Ashton Gatehouse

One gateway, two worlds

Oral Histories

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Over the course of the project, Ruth Myers, Tot Foster and students at Ashton Park School collected local people's memories of Ashton Gatehouse, Ashton Court and the surrounding area. 

Select a theme from the choices below to listen to the audio history or read through the audio transcript.

If you have your own contribution to make to a story, we would love to hear from you at

Ashton Court Estate

The Smyth family lived at Ashton Court for over 400 years but the story of Ashton Court is much bigger than the Smyth's.  

 Click the link below to hear what Ashton Court means to local residents. 

Ashton Park School

Ashton Park School was built in the grounds of Ashton Court, a few years before Bristol City Council purchased the whole estate. 

Click the link below to listen to Jack House and Nila share their memories. 

Coal Mining

Much of the Smyth's family wealth used to build their empire came from coal mining. 

Click the link below to listen to local residents' memories of the Bedminster coalfields. 

Ashton Gatehouse

Ashton Gatehouse or the Lower Lodge, as it is also known, has been in a derelict state for many years. 

Click the link below to hear the part its played in peoples lives but beware there "could be a monster up there."


Zuleika Henry and Igor Kennaway

Zuleika Henry and Igor Kennaway are descendants of the Smythe family who built and lived at Ashton Court.