Annual Review
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Copyright of Cotswold Archaeology
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No. 1001653
Cotswold Archaeology
11-12 Portland Square, Bristol
annual review 13 < building recording < Portland Square Introduction


No.12 The Stay Factory No.11 The Georgian House
Stay Factory; south elevation

The objectives of the project were to record the surviving remains of no. 12 prior to their demolition, and to record any previously unseen features of the historic fabric of no. 11, revealed in the course of the refurbishment works.

The site of nos 11-12 Portland Square consisted of two joined structures. On the western side along the street frontage, no. 11 was occupied by a Georgian House, with a courtyard to the rear.

At no. 12, only the facade of the original Georgian building survived, while the remainder of the plot was occupied by the derelict remains of a 19th century industrial building, which also occupied the full width of both plots on the Norfolk Avenue frontage at the rear of the site.

History of the Buildings

North courtyard elevation of the Stay Factory Blocked window in the cellar of No.11

The construction of Portland Square began in 1791, based on a unified plan reflected in the existing frontages surviving around the square. Shortly afterwards a number of the builders involved in the project became bankrupt, leaving much of the Square unfinished. It is not known exactly when nos 11 and 12 were completed but they were offered for rent in 1811.

Subsequently in 1877, no. 12 was converted for use as Young and Melrow’s stay factory, and the building extended, incorporating the original narrow house on the Portland Square frontage, and extending across the width of both plots at the rear of the site facing Norfolk Avenue. It was this 1877 structure, and its later adaptations, which were to be demolished.

Alcove and blocked doorway of No.11 No. 11: The Georgian House No.12 The Stay Factory No. 12: The Stay Factory

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