Whenever I get my first sight of snowdrops (Galanthus) each winter, my spirit lifts as this very unassuming little flower is the first to bloom each year and thus indicates spring cannot be far away.

It will soon be followed by crocuses, daffodils, tulips and other popular garden bulbs.

image of snowdrops

These snowdrops were spotted at Lawford’s Gate, Bristol on the site of the Lawford’s Gate House of Correction, a former prison lying outside the city of Bristol until the late Victorian era. Along with the city’s other gaols, it was a target in the 1831 Bristol Riot, when it was set alight. The prison also had a whipping post for punishing prisoners.

Once a place of punishment and misery, the site of the prison is now a pleasant green space with mature trees and – in January at least – the first heralds of spring.