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Bristol Travel Guide

British Empire and Commonwealth Museum



The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum is an award winning museum located in the Old Bristol Station at Temple Meads, which explores the history of the British Empire and the effect that British colonial rule had on the rest of the world.

There are sixteen interactive galleries plus exhibitions. The first gallery begins with John Cabotís voyage from Bristol in 1497 and his landing in Newfoundland off the coast of North America and how subsequent exploration, plunder and trade resulted in the expansion of the empire. It takes us from the plantations in the Americas and slavery to the colonisation of Australia and the impact on Australiaís first inhabitants.

The galleries following demonstrate a comprehensive history of the empire shown from every aspect with exhibits of relics, costume, film, video, photography and sound recordings.

The exhibition examines the history of the effects on its peoples and cultures and life in the colonies. It tackles issues of the slave trade, racism, emigration, conservation and environment and draws on a wide range of individualís experiences and opinions about everyday life and the colonial period.

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