Sweet History landmark (photo)

The Street Name Trail

There are many road names in the centre of Bristol that have links to the sugar and slave trade. Here are some examples:

Street Name Link to sugar and slave trade
GUINEA STREET This street is named after the gold coin called a guinea, which took its name from a country on the West African coast where gold was mined and traded and that was involved in the triangular trade
FARRS LANE Thomas Farr who built Blaise Castle had owned slave ships and made lots of money from being involved in the slave trade
COLSTON AVENUE Edward Colston was a merchant and slave trader who also gave money to many English charities
MERCHANTS QUAY This is named after the merchants that traded in the goods that were part of the triangular trade
JAMAICA STREET Jamaica was one of the West Indian islands on which slaves were kept to grow sugar and other goods that were traded as part of the triangular trade

There are other street names that pupils may also think have links to the slave trade, but for which there is no historical evidence:

Street Name Link to sugar and slave trade
WHITELADIES ROAD There is no evidence to support the story that this was a road where white ladies paraded their black boy servants
BLACKBOY HILL There is no evidence that this was a place where black boy slaves were sold

Discuss the street names with the pupils and see if they can think of any other examples. Pupils could do more research in their local area using the internet, local history books or by looking at information from the Bristol Records Office.

Get the pupils top locate the different street sites on google maps. Using the information above and other information from the Sweet History? trail, ask the pupils to create their own slavery street name mini- trail for Bristol. They could do this using a PowerPoint presentation or by creating a written and illustrated leaflet with a map. A large version of the trail could be used as the focus for a wall display that showcases the pupils’ work.

This activity could be linked to literacy and ICT.