Debenham's, Bristol, UK


Date Built
Opened May 1957
33 - 47 The Horsemarket
This Debenham's store was one of the first of the modern shops to open in Bristol's Broadmead shopping area.  When it was completed in 1957, it was home to Jones and Co and traded under that name until 1972 when Debenham's took over.

(note: the curve in the building is a photographic trick - in real life it has a flat front)

An article in the Bristol Post on March 26, 2013, reflected on the history of the building.  It pointed out that, "As Broadmead shopping centre started to develop in the 1950s, so Jones insisted on choosing their own site for a new, huge store.  In a prominent position, fronting St James Barton and The Horsefair, the steel-framed, Portland stone building, complete with stock and fittings, cost nearly £2 million. ... The staff agree that the biggest change they have seen in the store was when the new modern escalators were installed as part of a 1980s revamp, replacing the originals. "  One former staff member recalled that, "Many shoppers were a bit scared to use them at first as you looked straight out of the plate glass windows over Broadmead ... Some people even got vertigo and insisted on using the stairs. .... Debenhams' roof garden is, amazingly, still there after all these years. But these days, I'm sorry to say, while it's looked after by the staff, it is only available for their use"

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