In the latest post in our series on the stories behind our street names, we are taking a walk down Barnwell Crescent. Read on as we delve into the history of a name that harks back to the earliest days of the former Filton Airfield.

Interior of the Navigator Building

Barnwell Crescent is named after Captain Frank Sowter Barwell OBE. An eager apprentice, Sir Frank grew up in Scotland, where he trained in naval architecture before starting his career as an aviation engineer by designing aeroplanes with his brother.

However, both young men wanted to be at the cutting edge of aeronautical innovation so there was only one place to be: Captain Barnwell moved to Bristol to join the Bristol Aeroplane Company in 1912.

Captain Barnwell’s big move to Bristol paid off. His reputation went from strength to strength as he developed some of the most distinctive aircraft ever built in Britain, most notably the Bristol Scout.

Captain Barnwell’s designs were at the heart of the early success of North Bristol as a centre for aviation. So, it seems only fitting that Barnwell Crescent – surrounded by homes named after aircraft that Barnwell himself designed – is at the centre of the first phase of the new neighbourhood at Brabazon.

Image: mediastorehouse.com
Frank Barnwell