Another view of the landscaped garden at Stourhead with the Bristol High Cross in
the foreground and the Pantheon in the distance. The High Cross originally stood at the
crossroads of Broad Street, Corn Street, High Street and Wine Street in Bristol. It was erected
in 1373 to celebrate the granting of a charter by King Edward III, making Bristol the first
provincial borough to be a county in its own right. However the Cross came to be regarded
as a nuisance by Bristol's civic leaders. In 1733 it was decided that this "superstitious relic"
was hampering the flow of traffic and it was dismantled and re-erected on College Green
in 1736, but it "contracted the animosity of fashionable people who found it interfered with
their parading about abreast" and in 1762 it was again dismantled. It remained in storage in
Bristol Cathedral until 1764 when Henry Hoare II offered to take it off the city's hands. The
Cross was transported to Stourhead on six horse-drawn carriages and re-erected
there in
1765. In 1851 a replica of the cross was erected on the corner of College Green, but this was
moved to the centre of the green in 1888 to make way for a statue of Queen Victoria. In 1950
the replica cross was dismantled again when College Green was lowered on the completion
of the new Council House. The City Council refused to pay for the cross to be re-erected and
instead sold it to the Bristol Civic Society who erected the upper half in Berkeley Square.