Filton is a town in South Gloucestershire, England, situated on
the northern outskirts of the city of Bristol, about from
the city centre.
Filton lies in Bristol postcode areas BS7
and BS34. The town centres upon Filton Church
, which dates back to the 12th
century and is a grade II listed
. Further north are the towns of Patchway and Bradley Stoke.
The name of the town comes from the Old English feleþe
(farm, field). The name dates back to at least
large areas of open space, which includes several playing fields, a
golf course and a large airfield, Bristol-Filton.
Districts within the town include Filton
. East Filton, which has
grown up east of the Bristol-South
Wales railway line, contains the offices of the Ministry of
Defence Defence Procurement Agency, plus a shopping park.
Filton can be reached from Junction 1 of the M32 motorway
, or from Junction 16 of the
. The town has a railway
station, Filton Abbey Wood.
Filton has an aerospace
back to the early days of the Bristol Aeroplane Company
companies in Filton include BAE Systems, Airbus, Rolls-Royce and MBDA
factories, all located around Filton Aerodrome.
On 26 November
) made the final ever Concorde flight,
returning to Filton to be kept there permanently as the centrepiece
of a projected air museum. This museum will include the existing Bristol
Aero Collection which is kept at Kemble Airport, 33 miles (53 km) from Filton.
collection includes a Bristol
Other organisations include the MOD
and the Royal Mail
. Filton is
also home to the world's largest blood processing facility,
NHS Blood and Transplant
educational facilities include Filton College, Filton High School (to be renamed Abbeywood
Community School from 2010) and several primary schools.
of the West of England is at nearby Frenchay.
Filton has two main shopping areas - the Shield Centre (on the site
of the former Shield Laundry) and Abbey Wood Retail Park, as well
as other shops. To the east of the town there is a small area of
woodland known as Splatt's Abbey Wood.
is a manufacturer of
hand-built luxury cars, based in Filton. Bristol Cars has no
distributors nor dealers and deals directly with customers; they
have a showroom in Kensington in London. They claim to be the last
wholly British-owned luxury car builder.
represented in the UK Parliament by Doug Naysmith
MP, MP for the constituency of
Bristol North - but this will change to Filton and Bradley Stoke in the UK General election of 2009 or
was in Gloucestershire until 1974 when it became part of the newly formed
county of Avon.
In 1996 the
Avon authority was abolished and the area became part of the
unitary authority of South
Filton Town Council provides local services.
At the dawn of the 20th century, Filton was a small village, still
detached from the city of Bristol to the south. Farming was the
principal occupation. However, there was a large factory-like
laundry in the village, opposite Filton House, owned by Samuel
Bristol to South
Wales railway line passed through the village.
There was a small station near the site of the current Abbey Wood
Station. A much larger railway station, known as Filton Junction,
opened in 1910, after the rail route from Bristol to London was
the northern terminus for Bristol
Tramways was moved out from Horfield to Filton. Tram
production in the tramway sheds commenced in 1908. The manufacture
of aeroplanes started in the Bristol Tramway sheds in 1910.
Aeroengine production started in 1920.
Between the wars Filton expanded rapidly, to become a suburb of
Bristol. Terraced and semi-detached housing, in small estates on
both sides of the A38 trunk road, was built. Eventually, Filton
became part of the Bristol conurbation, although it remained
outside the city boundary.
During the 1930s, two infant/primary schools and one secondary
school were built in Filton to accommodate the growing number of
school-age children in the area. Many of these children were
evacuated when WWII
started in 1939,
but returned later, during the Phoney
Filton High School, originally a grammar school, but now a
comprehensive, started to take pupils in 1960.
During the mid-1970s the A38 trunk road was upgraded to a dual
carriageway. Station Road, a country lane in the early part of the
20th century, was also widened to become a dual carriageway and
form part of the Avon Ring Road.
Sandwiched between roads, factories, railway lines and the
aerodrome, Filton expanded little after WWII. However, from the
late 1970s a trading estate slowly developed on the eastern side of
the Bristol/South Wales railway line in what is now known as East
Filton. Later, the Ministry of Defence set up a large office
complex, known as Abbey Wood, in the same area.
The manufacture of aeroplanes started in the Bristol Tramway sheds
in 1910, when Sir George
, the owner of Bristol Tramways, established the
British and Colonial Aeroplane Company
. A small
'flying ground' was set up opposite Fairlawn Avenue in 1911.
The Company grew rapidly during WWI, building thousands of Bristol Fighter
and other aircraft.
as the aircraft works expanded over the original 'flying ground',
the Royal Flying Corps
Aerodrome in fields at
the bottom of Filton Hill.
