Bristol Road, SM4


Bristol Cathedral was established in 1140 as St Augustine’s Abbey by Robert Fitzharding, a wealthy local landowner and royal official. Though the antiquary John Leland has recorded that it was already a long-established religious shrine by the time of its dedication ceremony on April 11, 1148. Indeed, Bede made reference to St Augustine of Canterbury visiting the site in AD603. St Augustine’s was by far the wealthiest of Bristol’s monastic buildings having been endowed with land and properties across the region. It appears to have been hit hard by the Black Death. In 1353, its Abbot, William Coke obtained permission to start recruiting priests at a younger age to replace those that had died. There were successive phases of new building during the 13th and 16th centuries, despite the abbey being in financial straits. Its finances were restored in the 15thCentury, and building work recommenced, though some of it would not be completed. After its dissolution in 1542, Henry VIII elevated the building to the rank of Cathedral, the seat of the newly-created Bishop of Bristol, and Bristol became a city in its own right. Like many of the roads on the St Helier’s estate this is named after British monasteries and abbeys in remembrance of the area’s historic ownership by Westminster Abbey. The road names are in alphabetical order, of which Aberconway Road in the north west of the estate is first.

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