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.
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