Places in Bristol associated with LGBT people

 

McArthur's Warehouse, Bristol, c.1980

  • Bristol Gay Centre, Gasferry Road
    McArthur’s Warehouse in Gasferry Road was home to Bristol’s only gay centre from 1978 to 1983
  • Clifton Hill House, Lower Clifton Hill
    Home of John Addington Symonds from 1851 until 1877
  • Hill Street, Totterdown
    Bristol Gay Switchboard was set up in 1975 and operated for the first three years from a house in Clifton Hill House, BristolHill Street
  • Newgate Prison, Newgate
    Bristol’s main prison in the 18th century where most of those convicted of homosexual acts before 1820 were imprisoned
  • The Pillory, Wine Street/Pithay junction
    The pillory was the usual punishment for men convicted of homosexual crimes not punishable by death (as well as other offences) in the 18th century
Gay-friendly businesses
  • Greenleaf Book Shop, 82 Colston Street, BS1 5BB
    Founded c. 1983, this was a key ‘alternative’ facility for Bristol promoting green/eco-friendly ideas before they became mainstream, run on radical cooperative principles and always with a sympathetic attitude towards gay and lesbian issues and needs. Several early resources and community groups depended on it for meeting space, office facilities, as a postal address, or simply as an information exchange. It closed in July 2005 having struggled for some years to survive against the onslaught of internet book sales. The co-op members were left with a personal debt of £8,000.
  • Michael’s Restaurant, 129 Hotwell Road, BS8 4RU (mid 1970s to c. 1993)
    Never exclusively gay, though on many a weekend in the 1980s it might as well have been. The purple-red frontage and flamboyant gold-lettered name were a well recognised Bristol brand. Eating at Michael’s was always fun – large plates of rich food were served in two slightly kitsch rooms overflowing with palms and gilded mirrors, like the private supper rooms of an Edwardian music-hall. The handsome young waiters always caught your eye before you caught theirs.

Can you add places to this page?  Tell us stating the source of your information

Read our comments policy

  2 Responses to “Places in Bristol associated with LGBT people”

  1. I was a regular customer at Greenleaf Bookshop throughout it’s time. They always had a good selection of Lesbian books of all kinds, calendars including Alison Bechdel’s ‘Dykes To Watch Out For’ calendars and books, postcards, badges, t-shirts, music CDs and tapes, mugs, magazines, etc. They also had a community noticeboard where Lesbians and other radical folk could advertise for flatmates, other housemates, lodgers, etc, I loved going there and still miss it. Fortunately a similar radical bookshop in Liverpool called ‘News From Nowhere’ has survived, has a website and does mail order http://www.newsfromnowhere.co.uk

 Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)