Home / Underground / Adam & Eve, Ham Green, Bristol

Adam & Eve, Ham Green, Bristol

Along the River Avon is a stretch of wall known as ‘Hung Road’ – it was this part of the river leading into central Bristol that ships were literally hung by there masts at low tide to prevent themselves keeling over. In the wall there are still visible signs of large iron rings fixings. Beside this resides a small white building with two towers and a gate between them. It was most likely a water gate for Ham Green House which is located further up the bank. Set either side of the gate are two statues of a man and a woman. Part graf’d part warn away they are only recognisable up close. These two statues give the building its name – The Adam & Eve.

Local stories tell of a tunnel that runs from the gated entrance to Ham Green House. The area around Hung Road was for centuries a den of smugglers and notorious river pilots who were known as the Pill Sharks. There are other hiding places along the stretch of Hung Road. In 1798 a search by customs unearthed huge stocks of of brand and rum from the tunnels around.

Ham Green House use later in life was as part of the isolation hospital (Ham Green Hospital) that treated tropical and infectious diseases. In the early days of the hospital it was likely that the sick were transported by boat and probably disembarked at the Adam & Eve.

Nurses working at the hospital would walk down to the Adam & Eve to sit in the sun. In the 1920’s two nurses were swept away and drowned in the wake of a passing ship and ever since access to the Adam & Eve has been closed off.

Check Also

Dreadnaught Storm Drain, Bristol

Built in 1974 the ‘dreadnaught’ storm drain runs from Bishopsworth through to an outfall on …

12 comments

  1. I think it was more the entrance to the tunnel was blocked rather than abillity to walk down to it. It’s somewhat a slippery slide into the Avon now if you venture down.

  2. “Nurses working at the hospital would walk down to the Adam & Eve to sit in the sun. In the 1920’s two nurses were swept away and drowned in the wake of a passing ship and ever since access to the Adam & Eve has been closed off.” I don’t know about the Nurses but it’s not true about it being closed off since the alleged incident, I used to play there between 1967 and 1970 and there was nothing to prevent us kids from going there.

  3. The folklore.. those stories still made it into the 90s although possibly not so much the school one (presume you mean the now community centre) as everyone had moved to the junior/infant site. There also used to be a tail of a tunnel/stairway going from Ham Green hospital into the tunnels. Can’t see this being true even if it was for WW2 as the line was still in use. Must go back to A&E and find a way in one day..

  4. Glad to find this interesting webpage. I grew up in Pill during the 1970s and school tales of the Grey Lady in the Ham Green Tunnel were regularly told. Along with stories of a ghost I the old Pill school.

  5. Yeah next you’ll tell me about the grey lady in ham green tunnel! Absolute poppycock

  6. I heard a story about 2 forbidden lovers that were kept apart by being locked in the 2 towers only to be left to die there.

  7. The navigation lights were maintained by The Port of Bristol authority.they would be your best bet.

  8. RICHARD WEBBER

    Since posting my last item I wish to make an architectural correction which might also be a point of interest to people. Gerald Hart in his book Ham Green (Crockerne Books, Pill 1990) was wrong to call the statues ” caryatids.”

    A Caryatid serves as an architectural support, taking the place of a column or pillar, by supporting an entablature on its head. Admittedly they may have formed this function originally by holding up the mantlepiece but they’re certainly free-standing figurines now.
    However the main difference is a Caryatid has to be a FEMALE sculpted figure so Adam could never qualify anyway. They’re statues not caryatids I’m afraid.

  9. RICHARD WEBBER

    Ok I finally got round to going there on Friday. I didn’t have to ” hop the fence ” because to the right of the padlocked gate there was a big hole in it ! However half way down the path disintegrated and basically I would say only sliding down on your backside would get you down there. I strongly suggest no-one attempts this. I’m not a particularly health and safety sympathiser myself but I’d have to say this track has now become HIGHLY DANGEROUS.

    I’ve always been interested to know whether anyone ever found out if the Adam and Eve caryatids did indeed once adorn a mantlepiece in an earlier Ham Green House as suggested. Does anyone know more ?

  10. Hi Richard,

    The gate is still there with steps down, it is indeed locked but you can just hop the fence next to it. It can be slippy down there and also very muddy around the A&E due to high tides of late so take care.

  11. Back in the 1990’s I planned a book on Bristol Follies and was able to take a path down the slope from the old hospital grounds and photograph this structure up close. I remember the sense of achievement when I got down there on the platform. Yes the statues were badly worn making them difficult to identify but there was a certain magic in the air which true follies give out.
    Then about 3 years ago I went back and couldn’t find the path. In fact it all looked far too steep and I wondered how I’d ever got down there in the first place. I do recall seeing the padlocked gate in your 9th image above so I presume that was the old way down ? Now whose got the key ?

  12. Hey brilliant pictures. Was wondering if anybody knew any contact details for this place as I’d like to use it as a film locations. Any idea who I could contact about that? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.