One of Bristol’s historic gardens open to view
Press release issued: 9 April 2008
One of Bristol’s best-known 18th-century formal gardens, set in ten acres of formal and wooded grounds in Clifton, will be open to the public on Sunday 27 April. Built in 1714 and designed by Thomas Goldney III, Goldney gardens are English Heritage-listed.
Situated in Bristol University’s Goldney Hall, the gardens have been restored to the spirit of Thomas Goldney’s original design. Visitors will have the chance to see Goldney’s two orchards. One contains varieties of apple trees, which were available in William Goldney's time in the 1750s, and the other contains a collection of apple, pear and plum trees.
The gardens have a feature tree avenue lined with mature yew (Taxus baccata), bay (Laurus nobilis) and Holm oak (Quercus ilex) and an 'Old World Garden’, which contains a large collection of herbaceous plants and climbers.
The gardens also have a shell-lined grotto, a Grade I-listed building, which is widely valued for its unusual atmosphere and construction. The garden has other follies, such as a bastion, an ornamental canal, a gothic tower and a rotunda.
The open day will run from 2 pm to 6 pm. Tickets will be available on the door and will be priced at £3, (concessions £1.50 and children under five free). Proceeds from the open day will go to the Goldney Restoration Fund.
There will be a plant sale, face painting and a treasure trail for children. Cream teas, homemade cakes and other refreshments will be available in the Orangery, overlooking the ornamental canal and gardens.
Professor Gregor McLennan, Warden of Goldney Hall, said: “Goldney is of course very historic and interesting and well worth seeing for those reasons. But it is also just a lovely and quite low-key place to wander around in, or relax over a picnic on the grass. Lots of different people come to the Open Day, and get different things out of it. All are welcome.”
Goldney Hall was opened in 1956. Originally it provided accommodation for 19 female students in Goldney House, which was built in the early 1700s as the country home of the Bristol merchant, Thomas Goldney. The Goldneys were a Quaker family with business interests in banking, shipping and the iron and brass industries. Much of their fortune came from financing Captain Woodes Roger’s privateering raids against Spanish treasure ships, one unexpected result of which was the rescue of Alexander Selkirk, the original Robinson Crusoe whom Defoe is reputed to have met in Bristol.
The traditional Georgian design of the house was altered in 1865 by the eminent Victorian architect Alfred Waterhouse.
Goldney Hall is located on Lower Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BH.