Posted 12 months ago
The Millers visited Bristol in 1906. At that time this High Cross was to be seen at College Green near St Augustine's Abbey. But times change and it was removed from that spot, dismantled and put into storage. The Bristol Civic Society purchased the stonework in 1950 and re-erected the truncated remains seen today in Berkeley Square, in the Clifton area of Bristol.
Strangely this same thing happened to an even earlier version of the High Cross that was erected in Bristol in 1373.
But what exactly is a High Cross?
Wikipedia has it that a " high cross or standing cross (Irish: cros ard / ardchros, Scottish Gaelic: crois àrd / àrd-chrois, Welsh: croes uchel / croes eglwysig) is a free-standing Christian cross made of stone and often richly decorated."
Its function was not just religious however. It marked a meeting place (or market place) within a town. It was a marker. "I will meet you at the High Cross at midday", I suppose. In Bristol you would find ironmongers in the area near the High Cross. It was a highly visible, thirty-nine feet high.
High Crosses were often painted in bright colours, too!
In Bristol the earlier High Cross was erected in 1373 , the year when Bristol acquired county status, although this does not mean that might well have been an even earlier version.
The High Cross stood at the junction of High Street, Broad Street, Wine Street and Corn Street, the four principal thoroughfares of the city.
But as the town developed its position at this major intersection became troublesome.
In 1733 it was dismantled and put in storage.
After public protest, it was re-erected on College Green, owned by the Cathedral, but again it proved a nuisance to those using the Green. In 1765 the Dean gave it to his friend Henry Hoare to ornament his landscaped gardens at Stourhead.
But in 1850 a copy was made by John Norton and erected on College Green. It too was moved a little later in 1888 to another position in College Green to make way for a statue of Queen Victoria. This was the High Cross that we see in this postcard.
There it remained until the late 1940s when it was moved and placed in storage. Today, sadly, you will just see the top section in a garden in Clifton.
This is an A & G Taylor Postcard number 944.
A & G Taylor (1860’s-1918)
Photographers Andrew and George Taylor set up the Royal Studio in the 1860’s, and as they became a major producer of cartes de visite they began opening up branches in many other towns and cities including some in the United States. They were publishing postcards by 1901 under the names of four different series though there are some unmarked cards. The Reality Series consisted of greetings, children, actresses, and military themes produced as real photo postcards. The Carbontone Series were black & white printed views and greetings. The Orthochrome Series were also of views and greetings but printed in tinted halftone. They also published a Comic Series. After 1914 they moved their primary studio to Hastings. Their cards were printed in both Saxony and Great Britain.