Bristol River Frome is sometimes called that to distinguish it from other rivers called The Frome – There is another entering The Avon to the East of Bath. The name Frome is believed to come from a Celtic river name fram, meaning, brisk or fair.
Between 1240 and 1247 the original course of the Frome (roughly from The Glassboat at Bristol Bridge along Baldwin and St Stevens Streets) to its current course to provide more dock space. The dug out section was called The New Channel.
According to The Bristol Packet boat company the left hand section of Bristol Bridge (seen from South) is the former mouth of the Frome. It is undoubtedly close to the right spot but it is strange that since 1247 when the river was diverted it has survived several major rebuilds of the bridge?
Peter Aughton in Bristol – A Peoples History (2000) has the original course of the Frome entering The River Avon to the South of this point at about the site of The Glassboat mooring.
From about 1860 to about 1890 The Frome was culverted from Wade Street St Judes to Stone Bridge Rupert Street. This included the area near Castle Park where there were three bridges in a row from West to East at the bottom of Merchant Street, Philadelphia Street and Pen Street. Merchant Street and Penn street still exist in 2019 and rather oddly the name Philadelphia Street lives on but instead of being parallel to the other two streets it now is at 90 degrees and runs between them.
In the middle right you can see the figurehead of the sunk ‘Demerara’.