Blaise Castle

Blaise Castle

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Blaise Castle

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Blaise Castle is an 18th century mansion house and estate near Henbury in Bristol (formerly in Gloucestershire), England. Blaise Castle was immortalised by being described as "the finest place in England" in Jane Austen's novel Northanger Abbey.

Early history

Flint fragments show Blaise Castle Estate was probably first inhabited by Neolithic farmers. There is more definitive evidence for Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman activity through the distinctive hill-forts in the area and other archaeological finds. The value of this historic landscape was recognised when it became a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 1982.

After the Anglo-Saxon invasion and subsequent conversion to Christianity, the land was granted to the Bishop of Worcester as part of the Kingdom of Mercia. During this time the estate picked up its association with Saint Blaise that lives on in the estate's name.

Blaise Castle House

John Harford, a wealthy Bristol merchant and banker had Blaise Castle House built in 1796–1798, designed by William Paty. It is a grade II* listed building. John Nash added a conservatory c. 1805-6, and in 1832-3, C.R. Cockerell designed the Picture Room, now housing a fine display of paintings from Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery. Harford also had Blaise Hamlet built to house his servants and tenants, to designs of Nash and George Repton in 1811.

A branch of the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery since 1949, Blaise...
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