Bristol Landmarks

The Colston Hall was renamed the Bristol Beacon in 2020, after years of campaigning, not least by members of the city's Afro–Caribbean community. The hall was named after Edward Colston (1636–1721) – a merchant and Member of Parliament, who founded a school on the site it now occupies. He was a member of the Royal African Company, which held a monopoly on the English trade in African slaves. He was deputy governor of the company in 1689–90.

In April 2017, the Bristol Music Trust – the charity that had run the Colston Hall since 2011 – announced that it would be dropping the name after refurbishment was completed in 2020. The protests came to a head in June of that year, following the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, USA. The renaming was effected following riots in Bristol, when a statue of Edward Colston was pulled off its pedestal and dumped in the city's docks.

The Arnolfini is named after The Arnolfini Marriage, a painting by the Dutch master Jan van Eyck which hangs in the National Gallery, London. This was one of the earliest paintings to assert the presence of the artist within its depiction (an inscription in the middle of the work and a reflection in a mirror on the back wall); the Bristol Arnolfini seeks to explore the role of artist as a witness and recorder of what is around them (i.e. contemporary society).

© Haydn Thompson 2017