Elizabeth I may have visited the Lodge
The Red Lodge
Judged by many as one of Bristol's undiscovered treasures, a trip to the Red Lodge is more like a visit to a stately home than to a typical museum.
This historic Elizabethan house in Park Row, just up from the city centre, has been modernised and restored several times throughout its 400 year history.
It began life as a Tudor lodge, one of a pair built by the owners of the big house, which is now the site of the Colston Hall.
The big house even housed Queen Elizabeth I on a stay in Bristol and the Red Lodge could well have been visited by the Tudor queen.
The lodge's modest red stone exterior belies its opulent interior.
The Red Lodge is open from late spring until early autumn. The Great Oak Room has been called one of the finest rooms in the West country.
As you step up the winding staircase and enter through the porch of the Great Oak Room, you can marvel at the magnificent oak paneling, the plasterwork ceiling and carved stone chimneypiece - all of them original.
The Red Lodge has had several uses in its past.
In 1854 it was set up as a reform school for girls by social reformer Mary Carpenter, who has a lodge room dedicated to her memory.
The garden is one of The Red Lodge's surprises.
A south-facing, walled garden, it is an excellent example of a re-created Elizabethan-style knot garden with herbaceous borders.
All the plants grown here could have been found in English gardens of 1630.
The Red Lodge is open from late spring
The site is also the home of the Bristol Savages, a society of artists whose history dates back more than 100 years.
Formed in the late Victorian era, when the concept of the "noble savage" was seen as something to aspire to, the Native American culture still plays a large part in its traditions.
When they meet in the Red Lodge's "wigwam" each "brother savage" wears as a lapel badge, either a red, blue or green feather.
The different colours are for artist, entertainer or lay member and these feathers are held in a pin badge made from an American five cent piece with the head of Chief Johnny Big Tree whose likeness is on the coin, to the fore.
Open from late spring until early autumn, the Red Lodge also has special "living history days" throughout its season
Bringing history to life, these weekend events show how people may have lived in the 17th and 18th Centuries.
Visitors can hear characters' tales and see members of the household go about their daily lives.
Where to find it
Situated behind the Colston Hall and next to Trenchard car park, off Lodge Street,
The Red Lodge
Open April to October only.
Admission is free.
last updated: 11/03/2008 at 11:36