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Pictures of Ashton Court Estate, Bristol

a Garden or Park in the town of Bristol, in the county of Somerset

Take a picture tour of Ashton Court Estate, Bristol..

About Ashton Court Estate, Bristol

The great estate of Ashton Court bristles with history. The heart of the estate is a magnificent mansion with a long elegant frontage, the flowing lines of which are broken by graceful tall turrets either side of the main entrance door. It is an historic place dating back to late in the 14th-century when Thomas de Lyons was granted a licence to place walls around his lands, thus creating a park.

In the 16th-century the house was sold to local merchant John Smythe, it was to remain with this family for many generations with each successor responsible for the various additions and alterations that finally resulted in a superb showcase of wealth and power. Ashton Court Mansion was indeed one of the most illustrious houses in Bristol, and today it is a true treasure for the city.

Historically the last of the Smythe line died in 1946, this was following the end of the Second World War during which time the house had been used by the War Office. Initially it became a Transit Camp, was used by the Royal Air Force, and finally by the Americans as their Command Head Quarters. With the demise of the lineage the house was left to the mercy of the ravages of time. When it was acquired by Bristol City Council in 1956 Ashton Court Estate was in a sad state, with little to remind of its glory days. However, many years of conservation work still continue, and slowly this once great mansion is reclaiming its place in the history books of England.

The grounds of the estate cover several hundred acres, here there is an attractive mixture of parkland and woodland. There is an abundance of wildlife in this peaceful, magical landscape and visitors find it difficult to believe they are but five minutes away from a bustling city. Deer have been associated with the estate for centuries, so it is not surprising to find both red and fallow deer grazing amongst the woodlands ancient trees.

Over a period of time Ashton Court Estate has become known for its many seasonal events, one of the most famous being the magnificent International Balloon Fiesta. It is also the home of the North Somerset Show, and hosts a Kite Festival. The house is the dramatic backdrop for weddings, banquets, trade fairs and exhibitions.

Sport enthusiasts find much to interest them at Ashton Court, here there are opportunities for many sporting activities including 18 hole pitch and put golf (two courses), mountain biking and horse riding.

There is a visitors centre where you can explore the history of the estate and learn of the people who turned it into a glorious mansion with a magnificent country estate. The stable block houses a comfortable restaurant for snacks and afternoon teas.

This splendid estate, steeped in history has everything a visitor could want to enjoy a truly great day out - it is one of Bristol's "must sees" and is not to be missed.

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