Continuing our travels into the past…

We now venture onto the 1940s, in the second of our nine-decade retrospective series through 2018.

Development in Bristol during the 1940s was severely restricted by the advent of the Second World War.  Bristol underwent serial bombardments which destroyed key parts of the city.  Only a small number of projects were started by the practice during this time.

The 1940s at a view…

The 1940s saw a great deal of upheaval within the city of Bristol. Fortunately for one building, Queen’s Court in Clifton, this was one of the first large-scale luxury blocks of flats built around the start of the war, which withstood the large-scale bombings that plagued the city.

Queen’s Court, Clifton

Queen’s Court in Clifton was designed by Alec French as an eight-storey V-shaped block of 74 no. one, two and three-bed flats. Twenty balconies were built along each side, all shared by two flats which contributed to an ocean-liner look.

Constructed of plum-red brick with white stucco details and Crittall windows, the building is of a type that in London became the characteristic form for some areas. Not so characteristic perhaps was the building’s dramatic arrow-shaped example with a feature balcony on the top floor. In Bristol, such buildings are much less common and Queen’s Court was presented to the public as a new and exciting concept.

Queen’s Court was promoted as offering a luxurious, new style of living and Bristol furniture manufacturer PE Gane Ltd were contracted to furnish the show flats. One show flat built in the College Green shop was presented both as a showcase for the new range of flats and also as a prequel to the show flats at Queen’s Court.

Worth noting that at the time, a two-bed flat cost £150-£200 p.a. and the penthouse proffered a rather more luxurious price tag of £350 p.a.!


On the ground floor of the main Queens Road frontage a row of small shops offered a range of useful services.

Since its inauguration, the block has had a varied history and at times has been quite run-down, however a recent refurbishment has restored some of its former glory and the row of shops also still thrives. The pergola on the end of the penthouse has gone, yet the Crittall windows remain which help to maintain Queen’s classic look.

Queen’s Court, Clifton, as it stands today.