Watercolours from Casson’s 1973 Redevelopment Study Bristol City Docks

In 1969 Bristol City Council proposed filling in the floating docks.  SS Great Britain arrived in Bristol in 1970, and later proposals included building a ring road through its dock.  Following a local outcry, Casson was appointed – in 1972 – to advise on the redevelopment of the docks and surrounding area.  These designs mostly relate to the Castle Park area, where a museum and art gallery were proposed as a frame for the ruined St Peter’s and St Mary’s churches – both damaged on 24 November 1940 in the Bristol Blitz and left in ruined form as a memorial.  The latter ruin is the subject of a John Piper painting in The Tate.  Post war, the remaining Tudor, Georgian and Victorian buildings were demolished.  Casson’s proposals were enacted in an emasculated form in 1978.

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