Interesting facts about Bristol

Bristol received its Royal Charter in the year 1155 and today it is the largest city in the South West with a population of about 441,300.

Sugar, sherry and chocolate

In the 18th century there were 20 factories in Bristol refining sugar from the Caribbean.

Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry was created in Bristol in 1796.

J S Fry  produced the world’s first bar of chocolate in Bristol in 1847.


Bristol has a long aviation history. Aircraft production began in Filton. Bristol in 1910. This was less than two years after the first recorded flight of a powered aeroplane in Britain.

Concorde, the world's first commercial supersonic jet was designed and built in Bristol. It made its first test flight from Bristol on 9th April 1969 and cut the flying time to New York in half. Sadly it made its last flight anywhere in the world back to the city in 2003.

The wings of  the Airbus A380, the world's largest double-decker passenger plane are designed in Bristol.


Bristol based Cameron Balloons Ltd is the world’s largest manufacturer of Hot Air Balloons

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is Europe's largest annual Hot Air Balloon event


Bristol Blue Glass was first made here in the seventeenth century it’s beauty lies in the striking blue colour.  

At its height the Wills cigarette factory in Bristol was the largest tobacco factory in Europe employing over 4,000 people and producing 350 million cigarettes per week.

Today tourism and the financial service sectors make significant contributions to the economy of the city.

Theatre, Film and Street Art

Bristol Old Vic is the oldest, continually working theatre in the country and has been staging productions since 1766.

Aardman Animations, who made The Wallace and Gromit animated films, are based Bristol.

The world famous and elusive street artist Banksy, hails from Bristol.


The Clifton Suspension Bridge  is attributed to the British civil engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel who also designed the ss Great Britain.


Bristol University, founded in 1876, was the first higher education institution in England to admit women on an equal basis to men.