About Us

MALACHAI
MALACHAI
JOHNVISTIC
JOHNVISTIC

The Thunderbolt is an independent Music & Arts venue in Bristol..which sells local Ales,Ciders & Wines...

The Thunderbolt is a 150 capacity venue with 4k Pa Rig inc Foldback, Lighting, Stage and Dressing Room that has ensuite facilities.The venue is a intimate, friendly and is a restored Grade 2 listed former 1830`s tollhouse with a large, lovely rear garden. The Thunderbolt has been recieved nationally coverage through  Radio 1, 2, 4 & 6, The Big Issue, Daily Mirror, Mojo, The Times, The Gaurdian and the Independent.

The Thunderbolt has become established as a nationally recognised "circuit venue" on the live music scene, known as an essential stop-off for many bands on their tours of the UK, it has and has already hosted;

Kate Tempest, John Parish(PJ Harvey), John Cooper Clarke, Wilko Johnson, Ian Mclagan(Faces/Small Faces), Phantom Limb, Hugh Cornwell, Miles Hunt, Will Self, Howe Gelb, , Howard Marks, Jerry Dammers, Carleen Carter, Louisiana Red, Wilko Johnson, Wayne Hussey, The Pretty Things, Justin Sullivan, Dodgy,  Jim Bob (Carter USM), The Christians, DJ Don Letts, Roy Bailey, Wreckless Eric, John Power (Cast/The La`s), John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett, Zoot Money, Justin Townes Earle, Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets), John Hegley , Dr Feelgood, Blue Aeroplanes  & Chris Difford.           

"Ace Compact Boozer" John Mitchell The Gaurdian

"lovely atmosphere, great venue, deeply receptive and intelligent audience-a delight" Will Self

'A Small, but prestigious venue' Venue Magazine 0ct 2010

 

"A Local institution'  THE SUNDAY TIMES 2013

 





History

The Thunderbolt
The Thunderbolt
Three lamps
Three lamps
T.L.S. Rowbotham - View from the Bath Road through the Brislington Turnpike 1826
T.L.S. Rowbotham - View from the Bath Road through the Brislington Turnpike 1826
Around 1826 T.L.S. Rowbotham painted a watercolour: View from the Bath Road through the Brislington Turnpike. There is a small cluster of buildings on Totterdown, whilst below the wide carriageway dominates the picture as it follows the curve of the river in an extravagant sweep.

In a similar way the history of Totterdown seems dominated by roads. One of its earliest mentions is that in 1642, at the time of the Civil War, a small fort or earthwork known as a sconce was built there 'to command the southern road'.

A hundred years later, in 1748, a new Turnpike Act came into force and gates were erected all around the city, so people using the road had to pay tolls. This so enraged the Somerset country people that they marched in protest against the Totterdown gate and began smashing it down. A force headed by the Sheriffs with officers, constables, several Turnpike commissioners and a party of sailors armed with staves arrived on the scene before the demolition was completed and drove them off, wounding some and taking about 30 prisoner.

The name of the Turnpike Inn, the Victorian Gothic Grade II listed building on the Bath Road, is a reminder of those times.

Almost another century passed and the trustees of the Bristol turnpikes decided to eradicate the steep gradient below Totterdown. The hill had been a constant cause of complaints from coachmen and was also prone to subsidence. The problem was resolved by digging a very deep cutting near the junction of the Bath and Wells Roads. Tolls on foot passengers and cattle were dropped in 1852 and in June 1863 the unpopular tolls were completely abolished.

The Finger Post shown above is known as The Three Lamps and marks the junction of the Bath and Wells roads.