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Could your memories bring the history of Wills Memorial Building to life?

Wills Tower which stands some 68 metres tall

Wills Tower which stands some 68 metres tall

The Law Library in the Wills Memorial Building

The Law Library in the Wills Memorial Building

Press release issued: 15 March 2012

Wills Memorial Building, the symbolic centrepiece of the University of Bristol, is being featured in a new project which aims to collate people’s memories of 10 key places in the city for a new online resource to compliment the popular Doors Open Day annual event.

Organisers of Bristol: Opening Doors want to encourage the public to engage and interact with their local built environment in an informal way by giving year-round virtual access to the interiors, stories and memories.

Members of the public, students and staff are asked to share their own personal recollections at a special day which has been organised for Tuesday, 20 March.

The project will collect physical, social and historical information to create an online resource which will include short films, teaching and learning resources for schools, an interactive online blog, a printed trail map and a smart phone application.

It’s due to be launched in the autumn with an exhibition, guided urban walk and an Opening Doors Day event for schools and the public.

The 10 buildings involved in the project are:

  • 29 Queen Square
  • All Saints Church, Clifton
  • Bristol Old Vic
  • Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station
  • Colston’s Almshouse and Chapel
  • Horizon House: Environment Agency
  • Old Council House
  • St James Priory
  • The Exchange, Corn Street
  • Wills Memorial Building

Wills Memorial Building is one of Bristol’s tallest and most iconic buildings. The imposing Neo Gothic landmark features the famous Great George bell – the sixth largest in England, weighing in at 9.5 tonnes.

Officially opened in 1925 by King George V and Queen Mary, it now houses the University’s School of Law and the School of Earth Sciences, in addition to hosting graduation ceremonies twice a year and a whole host of public events.

The view from the top of Wills Tower, some 68 metres above Park Street, is unparalleled and tours of the building have become popular thanks with visitors hoping to gain a unique insight into the history of the building, which was badly damaged during the Blitz in 1940.

If you have an interesting tale or link with one of these buildings and would like to share your story on Tuesday, 20 March then please contact The Architecture Centre via email or call 0117 922 1540. There are still some spaces left but interested participants should make contact beforehand to find out more and to book a time.

Further information

Bristol: Opening Doors received a grant of £33,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) with additional support from the Bristol Buildings Preservation Trust, Bristol City Council and The Drake Trust.

The project is led by The Architecture Centre and aims to complement Bristol Doors Open Day, an annual event each September when many of Bristol’s significant contemporary and historic buildings open their doors to the general public.

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