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A brief history of the Cut

The waterway was excavated between 1803 and 1809 as an essential part of the development of Bristol’s Floating Harbour. Along its banks many new industries grew, including Acramans Ironworks (on the site of the General Hospital) and a shipyard below Vauxhall Bridge.

The New Cut was also used for navigation, with early passenger steam packets sailing to South Wales and Ireland from a jetty by the Louisiana (formerly the Bathurst Hotel). The lower bridges - Vauxhall footbridge and Ashton road and rail bridge - used to open to allow shipping access to the city docks via the now redundant lock gates at Bathurst Basin. By the late 1930s very little river traffic used the New Cut. The lower bridges were fixed and a suspension bridge replaced the ferry near the old gaol.

The Cut is still vitally important to the function of the City Docks and the surrounding area for drainage. It has now become an area rich in flora and fauna - a green lung in the centre of the city.