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Horfield is a suburb of the city of Bristol, in southwest England. It lies on Bristol's northern edge, its border with Filton marking part of the boundary between Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Bishopston lies directly to the south. Monks Park and Golden Hill are to the west. Lockleaze and Ashley Down are on the eastern fringe. The Gloucester Road (A38) runs north/south through the suburb.

Horfield is also the name of a ward for Bristol City Council. The ward includes Monks Park and Southmead Hospital, but does not include the southern part of Horfield, including Horfield Common and Horfield Prison, which is in Bishopston ward.


The name 'Horfield' is Anglo-Saxon in origin, meaning 'Filthy open land' (Old English 'horu' and 'feld').

Horfield was a parish in the hundred of Berkeley in Gloucestershire, which included Bishopston, Golden Hill, Lockleaze and part of Ashley Down.

Historically, the area had a reputation as a lawless place because Horfield Wood was the haunt of thieves and vagrants. The area remained rural until the early 19th century.

Horfield Prison was built in 1847 to replace the Bristol Gaol burnt down in the 1831 Bristol Riots. There was also a large British Army barracks in Horfield from 1845, which was for a time headquarters of the South Gloucestershire Regiment. By the 1940s the buildings were too old to be used and the depot was closed, and most of the buildings apart from the chapel were demolished in 1966. There are several war graves in churches in Horfield. A Territorial Army building remains, but most of the site was converted to a General Post Office (later British Telecom) engineering works, which in turn was redeveloped as housing since 2000.

Horfield was mostly developed from the mid 19th century onwards. In 1859, Bishopston became a separate parish. In 1894 Horfield Urban District was formed, but in 1904 it was absorbed into Bristol.

In 1908 Horfield Common was acquired by the Bristol City Council, and remains a public open space.

Much 1920s (originally local authority) housing in Upper Horfield is currently in the process of being redeveloped due to structural problems caused by concrete cancer. The new development is of higher density than the original housing.

Information from Wikipedia

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