Secret Bristol by James Macveigh

2.5 out of 5 stars

I have never lived in a city, just small to medium towns, but the thing that I like about them is they have layers and layers of history provided you know where to look. Brito is one of those that can trace its roots back to prehistory and the opening chapter in this book starts with the traces that the people of that time left behind.

Strangely enough, it wasn’t a city back then, but when the Romans arrived they saw the strategic advantage of the place and left remnants of their villas for use to find a couple of thousand years later. There was probably a lot happening in the dark ages, but as very few people wrote it down, not much is known about it. But with the Normans arrival, the historical record gets a lot better.

It is known as a trading city and parts of the book explore the things that were imported in and exported from the docks. The money that was made by the merchants of the city was not always from ethical sources, hence the rightful removal of that statue a little while back. There were some things in here that I knew, but there was a number that I didn’t. One was finding out that the third largest set of standing stones in the UK is in Bristol!

I haven’t been to Bristol that often, but a couple of years ago a relative moved there and we thought we would be visiting more often. The pandemic put paid to that… But this is a useful little guide to some of the places in Bristol that are worth a look next time I am there.

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  1. Liz Dexter

    That sounds interesting, and I didn’t know about the standing stones! I failed to get into Bristol University (they automatically rejected me when Cambridge did!) but I’ve managed to enjoy visiting the city a good few times since.

    • Paul

      My wife’s aunt lives in Bristol and I have passed the book to her. Next time we visit I am going to see if we can go. How very odd that they rejected you at the same time.

      • Liz Dexter

        They do it automatically, or did then. If you applied to Oxbridge and them, they only gave you an offer if Oxbridge did then scooped up the people who didn’t get the grades

        • Paul

          Sneaky! I went to Kingston University and did mechanical engineering

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