Walking Words: College Green

room 3 ECHOES


Poet: Richard Devereux Description: A walk around College Green via Council House and Statue of Roy

College Green The area around College Green has almost certainly been a place of religious significance for a 1,000 years. In 1140 a powerful local merchant Robert Fitzharding founded a monastery there, a community of Augustinian ‘canons regular’. By 1158–60 a church had been built in which to worship. A residential complex for the canons was constructed on one side of the church (west and south sides), and a burial ground stood on the other (today’s College Green). The two most spectacular survivors from this era are the Cathedral chapter house and the Abbot’s Gatehouse. They are among the finest works of 12th-century architecture in the country. The monastery was sited on high ground overlooking the rivers Frome and Avon, marking the historical gateway to Bristol. The church was embellished and enlarged during the 13th - 16th centuries. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s-1540s, the church at St. Augustine was saved and was made a Cathedral. This marked a transition from a monastic institution to a collegiate one (hence College Green), where a group of secular canons and priests are overseen by the Dean. It also marked the transition from an inward looking monastery to an outward looking, public institution. Bristol grew rapidly as England’s second city helped drive the colonisation of the Americas and the spread of the British empire. The former burial ground (now College Green) became an important public open space. St Jordan’s chapel became a schoolhouse before it was demolished, probably in the early 18th century. From 1868, under the architects GE Street and JL Pearson, the site of the medieval nave was cleared and the great cathedral nave built. The City Library was constructed from 1902-06 and the City Hall from 1935-52. Re-landscaping of College Green completed the transformation of the ancient sacred enclosure to the north of the church into Bristol’s premier civic space.

Walking Words
Walking Words
A poetry soundmap of Bristol UK



The Echoes

Statue of the Rajah

Poem by Richard Devereux

Sweet Spot

Poem by Richard Devereux

Background Music

5424 Meditative State by Vital

Discover more geolocated content in our apps.


Or start creating tours, treasure hunts, POI maps... Just let your imagination guide you.


Are you a creator?


Privacy & cookie policy / Terms and conditions

© ECHOES. All rights reserved / ECHOES.XYZ Limited is a company registered in England and Wales, Registered office at Merston Common Cottage, Merston, Chichester, West Sussex, PO20 1BE

v2.4.4 © ECHOES. All rights reserved.