Monthly Archives: July 2014


It has taken a while to complete, but now, for the first time since 1916, there’s a new guide combining both park and house for Kings Weston. We are indebted to Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeology Society for the grant that enabled us to compile and publish the guide, and make it  free for everyone. The first 5000 copies are now complete and, following a launch at July’s National Archaeology Festival, are now available.

The illustrated guide coincides with the 350th anniversary of the birth of Sir John Vanbrugh, the architect of Kings Weston House and many of its garden buildings. It includes a potted history of the house and parkland, incorporating some of KWAG’s very latest research. Open the pamphlet out and you’ll find a comprehensive plan of the historic landscape with all the important landmarks and historic sites pinpointed. Perhaps there’s even some that will come as a surprise to the most seasoned visitor!

Presently they are stocked at Kings Weston House and our leaflet dispenser at the end of the public car park off Shirehampton Road. We intend that they will be available through the City’s library and museum network soon. However, if you are eager for a preview you can now download your own copy on this web site. Head over to the downloads area and you’ll find it at the top of the list!

Not resting on our laurels

It seems so long ago now! But here are the results of the working party on the 12th July. A great and productive event cutting down laurels from around the small pond on the Echo walk. Some of these were so different after the event that it proved extremely difficult to find the same vantage points!

The plan is to continue this work and remove more of the laurel that chokes the woodland floor preventing native species from fighting their way through. We plan to clear out the pond and with the improved sunlight it should be possible to turn it back into an attractive wildlife feature. A clean pool, some oxygenating plants, and a bit of care and it should be as good as new.

Although we don’t know the date of the pond it is possible that it was built as part of Napier Miles’ oriental gardens laid out below the Echo. During our work we chanced across a remnant bamboo plant which, along with the Japanese Cedar, Capadocian Maple, Japanese laurel, and even Japanese knotweed (!) appear to have formed some of the original planting.

It’s always lovely when people come along and share their reminiscences with us, and on this event we had someone recall the 1950s when there was much much more bamboo around the pond and they enjoyed hunting through it playing Cowboys and Indians.

See a full gallery of our work in July here

A view from the back of the rear walk between the Echo and House, here looking back across the pond in the middle distance and towards the central walk

A view from the back of the rear walk between the Echo and House, here looking back across the pond in the middle distance and towards the central walk