Place:Sea Mills, Gloucestershire, England

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NameSea Mills
Alt namesAbonasource: Athena, Romano-British Sites [online] (2000) accessed 5 August 2004
Abonaesource: Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites (1979) p 4
TypeVillage, Suburb
Coordinates51.4856°N 2.6422°W
Located inGloucestershire, England     ( - 1974)
Also located inAvon, England     (1974 - 1996)
Bristol (post 1996), England     (1996 - )
See alsoHenbury, Gloucestershire, Englandparish of which it was a part
Bristol, Gloucestershire, Englandcity into which it was absorbed by 1904
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Sea Mills is a suburb of the English port city of Bristol. It is situated some 3.5 miles (6 km) north-west of the city centre, towards the seaward end of the Avon Gorge, lying between the former villages of Shirehampton to the west, Westbury-on-Trym to the north and Stoke Bishop to the east, at the mouth of the River Trym where it joins the River Avon. Sea Mills forms part of the city ward of Kingsweston. Despite Roman remains, its place in the history of the area before the 20th-century is small.

Sea Mills was the site of a Roman settlement, known as Portus Abonae. The name and location suggest that this was a river or sea port. The Roman settlement seems to have been abandoned by the 4th century, and there is no evidence of Saxon settlement.

By the Middle Ages Bristol had become a major port, with all traffic between the port and the sea having to pass through the Avon Gorge and past Sea Mills. In 1712, Joshua Franklyn, a Bristol merchant, built a wet dock at Sea Mills, to eliminate the need for large sailing ships to navigate the dangerous River Avon any further upstream. This was located where the River Trym enters the River Avon. However, poor transport links doomed the enterprise and the harbour facilities fell into disrepair by the end of the 18th century. Some remains of the dock still exist, and are used as a harbour by pleasure craft.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Sea Mills, Bristol.

Research Tips

  • Bristol Archives is where paper and microfilm copies of all records for Bristol and its environs are stored.

Online sources which may also be helpful:

  • GENUKI gives pointers to other archive sources as well as providing some details on each parish in the county. The emphasis here is on ecclesiastical parishes (useful before 1837). The GENUKI page for the parish will confirm which archive provider has its records.
  • A listing of all the Registration Districts in England and Wales since their introduction in 1837 and tables of the parishes that were part of each district and the time period covered with detailed notes on changes of parish name, mergers, etc. Do respect the copyright on this material.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki for Gloucestershire provides a similar but not identical series of webpages to that provided by GENUKI
  • A Vision of Britain through Time has a group of pages of statistical facts for almost every parish in the county
  • MAPS. Most Wikipedia maps for places in the Bristol area have outline maps indicating the location of the suburb under discussion. Another online map that may be useful is this Ordnance Survey map originally made in 1930 and with revisions to 1946.
  • Unfortunately, A History of the County of Gloucester in the Victoria County History series provided by the website British History Online does not cover all of Bristol--and the area that was originally in Gloucestershire is sadly omitted, save for the information on the churches in A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 2


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Sea Mills, Bristol. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
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