Cribbs Causeway

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 Mall, Cribbs Causeway - central atrium from the south

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.


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.

Shopping and leisureEdit

The MallEdit

The Mall
LocationPatchway, UK
Opening date31 March 1998; 23 years ago (1998-03-31)
OwnerIntu Properties
No. of stores and services135
No. of anchor tenants2
Total retail floor area994,981 sq ft (92,436.8 m2)
No. of floors2
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 anchor-tenants John Lewis and Partners and Marks & Spencer, plus 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 can also be found in The Mall and include retailers such as Apple Inc, Samsung and Tesla Motors. The food court is located on the upper level and is home to various chain outlets such as: Burger King, Chopstix, Pizza Hut, Nando's, Krispy Kreme and others.

The John Lewis anchor store's central atrium spanning four levels at Christmas 2019, decorated with twinkling warm white LED lights - the lights are installed by professionals using climbing equipment.

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][6] 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 metres. The height of the water jet is adjustable to prevent any object, hanging from above, from getting wet; additionally there are also a few other decorative fountains outside the main entrance.

To celebrate the Mall's tenth anniversary, the company announced a five million pound refurbishment of the food court, completed in two stages with completion in May 2009.[7]

The Mall has been known to cover the central fountain in the main shopping concourse for special occasions, as seen here for Christmas with a platform representing a clock face and Christmas tree. Other notable occasions have been anniversaries of the Mall where the fountain has been covered in boarding representing a birthday cake.

As of 2018, The Mall is owned by Intu Properties, M&G Real Estate and JT Baylis.[8]

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 others being Broadmead (the location of The Galleries, Bristol) and Cabot Circus.

A foam fountain at the Mall


Retail parksEdit

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 B&M, Carpetright, Dreams, Go Outdoors, Halfords, Hobbycraft, HomeSense, Tapi Carpets and T.K. Maxx.

Other storesEdit

Other large stores include the United Kingdom's first Asda Walmart 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. There is also a B&Q DIY store which also houses a Furniture Village, DFS, Makro and Wickes.

On Hollywood Lane, which passes under the M5 motorway, is the Cribbs Business Centre. Lysander House is located on Lysander Road on the site of the former Harry Ramsden's restaurant. A Bang & Olufsen store is located on Cribbs Causeway. Topps Tiles and Porcelanosa are located on Lysander Road. Miller & Carter Steakhouse, is also located on Cribbs Causeway. Redwood Farm, a Farmhouse Inns pub, is located on Catbrain Lane, next to Lysander House. IN'n'OUT Autocentre is situated behind Morrisons.

The VenueEdit

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, Nandos, Frankie & Benny's, KFC, Las Iguanas, PizzaExpress and T.G.I. Friday's.[9]

Car DealershipsEdit

The Cribbs Causeway area has become the home to many car dealerships in recent years these include: Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ford, Honda, Mercedes-Benz/Smart, Mini, Nissan,[10] Peugeot and Porsche. Rybrook Holdings opened a large showroom containing Bentley, Lamborghini, McLaren and Rolls Royce vehicles in 2016.[11] There was also a pop up Tesla Motors store on the upper floor of The Mall,[12] occupied by BMW over the 2014-2015 Christmas break, and again until May when preparations began for a permanent location directly above the old store. A Jaguar Land Rover dealership is currently under construction.[13]


There is currently one hotel in the area. Travelodge is located on Cribbs Causeway, behind the Miller and Carter Steakhouse. Soho House have planning permission for a 123-room hotel on the site of the former Cribbs Lodge Hotel.[14] Premier Inn formerly had a hotel on Catbrain Lane. On 17 July 2019 the hotel was destroyed by a fire which caused part of the building to collapse onto Cribbs Causeway and took nearly 48 hours to extinguish.[15][16] On 26 May 2020, Premier Inn's parent company, the Whitbread Group, announced that they had secured planning permission to rebuild the location, reusing the old building's footprint but with an additional storey for a below-ground car park.[17] Construction work on the new building has commenced, and is expected to be completed in 2021. An investigation into the fire was unable to find a cause for the blaze, owing to the extensive damage to the building sustained during the fire and subsequent demolition works.[18][19]


Cribbs Causeway Bus Station
LocationCribbs Causeway
South Gloucestershire
Bus stands8
Bus operatorsFirst West of England, Stagecoach West, Bristol Community Transport, Newport Bus

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 stationEdit

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.[20]

Railway stationEdit

The area is not served by a railway station. The nearest, Patchway, around 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the west. There are plans to re-open the nearby Henbury Loop Line to serve both the Cribbs Causeway area and the future development on the Filton Airfield site.[21]

Future ExpansionEdit

In October 2014, plans to expand the shopping centre were revealed to the public in a public exhibition[22] and includes a 120-bed hotel, a new bus station, a multi-storey car park, a pedestrian link bridge over Merlin Road and 150 apartments.[23] The proposed expansion will increase the shopping centre by more than a half.[24] Construction work was expected to start in 2017 and anticipated to open by 2021.[25] However, in February 2016 the Mall's £300 million expansion plan were deferred by South Gloucestershire Council.[26] In November 2016, South Gloucestershire Council approved the plans.[27]


