News / Bristol

Clifton Hill House’s restored garden to open to the public

By alma neu, Sunday Sep 10, 2017

Clifton Hill House has been used as a halls of residence for students since the University of Bristol was founded in 1909 but as one of the city’s oldest estates it dates back to 1750.

A Heritage Lottery Fund grant has now enabled the transformation of the estate gardens back to their original Georgian beauty.

The garden will hold an open day for the public on Sunday, September 10 September, giving visitors a chance to enjoy the beautiful grounds as well as learn about its heritage and horticulture.

Descending down the steps of the mighty house, a lush green garden awaits visitors. Remodelled by Bristol landscaper Nicola Greaves, the garden is laid out in a traditional Georgian patte d’oie or ‘goose-foot’ pattern.

It was designed with a wild, natural approach that purposely uses the wildflower meadow which circles around a central pond – an ode to its previous horticulture.

Surrounding the wildflower meadow is a rich supply of greenery, which transforms the Palladian-style mansion to one that appears deep in the woodlands.

It’s exactly the scene that volunteer coordinator Louise Hopkins and her dedicated team of volunteers worked hard over the last 12 months to create.

The enchanting turret, or garden folly, is tucked away in the corner of the garden, led by a winding path.

Possibly built as long ago as 1690, it is believed to be even older than Clifton Hill House and was once used to watch merchant ships sailing along the River Avon below.

The opening of the garden coincided with the unveiling of a blue plaque at Clifton Hill House commemorating the birthplace of Dame Katharine Furse, the first director of the Women’s Royal Naval Service.

Clifton Hill House garden is open to the public on Sunday, September 10 between 10am and midday and 2pm to 4pm. For more information, visit


Read more: The secret garden of Goldney Hall

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