Fire Station, York Road

The crescent of houses situated on York Road, about halfway between its junctions with Whitehouse Street and Spring Street, is a good example of the sort of Georgian architecture that prevails in Bristol. It was built some time after the construction of the New Cut in 1809 and then called Redcliffe Crescent. However about half way along is a totally unexpected break in the facade filled by two properties, Nos 82 and 84. Street directories indicate that these plots were originally a timber yard with vehicular access only from York Road and, as late as 1883, maps showed no buildings there.

Between 1900 and 1910 the site was used as a motor garage and, judging by the architecture, it was about this time that buildings were erected. English Heritage not then being in existence, no attempt was made to match the frontage to the existing crescent. In the early 1920s the garage closed and the site was occupied by Jacobs biscuit manufacturers (of Cream Cracker fame?) They left about 1960.

During WWII the authorities realised that emergency service reports should not be garaged at one location as, in the event of an air raid, a very large number could be destroyed by a single bomb. Therefore this former garage was utilised to house one (or more) fire engines and established as a “Fire Station”. Its use was discontinued after the cessation of hostilities. However, clearly the name has stuck, and the frontage still displays a large sign saying THE FIRE STATION.

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