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Kids & Familyin Kids & Family at in Bristol

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© 2004 Bristol City Council
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Situated in the beautiful parkland of the Blaise Estate, the Blaise Castle House Museum was an 18th century house and now holds most of the Museums Service's social history collection. It was immortalised by Jane Austen, who described it as "the finest place in England" in Northanger Abbey.

Blaise was built in 1796-1798 for John Harford, a wealthy Bristol merchant and banker. He was also responsible for building Blaise Hamlet, to house his servants and tenants. At the same time the grounds were laid out by Humphrey Repton (1752-1818) a leading landscape gardener. Parts of Repton's designs still exist, notably the impressive carriage drive which winds its way from the house. The Regency architect John Nash was responsible for the addition of the dairy and the conservatory.

The museum's exhibits include a History of the Blaise Estate, featuring Humphrey Repton's Red Book, bound in red leather and detailing his plans to landscape the park. The Bristol at Home Display focuses on domestic equipment including stoves, fireplaces, cooking utensils, vacuum cleaners and other everyday items. The Costume Collection is the fourth largest in the South West. The Picture Gallery, added in 1832-1833, is downstairs in the museum and was designed by Charles Cockerell.

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