Colwill’s Coach office, 1894

Colwill's Coach office, 1894

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#14 Carriages on the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Light Railway, ca. 1890s

Carriages on the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Light Railway, ca. 1890s

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#15 First electric-cables being laid in Bristol’s High Street, 1893

First electric-cables being laid in Bristol's High Street, 1893

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#16 Peter Street, Bristol, 1899

Peter Street, Bristol, 1899

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#17 Pumping Station, Avon Gorge near Clifton, 1874

Pumping Station, Avon Gorge near Clifton, 1874

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#18 The Drawbridge, Bristol, 1880

The Drawbridge, Bristol, 1880

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#19 The Dutch House on the corner of Wine Street and High Street, Bristol, 1884

The Dutch House on the corner of Wine Street and High Street, Bristol, 1884

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#20 The laying of electric-cables in Baldwin Street, Bristol, 1893

The laying of electric-cables in Baldwin Street, Bristol, 1893

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#21 The Pithay, Bristol, 1880

The Pithay, Bristol, 1880

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#22 The Rose and Crown at 38 Broadmead, Bristol, ca. 1890s

The Rose and Crown at 38 Broadmead, Bristol, ca. 1890s

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#23 Victorian Seaside holidays in Bristol

Victorian Seaside holidays in Bristol

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#24 Victorian seaside in Bristol

Victorian seaside in Bristol

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#25 Victorian steam traction, Redcliffe Hill, Bristol

Victorian steam traction, Redcliffe Hill, Bristol

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#26 Victorian view of the charming Dial House, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol

Victorian view of the charming Dial House, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol

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#27 Wills Tobacco girls, Bedminster, 1890s

Wills Tobacco girls, Bedminster, 1890s

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#28 A loaded timber carriage pulled by three horses waiting to unload at Toogood’s timber yard, West Street, Bedminster, 1899

A loaded timber carriage pulled by three horses waiting to unload at Toogood’s timber yard, West Street, Bedminster, 1899

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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