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Cribbs Causeway

The Mall, Cribbs Causeway - central atrium from the south

Cribbs Causeway is a road in South Gloucestershire, England, just north of Bristol, which has given its name to the surrounding area, a large out-of-town shopping centre, including retail parks and an enclosed shopping centre known as The Mall. Cribbs Causeway road is situated west of Patchway, although in the civil parish of Almondsbury.

The road runs from the northern edge of Bristol at Henbury to a point just beyond the M5 junction 17. It now forms parts of the A4018 and B4055. The primary access routes to the shopping centre are the A4018 from Bristol, the M5 motorway and Hayes Way link to the A38.

The Hazel Brook rises at Cribbs Causeway, flowing southwards through Blaise Castle estate, before joining the River Trym.


  • History 1
  • Shopping 2
    • The Mall 2.1
    • Retail parks 2.2
    • Other stores 2.3
  • The Venue 3
  • Other 4
    • Car Dealerships 4.1
    • Hotels 4.2
  • Transport 5
    • Bus station 5.1
    • Railway station 5.2
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The name of the road is often said to owe its name to Tom Cribb, a famous bare-knuckle boxer from the Bristol area. However, this was proved wrong in the 1960s by the discovery of a map showing the current name dated to four years prior to his 1781 birth.[1] The book's author goes on to speculate that the true origin of the name may be from Crybe's dwelling (Crybe being a personal name), or from crib – a manger or hovel. But all that we can truly glean from this is that the causeway - i.e. the Roman road - was named for a family with the surname Cribb (which may or may not have been closely related to the boxer's family: he was from Hanham on the opposite side of Bristol). This local family was probably also commemorated in the smallholding called Crybescroft which existed in Henbury in 1281.[2]

Cribbs Causeway is believed to be the route of a Roman road from Sea Mills to Gloucester.[3] It later became the route of a turnpike from Bristol to New Passage. In the 20th century it was part of the main road from Bristol to the Aust Ferry, until the Severn Bridge opened in 1966. In the early 1960s it was upgraded to an A road (the A4018), and linked with the New Filton Bypass to the A38 north of Patchway. In 1971 the New Filton Bypass was incorporated into the M5 motorway, and the motorway junction transformed the area. In 1976 Carrefour was granted planning permission to build a hypermarket (now the Asda store) near the junction.[4] Development of retail parks followed, and in 1998 the Mall was opened.


The Mall

The Mall
Location Bristol, UK
Opening date 1998
Owner Intu Properties
No. of stores and services 135
No. of anchor tenants 2
Total retail floor area 994,981 ft² (92,436m²)
No. of floors 2
The Mall at Cribbs Causeway

The Mall comprises 130 shops on two levels, although some of the large stores occupy more levels. Major stores include anchors John Lewis and Marks & Spencer, plus BHS, Boots, H&M, Next, River Island and Topshop/Topman. During 2013, the centre housed the Gromit Unleashed Exhibition and Store and also hosted the charity auction that took place after the arts trial had concluded. Global corporations such as Apple Inc, Samsung, Bose Corporation and Tesla Motors. In the atrium on the upper level of the Mall is the dining court which is home to various chain outlets such as another KFC (the other is located at the Venue), McDonald's, Carluccio's, Pizza Hut, Nando's, Spud-u-Like, Krispy Kreme and more.

At its centre point The Mall has a large fountain with a water display. Money thrown into the fountain is donated to local charities, the company reports it raises in excess of £10,000 a year for local charities.[5] The fountain has many copper pipes that pump water out in repeated patterns and either into the middle, or towards the middle, where another pipe shoots water high into the air every 5–10 minutes at approximately 10 – 15 meters. The height of the water can be adjusted in case an advertisement or if an object is above it, such the centre's Christmas tree, so it cannot get wet. There are also another few fountains outside the main entra, where water falls down a pyramid shape and along some steps on each side of the fountain, leading to a path with a stream in the middle that isn't regularly used. At the end of the stream, that stretches to the main entrance of the main car park, are another few fountains that are visible to anyone entering the car park, and the water flows down a wall into drains.

To celebrate the Mall's tenth anniversary, the company announced a five million pound refurbishment of the food court that will be completed in two stages with completion in May 2009.[6] The food court will be renamed 'The Avenue'.

The primary access routes are the M5 Junction 17, Hayes Way to the A38 and A4018. The Mall is one of the major shopping centres in the Bristol area, the other being Broadmead, the location of The Galleries, Bristol and Cabot Circus.

It should not be confused with shopping centres owned by The Mall Fund which are branded as The Mall and then the town or city name.

