“Scared at thy presence, start the train of Death,

And hide their whips and scorpions; thee, confused,

Slow Fever creeps from; thee the meagre fiend

Consumption flies, and checks his rattling cough!”


The village of Clifton has long been distinguished among our native watering-

places as the Montpelier of England. In point of situation, and the beautiful and varied

scenery it commands, it is without a rival among those numerous springs which, from

their medicinal virtues, have risen into universal repute. It occupies a very elevated

position; and from the windows of his apartment the visitor may enjoy enchanting views

of the western part of Bristol, the Avon, and the numerous vessels that glide to and

fro upon its waters. The plateau, which terminates a gradual ascent from the river, is

covered with elegant buildings that furnish excellent accommodation to the numerous

visitors who annually resort to these salubrious fountains. Many private families of

opulence and respectability make this their principal residence, and with justice, for

few situations in the British Empire can supply more varied and rational sources of

enjoyment. Those who seek to combine the blessings of health with rational amusement

and mental cultivation will very rarely be disappointed in selecting the now “classic”

shades of Clifton as a residence.

The Bristol hot-well — “Bristoliensis aqua” — is a pure thermal, slightly

acidulated spring. The fresh water is inodorous, perfectly limpid and sparkling, and

sends forth numerous air-bubbles when poured into a glass. It is very agreeable to the

taste, and in specific gravity approaches very nearly to that of distilled water; a fact

which proves that it contains only an extremely minute admixture of foreign ingredients.

The temperature of this water, taking the average of the most accurate observations,

may be reckoned at 74°; a degree of temperature which is scarcely, if at all, influenced

by the difference of season. The water contains both solid and gaseous matter, and the

distinction between the two requires to be attended to, as it is owing to its very minute

proportion of solid matter that it deserves the character of a very fine natural spring.

To its excess in gaseous contents it is principally indebted for its medicinal properties,

— whatever these may be, — independently of those of mere water with an increase

of temperature. The principal ingredients of the hot-well water are a large proportion

of carbonic acid gas — fixed air — a certain portion of magnesia and lime in various

combinations with the muriatic, sulphuric, and carbonic acids. The general inference

is that it is remarkably pure for a natural fountain, from the fact of its containing no

other solid matter — and that in less quantity — than what is contained in almost any

common spring water. Much, however, of the merit ascribed to the Bristol and Clifton

wells is due to the mild and temperate climate of the place, which of itself is sufficient to

recommend Bristol as a desirable residence for invalids.

Independently of its medicinal waters, Clifton has many attractions, which

from time to time have been the subjects both of painting and poetry, and made it the

favoured residence of many distinguished individuals. Of the latter, none have deserved

better of their country than Mrs. Hannah More, whose writings breathe the purest

sentiments of religion and morality, and whose personal Memoirs form one of the most

interesting volumes in English biography.

The Suspension Bridge, which forms so prominent a feature in our engraving, is

unfortunately still far from that state of completion in which the artist has been pleased

to depict it Many years have passed since its commencement, and still more thousands

of pounds have been expended in preparation, and yet this great and useful work

remains a monument of misapplied capital and wasted labour.

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