2.15pm: Garden Walks
Kingswood Heritage Museum
A Series of Circular Guided Walks for 2017.
Explore the Warmley gardens and grotto on a guided walk, every 2nd Sunday in the month (April to November), starting from the Museum at 2.15pm, fee £2.50 per adult.
This circular walk will take approximately 90 minutes on level ground, some of which may be muddy in wet weather. Bring a torch to help you explore as you wander through the grottoes, which will be specially opened for you by your guide.
Sunday 9th April
Sunday 7th May
Sunday 11th June
Sunday 9th July
Sunday 13th August
Sunday 10th September
Sunday 8th October
Sunday 12th November
For more details, contact Chris Quarry, telephone 0117 957 5387.
The Museum is located in the former Champion Brass Works, at Tower Lane, Warmley BS30 8XT, just off the A4174 Avon Ring Road (Cadbury Heath exit). Buses 19, 19a , 42 and 43 stop nearby.
Enjoy free parking, toilets, refreshments and a book and gift shop.
Kingswood Heritage Museum is open on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2pm to 5pm, April to November.
It also opens on Bank Holiday weekends (including Mondays) from 11am to 5pm. The grotto and gardens are open at Bank Holiday weekends, but only on the Sunday and Monday (ie not the Saturday).
The Museum is closed December to March inclusive.
We are always pleased to entertain group visits from schools and local societies, and refreshments can be provided. Interested parties should make contact via email to or by telephone at 0117 960 5664.
A regular feature of the Spring (end of May) Bank Holiday is the Douglas Motorbike Rally and Cavalcade, attracting Douglas motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the country.
Come along to see dozens of vintage motorcycles, talk to their riders/owners and watch as they move off on the Sunday to ride the old factory test route.
The world famous Douglas bikes were built in Kingswood from 1907 to 1957. Some 25,000 were constructed for military use in the First World War.
Kingswood Heritage Museum has a major exhibit featuring the marque, including one of the machines designed for war time despatch riders. The bikes were regular winners of the Isle of Man TT races.
The Douglas Company saw the potential in the Italian scooter after World War II, and started making Vespas under licence in 1951. A sidecar was introduced in 1952.
By the time production ceased in 1962 126,230 had been built. The 125cc model was marketed at just under £150, including purchase tax.
Bill Douglas, great grandson of the founders of the firm, said: “It is always a stirring sight to see the bikes in action, and we expect a big turnout around the area to watch the cavalcade”.
The line up opens at 11am, and the run - along one of the former bike testing circuits via the Chew Valley - begins at noon.
Men in Sheds has set up a branch at Kingswood Heritage Museum, and is looking to welcome new members.
The group provides an exciting opportunity for men (and women) to work in wood and other materials on their own projects, using the workshop and tools belonging to the Museum. Members can also create and repair mechanical items in the workshop.
The concept was initiated in the UK by the charity AgeUK, but is now an independently run organisation. It has some 250 branches in the UK, with 90 new groups in the process of forming. There are two established branches in the Bristol area.
Mervyn Bishop, one the new group's organisers, says: “What we seek to do is to provide a safe and friendly atmosphere where people can work - on their own or with others - on projects of their own choosing and at their own pace.”
The group meets at Kingswood Heritage Museum on Thursday mornings, starting at 9.30am. Other sessions will be added as more members join.
Mervyn adds: “For more information, contact me via , or leave a message for me at the Museum (phone 0117 960 5664) - or just come along. You'll be very welcome!”
A major historical feature in the care of Kingwood Heritage Museum is only open to the public at large for a few days each year, so do not miss the chance to visit.
Shaun Gibbs, one of the Museum's experts on the attraction, calls it "an eighteenth century theme park".
Shaun adds: "When William Champion's zinc making business in Warmley became successful in the late eighteenth century, he built himself an elegant and imposing new house at the heart of his works. The surrounding gardens he added were particularly impressive, laid out in the then popular Dutch style.
"A focal point was the large lake which was not only ornamental but also provided the water supply for the works. In the centre of the lake was a ten metre high stature of the god Neptune with his trident. This is still there, and is believed to be the largest garden statue now standing in the country.
"An essential feature of any large garden of that era was a grotto, and Champion's is thought to be the most extensive man-made grotto surviving. It was probably based on the example at Goldney House, in Clifton, Bristol, built by Champion's uncle, but - uniquely - was comprised mainly of the same black clinker waste from the factory that adorns Neptune."
See the events calendar for upcoming dates.
Kingswood Heritage Museum is based in the Brassworks built by William Champion, an 18th Century Quaker industrialist, with Warmley Historic Gardens alongside.
Come inside to...
Kingswood Heritage Museum welcomes friends and volunteers to support a wide range of activities.
Friends get free admission to all events and receive a newsletter with event details.
Meetings are held at the Museum on the second Thursday of February, April, June, August, October and December at 7.30pm to plan fundraising and work co-ordination.
If you would like to help with displays or events, or would like to join the Friends Scheme, please get in touch.