Wills Memorial Building

Wills Memorial Building Tower in Bristol, England

A Stately Marvel in the Heart of Bristol’s Academic Legacy

Elegantly poised at Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1RJ, UK, the Wills Memorial Building stands as a timeless testament to Bristol’s rich academic and architectural history. As an integral part of the University of Bristol, this imposing structure not only symbolizes the pursuit of knowledge but also serves as a landmark that has become synonymous with the city itself. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the Wills Memorial Building’s location, nearby attractions, and essential information for planning a visit to this stately marvel.


Location and Address

The Wills Memorial Building commands attention at Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1RJ, UK, marking its presence in the heart of Bristol. Its location on the University of Bristol campus adds to the academic and cultural significance of this architectural gem. It is approximately 5 miles away from one of the best removals company in the City. Learn more about Excalibur Removals here.


Major Cross Streets and Free ways/Highways:

Navigating to the Wills Memorial Building is straightforward, thanks to its central location and proximity to major cross streets. The building is situated near the junction of Queens Rd and Park Row. For those arriving by car, access to the vicinity is facilitated by major roads such as the A4 and the A38, while the M32 motorway provides a convenient route for visitors travelling from other parts of the city or surrounding areas.


Nearby Attractions within 3 Miles

Exploring the surroundings of the Wills Memorial Building reveals a plethora of attractions within a three-mile radius, ensuring a well-rounded experience for visitors. Some notable places to explore include:

Clifton Suspension Bridge: Approximately 1.5 miles away, the Clifton Suspension Bridge is a marvel of engineering and a must-visit landmark that spans the picturesque Avon Gorge. The bridge offers breathtaking views of Bristol and the surrounding landscape.

Brandon Hill Nature Park: Less than a mile away, Brandon Hill Nature Park provides a serene retreat with its lush greenery, walking trails, and iconic Cabot Tower, offering a tranquil contrast to the academic setting of the Wills Memorial Building.

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery: About a mile from the Wills Memorial Building, this cultural institution houses a diverse range of exhibits, from art and archaeology to natural history, providing an enriching experience for visitors of all ages.

St. Mary Redcliffe Church: Approximately 2 miles away, St. Mary Redcliffe Church is a stunning example of Gothic architecture and a historic religious site that captivates with its intricate design and cultural significance. Visit this page.


Opening and Closing Hours

To plan your visit to the Wills Memorial Building effectively, it’s crucial to be aware of the opening and closing hours. As of the last available information, the general opening hours for the building are:

Monday to Friday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Opening hours may vary based on specific areas and events within the building.)
It is advisable to check the University of Bristol’s official website or contact the university directly for any updates to the opening hours, especially during holidays, academic breaks, or special events.


Guided Tours and Visitor Information

While the Wills Memorial Building is primarily a working academic institution, the university may offer guided tours and visitor information sessions for those interested in exploring the architectural and historical aspects of the building. Details regarding tours and visitor services can be obtained from the university’s official website or by contacting the relevant departments.


Architectural Significance

The Wills Memorial Building, designed by Sir George Oatley, is a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture. Completed in 1925, the building’s intricate details, soaring spire, and imposing façade make it an iconic structure that reflects the aspirations of the university and the city.

Great Hall: The Great Hall within the Wills Memorial Building is a majestic space used for various academic and ceremonial events. Its grandeur and architectural splendour make it a focal point of the building.

Tower: The building’s tower, rising to a height of 215 feet, is one of Bristol’s tallest structures. The tower is adorned with sculptures and intricate stonework, adding to its visual appeal.

Memorial Windows: The Wills Memorial Building features stained-glass memorial windows that pay homage to those who lost their lives during World War I, further emphasizing the building’s historical significance.


Visitor Services

While primarily an academic institution, the Wills Memorial Building may provide limited visitor services and amenities:

University Bookshop: The university bookshop, located within the building or nearby, offers academic publications, university merchandise, and other items that provide insights into the university’s culture and achievements.

Café/Restaurant: Depending on the university’s policies, there may be on-campus cafés or restaurants where visitors can enjoy refreshments in a casual setting.

Events and Conferences: The Wills Memorial Building may host academic events, conferences, or public lectures. Check the university’s official website for information on upcoming events that may be open to the public.


Educational Legacy

Beyond its architectural splendour, the Wills Memorial Building is deeply embedded in Bristol’s educational legacy. Named after the Wills family, who were prominent tobacco manufacturers and philanthropists, the building has served as a centre for learning and academic achievement for nearly a century.

University of Bristol: The Wills Memorial Building is a key component of the University of Bristol, a prestigious institution with a legacy of academic excellence. The university’s commitment to research, innovation, and education is reflected in the heritage of the Wills Memorial Building.

Academic Departments: The building houses various academic departments, lecture halls, and administrative offices, contributing to the vibrant academic life of the university.

Ceremonial Events: The Great Hall is often used for ceremonial events, including graduation ceremonies, which are significant milestones for students and a tradition deeply ingrained in the academic culture of the university.


The Wills Memorial Building stands as a beacon of academic achievement and architectural magnificence in the heart of Bristol. Whether admired from afar as a skyline landmark or explored up close to appreciate its intricate details, the building represents a blend of historical significance and educational legacy. Plan your visit to witness this stately marvel, and immerse yourself in the academic and cultural richness that defines the University of Bristol and its iconic Wills Memorial Building.