I was lucky enough to be in Bristol over the weekend at the same time as the opening of the city’s newest museum, the ‘M Shed‘.
Located on Princes Wharf in the city centre, the M Shed is a repurposed warehouse that has now opened as a museum which documents Bristol’s history. The museum is set over 3 floors, with the ground floor given over to a permanent exhibition called ‘Bristol Places’, which features several interactive displays that look at the growth of Bristol as a city from its beginnings as an Anglo-Saxon settlement right up to the modern day. This floor also looks at the recent history of several of the city’s more notable areas – large displays are given over to districts like St Paul’s, documenting the fairly recent history of the large Afro-Caribbean community in the area, and Bedminster, which is one of the city’s poorest areas.
On the second floor are the ‘Bristol People’ and ‘Bristol Life’ areas – these look at the workforce of the city over the centuries, notable Bristol people, as well as its influence on the rest of the UK. Bristol’s music scene features heavily here, as it was the birthplace of ‘trip-hop’ and produced bands such as Portishead and Massive Attack back in the early 1990s.
Up on the top floor is a special exhibition gallery and a large open-air roof terrace. Unfortunately when we visited over the weekend construction work was still on-going but we could access the narrow balcony that runs along the front of the museum and offers fantastic views over the city centre. Just outside there are also several examples of boats manufactured in the city as well as refurbished dock cranes and even a steam train that offers short rides along the quayside.
The M Shed is a great addition to the Bristol’s already impressive roster of museums and well worth a visit if you’re in the city.