Bristol is a town in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 3,054 at the 2010 census. It is home to Wellington State Park, Sugar Hill State Forest, and Profile Falls on the Smith River. Surrounded by hills and lakes, Bristol includes the lower two-thirds of Newfound Lake, a resort area.
The primary settlement in town, where 1,688 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as the Bristol census-designated place (CDP) and is located at the intersection of New Hampshire routes 3A and 104.
Bristol was taken from Bridgewater and New Chester (now Hill) and incorporated 24 June 1819. Colonel Peter Sleeper, Benjamin Emmons and others commenced a settlement here in 1770.
Extensive deposits of fine sand or clay similar to the "Bristol sand" used in Bristol, England, to make fine china and pottery gave the town its name. Here the sand was used to make a superior quality brick, marketed as Bristol brick. With water power from the Pemigewasset River, the town was a center of manufacturing in the early days for goods such as paper, leather, woolens, flannel, bedsteads and piano stools.
On January 16, 1884, the town of Bristol voted to accept the gift of a library building and land from Josiah Minot and Solomon Sleeper and to manage and maintain a public library. The Minot-Sleeper Library became the first building erected to specifically house a public library in the Lakes Region at the time, when it was officially opened to the community in 1885.