Kingswood Heritage Museum, Tower Lane, Warmley, Bristol, Bristol, BS30 8XT
The remarkable surviving Grade II 18th century garden of brassworker William Champion with a giant statue of Neptune and astonishing hidden grotto with a central pool surrounded by 6 grotesque faces with gaping jaws opening into subterranean tunnels.
The remarkable and rare surviving Grade II designated 18th century garden of the industrialist William Champion is hidden behind his brass mill (now Kingswood Museum) and pin factory (the Clocktower). Discover the giant Statue of Neptune once towering above a huge lake and explore the concealed 18th century grotto, a unique remnant of Champion’s pleasure grounds, making your way through the fantastical gaping jaws into candle-lit tunnels past three pools, one fed by a cascade which once flowed from Champion’s brassworks. Discover the rare ‘snail’ viewing mound and the ‘Echo Pond’ and discover Champion’s ‘summerhouse’ in the woods. Champion’s Grade II* house (now a private residential home) overlooks the garden, with a flight of steps leading down through a HaHa.
It is probable that Champion’s grotto incorporated his earlier works. A series of culverts linked the grotto, lake and pond with Champion’s works, pumped by an early Newcomen engine. A spillway has recently been uncovered beside the grotto, potentially used as a garden cascade. The ruined boathouse beside the Echo Pond is also thought to have once housed a beam engine, pumping water from the lake. The garden is being brought back to life with wildflower meadows and a Heritage orchard planted with fruit trees from Champion’s time, and further plans for a wildlife pond and a nature trail through Neptune’s Wood behind Neptune.
Saturday 17 September: 1100-1630
Sunday 18 September: 1100-1630
No booking required
For details of this and other Heritage Open days in your area go to the website – website link