Monthly Archives: November 2014

Avenue countdown!

Exciting times! Just a few days until the historic avenue is restored!

After two years planning a historic avenue which once led to the front of Grade I Listed Kings Weston House in north Bristol will be replanted as part of National Tree Week. The avenue was first planted at the end of the 1600s, but gradually disappeared between 1760 and the early 20th Century. KWAG’s project will replant seventeen trees and restore some of the formal context of the historic house.

The group have raised funds from donations in memory of KWAG’s co-founder, Tim Denning who died suddenly in October 2012. Since then they have been working with Bristol City Council’s Tree Pips team to develop the project and see it come to fruition. Now, for the first time in living memory the trees will be return as part of a community tree planting event attended by local schools and volunteers on the 2nd December.

The seventeen new lime trees will be planted using the exact same locations as the original avenue which were established during a Time Team-style archaeological geophysical survey in January 2012. The trees will once again frame the front of Kings Weston House and complement the remaining avenue which is the oldest in the city. They were first planted by Sir Robert Southwell, President of the Royal Society and Secretary of State for Ireland with advice from the diarist and plantsman John Evelyn and pre-date the present house designed by Sir John Vanbrugh in 1712.

135515_10151125756573691_2119751768_oDavid Martyn, Chairman of KWAG said “Tim Denning was a real driving force behind KWAG when we first started three years ago. When we lost him it was a real blow, but the group has gone from strength to strength largely through the foundations he laid. I know he would have approved of the replanting of the avenue, and this is a fitting tribute to his enthusiasm and commitment to the Kings Weston parkland”. He continued “KWAG are indebted to everyone who has donated funds in Tim’s memory and especially to Bristol Port Co for their support.“

KWAG are inviting anyone who is able to spare the time to come along on Tuesday 2nd December to help plant the trees with the assistance of Bristol City Council who own the 200 acre public park. The public event will begin from 10am and run until about 3:30 depending on weather and numbers.

 

Aerial view of the proposed restoration

Aerial view of the proposed restoration

The restored avenue looking towards the house

The restored avenue looking towards the house

The Avenue through history

 

Fireplace Fotos

An exciting visit yesterday to a property in Orchard Street, Bristol, where one of Kings Weston’s fireplaces ended up just before WWII. The Marble fireplace dates from the 1760s and was designed by Robert Mylne for the Drawing Room at Kings Weston. It was the finest of the chimney pieces ordered from the eminent sculptor John Devall, who had produced similar for a number of the Royal palaces.

The fireplace incorporates an earlier marble relief carving of 1705, carved by an Italian, Joseph Mazza Bonon. It is thought that these may have been one of five marble tablets purchased by Edward Southwell II on His Grand Tour in 1726, and used by his son when he refurbished the house forty years later.

The chimney piece, along with most of the others in the house, were stripped out in 1938 by Bristol Municipal Charities in the process of conversion of the building as a new home for QEH School. This fireplace was incorporated into the Municipal Charities own new premises where it remains today, though now within a flat.1492225_793413024058492_248978424288407126_o

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Photo gallery from our Schools Activity Days

On the 7th and 9th of October this year KWAG ran two outdoor activity days for schools. The free events were staged by our Education Officer Penny Morse and attracted Woodstock School and Victoria Park School to come to the park and take advantage of the woods and fields for education and fun.

Schools were invited to suggest what we could provide to help tie into the curriculum for Key Stage 1 and 2 ability students and KWAG designed days around map making and orienteering, and creating fantastic Celtic and Roman shelters.

Both days were, fortunately, dry and the children had a great time in the tasks, both building and creating their own wayfaring markers creating trails through the grounds. These photos show just a few of the activities they got involved with. Please take a look at the full gallery to see more, and if you were interested in getting your own school involved in future projects please get in touch with us.

The Celtic Shelter built by Woodstock School childern

The Celtic Shelter built by Woodstock School childern

Woodstock School Pupils get into building historic shelters

Woodstock School Pupils get into building historic shelters

The Roman shelter built by the children of Woodstock School

The Roman shelter built by the children of Woodstock School

Pupils from Victoria Park School pose for teh camera at teh Echo

Pupils from Victoria Park School pose for the camera at the Echo