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City Museum and Art Gallery and Attached Front Walls

A Grade II* Listed Building in Bristol, Bristol

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Latitude: 51.4565 / 51°27'23"N

Longitude: -2.605 / 2°36'18"W

OS Eastings: 358059

OS Northings: 173230

OS Grid: ST580732

Mapcode National: GBR C5J.TQ

Mapcode Global: VH88M.SNP9

Plus Code: 9C3VF94V+HX

Entry Name: City Museum and Art Gallery and Attached Front Walls

Listing Date: 1 November 1966

Last Amended: 30 December 1994

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1202478

English Heritage Legacy ID: 380277

Location: Central, Bristol, BS8

County: Bristol

Electoral Ward/Division: Central

Built-Up Area: Bristol

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bristol

Church of England Parish: Clifton, St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Bristol

Tagged with: Museum Art museum

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901-1/10/228 (North East side)
01/11/66 City Museum and Art Gallery and
attached front walls
(Formerly Listed as:
(North side)
City Museum and Art Gallery)


Museum and gallery. Dated 1899-1904. By Sir F Wills. Limestone
ashlar, roof not visible. Rectangular open plan in 2 sections.
Edwardian Baroque style.
3 storeys; 3-window range. A monumental front has a deeply
projecting centre over a porte cochere. Vermiculated outer
quoins to a frieze, modillion cornice and parapet; centre has
a rock-faced plinth to a band, vermiculated ground floor to a
plat band, and paired Ionic clasping pilasters. The centre
section breaks forward, with paired Ionic columns from the
first floor to a pediment surmounted by an outer balustrade
and central pedestal with Beaux Arts statuary.
First-floor half-domed 5-light mullion bow, under a raised
HIS FELLOW CITIZENS 1904, and a large carving of the city
arms. To each side are relief carvings of artists' palettes.
Outer semicircular-arched 3-light mullion windows and a key,
with stained glass; above are swagged panels. The porte
cochere has semicircular arches front and side with coved
reveals and large keys giving on to a vaulted area, with a
semicircular-arched doorway with coved reveals and a cartouche
inscribed 1902, and 2 pairs of half-glazed doors. Side windows
have 3 lights and moulded lintels. Festoon panels over the
outer windows.
INTERIOR: 2 large halls with barrel-vaulted glazed roofs,
separated by a double staircase. The front hall is 6 bays long
and 3 wide, a balcony on carved figure brackets above the door
extends round the sides, and an arcade above with piers to the
roof; reliefs of painters' names to each side bay in swagged
panels. An imperial stair reached through an arched screen, of
Corinthian columns to a second-floor balustrade, supported
over a first-floor balcony by marble columns. Behind is a
further stair with paired columns under a Diocletian wndow.
The rear hall is 4 bays long, a ground-floor arcade of
segmental arches, a Doric frieze and first-floor arcade, with
paired Corinthian columns separated by paired semicircular
arches on marble columns, and a balustrade. Each end has a
Venetian arch under a Diocletian window.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: attached rock-faced walls to the front
have 4 good lanterns on pedestals. The building was paid for
by Sir H Wills, and is Bristol's only major public building of
the period. A well contrived and lit interior to match the
weight of the front; '..a free Baroque design of magnificent
proportions' (Crick).
(Gomme A, Jenner M and Little B: Bristol, An Architectural
History: Bristol: 1979-: 391; Crick C: Victorian Buildings in
Bristol: Bristol: 1975-: 62; The Buildings of England: Pevsner
N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 417).

Listing NGR: ST5805973230

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