Plans to build an ice rink, dry ski-slope, and indoor "ski-diving" facility were presented to the public in June 2015,[28] with the Bristol Post reporting that the planning request was placed on 9 December 2015.[29] The intended site is next to the Vue cinema.[28] On 7 April 2017 architects Atkins Walters & Webster reported that South Gloucestershire Council had approved the leisure development plans, which comprise "an ice rink, a sky-dive and ski centre, a hotel, a drive-thru coffee shop, retail, a restaurant and a car showroom." The scheme is also to include a "green corridor that enables future provision of the proposed pedestrian bridge to link to an expanded Mall Shopping Centre". Atkins Walters & Webster stated their "key aim is to create a permeable layout that links the Filton Airfield site to the wider Cribbs Causeway network".[30]

In July 2019, the Bristol Post reported that plans for a dry-ski-slope facility had been "shelved", as the company due to deliver it, Skiplex, had gone into administration – and the developers were focusing on delivering the new ice rink.[31]

Bristol Post reported in November 2020, that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the new ice rink is on schedule to open in Spring 2021.[32] Nevertheless the expected opening has been pushed back to Autumn 2021, as Planet Ice, the new rink's operator, focuses on re-opening its established facilities as pandemic restrictions are eased. The rink will become the new home rink for the Bristol Pitbulls ice hockey team.[33][34]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Smith, Veronica (2001). The Street Names of Bristol - Their Origins and Meanings. Broadcast Books. ISBN 1-874092-90-7.
  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. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  4. ^ White Young Green (May 2006). "Assessment of Major Out-of-Centre Retail Outlets in the UK" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  5. ^ "The Mall's Fountain Charity Fund". The Mall. Archived from the original on 17 December 2008. Retrieved 4 November 2008.
  6. ^ "Patchway groups benefit from The Mall's charity fund". Patchway Journal. 13 April 2012. Archived from the original on 11 June 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  7. ^ "The Mall's News Room". The Mall. Archived from the original on 2 November 2008. Retrieved 4 November 2008.
  8. ^ "The Mall, Cribbs Causeway". Intu Properties. Archived from the original on 1 December 2018. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  9. ^ "The Venue". Cribbs Causeway. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  10. ^ "Wessex Garages announces £5m Nissan site". AM Online. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  11. ^ "Rybrook to Open Ultra-Premium Brand Showroom in Cribbs Causeway". Rybrook Holdings Ltd. Archived from the original on 3 October 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  12. ^ Brown Dave. "Tesla opens pop-up store and supercharger in Bristol". Car Dealer. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  13. ^ "Sytner to build £12.3m Guy Salmon JLR dealership in Bristol". AM-Online. Archived from the original on 20 July 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  14. ^ "High-end hotel group Soho House to build a new motel and diner near Cribbs Causeway". Bristol Post. Archived from the original on 20 July 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Bristol Premier Inn: Fire at hotel near Cribbs Causeway". 18 July 2019. Archived from the original on 19 July 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  16. ^ "Premier Inn Bristol fire is put out after 48 hours". BBC News. Archived from the original on 20 July 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  17. ^ Baker, Hannah (26 May 2020). "Cribbs Causeway Premier Inn destroyed by fire to be rebuilt". BristolLive. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  18. ^ "Cause of fire at Cribbs Causeway Premier Inn unknown". BBC News. 28 October 2019. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  19. ^ "Premier Inn fire: Bristol hotel to be rebuilt". BBC News. 27 May 2020. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  20. ^ "Cribbs Causeway". Travel Search. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  21. ^ "Bristol Henbury Loop service unlikely to reopen until 2018". BBC News. Archived from the original on 10 October 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  22. ^ "Shopper's heaven: Cribbs Causeway shopping centre to double in size". Bristol Post. 24 October 2014. Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  23. ^ "First glimpse - How the planned extension at the Mall at Cribbs, near Bristol, will look". Bristol Post. 7 January 2015. Archived from the original on 15 January 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  24. ^ "Bristol Cribbs Causeway mall expansion approved". BBC. Archived from the original on 9 December 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  25. ^ "£300m Bristol shopping centre expansion plan". Construction Enquirer. May 2015. Archived from the original on 11 June 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  26. ^ "The Mall at Cribbs Causeway: Town centres fear expansion plan". BBC News Bristol. 25 February 2016. Archived from the original on 28 February 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  27. ^ "The Mall at Cribbs Causeway set to DOUBLE in size after major expansion plans approved". Bristol Post. 3 November 2016. Archived from the original on 7 November 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  28. ^ a b Pavid, K (19 June 2015). "New ice rink at Cribbs Causeway could provide top athletes with valuable training facilities". Bristol Post. Archived from the original on 21 June 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  29. ^ Flanagan, Emma (14 January 2016). "Ice, Ice, Maybe? Plans for Bristol ice rink are one step closer to reality". Bristol Post. Archived from the original on 27 November 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  30. ^ "Skiing, skating and sky-diving coming to Cribbs Causeway, Bristol - AWW Architects". AWW Architects. 7 April 2017. Archived from the original on 9 April 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  31. ^ Gogarty, Conor (7 July 2019). "Ski slope dropped from huge leisure development". BristolLive. Archived from the original on 10 July 2019. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  32. ^ Murray, Robin (16 November 2020). "Bristol's new ice rink build finished after 'challenging year'". BristolLive. Archived from the original on 16 November 2020. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  33. ^ Murray, Robin (31 May 2021). "Opening of Bristol's new ice rink has been delayed". BristolLive. Archived from the original on 31 May 2021. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  34. ^ Murray, Robin (17 March 2020). "Construction of Bristol's new ice rink has begun". BristolLive. Archived from the original on 18 March 2020. Retrieved 22 November 2020.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 51°31′30″N 2°35′46″W / 51.5249°N 2.5962°W / 51.5249; -2.5962