Fromeshaw and Lake House 1379

Frenchay, England, Bristol, City of

Brief Description

Fromeshaw and Lake House is a regency style garden on an earlier site, now partly built over and divided in two.

History

The Department of the Environment listing dates the house to the early 19th century, but other sources suggest an earlier date.

Detailed Description

In general the site is well cared for. There is a small area which needs more attention to the north-east of the house.

The forecourt of the house is now split in two, with a circular bed of lawn in the middle and some shrub planting of recent date around the boundary of the site. The drive descends below ground level on the north side of the house, through an archway into what was once the stable yard. From here, an arched passageway leads east into the garden.

Originally, the grounds of Fromeshaw House extended down to the river. The lake was also larger than at present. There was an area of coppiced woodland. The stone-built dovecot now serves as an electricity sub-station on the adjoining housing estate, constucted in the 1950s. The site covers approximately five acres, and is now divided between two occupancies.

On the east and north sides of Fromeshaw House are flower beds and a terrace. The terrace runs, at ground floor level, to the northern edge of the property.

A lawn runs from the flower beds down to the lake, punctuated by a pond and four fine specimen trees: a Scots pine, two Atlas cedars and a cypress. They are all mature and in good condition.

The lake, which is approximately half an acre of water, curves southwards along the boundary of the property and is crossed by a wooden footbridge.

Features
  • Garden Building
  • Description: Along the northern boundary of the garden is a semi-derelict building, claimed by the present owner (1980s) to be a chapel, though this has not been verified by research.
  • Glasshouse
  • Description: Beyond the garden building (possible chapel) are a series of raised beds and slate water tanks. These are all that remain of a former glasshouse.
  • Pond
  • Description: There is a small, steeply-sided heart-shaped structure a short distance from the east front of the house.
  • Dovecote
  • Description: This square, stone, tower-like structure is no longer within the site boundary, but lies several hundred metres from the house to the south. It now houses an electricity sub-station.
  • Tree Avenue
  • Description: The remains of an avenue of sweet chestnut trees that once formed the approach to Fromeshaw House. This area is now part of Frenchay Common. Some half dozen trees remain, all post-mature.
  • House (featured building)
  • Description: The house, now divided, is of indeterminate date. The Department of the Environment listing says it dates to the early 19th century, but other sources suggest an earlier date.
  • Latest Date:
  • Grotto
  • Description: This is a small structure at the northern end of the terrace. It is semi-circular and the interior is lined with shells, fossils and gemstones. There is also a terra cotta mask. A 20th century roof replaces a former dome.
  • Garden Terrace
  • Description: The terrace runs the length of the house at ground floor level, over the stable block. It is approximately two metres broad.
  • Lake
  • Description: The lake is approximately half an acre of water crossed by a wooden footbridge. It now forms the eastern boundary of the site.
Specimen Tree
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Winterbourne
History

Detailed History

In 1713, the site was leased for 1,000 years by William Browne from Sir John Smythe. The lease was conveyed in 1794 to Edward Brice, Lord of the Manor of Winterbourne. From that date, the site has been occupied by various tenants. Amongst these was Onesipherous Tyndall, a lading Unitarian, Sheriff of Bristol and notorious slave master. He was a tenant in the early 18th century.

Contact
References

References

Contributors

  • S. Lanigan

    1

  • Avon Gardens Trust