To provide you with the best experience on this website, cookies are used. By using the site it's assumed that you're happy with our use of cookies. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. More info on cookies.
Allow cookies

Clifton Arcade

Add Clifton Arcade to your Itinerary

Clifton Arcade

About

Image supplied by:Jack Willingham Photography

This unique and beautiful Victorian shopping arcade houses some of the most unusual shopping in Bristol. Originally opened in 1878, it later fell into disuse but has recently been restored and now houses a community of small shops selling a huge variety of desirable items from the affordable to the wildly extravagant. From antiques, furniture and jewellery to designer clothes, contemporary interiors and art, (not to forget the books and music!), there really is something for everyone in the Clifton Arcade. And to round it off the popular Primrose Cafe offers a relaxed atmosphere with freshly prepared food available all day.

The Clifton Shopping Arcade was originally known as King's Arcade, or the Clifton Bazaar or King's Clifton Bazaar and Winter Garden.

Built between 1876 and 1878 by Joseph King, a self-taught architect, entrepreneur and builder, it was a Victorian version of the shopping mall. In 1873 he had built a row of Italianate shops in Whiteladies Road - occupied by the Alexandra - and a few houses such as Richmond Buildings, and 13-15 Clifton Road. He now felt able to embark on a much more ambitious project.

His grand scheme for Boyce's Avenue was two separate buildings, the shopping arcade itself, in King's Road and at right angles to it, in Boyce's Avenue, a reception and entrance way to the arcade, with a space in the middle for carriages to drive inside the complex. (A single storey shop has been built in the gap, and the rest of the spaces in the street were later in filled) In front of his arcade was a pleasure ground matching the one already laid out in the front of Boyce's Buildings.

King's Clifton Bazaar and Winter Garden opened on April 7th, 1879. It was an instant flop - it became known as King's Folly. King had hoped to let spaces in his arcade and act as manager of the enterprise, however there were no takers and he went bankrupt.

By December 1879 the property was eventually sold and became The Wilsonia Depot, selling magnetic belts, corsets, vests, spine bands and gloves advertised: "Take medicine and Die - Apply Magnetic Currents and Live." This venture also failed and The Wilsonia Depot sold out in January 1880 to Knee Brothers who needed a warehouse for their furniture storage business.

Following the death of Edward Knee in 1985 at the age of 92, the whole arcade was found to be unsafe having largely been untouched since its original construction. Repair work started in 1989 and some 60 tonnes of debris had to be removed, including a caravan!

The building has been used as a film location, notably in the BBC drama Little Sir Nicholas, De Amitri’s video “Nothing Much Happens Here” and on more than one occasion by the BBC for Casualty.

The present owners Moorpoint Ltd acquired the arcade and undertook the restoration of those parts of the building that could be saved. By this time the roof had been covered in slate and the weight had literally broken the back of the building. Kings Road had been scaffolded for so long that there was a real danger that it would collapse when the scaffolding was removed! However, by 1998 the terrace had been rebuilt in the similar Bristol Venetian style as the original, and the Hop House Pub opened its doors for the first time.

The Clifton Arcade was finally open the way Joseph King had envisioned - some 115 years late!
 

Extras

Key Features

  • Film or TV location

Children & Infants

  • Facilities for children

Parking & Transport

  • On Bus Route

Catering

  • Restaurant

Map & Directions

Road Directions

Find out about the latest on the roads and get travel directions from TravelWest.info

Public Transport Directions

For comprehensive information about getting here by public transport, please visit TravelWest.info
Boyces Avenue
Clifton
Bristol
BS8 4AA

Tel: +44 (0)117 973 5690

Instagram feed

Opening Times

* Monday to Saturday 10am - 5.30pm
Sunday 11am - 4pm

What's Nearby

  1. Hambledons Serviced Apartments

    Quality short term serviced apartments for busy professionals. Self-contained properties...

    0.03 miles away
  2. The Rodney Hotel Bristol

    Georgian mansion hotel with fantastic restaurant, near the Clifton Suspension Bridge

    0.07 miles away
  3. Hambledons - Merchants Rd

    Merchants Rd Apartment in Clifton comes with two parking spaces, plus close to all...

    0.08 miles away
  1. Victoria Square Hotel Clifton Village

    This friendly hotel comprises two gracious listed Victorian Houses (circa 1870) situated...

    0.11 miles away
  2. Bristol Serviced Apartments

    Luxurious serviced apartments in a classical Georgian terraced house overlooking Victoria...

    0.16 miles away
  3. University of Bristol - Goldney Hall

    Inspiring places to stay set in elegant Georgian Clifton

    0.27 miles away
  4. Avon Gorge Hotel

    Famous hotel that sits right on top of the spectacular Avon Gorge, with views of the...

    0.34 miles away
  5. Clifton Short Lets

    Clifton Short Lets offer short-term, flexible lets in the heart of Clifton.

    0.36 miles away
  6. Hambledons - Percival Road

    Two double bedroom apartment situated in a quiet residential area of Clifton, yet only 5...

    0.38 miles away
  7. The Clifton Hotel Bristol

    Cool café hotel located right in the heart of the Clifton area, close to Park Street’s...

    0.42 miles away
  8. The Washington

    The Washington, situated in the heart of Clifton, combines both comfort and convenience...

    0.43 miles away
  9. Airbristol

    Airbristol - A Better Way To Stay!

    0.46 miles away
  10. Beech House – Serviced Apartments

    Boutique serviced apartments, in a stunning Victorian villa in Clifton, one of Bristol’s...

    0.47 miles away
  11. The Berkeley Square Hotel Bristol

    Elegant hotel dedicated to the arts, located in a square just off Park Street in the...

    0.49 miles away
  12. Berkeley Suites - The Crescent

    Luxury Georgian townhouse suites, offering all the services and luxuries associated with...

    0.5 miles away
  13. The Lodge at Bristol Zoo Gardens

    The Lodge offers luxury accommodation and exotic animals just outside your window. With...

    0.54 miles away
Previous Next

Search What's Nearby

Product Type
Proximity
Within miles