A new hospital was proposed in 1831 by a meeting of Whigs and non-conformists who believed that they were being discriminated against by local Tories and the Church of England who ran the Bristol Infirmary, established in 1735. Designed by William Bruce Gingell the Bristol General Hospital first opened in 1858, making a grand statement with its Italianate stonework and French Renaissance rooftops. In 2012 developers City & Country began converting the Grade II listed building into over 200 apartments. The renovation restored the General’s roof and tower damaged by World War II bombing. City and Country have a useful coverage of the history of the General on their website.
The Iron Foundry
Initially designed by award-winning architects Feilden Clegg Bradley, the Iron Foundry was built on a site previously occupied by Acraman’s Ironworks which supplied Brunel with iron work, anchors and chains for the SS Great Western. The new building’s design is intended to reflect the site’s history. It consists of 16 upmarket apartments with views over Bathurst Basin and the Avon New Cut.
Byzantine Court on Bathurst Parade was built in 1874 by William Bruce Gingell, and is an example of the Bristol Byzantine style with yellow and red brick and Moorish arches. Bristol Byzantine is a variety of Byzantine Revival architecture that was popular in the city of Bristol from about 1850 to 1880. It was formerly the warehouse of Robinson’s Oil Seed company. In the early 1980s it was converted into flats and squash courts, the latter soon replaced with more apartments. It has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II listed building.
Houses along Bathurst Parade are part of Merchants’ Landing, a housing estate built on Spike Island in the early 1980s. The Merchants Landing Residents Association, founded in 1984 to represent the interests of the residents, campaigned successfully for the pedestrianisation of Bathurst Parade and Merchants Quay. In 1971 the properties at the western end of Bathurst Parade (Nos. 2 to 9) were given Grade II listed-building status. Of late Georgian style, these houses were built in the early 19th century and were extensively renovated in the early 1980s as part of the Merchants’ Landing estate.
A number residential boats are moored one edge of Bathurst Basin. Their owners are very much part of Bathurst Basin’s community.