Forming one quarter of the crossroads that was a key focal point within Bristol, Broad Street has always lain at the heart of the old city. At its northern end stood one of the gates through the ancient city walls, leading towards the lowest bridge over the river Frome, which wrapped around the north and east of the old city. Together with High Street, Broad Street connected this important crossing with Bristol Bridge, over the river Avon, making an important axis through the city. As travellers made their way south along Broad Street they would pass the Guildhall, the scene of the mayor’s formal investing and the location of quarter sessions and assize courts until the later 20th century. At the southern end of Broad Street, where it joined with Corn Street, High Street and Wine Street, stood the medieval high cross until 1733. Here also stood the Tolzey, the open-air site where the Mayor and Common Council dispensed justice, and the Council House, where the Council held its meetings. Millerd’s map of 1733 also depicts a pair of stocks set up at this point, highlighting Broad Street’s connection with justice and authority. Three of the city’s seventeen parish churches also stood on Broad Street, with St John’s over the city gate at the northern end, and Christchurch and St Ewen’s facing each other at the southern end, although the latter was demolished in the late 18th century and an enlarged Council House was built on the site in 1820. Its role at the heart of Bristol government made Broad Street the location for important civic processions, such as the entry into the city every six months of the assize judges. It also made it a focus for protest, such as the angry demonstrations outside the Guildhall which proceeded the Bristol riots in 1831.