Tudor Map of Bristol

The Westcountry ports of England would provide most of the skill and expertise for the early explorers and mariners. The South-West of Britain had one of the densest concentration of deep water ports in the World. They were also pointing in the right direction for those wishing to seek a North-West Passage to the Orient. Bristol, Plymouth, Bideford were just some of the Westcountry ports that provided the mariners and ships. The Cabots left from Bristol and this map shows just how easy it was for ships to get close to the heart of the 20,000 settlement. Later, Bristol became a centre of the slave trade for similar reasons as it sent manufactured goods out to exchange for slaves in Africa and then receive the sugar and molasses from the Caribbean at the end of the Triangular Trade.

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by Stephen Luscombe