September's KWAG update arrives to you in a slightly different format this month. Our fingers are crossed that it reaches all of our members safely.
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Welcome to our September update.

A new fresh format for our monthly updates, but hopefully with just as much information.

As KWAG has grown since 2011 it's become a bit of a burden sending emails out to everyone individually and we've always had a festering paranoia that many go astray. This month we are trialling  Mailchimp which also gives New opportunity for new content.
We hope that the new format reaches everyone as usual, but if there is any problem please let us know and drop us an email at to let us know or with any feedback you might have. So, on to the headlines....!


Next Sat, 13th Sept

Saturday September 13th will see the return of the annual Bristol Doors Open Day with Kings Weston taking its place on the list of open and historic venues once again.

Kings Weston house will be open free of charge from 10am and 4pm with Norman Routledge as host and the Kings Weston Action Group (KWAG) taking its place in one of the rooms with its usual display of estate history and park information. Both Norman and KWAG hope that the local community will be able to take advantage of the occasion to come along and see the progress that has been made on the restoration over the past year. The action group hope to be able to offer short guided tours of the house on the day.

This year KWAG will be running an art sale in aid of our activities and projects around the estate. All the paintings have been donated, with incredible generosity, by the talented members of Shirehampton’s Twyford Art Group. Most paintings will be sold framed and with prices set at a more than affordable £20-70 there is sure to be something to suit all pockets! All proceeds will be going towards KWAG’s continuing work on the estate including the replacement of the lost lime avenue, new bulb planting, and continued working with schools.

KWAG are extremely grateful to all the artists who have donated their work and they’re sure that visitors are bound to enjoy the show, if not take home a little something to decorate their walls. We’re asking for cash payments only, but may take cheque payments with proof of address. KWAG have local artist Jim Ellis of the Twyford Art Group to thank for his effort in putting together the sale and hope.

If anyone would like to volunteer to help staff KWAG's stall for an hour, or whatever time they can spare on the 13th, please get in touch and let us know. We are always looking for spare hands to help out and it's great to get to meet new people. Come along and learn more about the  house and estate and help celebrate the extraordinary history of Kings Weston. Take a sneaky peek at what you can see in our photo gallery here


With Bristol Doors Open Day taking place on our scheduled Working Party date we have decided to postpone the continuing work around the Echo and ponds until the following week. Working party will now happen on Saturday 20th September, starting at 10am from the Woodland car park beside Kings Weston House and running until about 3:30. We plan to build on our recent success in thinning the suffocating laurels and aim to push this work up, beyond the ponds, as far as the Echo.

Photos of our work last month are now available on our web site where you can see what a filthy job we had on clearing out the mud, rocks, and logs from the ponds and the progress we've made in opening up the forest floor for native species to re-establish. The intention is to restock the ponds with native species and revive them as a wildlife habitat.

(Photo courtesy  of Bob Pitchford)


KWAG Will be running one of our popular guided walks of the Kings Weston Estate on the morning of Saturday 27th September starting at 10:30 am at Shirehampton Road car park.
Our Chairman, David Martyn, will take you around the historic highlights of the Kings Weston estate from the well known, to the well hidden. Based on our most recent research the illustrated tours take in four hundred years of Kings Weston’s history. The tour lasts approximately three hours and the route is about 1.8 miles long. Prices are £5 per person, payable on the day, with under 16s free, however, numbers are limited and BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL.
These always get booked up quickly so please get in touch soon if you would like to secure places for you and your friends. To book, email us at, or by hone to 07811 666671. All proceeds go towards projects at kings Weston.



We are extremely grateful for the generous donation of £1000 received from Bristol Port Company recently to secure the restoration of the avenue in memory of KWAG's co-founder Tim Denning. In 2011 Tim helped build KWAG's first major project, the Echo exhibition, with the help of Bristol Port Co so it is with incredible thanks that we accept this donation from them.

It has taken a couple of years to pass through the various hoops to get permission from the City Council for the project, but we can announce here that it will be going ahead this Autumn.

The donation from Bristol Port Co matches the donations from Tim's friends, family, and KWAG volunteers. But we still need to find additional funds to complete the project and we are asking everyone out there if they would be willing and able to make any contributions.

We are continuing to fund raise for this project and if you would like to support us we will be collecting at Bristol Doors Open Day at the house on Sat 13th September. We also welcome bank transfers to the KWAG account with the following details:
Account name: Kings Weston Action Group
Sort code. Barclays Bank: 20-13-34
Account No 33567737
Cheques can be sent to Kings Weston Action Group, c/o75A Alma Road, Bristol, BS8 2DW, or



Just so everyone is aware the cafe at Kings Weston House is changing ownership. Cafe Retreat who have been running the vaulted coffee shop for 13 years are moving on. They have provided excellent refreshments, the cafe has really helped in making the park an attractive destination, and it's a shame to see them go. They will continue to operate their popular cafe on the Downs.

Please don't panic though. There will continue to be a cafe, and it'll be operated by the Kings Weston House team as a going concern. There isn't expected to be much interruption between Cafe Retreat leaving in October and the new cafe service commencing, but we will update you if there are any changes to the plan.

I hope you will join us in wishing Gayle Tate and her team at Cafe Retreat all the best for the future.


Following a second incursion into the park by travellers last month the City Council have finally been able to reinstate the many missing and decayed timber bollards around Shirehampton Road car park. New drop-bollards have also been installed to allow Council vehicles access to the park and, whilst this is unlikely to be the final solution to the parking at the estate, it is certainly a reassurance that it won’t suffer the same issues as in the 1980s, before the boulders arrived.
We have been working with the Council on a number of other initiatives on the estate which we hope will see a maintenance regime that will complement the achievements of KWAG’s own working parties. We are also working closely with the Estates department to support them with projects secured through a recent Forestry Commission grant. 


As members you will probably already know about our discovery of the ‘lost’ marble memorial created by the great carver Grinling Gibbons (June’s research update). Well after a recent press release we were delighted that the story was taken up by the Bristol Post, the BBC, and even a short piece on page 4 of the Times newspaper. It has been a great bit of promotion for the Kings Weston Estate and for KWAG and we are delighted that St Mary’s Henbury, where the memorial hangs, have been able to showcase the memorial during recent open days.


Kings Weston Action group
c/o 75A Alma Road, Bristol, BS8 2DW


Copyright © 2014 Kings Weston Action Group, All rights reserved.

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