Southmead is a northern
suburb and council ward of Bristol, in the
southwest of England.
of Filton (in South Gloucestershire), and the
Bristol suburbs of Monks Park, Horfield, Henleaze and Westbury on
Trym lie on its boundaries.
The River Trym
rises in Southmead and
flows southwest through Badock's Wood, a Local Nature Reserve
. There is a
near the northern end of
Southmead was a manor of the parish of Westbury on Trym. The manor
house, mentioned in a document of 1319, was near the south end of
what is now Southmead Road. Most of the estate of 313 acres was
sold in the late 19th century. By 1888 Southmead was a small hamlet
on Southmead Road. Southmead Hospital, formerly the Barton Regis Workhouse, was opened
there in 1924.
Large-scale development of the area started in 1931, when the
Bristol Corporation built 1,500 houses to the north of Southmead
Road, partly to house families cleared from the slums
of central Bristol, and partly to address the
housing shortage at the time. A further 1,100 houses were built
after World War II
. Since then,
reference has often been made to the "pre-war estate" of Southmead
and the "post-war estate".
The centre of Southmead is along Greystoke Avenue, a wide road with
grassy areas some distance to the north of Southmead Road. The area
to the south, around the old manor house, is now in Westbury on
Trym ward, and the parts of Southmead to the southeast of Southmead
Road, including the hospital, are in Horfield ward.
Southmead Youth Centre
Efforts have been made to improve the area's social problems and
implement environmental improvements, many of which have been
successful. However heroin and other drugs are still an issue. Many
of the youth are socially deprived and are much less likely to go
to university or college than their counterparts in other areas of
the city. Gangs who steal cars are also a problem.
On October 19th 2009
, a BBC Panorama
report, investigating the
extent of racism in modern Britain, featured two undercover
journalists who posed as Muslims
Southmead estate. The journalists were subject to 50 incidents of
racist abuse from local residents in two months. The couple were
verbally and physically attacked during their time in the area of
Southmead Bristol where they were residing, being told to go back
to Iraq. The word "Jew" was also used as an insult against the man
and a brick was thrown. The day after the programme was broadcast,a
22 year-old man and an 11 year-old boy were arrested on suspicion
of racially aggravated assault.
- Friends of Badock's Wood website
- The Henleaze Book, p.14
- Old Maps website
- BBC Panorama website