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The Bristol Cross


In 1373 in Bristol, a high cross was erected at the main crossroads in the city. It was later a monument to signify four kings, containing statues of Edward III, Edward IV, Henry III and king John. Originally the monument was gilded, but in 1633, it was altered and repaired. Four more figures were also honoured. King Charles I, Queen Elizabeth I, Henry VI, and James I, had their statues added.

However, the monument was considered to be, by many of the populous of Bristol, causing an obstruction in the bustling, busy streets. So 1733 it was dismantled and removed to College Green and was rebuilt on land owned by Bristol Cathedral. Unfortunately for the monument, more complaints were made about it's location. People were grumbling to the cathedral's dean and in 1768, the cross was finally donated by the dean to his friend's garden, Henry Hoare of Stourhead, as an 'ornament'.

Hoare set it upon a grassy mound at the head of his lake, and at the entrance to his gardens.

The Bristol Cross is a tapering spire of very intricate design. It is mounted on 5 columns from a square plinth base, finishing in many ornately decorated arches and thin pinnacles. Set halfway up, in little niches are the detailed statues of the Kings, 2 for each side of the cross. From here the spire becomes crocketed and slightly knobbly, rising up to it's copper cross some 40ft from the ground.

Bristol Cross looking up

The Cross Kings

Above: The Kings.

Below: View through the cross across the lake to the Pantheon.

View through the cross to the Pantheon

 

         

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