Walking Words: Berkeley Square

room 3 ECHOES


A walk from Park Street around Berkeley Square. Poet: Charles Thompson

Berkeley Square and The Square Bar Berkeley Square was laid out in 1787 by Thomas Paty. The surrounding buildings were only completed in the early 19th century. It is unusual among the Georgian squares of Bristol in that it occupies a sloping site, and this makes the unity of its architecture difficult to appreciate. When Bristol obtained its charter in 1373, the event was marked by the building of a magnificent ‘High Cross’ at the heart of the city. The Cross remained in place for over three centuries, “high, noble, and increasingly inconvenient to traffic”.In 1733 it was moved to College Green, but the residents complained and it was pulled down. In 1762 the Dean of Bristol illegally presented the High Cross to his friend Richard Hoare, who installed it in the grounds of his house at Stourhead in Wiltshire.In the 19th century the city recognised its loss and built a copy of the original cross after a fund raising campaign by the then Dean. It was erected in 1850.However, history repeated itself. The Cross was moved to the Green in 1888 to make way for a statue of Queen Victoria. In 1959 it was taken down to open up the view of the new Council House.The top part was rescued and erected in a corner of Berkeley Square, where it still stands “the kings and queens, sadly gazing at the moss in their laps”. A conversion of a Grade II Listed building from the former YWCA in Berkeley Square to a new high quality hotel with restaurant and en suite bedrooms, together with the creation of “The Square” bar in the basement. The building forms the central feature of a terrace of 8 houses, originally constructed by Thomas and William Paty in the late 18th century and rebuilt following destruction in the second world war. The buildings feature limestone ashlar walls, articulated by giant pilasters to cornice and parapet, with rusticated ground floor, all under under a slated mansard roof.(wikipedia)

Walking Words
Walking Words
A poetry soundmap of Bristol UK



The Echoes

Berkeley Square 1

Poem by Charles Thompson

Berkeley Square 2

Poem by Charles Thompson

Background Sound

Afternoon by Isaevilnarmusic

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