South face on an early summer morning.
I prefer naturalised or truly wild plants and flowers to formal gardens but the rose garden is an exception and worth a look in late spring and summer.
The rose graden was replanted in 2006 with a variety of climbing and shrub roses in a formal planting.
Above a rose arch in the gardens.
Ashton Court Mansion
Entrance to the mansion gardens and the rest of the estate is free (although there is a parking charge) - note that during some of the larger events there may be a greater parking charge or an entrance fee.
The old stables area of the mansion (by the car park on Kennel Lodge Road) has public toilets, a visitor centre, exhibition space, picnic area, childrens play area & cafe.
The south face above was of course designed to impress visitors. You can see two distinct building styles. The older 17th Century wing on the left and the 19th Century wing to the right.
In the times of the last owners, the Smyth family. visitors from Bristol would arrive at the Lower Lodge (also known as the Town Gate) and traveled in a great sweep below the mansions south face to eventually arrive at the Western Entrance.
The south face of Ashton Court Mansion from the sunken garden.
Ashton Court Western Entrance
View of Clifton Lodge from Leigh Woods.
Below Clifton Lodge from inside the estate.
Ashton Court has one further lodge, Kennel Lodge. The driveway from the Kennel Lodge Road Entrance passes this Lodge some distance from the house. Then goes up to the stables and the (now demolished) servants quarters and I am sure that it was primarily used by staff and tradesmen.
Now Kennel Lodge Road is the main entrance for the mansion with car parking and the visitor centre facilities.
Ashton Court Mansion west entrance is the main entrance to the mansion. The west face dates from the 16th Century and leads to the original part of the mansion a 14th Century Medieval Hall.
Sadly the mansion itself is only occasionally open to the public.
Drives ran from the Clifton, Clarken Coombe, Church, Kennel and Lower Lodges converging here.
Before Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge was built the estates main entrance was the Lower Lodge or Town Gate (external link), now somewhat sadly positioned on the boundary of Ashton Park School and the A370, Brunel Way dual carriageway.
Only traces of the drive to the old Lower Lodge remain but the other driveways still exist.
Using the Lower Lodge to get to and from Bristol had the disadvantage of either a trip across the highly tidal River Avon on Rownham Ferry (external link) or a lengthy trip to cross the first bridge upstream.
Clifton Lodge was built when the Clifton Suspension Bridge (external link) was opened in 1864, offering a much easier route into Bristol.
The other lodges inside the current estate boundaries have fared better than the Lower Lodge
Church lodge viewed from inside the estate. Now only for pedestrian & cyclist use, leading to All Saints Church, Long Ashton.
Clarken Coombe Lodge the restoreation work was completed in early 2007.