Welsh Back


In 1673 Welsh Back was known as St Nicholas Back.

Welsh Back-Hugh ONeill- Bristol Museums – Early 19 Century
Welsh Back 1860s
Welsh Back 1860s – Reece Winstone
Welsh Back 1860s RW
Welsh Back 1860s – Reece Winstone

The following story illustrates how dangerous the docks could be and relates the death of Arthur Norris in June 1876. The pictures that follow illustrate what Welsh Back looked like around this time.

Story submitted by Samantha Willis, Mr Norris’s Great Great Grand-Niece.

‘Harriet’ could be Barge Harriet O.N. 13317 which was built in1827 at Bower Yard Shropshire by John Harris. It was broken up in Bristol in c.1934 by T.R Brown.

What is a Trow?

Trows at Gloucester – one with mast lowered – c1798
Welsh Back 1875
Welsh Back 1875
Welsh Back 1875 R W 2
1875 – Reece Winstone
Welsh Back 1875 R W
1875 – Reece Winstone
PBA2304 Historical view of Welsh Back from Bristol Bridge. The nearest boat is Taff also Flora Bell – 1890s
Welsh Back early 1900s
Welsh Back early 1900s
PBAN3409 Photo c1910 by A.R. Clifford – view of Welsh Back toward Bristol Bridge
PBAX3338 Coaster Abbas Combe moored at Welsh Back.
PBAX1541 Vessel Oleum, N V Reederij ‘Muron’ (Dutch vessel), receiving tar from Butler’s barge Isabelle in Welsh Back

Ketch “Sultan” and coaster “Isca”. Beyond the bridge is the Georgian terrace of Bridge Street, largely destroyed in WW2.

Welsh Back 1930s Two old Sailing Barges Jonodab and Squirrel – PBA 409
PBAX413 Sailing ship in foreground being worked on from a small boat, with Bristol Bridge in background.
Bristol Bridge from Welsh NBBack 1938 Paul T
Bristol Bridge from Welsh Back 1938
PBAN4125 PBA fleet – grab dredger BD7 and mudhopper . Bristol Sand & Gravel suction dredger Camerton at berth in background.
Welsh and Redcliffe Backs 1950s
Welsh and Redcliffe Backs 1950s
PBA1896 MV Anne discharging woodpulp at Welsh Back, City Docks, with barges Dursley alongside. 1952
Welsh Back 1957 - RW
Welsh Back 1957 – Reece Winstone
Welsh Back 1960s Rw
Welsh Back 1960s – Reece Winstone
welsh back 1973 rrw
Welsh Back 1973 – Reece Winstone
Welsh Back 1974 – John Winstone
Welsh Back Redcliffe Back from Bristol Bridge
Welsh Back from Bristol Bridge
Sheds O and M await redevelopment Welsh Back –  May 2022