Bristol in 1480

Bristol in 1480 - a Medieval Merchant City

In 1480 Bristol was a gateway to the New World. A city of merchants and traders, it was a prosperous place, expanding its trade across the seas with Europe and beyond.

The Historic Towns Trust is working with a team of Bristol-based historians to create a map of this important city.  In 1480, Bristol was described in great detail by William Worcestre as part of his 'itineraries' — travels throughout England.  William Worcestere (c.1415 to c.1482) was Secretary to Sir John Fastolf, whose house in Southwark is shown on the Map of Tudor London. He described the streets and houses of Bristol when he visited it and, combined with other historical and archaeological information, it is possible to reconstruct what the city looked like at the time of his visit.

The map will be created with a background of an OS map of the 1920s, with its medieval buildings, castle, defensive walls and ditches, churches and religious houses superimposed in the foreground. Other buildings of historical note will also be shown, and the reverse of the map will carry a comprehensive gazetteer explaining the city's many buildings and sites of interests, along with illustrations.

Publication: autumn 2020

ISBN: 978-0-9934698-7-9

RRP: £9.99

A sample of how the map will be presented

Can you help to fund the map?

Can you help us raise our target of £10,000? Even small donations will enable us to reach our goal.  The project has been hugely helped by a grant from the University of Bristol, but we still need to complete our fundraising.

Contributions can be made by cheque or by bank transfer.

  • Cheques (made out to The Historic Towns Trust) can be sent to:

Hon Treasurer, HTT, 7 Juniper Drive, Maidenhead SL6 8RE.

  • BACS payments can be made to CAF Bank Ltd, sort code 40-52-40, account number 00027299. Please add the reference ‘Bristol Map’.

If you can Gift Aid your donation, we can claim an additional 25%. Please let us know your address and we’ll send you a GiftAid form.




Printed in full colour, the map includes a descriptive gazetteer of Bristol’s medieval buildings and streets.

Informative and educational, it will be a major contribution to understanding Bristol’s long and important history.