It is between the counties of Gloucestershire and Somerset. In 1373, King Edward III ordered that it should be a county itself forever. However, it lost county status in 1974, the year after its 600-year celebrations. It became the largest district within the new Avon county. Avon was never popular and was abolished in 1996, when county status returned to Bristol, which became a unitary council.
The Bristol name means "the place where the bridge is" in Old English. It has been a port for 800 years. Now, ships are too big to reach it. It has a new seaport at Avonmouth.
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