Aeroengine production started north of Filton Aerodrome, with the
acquisition of Cosmos Engineering
in 1920. In the same year, the British and Colonial Aeroplane
Company became the Bristol Aeroplane Company
often abbreviated to BAC.
programme from 1935 to
the outbreak of WWII, saw further expansion of the Bristol
Aeroplane Company. East Works on Gypsy Patch Lane and Rodney Works
along Gloucester Road North were established for the production of
Prior to WWII there was a belief that German bombers had
insufficient range to reach Filton, however, the invasion of France
by the Nazis in 1940 changed the situation. Nevertheless, as war
approached anti-aircraft guns were set-up in a field pasture up on
Filton Hill, adjacent to Filton Golf Club, to defend the aircraft
factories. On September 25, 1940, German aircraft, based in France,
raided Filton, causing extensive damage to the aircraft factories,
as well as causing a heavy loss of life when several air raid
shelters were hit. Shortly afterwards, a squadron of Supermarine Spitfire
was stationed at Filton Aerodrome, to defend the area.
Aircraft produced during WWII included the Blenheim
. Filton Aerodrome was upgraded to a
concrete runway during 1941/42. Prior to D-Day, a
number of US aircraft, imported into the UK via Avonmouth docks, were assembled at Filton
After WW2, the concrete runway at Filton Aerodrome was extended
westwards to enable the huge Bristol
airliner to take-off safely. This extension
required demolition of the hamlet of Charlton.
A large three-bay hangar was also built to
accommodate the Brabazon project. At the time, the hangar doors
were the largest in the world, as was the railway level crossing
leading to the main runway.
During the late 1940s and early 1950s, BAC branched out into the
development and production of pre-fabricated buildings, plastics,
helicopters, guided weapons, luxury cars, gas turbines and ramjet
motors. The Bristol Britannia
(Whispering Giant) airliner and Bristol Freighter
BAC opened a technical college for apprentices and trainees at the
bottom of Filton Hill in 1954. This was eventually absorbed by
Filton (Technical) College, that had opened on the opposite side of
Filton Avenue in 1961.
In 1958 the aero engine interests of the Bristol Aeroplane Company
and Armstrong Siddeley
amalgamated to form Bristol
purchased Bristol Siddeley
Engines in 1966. On February 4, 1971 Rolls-Royce were declared
bankrupt due to the burden of development of the RB211
engine for the Lockheed L-1011 Tristar
jetliner. Due to the
importance of Rolls-Royce engine division to the Royal Air Force,
the Government nationalised the company. (Note that Frederick Corfield
MP for the
Constitiuency, was then Minister for Aviation, and presumably had
influence over what was an unusual decision for a Conservative
administration). In 1973 the Rolls-Royce car division was separated
as Rolls-Royce Motors
Rolls-Royce (1971) Limited (the engine division) was privatised in
1987 as Rolls-Royce plc
In 1960 the British
took over the aircraft interests of the
Bristol Aeroplane Company.
The 1960s and 1970s saw the development and production of Concorde
at Filton and a further extension of the Filton runway. Because of
jet blast, gates and traffic lights were installed to close off the
A38 when Concorde took off. A few Lightning
fighters were produced during this
In 1977 British Aerospace
the owner of the Filton site. Work undertaken included production
of the BAe 146
and components for various
The aircraft interests of BAC are now owned by Airbus, GKN and BAE
Systems, whilst the aero engine facilities are part of Rolls-Royce.
owns the guided weapons facilities.
are still produced at the
Filton site. The production of helicopters, pre-fabricated
buildings and plastics has long since ceased or moved
Next to the A38 road, Airbus UK purchased of the former Rodney
Works from BAE Systems with a view to erect new factory buildings.
New office accommodation was also to be erected on the old 1910
BCAC site. Although both sites have now been cleared, the planned
development has been delayed, because Airbus wished to offload the
development/manufacture of composite wings for the A350XWB
(intended for Filton) to another contractor.
GKN was the successful bidder for the work and has taken over some
of the Filton site. According to latest reports, GKN will also take over vacant warehouses in nearby
Compton for some of the composite wing work, whilst Airbus
will continue wing design work at the Filton site.
Part of the original Airbus redevelopment plan was for Filton House
and New Filton House (both listed buildings) to be refurbished. New
Filton House was shrouded in protective polythene in August 2006,
to reduce deterioration of the structure.
Filton Park is a district
within the town of Filton, South
Gloucestershire, which is a suburb of Bristol, England.
Filton Park lies directly on the city border, sandwiched between
trunk road and Southmead Road.
Filton itself lies to the north and east of Filton Park.
Monks Park is to the south.
Housing in Filton Park is mainly privately owned, semi-detached and
1930s built. Pre-WWI
properties in the
district tend to be quite large, with generous gardens. Extensive
playing fields border the north-western side of Southmead Road. The
golf links, on the hillside beyond, are owned by Filton Golf Club.
The area has a primary school and a playgroup.
Park is regarded as a desirable place to live since it is close to
major centres of employment such BAE Systems, and the Ministry of Defence at Abbey Wood.
Bristol Academy of Sport is
based at Filton
- Filton Cycling Speedway Club was formed in January 2006.
- St Vallier FC (named after its French twin) is a youth football
- Filton Golf Club has an 18 hole course.
- There is also a table tennis club.
- BAC/Aerospatiale Concorde 202, G-BBDG
- Concorde at Filton
- NHSBT Filton
- Abbeywood Community School
- Filton Town Council
- Filton Cycling Speedway Club
- Filton Golf Club
- Filton Table Tennis Club