Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

City of Bristol (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 61114 71753



ST67SW JUNCTION ROAD, Brislington 901-1/56/466 (West side) 08/01/59 Black Castle Public House (Formerly Listed as: JUNCTION ROAD Arno's Castle)


Also known as: Arno's Castle JUNCTION ROAD Brislington. Sham castle and office, now public house. 1745-55. Probably designed either by William Halfpenny or James Bridges. For William Reeve, as pleasure rooms and offices. Pre-cast black copper-slag blocks from Reeve's foundry at Crew's Hole, Pennant rubble; brickwork and freestone dressings; pantile roof. Gothick style. Symmetrical plan with corner towers linked by 2-storey blocks to form a square courtyard, with 2 larger entrance towers front and back. The entrance front has a 2-storey entrance tower with a pointed archway through, originally with sexpartite vaulting, and C20 doors; above is a blank panel with ogee head, and a second-floor 2-centre arch with perpendicular tracery, and crenellated parapet with sunken panels. 2-window ranges to each side have similar openings with Y-tracery, a string course and carved inset panels, beneath a crenellated parapet. The 2-storey corner towers have wooden 2-centred arched doorways, and flushwork panels shaped like arrow slits; that on the left has C18 brickwork to the ground floor and a recent brick buttress. The left-hand elevation has a plain C20 extension. A coach house extends forward at right angles from the right-hand turret, with a central 2-centre archway front and back, similar smaller windows either side, and round, flush panels above the string. The crenellated parapet is raised above the archway. Inside the courtyard, the entrance tower is as the outside; facing it is a larger tower with diagonal buttresses and a moulded arched doorway inside a larger archway containing a scrolled cartouche. Above is a coat of arms and a head of Henry VIII. 2 pointed windows to the second floor with Y-tracery, cornice, decorated crenellations and corner pinnacles; and on either side are smaller turrets. Around the courtyard the walls either side of the towers have a single Y-tracery windows, and the side walls have similar in 4-window ranges with a central doorway. The latter are decorated with worn terms, and carved pediment panels above. A plat band runs all the way round, beneath a crenellated parapet. The rear round towers are similar to those at the front. INTERIOR: on 2nd floor of the main tower a former chapel, with a shallow barrel vault with decorated plaster panels, a corner fireplace and 3-light traceried side windows. Other internal decorations such as carved heads can be glimpsed above the inserted ceilings on the ground floor. HISTORICAL NOTE: built for William Reeve of Arno's Court (qv), using material probably from his own copper works at Crew's Hole. Much of the freestone carving and dressings are reputed to have come from the city's demolished medieval gateways, and St Werburgh's Church (qv), rebuilt by James Bridges in 1758-61. A very early example of the Gothick style. "...the extremely successful massing and variety from all viewpoints, make this the best of all the early fake castles in Britain" (Gomme). (Gomme A, Jenner M and Little B: Bristol, An Architectural History: Bristol: 1979-: 170; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 461; Latimer J: The Annals of Bristol in the Eighteenth Century: Bristol: 1887-1908: 68; Mowl T: Bristol, The Last Age of the Merchant Princes: Bristol: 1991-: 66).

Listing NGR: ST6111471753


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Gomme, A H, Jenner, M, Little, B D G, Bristol, An Architectural History, (1979), 170
Latimer, J , The Annals of Bristol in the Eighteenth Century, (1887-1908), 68
Mowl, T, Bristol: The Last Age of the Merchant Princes, (1991), 66
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol, (1958), 461


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 09 Feb 2001
Reference: IOE01/03193/12
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Cyril N. Chapman. Source Historic England Archive
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