The Eastville Workhouse Memorials

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Projects: Eastville Workhouse
Subjects: Radical Bristol, Workhouses & Poverty Laws
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Where am I?

You are on the site of Eastville Workhouse, which opened its doors in 1847. In the 1930s it became an old people’s home and was finally demolished in 1972.

This page is about the three memorials which are part of the Eastville Workhouse Project.

Eastville Workhouse map 1900
A map of Eastville Workhouse from 1900.
Eastville Workhouse from the air in 1967
Eastville Workhouse from the air in 1967. Follow the drive way from the front of the main workhouse building down to the left where it joins Fishponds Road; this is the where the ‘100 Fishponds Road’ memorial plaque is. The Rosemary Green Burial Ground Memorial is just out of frame, about half way up on the right hand side of the photograph.
Eastville Workhouse Being Demolished, 1972
Eastville Workhouse during demolition, 1972.

Eastville Workhouse Plaque

The plaque is situated on what is now the pedestrian entrance to East Trees Health Centre. This was the entrance to the driveway that led up to the main workhouse buildings. The new medical center was opened in 2016. The imposing Maytrees flats are built on the site of the workhouse’s front lawn and the workhouse itself stood between Fountaine Court, Juniper Court and Caraway Gardens.

100 Fishponds Rd, Pedestrian Entrance to East Trees Health Centre, Bristol BS5 6BF, Lat. 51.4705661, Long. -2.5628071.

100 Fishponds Road
The feared address: 100 Fishponds Road.
Eastville Workhouse
Eastville Workhouse at twilight probably in the late 60s a few years before demolition. If you walk across Fishponds Road and find Argyle Street you can see where this photograph was taken from. Maytrees Flats now stand on the site of the workhouse’s (by then an old people’s home) front lawn. Photograph found in Bristol Central Reference Library.
Eastville Worhouse retaining wall on Fishponds Road
If you head up the hill past the medical center and Maytrees flats the original workhouse retaining wall is still visible today on your right.

The Rosemary Green Burial Ground Memorial

On this site between 1855 and 1895 over 4000 men, women and children who died in Eastville Workhouse, known as 100 Fishponds Road, were buried in unmarked graves. A further 118 were given to the medical school. This memorial stands in recognition of all who lived and died in the workhouse.

Rosemary Green Burial Ground Top View
Rosemary Green, looking down towards the burial ground and Greenbank View from Rosemary Lane. The workhouse was to the left and the Rosemary Green Burial Ground Memorial is behind the far goal post. (note that a new playground has been built at the top of the hill since this photograph was taken)

The memorial was carved from Welsh slate by local sculpture Matthew Billington and was unveiled on Monday 16th November 2015.

Rosemary Green, at the Greenbank View end, BS5 6LG Lat. 51.469918, Long. -2.557132.


The Memorial Stone at Avonview Cemetery.

The last stage of our project was realised in 2019 with the memorialisation of the ‘common graves’ at Avonview Cemetery, the final resting place of the forgotten inmates of Eastville Workhouse. With financial support from Bristol and Gloucester dioceses, Bristol City Council and EWMG, stone mason Matthew Billington designed, sculpted and installed a gravestone in the location of the ‘common graves’. The memorial at Avonview Cemetery (Beaufort Rd, Bristol BS5 8EN) can be found in the north western corner, between Blackswarth Road and Beaufort Road.

On 8th May 2019, the Lord Mayor Cleo Lake, Acting Archdeacon of the Diocese of Bristol Michael Johnson and the Deputy Mayor Asher Craig joined us and some relatives of those who were buried at Rosemary Green to unveil the memorial. The weather during the ceremony was ‘biblical’ from start to finish, with thunder, lightning and then hail lashing down. Most of us thought it apt. However, we were left with a lingering thought: this couldn’t happen again, could it?

Avonview Cemetary Memorial Stone Lat. 51.4573912 Long. -2.5511542

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  1. Fascinating! The old maps and photographs bring the extent of Eastville Workhouse to life. I had no idea the buildings and land covered such a huge area.

  2. Wow found myself talking to a friend about the big play ground that I had as a kid so I decided to look it up.
    I use to live at no 119 Robertson road eastville back in the late 60s and spent all my young years growing up and playing over the back of my house Which was the old workhouse and all it’s stables/ orchard/ the bell tower up and around the greenhouses and last even the grave yard.
    The memories I have are amazing when the last few Peaple stopped working there it pretty much became a child adventure playground it’s as though we had our own little town to explore and call our own , I wouldn’t swap those memories for the world. (The good old days when children were children and we all played together)

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