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Langford House


Langford House is an early- to mid-19th-century house and park, both altered in the late-19th and early-20th centuries.

The following text is taken from 'The University of Bristol Historic Gardens' by Marion Mako:

The early 19th century house and park were both altered late 19th/early 20th century. The garden is separated from the park by a ha-ha. A walled kitchen garden contains a small formal pond and fountain. A pear arch over 100 metres long replaces a greenhouse and is underplanted with narcissi and scarlet tulips. The octagonal summerhouse has floral stained glass windows. The entrance to the remaining glasshouse was guarded by the statues of two children on pedestals. Opposite, an octagonal sundial with barley-sugar columns was positioned: this still survives, but the flagpole has since been lost.

The park is planted with fine specimen trees. In 2007 two gardeners, with the tradition of animal monuments begun by Simon Sidney Hill, designed a Memorial Garden. They were responding to the need by pet owners for a tranquil space on which to reflect about sad or difficult moments. The intention was to create an informal green glade with silver birch trees, wild flowers and seating. A wooden pergola wreathed in roses and hop-vines leads into the enclosed space.

Description checked: Avon Gardens Trust 22/5/2012.

Information augmented: Avon Gardens Trust 12/2/2013.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details

The house is now home to the Department of Clinical Veterinary Science


Take junction 21 from the M5, following the A370 to Bristol. Take the B3133 towards Cheddar.


University of Bristol

Senate House, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1TH

The following text is taken from 'The University of Bristol Historic Gardens' by Marion Mako:

19th Century

The original house on the site was built in 1826 by John Fisher and consisted of a main building with ancillary structure, a garden and lawned areas. Following a series of different owners and tenants, Simon Sidney Hill purchased the house and estate in 1877. With the introduction of new plant specimens during the 19th century, gentlemen gardeners enjoyed displaying their collections of exotic, rare and floriferous plants. At Langford, one of the glasshouses was given over to orchids and another to farms.

20th Century

After Hill's death in 1908 a great nephew Thomas Sidney Hill eventually took up residence. Thomas Sydney remodelled the house adding a billiard room and a nursery. Photographs from the early 20th century show a grand formal garden befitting a gentleman of this period. Around the house, cast iron benches in the style of the famous Coalbrookdale garden furniture are flanked by pairs of urns decorated with classical figures and filled with yuccas, fuchsias amid seasonal planting. Only one pair of urns survives now. On the lawns leading to the ha-ha were island beds of varying shapes and sizes.

On the west lawn, an arrangement of rose gardens encircled the formal beds. Two years after the death of Thomas Sidney the house was bought by the Crown Commissioners and in 1948 the University of Bristol founded the School of Veterinary Science.

Features & Designations


  • Conservation Area

  • Reference: Lower Langford
  • The National Heritage List for England: Listed Building

  • Reference: Langford House
  • Grade: II


  • Summerhouse
  • Description: An octagonal summerhouse with stained glass windows
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Pond
  • Description: A walled kitchen garden contains a small formal pond and fountain.
  • Arch
  • Description: A pear arch replaces a greenhouse
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Pet Cemetery
  • Description: A memorial garden for pet owners
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Country House (featured building)
  • Description: Langford House (listed Grade II) is a former country house, now Bristol University Veterinary School. The central block dates from around 1860 with south-west 1913 addition and further north-east addition including belvedere tower.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Kitchen Garden
Key Information





Principal Building






Civil Parish





  • Avon Gardens Trust