Bristol,  Lifestyle,  Photography,  Travel

Placeum, a new audio map of Bristol

When we go away on holiday, especially city breaks, we’re always keen to learn the history about the place we’re visiting. Whether that’s through a free walking tour, a museum or a gallery. But what about if you could dip in and out of your history lesson, discover some new and exciting parts of the place you live whilst on your way to lunch or work? Placeum, a new audio map, has just been launched in our wonderful city of Bristol.

Apart from the obvious iconic features of this city like the SS Great Britain and the Suspension Bridge, I’m a little ashamed to say I don’t know that much about the other monuments and grand buildings I see on a daily basis, dotted around Bristol. For someone who enjoys history, I haven’t made much of an effort to explore the heritage of my current home.

Placeum was created by Sam Green, a Bristol-based ex-journalist and barrister. He has researched and recorded more than 70 aural snippets of 25 locations around the city. Drawing on his journalistic training, Sam has researched authoritative sources, including old news reports, books, museums and the Internet, to create the content for Placeum.

I’ve been using the website for about a week now, mainly on my way into work and discovering a whole new world of history and intrigue, that I never knew existed on our doorstep. Including that Clifton Observatory was once a windmill and then a snuff mill. Who knew!

How it works:

  • Go to
  • Click on the pins to see audio for different locations. Most locations have multiple recordings
  • Most of the recordings (or Placeums) are 2-3 minutes long. Learn about the city, its history and its place in the world
  • Once you’ve started listening to a recording you can pause, restart and replay from the player bar towards the bottom of the screen.
  • If you have location services enabled for your browser you can press the location symbol to find yourself in Bristol on the map
  • You can access the map and recordings from anywhere and from any type of computer or device. You will need internet or data access to use Placeum.

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