For ages I'd been walking past an empty, crumbling house wedged behind a false wall with blanked out windows.
It's a lonely survivor in a sea of hotels, offices, car parks and corporate construction, and on closer inspection I found out why:
Here, on 20th November, 1752, was born Thomas Chatterton, the young, tragic poet made famous in the Henry Wallis painting.
His story makes Les Miserables look like an episode of Glee.
Having failed to sell the publishing rights to a collection of 15th century poems by a Bristol monk ( which Chatterton himself had actually penned in his mother's attic ) he attempted to pass himself off as a political satirist in London, with a similar lack of success.
Alone, penniless and starving, his dreams in tatters, he poisoned himself at the age of 17 in his gloomy room surrounded by the torn up fragments of his friendless poems.
Those fragments still exist, saved from the landlady's broom by a Dr. Fry who had intended to sponsor Chatterton's genius, but who arrived just too late.
He became the archetype of the tragic poet, doomed to failure and an early death in a lonely garret and yet in only seventeen years he had made himself into a romantic icon.
It seemed rather poignant then, that the birthplace of Bristol's most colourful poetic casualty should now be empty, cold and ignored.
I spoke to the curator of Bristol's crumbling past and when he told me the familiar tale of lack of funds and the problems of propping up literary icons that had little commercial potential, I couldn't help but think what a fitting metaphor it was for poor young Chatterton himself.
In the early hours before the dawn of a cold february morning I placed a figure of him on the porch of his birthplace.
I don't really know why, but perhaps it would remind passers by that there was at least a story to this modest little house that had survived wars, and centuries and the worst excesses of 1960's town planners.
At the very least it might deter the unscrupulous from harming it further, and hopefully act as a sign that somebody cared.
He sat there for four months until the gales claimed him, after which somebody stuck him rather uncomfortably onto the railings.
I went back to resite him only to find that workmen were moving in and restoring the house to something like its former self.
I'm assuming it's a coincidence, but either way it's a result.