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Kingswood Heritage Museum

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Sunday 14th August 2016

2.15pm: Warmley Gardens and Grotto Circular Walk
Kingswood Heritage Museum

Every 2nd Sunday in the month (April to November), starting from the Museum at 2.15pm. £2.50 per adult.

A guided walk exploring the 18th.c. Industrialist, William Champion’s unique Warmley garden, including entry to his mysterious Grotto.

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.

2016 dates: 10th April, 8th May, 12th June, 10th July, 14th August, 11th September, 9th October, 13th November.

For more information, call Chris Quarry on 0117 957 5387.

www.kingswoodmuseum.org.uk

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Kingswood Heritage Museum
Kingswood Heritage Museum

Contact Kingswood Museum

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 17A, 19, 42 and 43 stop nearby.

Enjoy free parking, toilets, refreshments and a book and gift shop.

  • Phone: 0117 960 5664
  • Website www.kingswoodmuseum.org.uk
  • Email:


Opening Hours

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.

Latest News

Schools in Kingswood

The latest Kingswood Heritage Museum exhibition, devoted to our local secondary schools and their history since World War II, was formally opened on 6 July.

Kingswood Heritage Museum

Professor Colin Pillinger, formerly Professor of Physical Sciences at the Open University, and originator of the Beagle 2 mission to Mars, was one of the most notable local “old boys” and his life is featured in the exhibition.

It was therefore fitting that it was launched by Doreen Lindegaard, the professor’s sister, photographed with curator Alan Bryant.

The invited guests included local people who had loaned items from their schooldays for the exhibition.

The Museum has a number of relevant photos and artefacts collected over the years, covering the following schools:

  • Kings Oak Academy, formerly Kingsfield School, and before that Kingswood Grammar;
  • Hanham Woods Academy, formerly Hanham High;
  • Downend School, formed from the merger of Stockwell Hill and Page School for Girls;
  • Mangotsfield School, formed from the merger of Chase School for Boys and Rodway Technical College;
  • Sir Bernard Lovell Academy, previously the Oldand Common Boys and Girls Schools;
  • The Grange School (closing at the end of this academic year), originating in the Hanham Road School for Girls and Woodstock School for Boys.

Many visitors to this site will have been taught at these places of learning.

Kingswood Heritage Museum

American students marvel at Neptune

A group of American students recently visited Kingswood Heritage Museum under the auspices of the Fulbright Summer Institute.

The teenagers came from all over the USA, from California to New Jersey, and are seen with the statue of Neptune in the gardens at Warmley.

Summer Talks at Kingswood Heritage Museum

Kingswood Heritage Museum is starting a new venture as part of its 2016 season - hosting a series of monthly talks about subjects of interest to local people.

Kingswood Heritage Museum

These range from the wine and tobacco business to local tram services - and the delights of day trips to Severn Beach!

Keep an eye on the events calendar and this page for details of individual events.

In July's talk, Dave Cheesley will speak about the attractions of Severn Beach, in the days when everyone went there.

People who remember Lakelands and the Blue Lagoon (pictured) can come along and indulge their memories!

Big crowds for Dougie Day

The 25th anniversary Douglas Rally and Cavalcade on 2016's May Bank Holiday proved as big a draw as usual, with big crowds lining the street for the start of the run.

This year there was the added attraction of the visit of members of the Vespa Club of Great Britain's South West section.

Kingswood Heritage Museum

The world famous Douglas motorbikes were built in Kingswood from 1907 to 1957. Some 25000 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.

Foundations of Kingswood

Kingswood Heritage Museum

For its 2016 season, starting on 2 April, Kingswood Heritage Museum has created a new exhibit featuring a business that was a major employer in the area – the production of ladies' underwear. The main firms involved were Langridge's of Two Mile Hill Road, Kingswood (using the Unity brand and later renamed Fantasie Foundations), Pearson's of Signal Road, Staple Hill, David Williams of Downend Road, Kingswood, and Bayer's of Oldland.

The Museum has used material relating to these firms in the new exhibit, and was pleased to welcome former corsetry workers to a pre-launch event. Maureen Berry, who had worked at many of the local firms in the decades after the Second World War, is seen at the event being interviewed for Radio Bristol.

Steve Wood, one of the Museum's curators, says: “Many people in the area will remember David Williams, or Charles Ryall of Langridge's – who created the brand Fantasie and was known to everyone as “Mr Charles”. Their memories can help us fully portray the importance of the industry to Kingswood and the surrounding area. So we would welcome further contributions from the public, in the form of details of the work, stories about daily life in the factories, artefacts, or any other memorabilia.”

Men in Sheds

Kingswood Heritage Museum

Men in Sheds has set up a new 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!”

An Eighteenth Century Theme Park

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.

Kingswood Heritage Museum

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.

About the Centre

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

  • Step inside the Windmill Tower
  • Scramble through the mock-up of a mine
  • Discover why methodism began in Kingswood
  • Find out about the Victorian Age
  • See life through World War II
  • Remember the 50s
  • Learn about the local boot and shoe-making industry
  • Read about local Heroes and Villains
  • Visit Kingswood's own Douglas Motorcycle display

Become a Friend

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.







Forthcoming events

Sunday 14th August 2016

Monday 15th August 2016

Sunday 28th August 2016

Monday 29th August 2016

Sunday 11th September 2016

Monday 19th September 2016

Sunday 9th October 2016

Sunday 13th November 2016


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