'You say we have Clifton and Durdham Downs, but these are mainly for rich people that can afford to live in that neighbourhood: it would take us an hours walking after the hard toil of the day is over, to get to these beautiful spots, and then an hour to get home, thus making pleasure a toil'.
'The Cry of the Poor' being a 'letter from Sixteen Working Men of Bristol to Sixteen Aldermen of the City', November 1871.
Bristol's open spaces were transformed in the late 1800s by the creation of municipal parks in response to the need to improve the health and living conditions of its general populace.
In 1861 the Council had started to create Bristol's first large, public open space, the 'Downs', yet this was not easily available to all and a movement to create parks began. For the next twenty years working class organisations and liberal minded citizens rallied MPs and fought to establish many of Bristol's parks including Eastville Park which opened in 1889. This had resulted from a campaign to provide green space for the parish of St Phillips where in the 1870s there were over 1000 deaths per year (a rate higher than in any other district in Bristol). The Council eventually bought land for the park in 1889. Benches, shelters and paths were provided and extra facilities, such as a swimming pool, were gradually added.