Retail parks

The two retail parks are warehouse style shops with entrances from outside. Cribbs Causeway Retail Park is a group of large shops off Lysander Road containing Argos, Currys PC World Megastore, Harveys, Magnet Kitchens, Next Home, Oak Furniture Land, SCS, Smyths and Wren Kitchens.

Nearby is Centaurus Retail Park containing Carpetright, Dreams, Halfords, Hobbycraft, Maplin Electronics, T.K. Maxx, B&M (opening 2 May 2015) and The Range (Opening 2015).

Other stores

Other large stores include the United Kingdom's first Asda Wal*Mart Supercentre, which was originally built by the French hypermarket chain Carrefour in the late 1970s. Then when Carrefour pulled out of the UK it sold all of its stores, including the Bristol hypermarket, to the Dee Corporation which owned the Gateway store chain. Then Gateway sold all of its large format stores to Asda in 1989, and it became an Asda hypermarket. Then after the sale of Asda by its management to Walmart in July 1999, it became the first Asda Wal*Mart Supercentre in July 2000. The store has since had yet another major refurbishment and has been rebranded as an Asda Supercentre and the Walmart branding has been removed. This is also the location of the first Morrisons supermarket in the south west of England which opened in September 2003, B&Q which also houses a Furniture Village, DFS, Makro, Toys "R" Us and Wickes.

On Hollywood Lane, which passes under the M5 motorway, is the Cribbs Business Centre. A Bang & Olufsen store is located on Cribbs Causeway and Topps Tiles is located on Lysander Road. The Lamb & Flag, a Harvester pub, is also located on Cribbs Causeway.

The Venue

The Venue at Cribbs Causeway is an entertainment complex featuring a 12 screen Vue cinema, Hollywood Bowl a ten-pin bowling alley, Anytime Fitness and eateries, Bella Italia, Burger King, Chiquitos, Frankie & Benny's, KFC, Las Iguanas, PizzaExpress and T.G.I. Friday's


Car Dealerships

The Cribbs Causeway area has become the home to many car dealerships in recent years these include, Audi, BMW, Ford, Honda, Mercedes-Benz/Smart, Mini, Peugeot and Porsche. A new Nissan dealership will open in the area in 2015.[7] There was also a pop up Tesla Motors store on the ground floor, occupied by BMW the previous year, over the 2014/2015 Christmas break and was there until May when preparations began for a permanent location directly above the old store.


There are two budget hotels in the area. The Travelodge is located on Cribbs Causeway, behind the Harvester pub while Premier Inn is accessed via Catbrain Lane for vehicles and Cribbs Causeway for pedestrians.


Cribbs Causeway Bus Station
Location Cribbs Causeway
South Gloucestershire
Bus stands 8
Bus operators First Bristol, First Somerset & Avon, Stagecoach West, Wessex Bus
Connections No
Opened 1998

The Mall has over 7000 parking spaces spread over a car park that is divided into different sections, and which is free to use. There are also large car parks at the retail parks and supermarkets.

Bus station

The station is situated at The Mall and has 8 stands.

The bus station (the terminal for many bus routes) which is served by a considerable amount of bus services operating in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. Buses run from the bus station around the Bristol area and as far afield as Bath, Chepstow, Gloucester and Newport.

Railway station

The area is served by no railway station. The nearest, Patchway, around 1.5 miles to the west. There are plans to re-open the nearby Henbury Loop Line to serve both the Cribbs Causeway are, as well as the future development on the Filton Airfield site.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Smith, Veronica (2001). The Street Names of Bristol - Their Origins and Meanings. Broadcast Books.  
  2. ^ Smith, A.H. (1964). The Place-Names of Gloucestershire, vol. 3. Cambridge University Press. 
  3. ^ E.K. Tratman (1962). "Some Ideas on Roman Roads in Bristol and North Somerset" (PDF). Proceedings, vol.9. University of Bristol Spelaeological Society. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  4. ^ White Young Green (May 2006). "Assessment of Major Out-of-Centre Retail Outlets in the UK" (PDF). Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "The Mall's Fountain Charity Fund". The Mall. Retrieved 4 November 2008. 
  6. ^ "The Mall's News Room". The Mall. Retrieved 4 November 2008. 
  7. ^ "Wessex Garages announces £5m Nissan site". AM Online. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Bristol Henbury Loop service unlikely to reopen until 2018".  

External links

  • Official website of The Mall
  • Original website of Cribbs Causeway (unofficial)
  • List of bus and coach services from Cribbs Causeway - Travel Search
  • "Belles Express" Gloucester-Cribbs Causeway Coach Service - Timetable & Fares
  • Cribbs Causeway a case study - Prupim Developments

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