Bathurst Basin was built as part of the Floating Harbour scheme 1804-9, forming a link between the Cut and the Floating Harbour with a lock gate at each end. The basin was named in honour of Bristol M.P. Charles Bragge who had changed his name to Bathurst in 1804. The Bathurst Hotel was built near the southern lock in 1809 to cater for the sailors and travellers the new Basin was sure to attract, it was built to an unusual design with balconies and railings reminiscent of New Orleans this was probably the inspiration for it’s present name the Louisiana. The building has several bricked in casements, a reminder of the ‘window tax’ which was abolished in 1851. When the Garricks Head on Broad Quay was demolished in 1978 the landlord took over the Bathurst Hotel and renamed it the Garricks. The name was changed again in 1982 to the Smugglers. Just opposite the hotel in Commercial Road are the ruins of the old gaol built in 1820.
Bristol’s Historic Inns. Helena Eason. 1982
“Now only the gatehouse remains as the gaol itself was the target of the 1831 rioters who burned it to the ground. The governor of that gaol, William Humphries, was actually taking refreshment at the Bathurst Hotel when the mob attacked his gaol and he was forced to stay there and watch the destruction. The gateway of the gaol was the scene of the last public hanging of a woman in Bristol, when in 1849 Sarah Thomas was hanged for murder.”
a drawing by C F W Dening from his book
‘ Old Inns Of Bristol ‘ (1943)