Ashton Gatehouse

One gateway, two worlds


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What is in a name?

The name of Ashton Gatehouse at Ashton Court has changed a number of times since it was built.

Find out about the origins of some of the names associated with Ashton Gatehouse and Ashton Court.

When was the Gatehouse built?

In the early 19th century when the gatehouse was built, coal mining was a growing industry in Ashton Vale, we were at war with Napoleon and there were food riots in Bristol

Find out more about the contrasting lives and events at Ashton Court, Ashton, Bedminster and beyond.

Ashton and Bedminster

Looking out from the upper room of Ashton Gatehouse, an early 19th century visitor saw rich farm land and scattered coal pits of Ashton Vale. The closest were only 200 yards away

Find out where many coal pits of Ashton and Bedminster used to be, what remains of the 2 ancient religious sites in Bedminster and why the well-to-do took the ancient Rownham ferry from Hotwells to visit Ashton?

Ashton Court

Ashton Court estate encompasses over 850 acres of park land, the view of the mansion and gatehouses we are familiar with today, rare remnants of a prehistoric landscape and thousands of historic documents giving us insights to the past.

Learn more about the landscape and house, how the medieval lords and ladies adapted and preserved it and its final flourish in the 19th century before finally belonging to the people of Bristol.

Build and rebuild

We don’t know for sure when the first house was built and we don’t know what it looked like although there are theories. Over the years it has been enlarged and rebuilt according to changing wealth and aspiration, fashion, new technologies and building materials.  

Find out what we’ve learned about how, when and why Ashton Court buildings were built, and what and where the local building materials were to be found.

Ashton Court Women

Until the early 20th century, women had few legal rights.

However the Smyth women brought money, social and business connections, maintained the family line several times in the absence of eligible male heirs and took an active role developing and managing the estate, gardens and house.

Share glimpses into their lives at Ashton Court.