The Brassworks Trail

Linking Stoke Park Estate, Duchess Gate in Stapleton to the 18th Century Brassmill and home to the Warmley Windmill, Grottoes and Gardens. Windmill café and Kingswood Museum.  This route named after the historic links between the two areas used regularly by Norborne Berkeley before he become Governor of Virginia in 1768.

Norborne Berkeley, Lord Botetourt (1717-70) who remodelled Stoke House (now known as The Dower House) and established the current structure of the landscape with the assistance of Thomas Wright of Durham (1711-86), Norborne Berkeley had investments in Champion’s Brass Works at Warmley House which is now The Kingswood Museum.

The Brassworks Trail is a new route linking the two areas via other parkland along the way and which Lodge Hill used by Kings through the ages is included as well.

It was during a short conversation with Steve England that Steve shared that Linden House was a windmill as well, which is so obvious while looking at it. The Kingswood Museum had the largest Windmill in Britain and this one in Stapleton would have been a spectacular as well and even now it’s a beautiful building.

I often wondered why the narrow route was created between Park Road in Stapleton and Beech House, never realising until now that this was the only route before it became a footpath, Barkleys Hill in history.

“The original entrance to The Grove was via a lane from Park Road which has reverted to a footpath, flanked and roofed as a subway and passing through a pennant stone arch beneath a drive which is now a dead-end. Entrance today is via a new road, which continues over the M32 to Heath House. The Elms is a day centre, fronting onto Park Road, Stapleton”.
Read more here.…

This is worth sharing again as well from 1912.
Read page 66, Heath House was preferred to Ashton Court Mansion House.. so Eastville Park which was born out of Heath House Estate was preferred to Ashton Court Estate by the owner.

From the Transactions of the
Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society
An Account of the Heath House Estate, Stapleton Gloucestershire
by L. J. U. Way
1912, Vol. 35, 18-68
© The Society and the Author(s)


So onwards to The Brassworks Trail.

Unlike most trails, we’ll make the Brassworks Trail one of two routes but both connecting between the two estates of Stoke Park Estate and Kingswood Museum in Warmley.

Route One. 
Frenchay Park Road to The Dramway

Stoke Park Estate to Fishponds retail area.

Option 1

Leaving Stoke Park Estate at Duchess Gate the route now takes through Snuff Mills up to Fishponds Road via exploring Oldbury Court Estate’s 1000 years old Grade II Listed Parkland and Landscaped by Humphry Repton for Thomas Grahame. In Option 2 below it mentions UWE Glenside Campus, try and add this in to your walk as well.  (UWE Glenside Campus is accessible from Snuff Mills by taking the route from Half Penny Bridge and up to College Road in Fishponds but baring right on to Laundry Field after the Allotments, then exploring before returning or walking up to Fishponds by Manor Road).
Without including Option 2, instead cross Half Penny Bride and follow the River Frome to the path at Sleads Stream leading up to the Children’s Play Area in the upper historic fields and find Humphry Repton’s work along the way including his Tree Circle and Ornamental Ponds at the top of Sleads Stream, designed to wow wealthy visitors of the estate as horse & carts slowed to edge around the route which starts from Frenchay Bridge and climbed to the old estate mansion house which was demolished in the 1940s.

As you leave Oldbury Court Estate via the main entrance next to the new car park we had updated in recent years, walk onwards to Fishponds Road passing the beautiful St Mathias Estate which is today Steiner Academy and new houses by Barratt Homes.

Option 2

Leaving Stoke Park Estate at Duchess Gate go up to Fishponds Road via Broom Hill and Manor Road passing Snuff Mills and UWE Glenside Campus which are both beautiful and worth visiting, Snuff Mills is floral from May to October thanks to volunteers of the Snuff Mills Action Group, one of the most beautiful gardens in the region. The grounds of UWE Glenside Campus which was the old Beaufort War Hospital and the prison alongside which will soon become new housing with 2.2 hectares of green space to explore is recommended throughout the year to step in to history.  As you walk to Fishponds you can turn left at Old School Surgery to see the beautiful buildings of the old UWE St Matthias Campus which is today Steiner Academy and was built as a college for vicars in gothic architecture.

Once we reach Fishponds Road.

On to Fishponds Road itself quickly explore The Straits Parade which was designed and constructed by the Duke of Beaufort for King George III when they were out riding and the King’s carriage was all over the place. (Refreshments in Fishponds can be found in a number of addresses and there are some really nice venues).

Fishponds retail area to Cossham Hospital

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Route Two
Park Road, Stapleton to The Kingswood Museum

Stoke Park Estate to Eastville Park.

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3