Redland in Bristol | It’s a long old tale!

11 November 2020

redland bristol

Much like our beautifully restored Queen Victoria House, which is part of our The Vincent community, the area of Redland where The Vincent calls home has a long and colourful history. One of the more affluent suburbs in Bristol, Redland is situated between Clifton, Cotham, Bishopston and Westbury Park. With the history of the area dating back to 1732 when the Redland estate was acquired by John Cossins, this area has plenty to offer the modern day visitor. Walking through the streets you will find picturesque Victorian style houses, historic pubs and Chandos Road, Bristol’s very own foodie heaven.  

Read on to learn more about Redland’s fascinating historical past:

Redland Trams

There was once a Bristol tram! It’s hard to imagine these days when you witness the bustling roads of Redland but there was once a fully functioning tram system enabling locals to cross the area with ease. Sadly, tram operations ceased in 1941 following the German Luftwaffe's Good Friday air raids during the Bristol Blitz, which set central Bristol on fire and unfortunately brought an end to the use of trams in the city.

The Railway Friend

If you look carefully, you will find a plaque outside Bristol Temple Meads Station commemorating a “Miss Emma Saunders, the railwaymen’s friend”. Renowned in the area, Emma Saunders was a pioneer member of the Railway Mission, founded in 1881. The Railway Mission was set up to support those who work on the railways.

Emma was initially responsible for administering to the railwaymen operating the Clifton Extension Railway, Severn Tunnel and loop line at Pyle Hill but later became responsible for the workmen on all of Bristol’s railways. Emma became known as ‘The Railwayman’s Friend’ because of her work visiting railwaymen and their families in Bristol. Monthly she visited some 2000 workers and would take personal tokens and Christian texts to them.

In 1928, after her death the memorial tablet was placed at Bristol Temple Meads Station to mark her years of service to the railwaymen of Bristol. See if you can spot her plaque next time you are taking the train!

Redland Churches

Redland is well known for its stunning, Georgian style parish church, the Redland Chapel. Built in 1742 as a private chapel for the local manor house, Redland Court, it eventually became the public parish church in 1942. It is now a Grade l listed building!

Redland also has a collection of other lesser known but still beautiful religious buildings such as the Swedenborgian church in Cranbrook Road which was erected in 1899. The gothic church was designed by Mr Paul of Wells Road and was intended to be a lecture hall alongside a larger church that was never built. Neil Marchant wrote a book 'Like A River Flowing' covering the history of this church which can now be found in Bristol central library, if you are keen to learn more about its past!


If you’re looking for a home surrounded by history both on your immediate doorstep and in the wider community then get in touch with the team to find out more about the stunning homes and lifestyle available at The Vincent: Call on 0117 981 4352 or email [email protected]