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Interesting Facts About Bristol

In 1497, John Cabot set sail in his ship, the Matthew, on a journey of discovery in which he reached mainland America. King Henry VI had ordered the then Sheriff of Bristol, Richard Ameryck, who some believe America was named after, to find the funds for Cabot's journey.

On his return, Cabot gave thanks for the voyage by presenting a whalebone to St Mary Redcliffe, which remains in the church to this day. In addition, there is a brass monument in the church to Joanna Brook who was Ameryck's daughter and heir.

  • Bristol is located just 120 miles west of London.
  • It is the largest city in the south west of England.
  • Bath is about 12 miles to the east of the city.
  • Bristol is a 45 mile trip across the Bristol Channel to Cardiff in Wales.
  • The city is situated on the rivers Frome and Avon.
  • Bristol has been a wealthy trading port since the Roman era.
  • Bristol is a port city known as the 'Birthplace of America'.
  • John Cabot sailed from Bristol to help 'discover' North America in 1497.
  • The city played an important role in England's maritime trade in tobacco, wine, cotton and more.
  • From the late 1600s to the early 1800s, Bristol was involved in a massive slave shipping industry.
  • Today, Bristol is a buzzing, multicultural university city of 400,000.
  • You may hire one of Britain's famous Blue Badge Guides to tour Bristol.
  • Local historian Peter 'Pirate Pete' Martin leads visitors on a tour of the city's darker history.
  • The infamous pirate Captain Blackbeard once had a hideaway cave under St. Mary Redcliffe church. His original birthplace and childhood home still stands on Bristol's harbourside.
  • Pero's Bridge is named after Pero Jones, who was the African servant of a plantation owner.
  • John Wesley's New Room, in Broadmead, is the world's oldest Methodist church.
  • Hollywood legend Cary Grant (Archibald Leach) was born in Horfield, Bristol. Grant's first role in theatre was working at The Bristol Hippodrome.
  • A restored 18th century former sugar factory is now home to a forty-room Hotel du Vin, featuring loft suites, library and a celebrated bistro.
  • Bristol is the only UK city to have won the title European Green Capital for 2015.

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