View all news

Cabot Tower: your memories

Photo memories of Cabot Tower

17 July 2017

If you have lived in Bristol as a student, you will be familiar with Cabot Tower, a popular landmark in the city’s oldest park. With the end of June marking the anniversary of Cabot Tower being built some 120 years ago, we asked for your memories of the pretty sandstone tower over on Facebook. Here are some of the memories you shared with us…

A romantic setting – Elizabeth Fleming

I work and study at the University of Bristol. I love to go to Cabot Tower in my lunch breaks, as I find it humbling to look over the life below.

Last November, on a beautiful crisp evening, my partner Barry took me to the tower, which to my surprise was open. There were photos telling our story together and candles winding up the stairs. When we got to the top there were a dozen red roses from “Barry Toogood florists”, as well as champagne and fairy lights.

Enjoying the views over Bristol, while sipping champagne, Barry pointed out our memories in Bristol together – from overlooking the Clifton Suspension Bridge, to buying our first house together. Then he got down on one knee...

I'm marrying him one year on this November. The tower has a special place our hearts.

Carpet beating, anyone? – Tony Byers (BSc 1970) 

We sometimes went to Brandon Hill Park in between lectures and we would look out for the occasional quirky photo for the student newspaper Nonesuch (which is now the alumni magazine).

In my day there were severe restrictions on carpet beating! See the photo from November 1968 showing the carpet sign, which states 'no carpet beating allowed before 6am or after 9pm'. Having Googled the hill's history, perhaps the clothes drying developed into carpet cleaning… and got somewhat out of hand.

(Read further information about the history of Cabot Tower and Brandon Hill on Bristol City Council’s website.)

An artistic view – Caroline Clark (née Holmes) (MEng 1999, PhD 2003) 

I came to Bristol as a fresh-faced Mechanical Engineering undergraduate in 1995 and very quickly made some lifelong friends. In our third and fourth years, we lived as a group of six, on Hillside in Clifton Wood and the painting (on the right hand side) was the view from our front door. Painted by my wonderful friend and housemate at the time, Laura Pumphrey, this watercolour now resides in the living room of our family home in Frenchay. I can't believe it's 20 years old!

Cabot Tower is such a focal point in the area and along with many of Bristol's other great landmarks, it provides fantastic views all over the city. I've even had fun waving at people at the top of the tower from the top of the Wills Building!

Bristol is my home; I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

Further information

Have you climbed Cabot Tower recently? Take a climb up the spiral staircase to enjoy the panoramic views over the city and harbourside. Check the tower's opening hours on Visit Bristol.

We’d love to hear more of your memories. Share them over on Facebook.