Blaise Castle House Museum is located in the northern section of the Blaise Castle Estate, a beautiful 650 acres of parkland at Henbury.
Blaise Castle House was built between 1796 and 1798 for John Harford, a wealthy Bristol merchant, banker and Quaker. Humphry Repton designed the landscaped gardens in 1786 and his original watercolour designs are on display in the museum. In Jane Austen’s classic book Northanger Abbey, Bristol’s Blaise Castle House is described as ‘the finest place in England’.
During the 18th century the Regency architect John Nash added the Dairy and the Orangery. Some of the original late 18th century interior ornamentation remains in the house. There are casts of Classical and Neo-Classical sculptures and reliefs. There is even a cast of the Parthenon marbles.The Museum
At Blaise Castle House Museum the visitor can explore hundreds of weird and wonderful objects that show how people used to live in the past. In the Picture Room is a Cabinet of Curiosities with some very strange things indeed in it.
The Museum houses around 50,000 social history items including domestic and community history, dolls, toys and costumes. There is even a recreated Victorian era schoolroom.
The displays illustrate how households have changed over time. Limited space ensures that the objects on display change regularly and there is always something new and interesting to see.
You can also find out about some of the people who lived at and helped design Blaise and see a miniature Blaise Hamlet.
Bristol At Home
The 'Bristol At Home' Display focuses on 300 years of domestic equipment used for cooking, lighting, cleaning and washing. There is even an early vacuum cleaner. Other displays include ceramics, furniture, woodwork and ironwork, clocks and watches.
The costume collection consists of around 10,000 items dating from the 1730s to the present day, along with textiles such as quilts and banners, and the entire contents of a Bristol haberdasher’s shop.
On display you can trace fashions through time and learn about the social changes which shaped them. With beautiful dresses from the 1800s and all kinds of unusual shoes such as dancing slippers, silk boots and tiny children’s clogs.
In the popular ‘Toys Rooms’ are Dolls Houses and tin plate trains, planes, cars and zoo animals. Miniature tea sets, dolls house furniture, many old dolls from the 18th-20th centuries, early puzzles, board games, prams and tricycles. Amongst the dolls are the Bristol pedlar doll and an unusual set of Dionne quins from the 1930s. There is an extensive collection of Britains Lead Soldiers, and some fine toy train sets.
The Picture Room
The beautiful Picture Room with its classical portico and domed glass ceiling was added to the house in 1832-3. The room has been restored to its former glory, its walls decorated with a sumptuous red flock paper and hung with pictures from the fine art collections.
There is a small shop on the ground floor of the museum with a selection of toys and gifts.
The Cafe is located close to the main car park off Kings Weston Road.
Kings Weston Roman Villa
Visitors wishing to visit the remains at Kings Weston Roman Villa can pick up the access key from the Museum during opening hours. There is a £5 deposit required, refundable on return of the key.
Easter Saturday to 30th June: Wednesday to Sunday: 10:30 - 16:00 hours.
1 July to 31st August: Tuesday to Sunday: 10:30 - 16:00 hours.
For Bank Holiday details go to Web: Blaise Castle House Museum/ opening hours
Wheelchair access to the ground floor is possible using a portable ramp;
Folders containing photographs of the displays upstairs are available on the ground floor;
There is no wheelchair-accessible toilet;
Refer to the Museum website for details Web: Blaise Castle Museum House/ Facilities