G. W. Braikenridge was a Bristol antiquarian who, in the 1820s, commissioned mainly local artists to draw the streets, buildings and harbour of his city. He was not an artist himself and had been a prosperous merchant before retiring early. His original intention was to 'extra-illustrate' William Barrett's History and Antiquities of Bristol (published in 1789). This was a common hobby at the time; books were not heavily illustrated, as we are used to today, and people would collect drawings which could be bound up with the text of books. Braikenridge's collection of over 1400 Bristol drawings is now in Bristol's Museum and Art Gallery collection. They are of high quality and provide an important record of the city before the age of photography. He had wide interests in the natural sciences, arts and local history and also collected paintings, the decorative arts, stained glass, coins and medals, medieval manuscripts and wood-carvings. The centrepiece of his Georgian house at Brislington was a Gothic library and is an important example of the taste for 'antiquarian interiors'.