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Story last updated: 21 Apr 2004 1442 BST Printable version of this page
Blaise Castle Estate
Blaise Castle through the trees  

An historic park of dramatic scenery and ancient monuments, with tales of giant's footprints and robber's caves.

That's the 650-acre Blaise Castle Estate, a place to spark the imagination and escape to a world of castles, cottages, a wooded gorge and stunning wildflower meadow.

You could find yourself in a land of giants and castles at Blaise

Blaise Castle is, in fact, a folly, built on the site of St Blaise's Chapel, an outcrop which was originally a Roman camp.

Now owned by the city council, it was built in 1766 and was used by its owners as a summer house.

The gothic castle has now been renovated and is open on Sundays during the summer.

A thatched cottage in the woods
See several 'chocolate box' cottages on the estate

The grounds, designed by Humphry Repton, are a series of wooded glens, mossy outcrops of rock and winding paths down to the wooded gorge.

The hamlet

His boss, John Harford (a wealthy merchant and banker) loved all things rustic and also commissioned a small hamlet of storybook appearance with beautiful thatched roofs and Jacobean chimneys - the nearby Blaise Hamlet.

There are nine cottages in the little village built around a green, complete with a weather vane and water pump - and are well worth a look.

For the romantics there is Lover's Leap (a dramatic precipice towering above the gorge) and many picturesque walks through the grounds.

Along the trails you can also find Goram’s Chair (the giant’s resting place – an immense limestone rock group), the Robber's Cave, earthworks and Iron Age fort and the mysterious fairytale cottage the Inner Lodge – a beautifully-crafted, unique wooden house.

House

Blaise Estate House
Blaise House is the home to a museum of everyday life

The estate's house was built of Bath stone in 1796 and is now a museum of everyday life.

It is open from April 1st – October 31st from 10am - 5pm, Saturday- Wednesday and entry is free.

The exhibits include a fascinating collection of antique domestic equipment, toys, games, costumes and textiles.

There is also Humphry Repton’s original red book, which contains drawings and paintings of the landscaping in the estate.

At the back of the main house is a thatched dairy, designed by John Nash.

Down in the gorge, at the side of the river, is Stratford Mill, a water mill brought here in the 1960s to preserve it from demolition.

Children

a stile and view of field
There are plenty of picturesque trails to discover yourself

There are two excellent play parks, one of which is especially aimed at the under fives.

There are also cricket and football pitches in the estate, (to book call 0117 922 2789), and a two-mile horse trail.

The estate is an ideal place to see nature, with different woodlands to explore and boasts rare species of birds, butterflies and flowers.

How to get there

Blaise Castle Estate is in Henbury in the north-west of Bristol.

Entrance to the estate grounds is off Kingsweston Road on the B4057.

Entry to the estate grounds is free.


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