Trinity's site and history

Trinity College is in Stoke Bishop in the north west of Bristol, on a nine-acre site which is partly woodland.

The main building (photo above), originally known as Stoke House, is one of Bristol's significant historic houses.  It was built in Stoke Bishop (once also known as Suffhopestoke and Bishop's Stoke)  in 1669 as a family mansion for Sir Robert Cann, Member of Parliament, Mayor of Bristol and Merchant Venturer. The estate had been acquired by his father, Sir William Cann, in the 1650s.

The house has since been home to various other families and then more recently to a school and to Clifton Theological College, which joined others in 1971 to become Trinity College Bristol.

The history of the ownership of Stoke House has been divided into the following eight periods:

'Stoke House is an exceeding good one, and inferior to few in the county for real comfort and utility. It was built by Sir Robert Cann, about the year 1669, as appears by an inscription over the porch. It underwent a thorough repair by the late Mr. Jefferis; and Mr. Lippincott, the present owner, has since added considerably to the offices and gardens. It stands on a delightful eminence, with a charming view of the Severn and Avon, and of the ships as they turn Portishead Point, and pass up and down the river. The high road which ran very near the house, was turned to an easy distance, and a much pleasanter and more open one made, Jan. 6 1778, under the direction of the commissioners of turnpike, but at Mr. Lippincott's expence, by which he has the advantage of a fine lawn before his house, and the public are also greatly benifited by the alteration.'

Samuel Rudder, A New History of Gloucestershire (1779), p.796


The first six sections are modifed versions of notes prepared Gavin Tyte, 2004.