Bristol Homeopathic Hospital 542

Bristol, England

Brief Description

This is a hospital garden dating to 1926-27 in memory of Harold Edgar Melville Wills (who died in 1925). It was designed in the style of the garden at Bracken Hill House, Woodspring, overlying the early 19th century garden of Cotham House. The garden centres around a small formally laid out rose garden immediately to the south of the main hospital building.

History

The site of the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital was purchased by W. Melville Wills, of Bracken Hill House, Leigh Woods, for £10,000 in 1917. The new hospital building was designed by Oatley and Lawrence of Bristol. The foundation stone was laid in June 1921 by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, and the building was officially opened on May 20th, 1925. The garden was laid out in 1926-27, in memory of Harold Edgar Melville Wills.

Detailed Description

The garden of the Homeopathic Hospital centres around a small formally laid out rose garden immediately to the south of the main hospital building. The rose garden itself is overlooked by a stone terrace and enclosed by a low wall. There is a small rectangular pond in the centre of the rose garden.

To the east and west of the rose garden, winding gravel paths lead through extensive rockeries, made largely of 'Pulhamite', a kind of artificial rock. A metalled drive leads past the old lodge in Tyndall's Park Road through the centre of the gardens up to Cotham House, now used as a Nurses' Home. An area immediately to the south-east of the rose garden, which was previously used as a sunken kitchen garden, is now occupied by temporary buildings. A tennis court has been laid out in the north-west corner of the garden.

The garden is completely enclosed by a high rubble wall, bordered with many mature shrubs and trees, some of which probably date from the 19th century.

The garden of the Homeopathic Hospital is mantained by two full-time gardeners, and is by and large in a good state. Some of the small water gardens are falling into decay and disuse.

Features

Plant Environment

  • Physic Garden
  • Plant Type

Style

  • Formal
  • Hospital (featured building)
  • Description: The hospital building was designed by Oatley and Lawrence of Bristol. Special attention was paid to the provision of sun balconies for the patients.
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  • Garden Terrace
  • Description: The Homeopathic Hospital has long stone terraces attached at ground floor level on the south, south-east and south-west sides, all designed for use by the patients. Traces can be seen on the terraces of the rails for the revolving open-air chalets used by the hospital in the 1920s and 1930s.
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History

Detailed History

The site of the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital was purchased by W. Melville Wills, of Bracken Hill House, Leigh Woods, for £10,000 in 1917. The site had been previously occupied by Cotham House (now the Nurses' Home) and its grounds. W. Melville Wills bought the site for the construction of a new homeopathic hospital, to be built in memory of his son, Captain Bruce Melville Wills, who had been killed while serving with H.M Forces in 1915. The Bristol Homeopathic Hospital had previously occupied a site at No. 7 Brunswick Square.

The new hospital building was designed by Oatley and Lawrence of Bristol. Special attention was paid to the provision of sun balconies for the patients. The foundation stone of the building was laid in June 1921 by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, and the building was officially opened on May 20th, 1925 by H.R.H. Princess Helena Victoria.

The garden was laid out in 1926-27, in memory of Harold Edgar Melville Wills, who had died in Switzerland in February 1925. It bears a striking resemblance to W. Melville Wills' garden at Bracken Hill House, Leigh Woods. There is the same extensive use of artificial rockwork, the same combination of informal and formal sections within the garden, and a similar use of water in small ponds and channels.

The total cost of the H.E.M. Wills Memorial Garden was £11, 772. The 19th century garden of Cotham House has largely disappeared, but the course of the main entrance to Cotham House from Tyndall's Park Road is still used as a roadway. Many of the older trees and shrubs in the garden are undoubtedly from the 19th century, as is the rubble wall which encloses the garden.

More recently, parts of the H.E.M. Wills Memorial Garden have been destroyed by new construction. A large greenhouse in the south-eastern section of the garden was demolished to make way for temporary buildings. A tennis court has been laid out among the rockeries in the north-west corner of the garden.

Period

  • Early 20th Century (1901-1932)
Contact

Telephone

01793 445050

Official Website

Click Here

Other websites

Owners

  • United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust

    Trust Headquarters, Marlborough Street, Bristol, BS1 3NU
References

References

Contributors

  • E. T. Thacker

    1

  • Avon GardensTrust