Hanham Court, Hanham Abbots 1611

Bristol, England, Bristol, City of

Pgds 20090209 211628 Hanham Compilation

Brief Description

Hanham Court is a medieval ensemble of court, church and tithe barn. The manor was given to Keynsham Abbey in around 1330. Features include surviving walled orchards, fish ponds, mature lime avenues, 20th-century tree planting and herbaceous borders. There is historic woodland and field archaeology to the south of the house. A tithe barn (listed grade II) probably dates from the 15th century. The wrought iron gates and ashlar piers (listed grade II) are thought to date from the 18th century. The stables (listed grade II) date from the mid-19th century.


There is evidence of Roman occupation on the site, with features from several later periods. The tithe barn may date from the 11th century, and the associated church is probably 14th-century.

Visitor Facilities

For opening times please email: info@hanhamcourt.co.uk

Appointments can be made any time for groups of over 20 people.


Detailed Description

The garden is situated half way between Bath and Bristol. It is an unexpectedly rural mediaeval monastic enclave at the end of a tiny lane near the River Avon. Over the past 15 years Isabel and Julian Bannerman have created a romantic scented garden.

The ‘Dell' is home to a stumpery such as the one that the Bannermans created at Highgrove for The Prince of Wales. There are ferns, tree ferns, massed snowdrops, hellebores, dog tooth violets, violets and primroses, magnolias, wild rambling roses rampaging through trees, pools and stream.

The formal garden is a fortified bastion with fountains, luscious borders of old roses and tree peonies, scented perennials and bulbs, lilies and daturas in pots, punctuated by buildings and doorways which lead out into the miniature parkland, orchard, wildflower meadows, and simple cutting and vegetable gardens.

  • Orchard
  • Description: Walled orchards.
  • Manor House (featured building)
  • Description: The house is said to be medieval in origin. There are 16th to 18th-century alterations and a late-19th-century wing.
  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: Walnut tree, whose branches spread across a diameter of 94 feet.
  • Avenue
  • Description: Mature lime avenues.
  • Garden Building
  • Description: A tithe barn probably dates from the 15th century.
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  • Gate
  • Description: Wrought iron gates.
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  • Gate Piers
  • Description: Ashlar piers.
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  • Stable Block
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Garden Wall, Fishpond, Plantation, Stream, Fountain, Rose Border, Potager, Herbaceous Border
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

For opening times please email: info@hanhamcourt.co.uk

Appointments can be made any time for groups of over 20 people.





Civil Parish

  • Hanham Abbots

Detailed History

Archaeological evidence of a Roman Villa was uncovered in the dell in 1900, while building a new septic tank. The house stands above the river Avon at a strategic point and ancient Ferry Crossing. It is situated right on the Via Julia (Julian Road) from Bath to the Roman Port at Avonmouth.

The tithe barn was built in the 11th century, whilst the church which is connected to the house probably dates from the 14th century. The house was part of Keynsham Abbey which was in the Avon valley, and soon after the dissolution of the monasteries became the country estate of the Creswicke family, Mayors of Bristol, for nearly four hundred years.

There is something from almost every century thereafter at the Court. Developments included the Tudor gables and windows and the Jacobean screen and fireplaces. Georgian improvements, such as panelling and windows on the east wing, were possibly suggested by John Wood, who lived in the same parish at the time.

In the 19th century came the ‘re-gothification' when the Creswickes left and Mr White from London spent his money adding reclaimed medieval gargoyles and the pointed roof to the tower. The garden was almost certainly heavily influenced by Canon Ellacombe of Bitton, in which parish the house and chapel of ease then fell. The trademark Psuedoacacias and thousands of cyclamen and snowdrops surviving in the garden suggest his hand. About 1900 a very classy Arts and Crafts kitchen wing was added by the Stephens -suppliers of printing and other inks to the nation. In 1993 Julian and Isabel Bannerman moved in with their three sons and began the huge job of restoring the house and making a garden.


  • Medieval (1066-1540)
Associated People


  • Isabel and Julian Bannerman


  • Avon Gardens Trust