ourplacesurveySeventeen local volunteers turned up for the recent ‘Gloucester Road/Bishopston Heritage survey event.

Split into small groups, our task was to take small stretches of the Gloucester Road and using prepared large scale maps and a standard collection of symbols to denote a range of features, carry out a Neighbourhood mapping survey to record the specific character of the section of the Gloucester Road to which we had been assigned.

The event was organised by the Bishopston Society and jointly led by Pete Insole, BCC archaeology officer and creator of the Bristol History interactive website, ‘Know Your Place’ and by Richard Guise, an architect planner with 40 years experience, and founder of the Bristol-based urban design consultancy Context4D, established in 2004.
A mapping notation sheet designed by Richard was provided for us which gave a checklist of over 45 different symbols (see below) for denoting features such as important roofline, distinctive line of trees, key/distinctive building and intrusive frontage. Armed with this, we were able to identify and indicate all these noted features on our maps.notationsheet

The main aim of the morning was to reassess the existing Gloucester Road Conservation Area that stretches from the Arches to Overton Road as well as create new data beyond this designated stretch. It was hoped we could thereby provide evidence for a BCC decision to both confirm the present Area and its possible extension.The architecture of the existing Gloucester Road Conservation Area can be seen here.
At the end of the session the separate maps of the different survey groups were put together to form one long (and now detailed) description of a significant length of the Gloucester Road northwards to Pigsty Hill.

This is the first but vital step in the process of identifying what is special about the character of the Bishopston area. After only about an hour of recording, we had accumulated sufficient information to allow the Council to make an up to date appraisal of this stretch of the Gloucester Road which is of course also a significant part of Bishopston.  The basis is thus laid for a draft ‘Our Place’ document to be produced which will then be sent for consultation to those interested and involved in this process.

When the 'Our Place' survey has been completed in its final form, it will provide a valuable document that should have a strong influence on the planning process involved in any future development in the area.

Meridian Terrace - Copy
               Meridian Terrace - a possible future inclusion in the Gloucester Road Conservation Area

Everyone who took part in this survey found it an interesting, enjoyable and satisfying experience. If you would like to take part in future surveys - the original work we have done needs further detail and refining and will aim to cover other areas of Bishopston – then please contact either Pete Insole at: pete.insole@ bristol.gov.uk  or use any of the Bishopston Society committee contacts listed on the Society’s website here