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© Ms Ruth Povey

IoE Number: 380277
Photographer: Ms Ruth Povey
Date Photographed: 30 June 2001
Date listed: 01 November 1966
Date of last amendment: 30 December 1994
Grade II*

The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.

BRISTOL ST5873SW QUEEN'S ROAD 901-1/10/228 (North East side) 01/11/66 City Museum and Art Gallery and attached front walls (Formerly Listed as: QUEENS ROAD (North side) City Museum and Art Gallery) GV II* Museum and gallery. Dated 1899-1904. By Sir F Wills. Limestone ashlar, roof not visible. Rectangular open plan in 2 sections. Edwardian Baroque style. 3 storeys; 3-window range. A monumental front has a deeply projecting centre over a porte cochere. Vermiculated outer quoins to a frieze, modillion cornice and parapet; centre has a rock-faced plinth to a band, vermiculated ground floor to a plat band, and paired Ionic clasping pilasters. The centre section breaks forward, with paired Ionic columns from the first floor to a pediment surmounted by an outer balustrade and central pedestal with Beaux Arts statuary. First-floor half-domed 5-light mullion bow, under a raised panel inscribed THE GIFT OF SIR HENRY WILLIAM WILLS BART TO HIS FELLOW CITIZENS 1904, and a large carving of the city arms. To each side are relief carvings of artists' palettes. Outer semicircular-arched 3-light mullion windows and a key, with stained glass; above are swagged panels. The porte cochere has semicircular arches front and side with coved reveals and large keys giving on to a vaulted area, with a semicircular-arched doorway with coved reveals and a cartouche inscribed 1902, and 2 pairs of half-glazed doors. Side windows have 3 lights and moulded lintels. Festoon panels over the outer windows. INTERIOR: 2 large halls with barrel-vaulted glazed roofs, separated by a double staircase. The front hall is 6 bays long and 3 wide, a balcony on carved figure brackets above the door extends round the sides, and an arcade above with piers to the roof; reliefs of painters' names to each side bay in swagged panels. An imperial stair reached through an arched screen, of Corinthian columns to a second-floor balustrade, supported over a first-floor balcony by marble columns. Behind is a further stair with paired columns under a Diocletian wndow. The rear hall is 4 bays long, a ground-floor arcade of segmental arches, a Doric frieze and first-floor arcade, with paired Corinthian columns separated by paired semicircular arches on marble columns, and a balustrade. Each end has a Venetian arch under a Diocletian window. SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: attached rock-faced walls to the front have 4 good lanterns on pedestals. The building was paid for by Sir H Wills, and is Bristol's only major public building of the period. A well contrived and lit interior to match the weight of the front; '..a free Baroque design of magnificent proportions' (Crick). (Gomme A, Jenner M and Little B: Bristol, An Architectural History: Bristol: 1979-: 391; Crick C: Victorian Buildings in Bristol: Bristol: 1975-: 62; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 417).

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