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Bristol - English County (1393-1974) & from 1996 onwards. Main Page

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Bristol - Main Page

English County between 1373 and 1974; re-instated in 1996


Image Right - Coat of arms of the Bristol City Council on Bath Bridge, near Temple Meads station.
Image Wiki Commons. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license
See Counties of England, United Kingdom //
// those people who had connections to Bristol go to People Connected to Bristol

Because of the changes to Counties in England in 1974 and 1996 it can be very confusing to know in which county to place our English ancestors. The purpose of this project is to clarify things regarding Bristol, with links to further projects covering other areas in the area affected by the changes. Essentially the location is governed by the dates your ancestors lived. Between 1974 and 1996 you need to look at the now defunct county of Avon

People Connected to Bristol
Bristol - Famous People
Bristol Monumental Inscriptions, Cemeteries & Graveyards

Still to come

Buried in Bristol
Bristol Famous People
Bristol Genealogical Resources
Historical Bristol
Historic Buildings of Bedfordshire


Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and county in South West England. Bristol received a royal charter in 1155 and was part of Gloucestershire until 1373, when it became a county - the first town in England to be given this status. The county was expanded to include suburbs such as Clifton in 1835, and it was named a county borough in 1889. On 1 April 1974, Bristol became a local-government district of the short-lived county of Avon. The city regained its independence and county status on 1 April 1996, when the county of Avon was abolished and Bristol became a unitary authority.

  • Royal Charter 1155
  • County status 1373
  • County Flower - Maltese-cross Silene chalcedonica
  • People from Bristol are called - Bristolians
  • Admin HQ City Hall, College Green
  • Bristol County Motto -"Virtute et Industria (By Virtue and Industry)"
  • Website
  • Area City and county - 40 sq mi (110 sq. km)
  • Population (2015) City and county 442,500 (Ranked 10th district and 43rd ceremonial county)

Summary - Status Timeline

1155 - 1373 - part of Gloucestershire
1373 - 1974 county of Bristol
1 April 1974 to 1 April 1996 Avon.
1 April 1996 onwards - Bristol became a unitary authority.

Subdivisions of Bristol

See WIKI Subdivisions of Bristol for full details of council wards and neighbourhoods.


  • All Saints (1560)
  • Cathedral (1669)
  • Christchurch (1538)
  • Holy Trinity (St Philip) (1832)
  • Redland Green (1754)
  • St Augustine the Less (1577)
  • St Ewen (1538)
  • St George (1756)
  • St George (Brandon Hill) (1832)
  • St James (1559)
  • St John the Baptist (1558)
  • St Leonard (1689)
  • St Mary le Port (1669: destroyed)
  • St Mary Redcliffe (1559)
  • St Michael the Archangel (1653)
  • St Nicholas (1538)
  • St Paul (Portland Sq) (1794)
  • St Peter (1611: badly burnt)
  • St Philip & St Jacob (1576)
  • St Stephen (1559)
  • St Thomas (1552)
  • St Werburgh (1558)
  • Temple (or Holy Cross) (1558)

References, Sources and Further Reading

// Main Reference WIKI Bristol Information shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License - see Creative Commons Licenses