Reflections 2: the Matthew


Not many fine reflections were evident on a recent grey skies visit to Bristol, but the incongruity of the oldish and the new struck me looking at this view on the River Avon.

The oldish: the sailing ship is the Matthew, a replica of the kind of craft around in the late fifteenth century, built in Bristol to mark the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Newfoundland in Canada.
Following the exploits of his fellow Genoese seaman Columbus, Giovanni Cabotto (better known here as John Cabot) obtained letters patent from Henry VII to claim any landfall for England.
He and his crew may have been the first Europeans since the Vikings to set foot on the North American mainland.

And now the new: since the docks were closed to commercial trading Bristolians have started to realise the potential of this asset in the heart of the city, leading to a an unprecendented building boom.
Not all (in fact, little) of the development has been of aesthetic merit, but it could have been worse if it had it commenced in, say, the 60s.

If you look carefully, you can see the 15th-century throwback reflected in the glass of the steel-caged building behind.

A March 2013 post re-posted


2 thoughts on “Reflections 2: the Matthew

    1. There’s surprisingly little to the replica: it’s just a floating storage container, in essence. Like your descriptions of the modernist structures; I give them 20 years before they’re demolished and replaced.


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