Municipal Dreams

Council housing transformed Bristol between the wars.  Some 15,000 council homes were built, principally in nine new suburban estates.  Forty per cent of new homes in the city in this period were council homes.  Designed according to the finest planning principles of the day, they represented not just new buildings but radically altered lives.

Woodcote Road, Hillfields Park, c1930 © Paul Townsend and made available under the Creative Commons licence Woodcote Road, Hillfields Park, c1930 © Paul Townsend and made available under a Creative Commons licence

Despite these later efforts, Bristol had come slowly to the necessity of council housing.  Before 1914, the Corporation had built just 72 tenement homes – and these mainly to replace homes demolished in road improvement schemes.  Constructed in Fox Road, Chapel Street, Braggs Lane, Millpond Avenue and Fishponds Road, the only survivors of this period are tenements in Mina Road, St Werburghs. (1)

Mina Road tenements Mina Road tenements, built 1906

But even before 1914, a wind of change was apparent.  Though a proposal to build a…

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