As part of the Homes for Heroes 100 programme, we are publishing a new book of walks on a housing theme. This blog looks at one of the areas to be covered – Hillfields– which is the focus of centenary celebrations led by  Local Learning and also one of the Homes for Heroes 100 projects led by the Architecture Centre.

Hillfields aerial

(Aerial view of Hillfields taken in the 1920s, Bristol Archives 44819 3 176. Cover photo taken at Local Learning’s sharing memories event on 6 April 2019)

Hillfields contains the first council housing to be erected under the powers of the 1919 Addison Act, as well as the first to be occupied. In June 1920 500 delegates, drawn from across the UK, the British Dominions (Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand), Europe and the USA came to Hillfields to see a range of housing designs that had been constructed in what was termed the Demonstration Area. This walk will take you past some of the houses they saw on that day.

Model home REA25

(Design by S S Reay for a block of four three-bed homes, two with parlours, two without, from the Demonstration Area Bristol ArchivesKnow Your Place ref REA25 Red Label Plans 22/3/21)

If you live or have lived in Hillfields we’d welcome any memories or anecdotes you’d like to share about the area, particularly in relation to the key stopping points on the walk.

The shops on Lodge Causeway

Thicket Avenue (including the houses on the corner of Briar Way)

The Baptist Church

The Recreation Ground

The Community Centre

The house on the corner of Rosedale Road and Gorse Hill

The plaque on Beechen Drive

Site of the Quadrant West air raid shelters

Maple Avenue

Hillfields Library

Site of St Bede’s Church

Minerva Primary School/ Hillfields Primary School

Market Square

Your comments will help us gather background material for the descriptions in the publication and may also be quoted from directly (if used, we will credit your contribution in the acknowledgements so please include your full name, unless you prefer to remain anonymous).

Please send via email to

Appeal for Family Photos/

In addition to the request above regarding Hillfields, we are also collecting family photos from people who have lived in council housing anywhere in Bristol. Some of these are to be used on the back cover of the Homes for Heroes 100 graphic history of council housing in Bristol, but we might use some elsewhere as well, including on our blog and in social media.

They can be the most ordinary of family photos – everyone watching TV, celebrating Christmas, larking about in the garden, kids with pets, or two or three generations posing to have their picture taken. They can be from anytime between the 1920s and 1980s.

If you’d like to be part of this, please email a high-resolution scan to the same address as above,  telling us when and where (the street name will do, we don’t need the house number) the photo was taken, and the names of the people in it.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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