Bristol in 1480

Bristol in 1480 - a Medieval Merchant City

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

The Historic Towns Trust has worked 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 has been created with a background of an OS map of 1918, with its medieval buildings, castle, defensive walls and ditches, churches and religious houses superimposed in the foreground. Other buildings of historical note are also shown, and the reverse of the map carries a comprehensive gazetteer explaining the city's many buildings and sites of interests in 1480, an informative description of the town houses of Bristol, along with illustrations.

Produced in association with the University of Bristol.

Publication: December 2020

ISBN: 978-0-9934698-7-9

RRP: £9.99

Update January 2021: The map of Bristol in 1480 is now published and available to buy. 

Unfortunately, the article in the Bristol Post of 8 December said that the map can be ordered from the Historic Towns Trust, through this website. Sorry, we don't sell our maps direct, but the good news is that they are readily available through any bookshop or on-line book retailer.  The easiest thing to do is to order it by its ISBN which is 978-0-9934698-7-9 .

A sample from the map

The map carries an inset showing the trades and occupations of Bristol in 1480

An extract from the gazetteer on the back of the map

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.