Restoring historic Bristol

View looking down Mary le Port Street looking towards St Mary le Port Tower

We want to create a development which respects and reflects the historic importance of St Mary le Port, the High Street Vaults, Castle Park and the wider city centre.

Repairing and celebrating local history

St Mary le Port Tower and ruins are currently on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ register and are in need of significant work to respectfully retain what remains, so that they can be enjoyed by people now and in the future.

The Vaults, underneath the pavement in High Street, are also in need of repair to address water ingress and damage to the medieval walls caused by tree roots.

Our planning submission includes a commitment to fund the repair and reuse of these historic ruins and to draw up plans, with local community representatives, to celebrate, and make good use of, the space throughout the year.

Reinstating the Old City’s historic streets

As part of our plans, we are proposing to reinstate streets and routes which were lost after the war due to urban clearance and redevelopment after the Bristol Blitz.

Our proposals will retain Bridge Street and reinstate four further old streets. The introduction of these new streets will mean that people will be able to access St Mary le Port Tower, Castle Park, and the new buildings from all directions. It will also create a new pedestrian route between St Nicholas Market and Castle Park.   

As you can see from the plan below, the four reinstated streets are:

  • Mary le Port Street – A street connecting St Nicholas Market, Castle Park and St Peter’s Church. Mary le Port Street will be a vibrant pedestrian-only street with new independent retailers, cafes, and restaurants, creating a new destination with St Mary le Port Tower and ruins at its heart.
  • Cheese Market – A street between Wine Street and Mary le Port Street, running along the edge of Castle Park and connecting Broadmead Shopping Quarter with the Floating Harbour. 
  • Adam and Eve Lane – A second street between Wine Street and Mary le Port Street. Connecting Broadmead Shopping Quarter with St Mary le Port Tower and the Floating Harbour. 
  • Buttermarket Passage – A passage linking Mary le Port Street to Bridge Street.

By reinstating these old streets, we are also re-introducing a view from St Nicholas Market through the site to St Peter’s Church as well as creating a new view of St Mary le Port from Wine Street along Adam and Eve Lane.

A plan showing how the historic streets used to be and the ones we want to bring back

Giving back space to Castle Park

A previous proposal in 2008 looked to develop four buildings on the site, as is recommended in local planning policy. We are only planning three buildings, with the ‘fourth quarter’ of the site given back to Castle Park.

It was clear from our discussions with local community representatives that they would like to see this area used to enhance the entrance to Castle Park from Bristol Bridge. In response, we have developed a plan that will provide a new area of open space and landscape, with a new seating area to the south of the St Mary le Port Tower and ruins and terracing down to the Floating Harbour.

View of fourth quarter given back to the park, bottom of landscaped steps

The decision to not build between building B and Castle Park also means we can retain a number of characterful London Plane trees and improve the relationship with Castle Park.

Celebrating Bristol’s Heritage

With Mary le Port Street restored, the site will become part of the extended heritage trail in the Old City, taking it from St Nicholas Market through to St Peter’s Church and Castle Park.

Extending the Heritage trail into Castle Park