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The BBC's Part

(C)Clifton Rocks Railway Trust

Thousands of people pass the bottom entrance to the Clifton Rocks Railway as they drive along Bristol's Portway, with most not knowing what secret is buried in the rock of the Avon Gorge.  Constructed with great difficulty inside the cliffs of the Avon Gorge in order to reduce its visual impact on the picturesque surroundings, this water powered 'funicular' railway opened on 11 March, 1893 and operated for 40 years against diminishing trade. Its closure in 1934 did not mark the end of its useful life as it became a secret transmission base for the BBC during WWII.  It has been empty and disused since the BBC moved out after the war.

The Clifton Rocks Railway Trust has been formed by a group of volunteers to restore the Railway.  Supported by the Avon Gorge Hotel, Bristol City Council and sponsored by a number of local companies, the Trust is working hard to restore elements of the railway.

Our Aim...

"To advance the education of the public through the preservation and restoration of the Clifton Rocks Railway and its wartime history as a sustainable visitor attraction, which is fully integrated with other visitor attractions, transport systems and the Victorian heritage in the area."

Special thanks go to the Avon Gorge Hotel for their continued support.

Quick News....

Open Days

Check back in 2020 for news of open days

New book published
The ups and downs of the Clifton Rocks Railway and the Clifton Spa by Maggie Shapland. Book on sale now for £15 plus £4 p&p

Guided Tours

Click here for more information

Summary of Artefacts found in the Railway
Click here for the latest newsletter detailing the various artefacts found during the refurbishment of the Railway
Oral History Record
We are preparing an 'Oral History' record of people's memories of the Railway.  Please download the form and email Maggie with your memories....

Friends of Clifton Rocks Railway

Why not become a Friend of Clifton Rocks Railway?

Click here for an application form...

Help with our Feasibility Study by completing our
Member/Visitor Survey

Clifton Rocks Railway

Entrance to the Top Station, with the Suspension Bridge in the Background

Sion Hill, Clifton

Clifton Rocks Railway

The Top Station is located in Sion Hill, close to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol.

From the City Centre go up Park Street and Whiteladies Rd.  Turn left at the top of Black Boy Hill and then follow the signs to the Suspension Bridget.  Turn Left into Sion Hill, before the Bridge tolls.

Alternatively, from the Portway (Cumberland Basin/Avonmouth)  turn up Bridge Valley Road and at the top turn Right at the cross roads.  Follow the signs to the Suspension Bridge. 


We are grateful to The BBC, The Bristol Evening Post, Subterranea Britannica and Richard Hope-Hawkins for allowing us to use photo's, videos and background materials.

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