Temple Meads owes its name to the Knights Templar who owned meadows here and who built an oval church nearby. Temple Church, also known as "Holy Cross", was built on the 12th century foundations of the Templar's original church. Temple Meads Station was built in Tudor Gothic Revival style. This style was adopted by the gifted engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and is used in much of his work. The style still lends itself to modern railway design. Completed in 1841, The Old Station is an important landmark, being one of the first railway lines to be built in Britain. It is the world's oldest surviving purpose-built railway terminus and was regarded as a "Wonder of the Victorian Age". It is a Grade 1 listed building and has been nominated as a World Heritage Site. The Old Station is currently the home of The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum. For the first time, public access has been granted for Brunel's historic railway building and tours of Bristol Old Station began in the spring of 2006. Led by an expert guide, tour highlights include the massive passenger shed, cavernous underground vaults and the mock- Gothic grandeur of The Great Western Railway Boardroom.


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