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Ashton Court Park

by Chris Knapman

Ashton Court Park

The Ashton Court Estate is made up of 850 acres of woods and parkland designed by Humphry Repton. It became a deer park over 600 years ago, and has some magnificent old oak trees including the Domesday Oak.

Location: Long Ashton, Bristol, BS41 9JN

Region: South West

Grid Ref:

Owner / Manager: Bristol City Council

Access: Free admission when open

3 Comments | Leave a Comment

  • Vince Hastings says:
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    At Ashton Court, an oak of much greater size than the Domesday Oak, grows in Summerhouse Wood, and is a truly magnificent tree.

  • Bob Cook says:
    Posted October 23, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    YOU SAY Ashton Court parkland was designed by Humphry Repton.. I don’t believe this to be true because you do not have Repton’s Red Book”

    • Julia Nicholas says:
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 9:37 am

      Reference Historic England’s website and you will see the following.

      How the words “advised on changes” are interpreted is open to question.


      Evidence of human occupation from the Bronze Age, Iron Age, and the Roman period, as well as medieval strip fields, ridge and furrow, and lynchets has been found within the western end of the park at Ashton Court. These remains of ancient field systems are among the best preserved in the region and owe their survival to the enclosure of the land as a deer park in the C14. In 1312 ‘two hundred and fifty acres of land were under single ownership’ and in 1545 the estate was bought by John Smyth, former sheriff and mayor of Bristol (LUC 1992). Ashton Court remained the property of the Smyth family until 1959, when it was bought by Bristol City Council. The land surrounding the C15 house formed an extensive deer park and there is field evidence of C16 and C17 formal gardens rising in terraces up the steep slope north-west of the house (LUC 1998). An estate map of 1765, surveyed in 1740, shows that the park was smaller than today and criss-crossed with tracks and two avenues of trees (Bantock 1984). Humphry Repton (1752-1818) visited the estate in 1802 and advised on changes to the landscape and, although no Red Book was made, Repton wrote to the owner Sir John Hugh Smyth in October 1802, ‘I hope the ground I marked out for plantations has been prepared so as to be planted this season’ (quoted in Harding and Lambert 1994).


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