The area was called ‘Kingsdown’ because it was used, in the Middle Ages, to exercise the King’s horses for the Royal Garrison of Bristol. It became more important in the seventeenth century, as the Civil War loomed, and the 13-gun Prior’s Hill Fort was set up in what is now Fremantle Square – see the plaque. Earth ramparts linked the fort to the small Colston’s Redoubt at Montague Place (and beyond that to the Royal Fort) on St. Michael’s Hill.
There are over 204 listed buildings in the area (and three other structures). You can find pictures of quite a few in our Gallery. There were a lot more like these, but in the 1960s, as the Civic Society put it, “The destruction of Bristol’s most important Georgian suburb was perhaps the worst of all the cimes committed in Bristol in the name of progress since the war.” See the About Bristol website for more info, and there are several books about Kingsdown.
The Kingsdown Conservation Group tries to protect and enhance the area, and stimulate public interest in it. The Conservation Area Character Appraisal sets out the City Council’s policies for Kingsdown.
You can find links above for more details of the Government’s Planning Guidance on Conservation Areas and to English Heritage’s website, which has guidance on the management and enhancement of conservation areas.
This is the official map of the Kingsdown Conservation Area: