Stokes Croft

Stokes Croft is the name of a road and an area in Bristol, England. The road forms part of the A38 that leads north from the city centre, before it takes the names Cheltenham Road and then Gloucester Road.

It is within the districts of Kingsdown and St Paul's and comes under the BS1 postcode.

The name Stokes Croft has come to refer to an area around the road as an informal district encompassing Jamaica Street, the junction of Picton Street and Ashley Road, and the southern part of Cheltenham Road. The area is a centre of art, music and independent shops in Bristol, with clubs such as the Croft, Lakota and Blue Mountain; the nearby music college BIMM Bristol on King Square; and numerous pieces of graffiti art. The area’s character has given rise to a group of activists and artists calling themselves The People's Republic of Stokes Croft (PRSC), who are seeking to revitalise the area through community action and public art.

It takes its name from John Stokes, a medieval inhabitant of Bristol who was mayor of the city in the late 14th century. The abandoned building still known as Perry’s Carriage Works was built in 1850 and has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II* listed building. Slightly later, in 1861, the City Road Baptist Church was built.

Today the area is notorious for derelict housing. In 2006 a Heritage Lottery Fund grant was obtained by Bristol City Council to help overturn the decline in economic activity and environmental quality and a rise in social problems seen in the area since the 1970s. At the junction of Stokes Croft and Jamaica Street is a large mural,"The Mild Mild West", painted some time in the 1990s by Banksy. It depicts a teddybear lobbing a Molotov cocktail at three riot police. In 2007 the mural was voted Alternative Landmark of Bristol.

The landscape is much changed over the past few years, with many more students moving in and a new wave of young media professionals frequenting the bars and coffe shops this road is starting to see a new lease of life. Major building work has taken place recently and this part of Bristol is now a popular and exciting place to visit.
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