Johannes Kip; The Gloucestershire Engravings

Book Review

 Johannes Kip; The Gloucestershire Engravings edited by Anthea Jones

In our Spring 2021 Newsletter, this book was briefly introduced, and it is worthy of a fuller description here.  Anthea Jones is a notable historian and stalwart of our neighbouring county garden trust of Gloucestershire.  Her in-depth knowledge of the county is vast and this book is a treasure trove of facts and illustrations that emanate from the famous collection of Dutch engraver Johannes Kip (c1653 – 1721).  Published to coincide with the tercentenary of Kip’s death in 1721, this book is a marvellous addition to our libraries.

Based on the Kip engravings in Sir Roberts Atkyns’ The Ancient and Present state of Glostershire, 1712, Jones brings the subject up to date with her careful investigation into the detail of the original art works, that are reproduced and then dissected with precision and historic research.  She then brings us up to date with evidence of features that remain to this day.

Avon Gardens Trust includes South Glos, Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset and North Somerset, ie the county of Avon that actually only existed between 1974 -1996.  Go back in time to the C18 when Johannes Kip was here, the County of ‘Glostershire’ included much of the present day unitary authorities of South Glos and Bristol.  Kip produced a great number of his famous engravings within Glostershire, and a total 16 of the 63 engravings included in the 1712 map are within our current AGT patch, that’s a massive 25%!  Lucky us.

The following list of AGT engravings are repeated in the order of appearance in the book, ie alphabetically by today’s parish names:


  • Abson & Wyck: Wyck the Seat of Richard Haines Esq.. Wick, BS30 5RB.
  • Almondsbury: Knole the Seat of Thos: Chester Esq.. Almondsbury, BS32 4BS.
  • Almondsbury: Over the Seat of John Dowell Esq.. Almondsbury, BS32 4DG.
  • Alveston the Seat of Edward Hill Esq.. Rudgway, BS35 3SQ.
  • Badminton the Seat of the Duke of Beaufort. Badminton is featured in the introduction rather than the main body of the book, as it is a later engraving by Joseph Smith (Britannia Illustrata, 1715)
  • Dyrham the Seat of Willam Blathwait Esq.. Bath SN14 8HR.  Now the famous Dyrham Park is owned by the National Trust.
  • Hill the Seat of Edward Fust Bart. Berkeley GL13 9EB.
  • Mangotsfield: Cleeve Hill the Seat of William Player Esq.. Cleeve Court BS16 6DL.  This estate formed part of the Kingswood Chase.
  • Siston: Syston the Seat of Samll Trotman Esq.. Mangotsfield BS16 9LU.
  • Tortworth the Seat of Matthew Ducy Morton. Wotton-under-Edge GL12 8HF.


  • Henbury the Seat of Simon Harcourt Esq.. Henbury BS10 7QS.  This is the present Blaise Castle Estate site.
  • Henbury the Seat of Mr John Sampson. Rectory Gardens BS10 7AH.
  • Henbury: Kingsweston the Seat of Edward Southwell Esq.. Henbury BS11 0UR.  The estate of Kingsweston is owned by Bristol City Council.
  • Stoke-Giffard: Stoke Gifford the Seat of John Berkeley Esq.. Stapleton BS16 1ZS. This majority of the parkland falls within the Bristol boundary these days and is divided by the M32.  The Dower House is in South Glos.
  • Westbury [-on-Trym]: Stoke Bishop the Seat of Sr Thomas Cann.. Stoke Hill BS9 1JP.
  • Westbury [-on-Trym]: Sneed Park the Seat of Joseph Jackson Esq.. Glenavon Park BS9 1RJ.

To quote Nicholas Kingsley in his Foreword, “for the first time, I think, she gives proper attention to those places where the views overlap, especially at Henbury, Cirencester and Dowdeswell, where one house can be seen in the background of another.  Her analysis makes clear just how much information the individual prints can yield, and I hope it will act as both a guide and a stimulus to future research in this unique resource.”

I highlight Henbury in Kingsley’s quote as it falls in our Bristol patch.  Jones states “Kip made engravings of three houses in Henbury parish, one at Kingsweston, two simply as ‘Henbury’…..the two Henbury village houses appear twice, small in one engraving, large in the other as appropriate.  The houses were neighbours…”.  The grounds of one evolved to become Blaise Castle Estate, with a replacement house.  The neighbouring property of Henbury Manor remains.

Each of the engravings is worth poring over.  What a fascinating book Anthea Jones has put together; so thoroughly researched and bringing the local famous Kip engravings right up to date.  I recommend adding this book to your collection.

Wendy Tippett

To get your copy of this fascinating book full details are attached here